The Impact of Identities on Conflict 
Facilitated by Chandra Banks
Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Come and consider the impact of identity on conflict and conflict management through the eyes of a mediator.  
Recognizing and appreciating the many identities at the mediation table --the parties, your co-mediator as well as your own-- can be key to a successful mediation.  We all carry multiple obvious and hidden identities with us as we walk through life.  

Develop your sensitivity to the characteristics of varied personalities as they exist and have impact on the mediation process.

Location: CDSC 60 Gore Street. Cambridge, MA 02141
Pre-requisite: Mediation training
Cost: $65
CDSC Pro Bono Mediators: $25 (Use discount code CDSCMEDIATOR2017)
Only 25 spots available

Click Here to Register Now!

Facilitated by Chandra Banks, Ed. M  
About Chandra:
District Wide Conflict Mediator for Cambridge Public Schools since 2006 and 10 years as core faculty for the Institute for Peaceable Schools at Lesley University, focused on Conflict Management, Restorative Justice practice and Cultural Proficiency training.  

 is a life long resident of the City of Cambridge as well as an alumni of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, specializing in Risk Prevention and Counseling. 
She has worked as a Mediation trainer for CDSC for 8 years and

provides consultation and training to public and private agencies across the state of Massachusetts.


Come to this dynamic seminar facilitated by two topnotch mediators & experienced domestic relations lawyers:

Divorce Mediation Seminar:
Update on Alimony plus Your Mediation Challenges

Thursday, December 1st


Presented By Rachel B. Goldman & Michael L. Leshin


Update/refresher on Alimony:
Focus will be on  the scope of the new issues which couples need to address, such as, duration, cohabitation, types of alimony, and retirement, related to the Alimony Reform Act of 2011.
Hypotheticals will be reviewed.

Your challenges in mediating divorce cases:
Bring your stumpers to confer with our experts: divorce mediation cases/situations that were challenging to you.

Location: CDSC 60 Gore Street. Cambridge, MA 02141
Pre-requisite: Divorce Mediation Training
Cost: $75
CDSC Pro Bono Mediators: $25 (Use discount code CDSCMEDIATOR)
Space is limited to 24 participants

Click Here to Register Now!

RACHEL B. GOLDMAN is a partner at Grindle Robinson LLP in Wellesley where she specializes in collaborative family law, mediation, conciliation, and settlement negotiation.

Rachel is listed in the book "Best Lawyers in America" and Boston Magazine's "Top Women Attorneys in Massachusetts" and has been named a Super Lawyer in the areas of Family Law and Family Law Mediation.

Rachel teaches introductory and advanced mediation courses with the Community Dispute Settlement Center and Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education and frequently presents to professional groups, law students, college students, and the public about divorce law, collaborative practice and mediation.

  MICHAEL L. LESHIN is a partner at Ginsburg & Leshin, LLP in Wellesley. He focuses his practice on family law and mediation.

He is a past president of the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation and has been certified as a divorce mediator by MCFM.  He serves on the Board of Directors of CDSC.  In 2013 he received MCFM's John Adams Fiske Award for Excellence in Mediation.  He is the author of the "Massachusetts Family Law Sourcebook," published annually by Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc.   He is listed in "The Best Lawyers in America," (Family Law, 2006 - 2016 and Family Law Mediation 2007 - 2016).  

He has lectured on tax, mediation and family law issues for MCLE, MCFM, Mediation Works, Inc. and CDSC.




The CDSC Bash was a HUGE success! 

 Thank You to Our Sponsors! 
 View Bash Photos Here!


This year's annual celebration will be held on on Wednesday, October 14, 2015 at the Venture Cafe in the Cambridge Innovation Center from 6:30pm-8:30pm.

The CDSC Bash proves to be a delighful-- and meaningful --way to celebrate the accomplishments of the mediation community. This event continues to serve as our signature fundraising event of the year; the funds we raise support the alternative and affordable dispute resolution services we provide in the courts, the schools and the community.

We hope you will join us at our 2015 Bash and consider supporting this event with a generous gift. Click here to learn more about sponsorship opportunities.

Click here to purchase tickets!


Assessing a Party's Capacity to Use Mediation

Facilitated by Jeanne Cleary
Tuesday, June 23 9:30am-11:30am 

  • Have you had an experience as a mediator where you question whether a party is really able to use mediation?  
  • Have you wondered about your responsibility/ability to assess this?  
  • How do we assess whether mediation is a good fit for someone?  
  • What criteria makes sense for this assessment?
  • Please join us for this 2 hr workshop where we will explore these and related questions. We will come up with a framework for thinking about this challenge going forward.

Be sure to bring examples from your own mediation experience!


Pre-requisite: Mediation Training

Cost: $75
CDSC Pro Bono Mediators: $25 (Use discount code CDSCMEDIATOR)

Only 20 spots available

Click here to register now!

Facilitated by Jeanne Cleary, mediator/psychotherapist

About Jeanne: Jeanne is a long-time mediator, trainer/teacher, and relational psychotherapist in private practice in Watertown. 
She is passionate about human potential through relational engagement.



