Victoria Chance and Mary Anne Inglis, founders of My Neighbor’s Voice, are the recipients of Upstate Mediation Center’s inaugural Peacemaker Award.
Chance and Inglis were nominated for their organization, which works to bridge community division. The women believed that a safe space for civil discussion was the missing piece to people finding common ground. So since 2016, My Neighbors Voice has brought people together for a meal and time to talk about their civic concerns. Program participants say it’s working.
The Upstate Mediation Center’s Board of Directors chose Chance and Inglis because their work exemplifies the Peacemaker Award’s criteria, the news release said.
The Peacemaker Award recognizes a member or members of the community who have made a significant difference in promoting tolerance, building goodwill and understanding, resolving conflict, and striving for peace.
“We’re hoping we can recognize and celebrate a person not just this year, but every year, a person in our community who is bringing about out peace and understanding,” says executive director Jennifer Olmert.
Fittingly, the award will be given during National Conflict Resolution week at the UMC’s Peacemaker Celebration. The event will be held at The Rutherford on Oct. 15.
How My Neighbors Voice works
- Sign up at www.myneighborsvoice.org/attend to learn about upcoming dinners or to volunteer to host a dinner.
- At a dinner, guests make their plates, are introduced to each other and get instructions from the moderator. The moderator passes around cards with questions about civic and community life that guests answer. No one interrupts, makes comments or asks questions during this time.
- After the final round of questions (and time for dessert and coffee), there is time for group discussion.