Mary Lowndes Bryan, a veteran volunteer with the Midlands Mediation Center, is the recipient of the Outstanding Volunteer Award for the Third Quarter of 2016 from the National Association for Community Mediation (NAFCM).  Bryan was selected by a committee of community mediation leaders from across the country for this award.

In nominating Bryan, the MMC acknowledged her gifts as a mediator, peacemaker and teacher.  In her quiet, professional manner, Bryan has helped advance the understanding and use of alternative dispute resolution in South Carolina, keeping the Midlands Mediation Center involved in significant ways.  She has earned great respect from all she has impacted – her students, co-mediators/facilitators, clients, attorneys, colleagues and friends.

Bryan facilitates mediation training for the South Carolina Bar and other organizations throughout the state, as well as for the Midlands Mediation Center.  Her personality and style epitomize a mediator’s commitment to improving the practice.  She is always interested in promoting and improving the profession and serving people in conflict.

NAFCM supports the maintenance and growth of community-based mediation programs and processes, voices a collective perspective in policy-making, legislative, and professional arenas and encourages the development and sharing of resources.

Thanks and Appreciation

FY 2017 Supporters

Seal SC BAR foundation

For more information, please contact MMC at (803) 714-1176. 


Read more »

Family Mediation CLE

Our attorney friends joined us for an “All in the Family” CLE on Conflict Resolution Day during ABA Mediation Week. Registration was complimentary for volunteer mediators with the Midlands Mediation Center.

“All in the Family: Making Family Mediation Work” was approved for 1.5 credits for Continuing Legal Education and was offered in partnership with the Dispute Resolution Section of the SC Bar.

Presenters Mary Bryan, JD, and Pat Forbis, MBA, JD, discussed how family law attorneys can prepare and work with clients in mediation – from initial work with clients, through temporary issues to settlement proposals, mediation process decisions, negotiating, and finalizing agreements.  The program emphasized careful preparation and conversations between attorneys and with clients before mediation to explore and encourage settlement. This preparation can result in more effective family mediations, creative agreements that meet family needs, and greater party satisfaction with attorneys and the legal process.

Copies of the presentation handouts are available upon request by calling (803) 714-1176.

Celebrating Mediation In All Its Diversity. The ABA Section of Dispute Resolution will sponsor our Fifth Annual Mediation Week October 16, 2015–October 22, 2016

The third Thursday in October, Oct. 20, was recognized as Conflict Resolution Day.  What can you do to promote peaceful conflict resolution in your sphere of influence?




Read more »

Conflict Resolution Skills for Community Leaders


Conflict = Opportunity is the Midlands Mediation Center’s new initiative to engage community members in learning and practicing peaceful conflict-resolution skills.

The initiative, which emphasizes community-based efforts to teach and promote communication methods to reduce and resolve conflict, has recently been funded through a discretionary grant by the Richland County Council for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

Leaders of formal and informal groups will develop an understanding of conflict dynamics and the skills necessary to uncover mutual interests and creatively resolve issues, leading to better outcomes for all.  Participants will have the opportunity to link arms and minds with others in the community who believe people are capable of resolving their own disputes and are interested in becoming more proficient with using mediation and conflict resolution skills in their personal and civic lives.

The project is designed to involve a broad cross-section of groups throughout Richland County. During the first year, the goal is to train 100 or more Conflict = Opportunity Change Agents.  They will be supported through a variety of ongoing learning and relationship-building opportunities.

Currently we are seeking individuals to participate in the following roles (some volunteers may choose to be involved in more than one role):

  • Volunteer Trainers, who will meet together at least twice a year and will be expected to facilitate the program for community members three to four times a year.
  • Support Team Members, who will meet together at least twice a year and will be expected to attend a majority of the functions to foster community and skill development.
  • Prospective Partnering Organizations that would like to involve their formal and informal leaders in this initiative.

For more information or to express your interest in this organizing phase of Conflict = Opportunity, contact Diane Frea, Executive Director, at (803) 714-1176.

Read more »