Mountain Mediation Center facilitated a conversation geared toward concerns local seniors might have about available services in Summit and Wasatch Counties.

Article by Emily Means for KPCW (September, 18, 2019)

Mountain Mediation Center, a nonprofit organization that provides conflict resolution to residents on the Wasatch Back, is expanding its services to include hosting a new community conversation series.

Mountain Mediation Executive Director Gretchen Lee says the center’s work has mostly focused on resolving conflict, but now the center wants to work on stopping conflict before it happens.

“We have started focusing a little bit more on the prevention end, and so the prevention end led us to these community conversations,” Lee said. “So, we have partnered with Utah Humanities to initiate community conversations.”

Mountain Mediation attorney Natalie Segall says the center has dealt primarily with mediating small claims, divorce mediations and landlord-tenant disputes, but they want to have a series of these conversations to engage different segments of the community, from young adults to seasonal workers to members of the Latinx community.

“Our goal is to engage community members in meaningful dialogue around issues relevant to them,” Segall said.

That effort starts with Park City seniors on Thursday, September 19 at 1 p.m. at the Park City Senior Center. Mountain Mediation will facilitate a conversation geared toward concerns seniors might have about available services in the area. After that, a larger, more general community conversation is planned for Oct. 1 at the Park City Library at 6 p.m. Lee says Mountain Mediation is working with local nonprofits to bring groups together and potentially address issues that are discussed.

“More than anything, it’s our job to provide that safe space to help have that conversation,” Lee said. “Once we see where the conversation goes, if there’s obvious follow-up that we need to do with other groups, of course, as a nonprofit serving the community, we want to work together with everybody, so we will do the appropriate follow-ups.”

The community conversation with Park City seniors takes place Thursday at 1 p.m. at the Park City Senior Center. The larger community conversation is Oct. 1 at 6 p.m. at the Park City Library.

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