Call for Nominations

Fifth Annual Mimi Grosser Volunteer
Recognition Award



To celebrate the extraordinary efforts of the CDSC volunteers who fuel our work, we are pleased to call for nominations for the fifth annual Mimi Grosser Volunteer Recognition Award. Named in honor of Mimi Grosser, volunteer extraordinaire at CDSC for more than 25 years, the award will recognize a CDSC volunteer or volunteer team whose work exemplifies the spirit of mediation and whose commitment to CDSC demonstrates an exceptional effort in one or more of the following categories:

  • Number of cases mediated or amount of time volunteered at/with CDSC
  • Outstanding mediation effort demonstrated
  • Exemplary involvement in project(s) or task(s)

The award recipient may be a volunteer CDSC mediator and/or CDSC non-mediator volunteer.

To nominate a CDSC volunteer or volunteer team, please send us the name of the volunteer or volunteer team and a description of their efforts in 100 words or less to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Client confidentiality will be honored. Please be sure to include your name and e-mail or phone contact information.

Please click here to make a gift to the Mimi Grosser Scholarship Fund. All gifts are used to provide scholarship support for CDSC training participants.

Deadline for nominations is May 12, 2017.








For more than two decades, Mimi Grosser has been an invaluable player in the CDSC lineup and a role model for at least two generations of CDSC volunteer mediators, interns and Board members.

The Mimi Grosser Scholarship Fund was created to honor Grosser and to spotlight the extraordinary service of CDSC’s cadre of volunteer mediators. The Mimi Fund, as it is known, provides scholarship support for deserving participants in CDSC training and professional development programs.

CDSC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 1979. To learn more about mediation and training opportunities, or to make a gift to the Mimi Grosser Scholarship Fund please click here.













Gail Packer (left) was hired in 1988 as the Executive Director of the Community Dispute Settlement Center. Packer and Mimi Grosser (right), a volunteer at the time, have worked closely for 27 years, building a strong working relationship and helping thousands of people resolve conflicts in Cambridge and beyond.

The Picture of Dedication: 27 Years Later

In 1987, Mimi Grosser’s idea of “retirement” was to learn more about something new: the emerging field of conflict resolution. At the time, Grosser was retiring from a distinguished career as a teacher at Newton North High School. After twenty years of teaching history, Grosser wanted to know more about how people resolve conflicts peacefully and collaboratively: she was drawn to learn more about community mediation.

Grosser, a long-time Cambridge resident, found her way to the Community Dispute Settlement Center (CDSC), then a program of the Cambridgeport Problem Center. She enrolled in a 30-hour Mediation Training with the intention of doing volunteer work in her retirement. She wound up staying at CDSC for 27 years.

Grosser has personally handled thousands of calls from people caught up in conflict and played a variety of important roles in the organization. She has skillfully introduced people to the process of mediation, scheduled affordable mediation sessions for them, and conducted follow-up interviews to solicit feedback about their mediation experience. She has also volunteered as a mediator, helping disputants to hear each other out, to understand each other better and more often than not, to reach a joint solution to their conflicts.

CDSC’s model of community mediation is designed to be an affordable alternative to the legal system: community mediation brings people in conflict together with trained pro bono professional mediators who help them find ways to settle their disagreements constructively. CDSC provides affordable mediation services for a wide range of people in conflict including parents in disagreement over custody arrangements, neighbors in dispute over noise issues and landlords and tenants in dispute over rental arrangements.

In the course of Grosser’s 27-year tenure, CDSC has conducted 6,361 mediations and trained more than one thousand mediators. Grosser announced her “retirement” from CDSC effective December 31, 2014 and she has promised to provide advice and consulting services when needed.

To recognize the outstanding service of CDSC’s cadre of volunteer mediators, the Mimi Grosser Scholarship Fund was established in Grosser’s honor in 2013. The fund provides scholarship support for deserving participants of CDSC training and professional development programs.

Approaching 90 years of age, Grosser still demonstrates the skills that made her an invaluable member of the CDSC team. According to Gail Packer, CDSC Executive Director since 1988, Grosser “is a great listener, a persuasive ambassador for mediation and an impeccable record-keeper. She is also the ‘go-to’ editor for grammar and punctuation for CDSC’s communications.” Grosser helped design the original CDSC case management system and until recently managed the client database, producing all of CDSC’s statistical reports.

In her career as a teacher, Grosser was a pioneer in the progressive alternative program at Newton North known as Murray Road. According to Grosser, many of her Murray Road alumni are still in touch with her 30 years later.

When not at CDSC, Mimi can be found reading for her book groups, playing Scrabble, visiting with her granddaughters and great-grandsons, or heading to Craftsbury, Vermont, her favorite destination in the Northern Kingdom.

Click here to read more about The Mimi Grosser Scholarship Fund
CDSC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 1979.
To learn more about mediation and training opportunities,
or to make a gift to the Mimi Grosser Scholarship Fund
please visit


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