wow, look at these beautiful peacebuilders!

Here are some pics of the New York Peace Institute family from our holiday shindig.

Nneka & unidentified Gingerbread ManNneka & unidentified guest

Angela & RobAngela & Rob

Kim Lili ChantalKim, Lili, Chantal

Glen and PattiGlen & Patti

Carrie Jason Awesome glassesCarrie & Jason & awesome glasses

Alyssa JeffAlyssa & Jeff

Paul & EllenPaul & Ellen

Melissa Johanna Adam IsabellaMelissa, Johanna, Adam, Isabella

Michael AllisonMichael & Allison

Koren Martha Jelen Carrie ChanelKoren, Martha, Jelen, Carrie, Chanel

Christina Harry Ravi TeresaChristina, Harry, Ravi, Teresa

Jessica & Coleta RHCJCJessica & Coleta

Chris & MarquitaChris & Marquita

Chris RebeccaChris & Rebecca

RobinRobin

Michele, Dani, Betsy, MerleMichele (our hostess!), Dani, Betsy, Merle

Mattias & AllisonMattias & Allison

JacobJacob

Andrea, Jim, DeniseAndrea, Jim, Denise

Chris & HarrietChris & (the Honorable!) Harriet

Festive staffOur staff! (l-r, back row): Rusa, Christina, Martha, Carrie, Brad, Koren, Carol. (front row): Marquita, Jeff, Michele, Glen, Allison

Silly Team 2Our staff, incognito.

Wishing you all safe, peaceful, and fun holidays!

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what a year!

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Dear friends,

With the holiday season in full gear and 2014 nigh, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on what we’ve done together to build peace in New York City and beyond — and to ask you to help us continue our amazing work.

Over the past year, we’ve given more than 10,000 people the resources they need to resolve their disputes peacefully, creatively, and durably.  It’s good to be New York City’s largest peacebuilding force.

But wait — there’s more:

We’re all over the map…literally!  New York City will always be our home, but we’ve also been deployed to Kenya, the United Arab Emirates, France, and New Jersey over the past year, to build the skills of far-flung organizations and individuals.

Extra! Extra!  We’ve been name-checked in the New York Times and other traditional media outlets, and we’ve gotten great exposure on the Interwebs, including a TEDx Talk, and a growing social media following. We like to think we’re doing our part to turn mediation into the movement it deserves to be.

Location, Location, Location!  After decades in free court space (that was sold by the city), we just moved into beautiful, dignified space in Manhattan that truly reflects our values. Y’all come by now, y’here?  Stay tuned for open house dates early in 2014.

We cranked it up to 11.  We continued to expand our services, with growing courts programs, new training initiatives, and exciting restorative justice work.

We did this thanks to an amazing cast of characters, including:

Our volunteer mediators — more than 200 strong — who dedicate their time, talent, and creativity to helping their fellow New Yorkers prevent violence, heal relationships, and build peace. I’d say they’re unsung heroes, but I often find myself singing little tunes about them. In the key of awesome.

Our clients — who we also see as heroes. It’s an honor to build trust with and provide a safe space for people during an extremely difficult time in their lives. Their willingness to move forward in the midst of conflict is an inspiration to us all.

Our fabulous staff and interns— what an amazing group, and each of them deserves a shout-out, so: HURRAH! WOOHOO! KUDOS! GRACIAS! HUZZAH! BIG UPS! THANKS! YOU ROCK! BRAVO! BRAVISSIMO! OH YEAH! HERE HERE! YESSSS! WELL DONE! I SALUTE YOU! PROPS!  This team is fearless, passionate, friendly, and incredibly committed to our clients and our mission.

Our Board of Directors, an esteemed team of insightful and generous leaders, thinkers, and doers, who guided us through some murky, choppy and brackish waters. Among other things, they hosted our PeaceRaiser last month, a lovely gathering of old and new friends committed to furthering our mission.

Our partners, friends, and allies. Oh, there are so many of you — city agencies, community-based organizations, funders, courts, schools, and amazing individuals committed to building peace.  Thank you all for being part of the journey with us.

In this season of generosity, I urge you to support the work of New York Peace Institute. Community meditation is more important than ever. Violence, unhealthy conflict, and fractured relationships are all to common in our society, and we need to change that. Together.

Thanks to so many of you, we’ve managed to offset budget cuts, cope with huge new expenses (like our move!), and not miss a beat in serving our wonderful clients. Your donation will go directly to building our capacity to promote peace in our city. No amount is too small.  Two hundred bucks is about what it costs to hold a typical mediation session, beginning to end…saving clients thousands of dollars in legal fees, and so often bringing about priceless healing and peace. Click right here to give the gift of peace.

Friends, thank you all once again for your support and solidarity — and I wish you all a peaceful, safe, and fun holiday season.

Brad