2018 Award Recipients

Each year, we are honored to present two prestigious and highly recognized awards at the conference. With your conference attendance, you will be able to celebrate and commemorate the recipients.

Cloke-Millen Peacemaker Award – Avis Ridley-Thomas

Avis Ridley-Thomas founded Los Angeles City Attorney’s Dispute Resolution Program in 1989, and served as Director until retiring in March 2011. Under her leadership, the program grew from four staff members to include over 2,000 volunteer conciliators, mediators, trainers, facilitators and peacemakers who handled thousands of disputes annually.

She was awarded the Healers of Conflict Award from the Southern California Mediation Association in 1994, the Rosa Parks Award of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1995, and the Phenomenal Woman Award from the Women’s Studies Program of California State University at Northridge in 1996. In 1998, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund selected Ridley-Thomas as a Black Woman of Achievement recipient.

Ridley-Thomas now serves Co-Director of the Institute for Nonviolence in Los Angeles and Days of Dialogue. Recent honors include St. Michael the Archangel – Guardian Angel Award, the Who’s Who Award of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, the Los Angeles African American Women’s Public Policy Institute’s Women in Action Award and the Los Angeles Child Guidance Clinic christening of the Avis and Mark Ridley-Thomas Life Learning Center.

Learn more about Avis & the Award Here.

L. Randolph Lowry Award – Professor Lisa Klerman

Professor Lisa Klerman is a renowned clinical professor who has trained hundreds of USC Gould School of Law students in dispute resolution. After launching the law school’s Mediation Clinic over a dozen years ago, she served as the director of its ADR Certificate Program, and was the founding director of the Judge Judith O. Hollinger Program in Alternative Dispute Resolution. The Mediation Clinic courses that she designed and developed received national recognition in 2011 when the Ninth Circuit Judicial Council honored USC Gould with its prestigious ADR Education Award.

As a mediator with an active private practice, Professor Klerman is able to bring to the classroom practical tips and cutting edge techniques in order to maximize her students’ skill sets. The mediators in her clinic have consistently achieved impressive success rates in their mediation venues, which include the Los Angeles County Superior Court system, as well as partnerships with the Department of Consumer and Business Affairs, the Los Angeles Fire Department, California Lawyers for the Arts, the United States District Court, the Department of Industrial Relations, the EEOC, and the Department of Fair Employment and Housing.

Learn more about Lisa & the Award Here.

Director’s Award – Karen Crowley-Marks

Kids Managing Conflict is pleased to announce that Karen Crowley-Marks will be honored with this year’s Directors Award at the SCMA Fall Conference dinner on November 2, 2018.

Karen Crowley-Marks was born and raised in Upstate New York where she received her BS from College of the Rose and her MS in Education at SUNY. Karen taught math in New York State for six years before moving to Los Angeles where she worked for LAUSD retiring a few months ago after 28 year of successful service. Karen began her career at Van Nuys Middle School and then transferred to Uni High School where she taught math, served as Math Department Chair, part-time Dean, and full-time Dean for the past 5 years.

In 2007, Elois McGhehee, Principal, had the vision to start a Peer Mediation program. Karen was selected to implement the program. Starting with only six students and no knowledge of Peer Mediation, she utilized internet research, personal interviews, and student input to launch the program.

Peer Mediation has changed the climate at Uni High School. It has increased student communication, decreased the suspension rate, and developed positive relationships on campus. Karen believes Peer Mediation is a win, win situation. The disputants are able to voice their concerns in a non-threatening, safe, confidential and neutral environment. Once their conflict is resolved, students can focus on school and learning. The mediators, through extensive training and practice, build confidence, increased self-esteem, leadership skills, and develop a skill set that they will utilize long after high school.

Since 2007, almost 400 students have been successfully trained as Peer Mediators. University High School is unique in that it is the only LAUSD high school on the Westside that offers such a program. Karen’s strength is the ability to integrate Peer Mediation skills with Restorative Justice techniques in carrying out her role as Dean of Students.

In 2015, Karen was awarded the Educational Leadership Award from the Asian Pacific American Dispute Resolution Center (APADRC). In May, 2018, she was honored at the Galen Center by the Kids Managing Conflict foundation (KMC) for her 11 years of Peer Mediation service. Over the past 10 years, she has served on several Peer Mediation panels and was a guest speaker at the KMC symposium in April 2018.

Most of all, Karen feels none of this could have been accomplished without the support and recognition of agencies such as the Southern California Mediation Association, the Western Justice Center, APADRC, and the Kids Managing Conflict foundation. For this she is eternally grateful.

KMC is delighted to be honoring Karen this year as she joins Marco Turk, Esq., Mary Culbert, Esq., John Haas and Barbra Brown as past recipients of this award.

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