John St

Dear friends,

As you may know, we’ve been on the hunt for a new Manhattan Mediation Center for what seems an eternity. Having burned up beaucoup shoe leather hoofing it all over Manhattan with a bevy of brokers, we’ve just signed the lease on a great space.

Where are we gonna be? 111 John Street, 6th Floor. It’s located ever so close to many subway lines, via the Fulton Street stop. It’s a dignified, respectful space that will provide clients, mediators and staff with an environment conducive to building peace. 111 John is a 27-floor, art deco gem, built in 1929. It has shiny, shiny doors. The best part: we won’t be hamstrung by the hours of operation in our current building, which is closed to clients during lunch and after 4pm.  We’ll be able to serve more people, when they’re available and need us most.

It’s also a swell hood — lots of places to browse and eat and stroll. Lemme tell you, we’ve looked at a pretty broad spectrum of spaces. There was the deluxe pad with great skyline views, but well beyond our modest non-profit budget. There was the super cheap place in which a hobo and (we think) a dog were secretly living.  As it often works with NYC real estate, the right place materializes at the last possible moment.

Now it’s time for the myriad moving minutia of packing, painting, a few minor renovations, tech set-up, etc.  We hope to be in situ by mid-November, and our goal is to not miss a beat with our clients.  We’ll likely move in around the time of our November 14th PeaceRaiser…which will be a great opportunity for you to learn more about us, network, and help us pay the rent.  Of course, we’ll also have a housewarming party once we’re settled in…stay tuned.

To our board, our funders, our staff, our mediators, our friends and families — thank you ever so much for your leadership, patience and support during this wild ride.

Yours in solidarity,


Brad Heckman

CEO, New York Peace Institute


Mediation Monster Mash-up


To quote Frankenstein’s monster, FIRE BAD. Mediators take a different view. We fearlessly go toward the heat in conflict, giving our clients a safe space for tough conversations…no matter how scary. Here’s a round-up of my Halloween tweets quoting mediators working with monstrous, er, misunderstood, clients.

“So you want your brain for thinking — and you want his brain for food. What I’m hearing is that brains are important to BOTH of you.”

“This sounds like a really grave issue, Count Dracula. see, mediators love puns…agghh that hurts…fangs for nothing…still got it…”

“Thanks for asking if i like Chianti, Dr. Lechter, but it’s not about me. also, could you please clarify what you meant by fft fft fft fft?

“I notice you’re being really quiet today, Jason. anything you want to share? am i right in guessing that hockey is important to you?”

“Pleased to meet you, Mr. Kruger. I, er, have a cold — mind if i don’t shake your hand?”

“So shall i address you as Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde? both? Hoo boy this is going to be a long session.”

“Apologies, Mr. Tut, I’m not a therapist…oh, ‘mummy’ issues…”

“So, Dr. Frankenstein, mr. monster — shall we try to stitch an agreement together? Get it? Stitch? Anyone?”

“Yes, Mr. & Mrs. Munster, we have a lot of experience mediating with mixed families.”

“Absolutely, Mr. Mummy, mediation is a confidential process…we’ll keep everything said here under wraps. HA, NAILED IT!”

“Mr. Igor, you were saying you had a hunch?”

“Just to clarify, Dr. Lechter, when you say you’d like to ‘have mr. jones over for dinner’…”

“My apologies — I’ll be glad to reframe ‘werewolf’ as ‘Lupine-American’.”

“Thank you for clarifying, Dr. Frankenstein. by ‘brainstorming’ i didn’t mean using lightening to re-animate your monster’s brain.”

“We have just a few ground rules…..and also some round ghouls…..”

“Thank you for sharing, and please help me understand what you mean when you say BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA?”

“We help unwrap conflicts free of charge. Unwrapping mummies will cost you extra.”

“Unlike Dracula here, we love our stakeholders.”

Okay, Enough from me. Feel free to add your own. Happy Halloween!

my #ConflictResolutionDay twitter round-up


October 17th was Conflict Resolution Day, and New York City was not swallowed up into a hellmouth. You’re welcome. (And it’s really Conflict Resolution Month, what with conferenes a go-go…to wit, ACR in Minneapolis and NYSDRA in Albany).  For the non-Twitterati, here are my groan-inducing tweets commemorating the day.

It’s Conflict Resolution Day. No fighting. Unless it’s westside story-style dancefighting.

Conflict Resolution Day 1995: Blur & Oasis agree to stop calling each other “wankers”.

Negotiate with the power! — Public Enemy on Conflict Resolution Day

Breaking: Mayor McCheese forgives and pardons Hamburglar for trying to steal and eat his head. #ConflictResolutionDay

Things are quiet in NYC today. a little too quiet. oh yeah: #ConflictResolutionDay

Ninjas, put down your nunchucks. It’s Conflict Resolution Day!

Mediation opening statement joke: “Knock knock.”   “Whoever’s there, how would you like to be addressed?”  #ConflictResolutionDay

It’s Conflict Resolution Day. Use your pitchforks & torches for farming and light, and cut Frankenstein’s monster some slack already.

