Make Talk Work™ An Exhibit by Dispute Resolvers in NYC


The terrorist attacks on 9/11 challenged many to rethink the work that they do. For dispute resolvers in NYC, the importance of expanding the public’s awareness about way dispute resolvers Make Talk Work™, has been the focus of numerous initiatives. For almost two years, the City University of New York Dispute Resolution Consortium, the Dispute Resolution Program at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and the NYC Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings [OATH] have planned and constructed an Exhibit titled Dispute Resolvers in NYC Make Talk Work. The theme of the Exhibit reflects the core work of dispute resolvers, regardless of context in which they work or process used. Dozens of dispute resolvers along with a group of graphic artists worked long hours to conceptualize and construct displays that visually depict how dispute resolvers Make Talk Work.

Eight display cases have been installed focusing how dispute resolvers Make Talk Work in each of the following eight contexts, with names of curators in parentheses: [1] Criminal justice (Maria Volpe) [2] School/youth (Susan Romer and Kathy Vaughan) [3] Government (Dorothy Lawrence) [4] ] International (Gary Carsel) [5] Family/health (Eleanor Tuomey and Dana Fenton) [6] Corporate/commercial (Irene Warshauer) [7] Community (Pat Haynes) [8] Employment/workplace (Sandy Sindel). The Exhibit also includes a poster size enlargement of a peer mediation postcard prepared by the NYC Commission on Human Rights for the Commission’s peer mediation initiative.

Additional features of the Exhibit include: Bookmarks with tips on how dispute resolvers help Make Talk Work™, a project funded by a grant from the Judicial, Arbitration and Mediation Services [JAMS] Foundation. Finally, the Association for Dispute Resolution of Northern California (ADRNC) has announced a contest for 30 second videos titled Words Not Weapons and the winning video will be submitted for consideration to the CUNY Dispute Resolution Consortium as a video display at the Make Talk Work™ Exhibit. Complete contest details are available at

Funding for the Exhibit was made possible by the Jewish Communal Fund, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and Jossey Bass Publishers.

The Exhibit Planning Committee was convened by Professor Maria Volpe of the Sociology Department and Dispute Resolution Program at John Jay College, and the Honorable Roberto Velez, Chief Administrative Law Judge of the NYC Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings. Sandy Sindel, Esq. of Golumb Sindel P.C. served as Exhibit Chair and is serving as Chair of the JAMS funded Bookmark Project. Athena Vallerio-Hirschfeld of the University of New Mexico served as Visiting Artist. Additional graphic artists included Monica Kosciuczuk, NYC Human Rights Commission, John Yue, Barry Steinman, and Jane Volpe, NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services, Oliver Hurt of Summit School, Ignition 13 staff, and Dong Tu. Special thanks to Daniel Weitz, Coordinator of the Office of Alternative Dispute Resolution of the NYS Unified Court System, Reinaldo Rivera, Regional Director, United States Department of Justice Community Relations Service, Michelle Melendez of the CUNY DRC, and Sharon Burde, International Mediation Consultant.

The Exhibit can be viewed in the atrium lobby of John Jay College at 899 Tenth Avenue, New York City and will remain up until December. Enlarged photos of the Exhibit will be displayed at a variety of conferences and photos of the exhibit are available at the CUNY DRC’s website at

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