Virginia Solutions & the VA Trust Network
Through the Virginia Solutions program, citizens can get help creating sustainable solutions to community issues.
The program was initiated in partnership with the great people at UVA’s Institute for Environmental Negotiation and funded in part by grants from the Hewlett Foundation and the National Association for Community Mediation.
Participating centers can help design and facilitate processes, interventions or meetings to help a group resolve issues or reach goals.
Examples of collaborative processes at work
The City of Harrisonburg used a series of facilitated public meetings and decision-making processes to help the community decide how to revitalize its downtown.
Over 150 citizens of Fluvanna County gathered at an open Forum to identify local priorities for protecting open space.
A nursing home staff used the help of a mediation center to identify issues that kept them from having a positive work environment.
The Bryan Park Interchange Advisory Committee, convened by the Virginia Department of Transportation, developed consensus recommendations to deal with the increasingly congested intersection of I-95 and I-64 in Richmond.
Charlottesville and Albemarle County found that their court system was outgrowing its current space. An advisory committee comprised of stakeholders representing a broad range of community interests developed recommendations consistent with public interests.
A Culpeper County public meeting on the land application of biosolids helped reduce tension and develop new ideas.
The VA Trust Network
Conditions in the United States over the past year have been alarming. It is abundantly clear that the need for community cohesion is great.
Mediators Beyond Borders (MBB), Election Incident Reporting (EIRUSA), and the National Association for Community Mediation (NAFCM) teamed up to identify, prevent and mitigate violence stimulated by underlying social issues – before the 2020 elections, during the vote and in the aftermath, and as unity is rebuilt. This effort is called the Trust Network https://mediatorsbeyondborders.org/trust/. The Trust Network includes local, state, national and international conflict-management organizations with decades of combined experience.
The Trust Network reached out to community mediation centers across the U.S. (Resolution Virginia in Virginia) to help with this effort. Resolution Virginia responded by inviting peacebuilders across the state to become part of what is now called the VA Trust Network.
The following people make up the VA Trust Network:
Trustworthy people willing to monitor local social or regular media and verify accounts of potentially violent situations;
Leaders and partners who have the ear of the community and want to help ensure that community members have safe spaces in which to engage;
Facilitators who can lead meetings to discuss how to prevent or respond to violence or how to move forward after violence;
Peacebuilders/de-escalators willing to be on-call to assist when needed (at rallies, protests, meetings, etc.).
The VA Trust Network is divided into regional networks to facilitate network training, cohesion and responsiveness.
If your community could use the services of the VA Trust Netowork, please contact
Virginia’s Trust Network Coordinator, Christine Poulson at email@example.com. Christine can also be reached at (540) 294-0732.
If you are interested in playing one of the above roles or can assist in another way, please sign up at the following website https://mediatorsbeyondborders.org/trust/join-us/ AND send your contact information to Virginia’s Trust Network Coordinator, Christine Poulson at firstname.lastname@example.org. Christine can also be reached at (540) 294-0732.
Thank you for assisting our efforts to help Virginians be heard …without violence.