It’s Conflict Resolution Day. Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.

It’s Conflict Resolution Day. For the next 24 hours, i vow to not end my phone calls with I SAID GOOD DAY SIR.

It’s Conflict Resolution Day so break it up, youse two.

It’s Conflict Resolution Day. Got beef? We’ll cure it. (See what I did there?)

It’s Conflict Resolution Day. Which is likely to have a much better ending than Convict Revolution Day.

It’s Conflict Resolution Day. Put that in your pipe and smoke it…YOUR PEACE PIPE, THAT IS. #SorryNotSorry

BREAKING: Exterminators and cockroaches sign temporary ceasefire for Conflict Resolution Day.

It’s Conflict Resolution Day. Cut someone a break. Or come to us if you can’t.

It’s Conflict Resolution Day. In NYC, the rats & pigeons are HUGGING IT OUT.

Conflict isn’t the opposite of peace. it’s a path to peace. We’ll help you pave it. #ConflictResolutionDay

a hint about our new manhattan location.


The last thing I want to do is jinx our move to our new digs in Manhattan, so you won’t hear anything official until the ink is dry on the lease.  But we are *this* close to setting up shop in a professional, beautiful, conveniently located space that will provided a dignified environment for our clients, volunteers and staff.  Above is tantalizing little hint.  Bwahahaha.

There’s still time to celebrate with and support us by registering for our not-to-miss PeaceRaiser on November 14th, at which all will be revealed.





Convict Resolution: A TEDx by Orange is the New Black’s Piper Kerman

We at New York Peace Institute are fans of Piper Kerman, author of Orange is the New Black and inspiration of the Netflix show by the same name.  If you haven’t seen it, tune in for the fascinating negotiation and conflict resolution tactics, and binge watch for the amazing, poignant, and funny ensemble cast.

And have a look at Piper’s TEDx, why don’t you.




So why attend our PeaceRaiser?

NYC skyline

We’d be ever so happy to see you on November 14th, 6-8pm at our PeaceRaiser, hosted by our Board of Directors. Here’s why.

Be part of something bigger than all of us.  Support and be part of New York’s largest civilian peacebuilding force, helping more than 10,000 people annually heal relationships, reach agreements, prevent violence, and move forward beyond conflict. Learn more about us at www.nypeace.org

Keep free mediation services to New Yorkers alive.  The purchase of your ticket will help ensure that we can provide absolutely free services to thousands of people. The cost of a mediation session is about $200 to us…so a couple of tickets can help transform conflict into cooperation among family members, neighbors, or business partners.

The rent is too darn high!  After decades in our free, court-based space, we’re moving into a new location…stay tuned for an official announcement! This PeaceRaiser will help us offset some moving and rent costs. We’re a small non-profit doing big work, and your attendance will help us provide a safe, dignified space for difficult conversations.

You deserve a little fun.  It’s a night out on the town, while supporting a great cause to boot.

Food.  We’ll have some tasty delights to tantalize your palates.

Drinks.  We’ll have some tasty beverages (unleaded and high-octane) to slake your thirsts.

Schmooze.  The New York Peace Institute family consists of every profession and background you can imagine.  Meet some of them!

Learn a thing or two:  Our CEO Brad will share some tips and tricks for resolving conflicts, using his own drawings and somewhat offbeat humor. Here’s his TEDx Talk, to give you an idea.

So, we hope to see you there — click here for details and to purchase your ticket for $100. And if you can’t make it, feel free to show your support by donating here — any amount helps.

Very best to all,

Members of the New York Peace Institute Board of Directors

viva la evolución!



Folks, I’m passing on a bit of propaganda for Resolution Evolution, the upcoming not-to-be-missed annual conference of the New York State Dispute Resolution (NYSDRA), courtesy of Holli Ross Murphy & Lisa Renee Pomerantz…read on!

Top Ten Reasons to Attend NYSDRA’s 2013 Annual Conference! 

October 27-28
Best Western Sovereign Hotel
Albany, NY 
10. The Early Bird Registration has been extended until Tuesday, October 8th for NYSDRA members!

9. Hear from fabulous faculty who are leaders in the ADR field.
8.  Attorney? Get 4.5 CLE credits in one day!
7. Keynote address from the brilliant Dan Weitz!
6. You’ll eat great food and won’t have to do the dishes.
5. Network with other ADR professionals and dignitaries
4. Check out the beautiful Fall foliage of Upstate New York!
3. Be there to congratulate our 2013 award recipients: Hal Abramson from Touro Law Center and Roz Magidson, our longest-standing CDRC Director!
2. Open bar and entertainment at the Welcome Reception!

And the number 1 reason to attend NYSDRA’s 2013 Annual Conference…
1. You’ll never have to hear “You should’ve been there!”

To learn more about the conference or to register, visit:

Become a member today to take advantage of the Early Bird rate extension!