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Meet Gail Packer of Community Dispute Settlement Center in Cambridge

Today we’d like to introduce you to Gail Packer.

Gail, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Established in 1979, the Community Dispute Settlement Center (CDSC) is a private, not-for-profit mediation and training center dedicated to providing an alternative and affordable forum for resolving conflict. CDSC promotes better ways to understand and deal with conflict through skilled teams of pro bono mediators, training programs in mediation and conflict management, and broad community outreach. We are committed to making our services accessible to underserved populations and to addressing emerging community needs.

As Executive Director, I have been at the helm for the past 29 years. Although not the founder, I have had the longest tenure here at CDSC. My background is in social work and after a decade working on the front line of couples dealing with the crisis of divorce in the courts I became committed to mediation as an important intervention to help people.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Some of the key challenges related to mediation and running a non-profit organization are:

– Public education/spreading the word on the benefits of mediation- a vital alternative to litigation.
-Funding to sustain and grow our community mediation center-committed to serves for all.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Community Dispute Settlement Center (CDSC) – what should we know?
Our three core services are mediation, facilitation and training. We help individuals, families and other groups come together face-to-face to address conflict in a constructive way. CDSC runs on volunteer power. All of our (60+) mediators are pro bono volunteers who give back to the community through their affiliation. Our ability to leverage significant people resources makes CDSC both a cost effective investment and affordable low cost option. The people that can benefit from our services are: couples in the process of separation and divorce (especially where children are involved and disputes are over parenting time, child support, etc.), Tenants/landlords, workplace, neighbors, eldercare/family disputes, consumers/small claims.

Our services are provided on-site in three District courts and also at our center located in Cambridge.

CDSC also trains members of the community to become mediators. We offer customized conflict skill workshops for groups and organizations.

Why CDSC matters? Conflict hurts. Mediation helps.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Innovative. Got Conflict? We’re here to help.

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: BostonVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Judy Stein

    October 28, 2017 at 4:54 pm

    Gail Packer. The best.

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