Community Conversations

Upcoming Community Conversations

Past Conversations

About MMC Community Conversations

For several years, MMC has hosted an ongoing series of live and virtual bi-lingual Community Conversations. The aim is to foster new relationships, share perspectives, and build a stronger sense of shared community.

Our Community Conversations are modeled after Restorative Community-Building Circles. Participants meet in small groups, each accompanied by a Spanish-language interpreter. An MMC volunteer trained in Restorative Justice practices facilitates the discussion, enabling everyone to listen and to share their experiences and insights. Some conversations are preceded by a brief panel discussion to provide background information and current research/data to help frame the discussion. However, in these Community Conversations, there are no “experts.” Each participant’s lived experience has equal value and adds to the richness and diversity of the discussion.

Because all conversations are confidential, only the panel portion of the program is recorded. Watch our Community Conversation opening panel on Reimagining Justice: Using restorative justice practices to enhance safety and compassion in our schools, community, and courts.

Please join us for our next

Community Conversation!

The Circle is a fundamental form in the practice of RJ. It is rooted in the ancient tradition of sitting together around the warmth and safety of a fire to share food, stories and enjoy each other’s company. In dominant Western culture, we often organize ourselves in rows, facing the leader of a meeting, presentation or class. The Circle, in which everyone sits facing one another in a position of equal authority, is by its nature more inclusive and more conducive to relationship-building.

Restorative Justice Circles are highly structured, intentional spaces in which people share their experiences, thoughts, and feelings. They require active listening and promote the development of understanding and empathy for the purpose of:

Community building, collaborative problem solving, & resolving conflicts and repairing harm.

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Valeria Jimenez – Case Manager & Outreach Coordinator

Valeria is the Outreach & Program Coordinator for Mountain Mediation Center, administering the landlord-tenant eviction diversion program in partnership with local organizations to help prevent and resolve landlord-tenant disputes. She specializes in public outreach, collaborating with agencies and community partners, and connecting communities to resources.

During her time at the Utah State Courts, she managed statewide community outreach initiatives, education of court programs to the public, and was chosen as a recipient of the Excellence in Advancing Justice award. Beyond her professional capacity, Valeria volunteers with We Rise First-Generation Scholars, a program of the Wasatch Education Foundation. Valeria is passionate about bringing young Latino leaders together and building community in the professional, academic, and civic space. She has plans to continue her education by earning a J.D. in the near future.

Kris Campbell – Program Director

Kris is the Program Director for Mountain Mediation Center, overseeing MMC’s programs, fundraiser, and rapidly expanding training program, and coordinating our dedicated volunteers. He is passionate about bringing people together to work through conflicts productively. Kris began his work with MMC as a volunteer in 2020, facilitating Community Conversations and leading training sessions to build understanding, connection, and community along the Wasatch Back. In 2023, Kris served as MMC’s Board Chair. 

When he’s not at work, Kris often spends time with his kids, serving the community through Rotary, Braver Angels, and the Park City LGBTQ+ Taskforce, or exploring area trails.

Gretchen Lee – Executive Director

Gretchen is an attorney and a court-qualified mediator with the Utah Courts. She has an extensive government relations background- having worked as an attorney for the Utah State Legislature as well as the private and nonprofit sectors drafting resolutions, initiatives and other policy documents. Gretchen serves on the Board of Trustees for the Utah Council of Conflict Resolution and is a member of the Restorative Justice Collaborative of Utah. She graduated from Colgate University and Emory School of Law.