WHEREAS, 2018 marks the 25th anniversary of the passage of the dispute resolution proceedings statute that continues to play an important role in institutionalizing the use of mediation in the courts in Virginia; and
WHEREAS, with continued adherence to the 2002 Virginia Administrative Dispute Resolution Act, numerous governmental entities in the Commonwealth are demonstrating a commitment to application of creative problem solving when faced with complex issues and disputes; and
WHEREAS, Dispute Resolution Services in the Office of the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court of Virginia continues to administer the mediator certification program, providing a way for the public to locate a mediator for individual services; and
WHEREAS, mediators and other dispute resolution practitioners, through their significant expertise in helping stakeholders find durable solutions to important issues, have demonstrated the value of the field of alternative dispute resolution and the value of mediation as a tool for peacemaking between and among individuals, groups, neighborhoods, and countries; and
WHEREAS, many of Virginia’s universities, colleges, and law schools often incorporate mediation into their curricula and programs; leaders, managers, and supervisors apply mediation practices and skills in the workplace; and not-for-profit community-based dispute resolution centers provide opportunities to resolve issues effectively and affordably in communities; and
WHEREAS, an increasing number of professional entities in Virginia contribute to and provide quality dispute resolution services; and
WHEREAS, the Commonwealth of Virginia continues to be a leader in promoting the use of such principles and practices;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize March 2018 as MARCH IS MEDIATION MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.