Let’s Recognize the Peacemakers Among Us

By M. Ann Anderson

North Carolina is a leader in the country for innovative and effective dispute resolution for its citizens. That leadership came about through the hard work of North Carolina citizens who, in hindsight, seem to have had a crystal ball predicting the importance of aiding people in conflict to find ways to resolve their disputes outside of the courtroom.

To honor those who provided this groundwork and who continue to work tirelessly in the field of dispute resolution, the North Carolina Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section periodically recognizes an individual or individuals in North Carolina who has or have made a special commitment to the peaceful resolution of disputes. Nominations are restricted to North Carolina residents who are selected by the Section’s Nominating Committee based on the award criteria[1].

The Peace Award recipients include judges, mediators, professors and administrators who continued to build on the success of past work. Noteworthy among the recipients are innovators Beth Okun, Tab Schwab and Charlotte Adams who were recognized with the Peace Award in 2008 for their work which began in 1970. On their own, they observed criminal court originally for the purpose of determining “whether students in general – African-American students in particular – received equal justice from the court system.” [2]  Based on these observations, they saw the need for “squabbles [to be worked out] without going to court.”[3]  Their work led the way to the formation of the Orange County Dispute Settlement Center and ultimately the foundation of our mediation program that exists today. Clearly, these women were peacemakers and worthy recipients of the Section Peace Award.

The Nominations Committee will begin soliciting nominations in January 2019 for the Award to be presented at the annual meeting in Charlotte. Please let Ann Anderson annanderson681@hotmail.com know if you have names to be considered by the committee.

Past Peace Award Recipients

Carmon J. Stuart 2002

Scott Bradley 2003

Frank Caldwell Laney 2004

Jacqueline R. Clare 2005

Anderson Little 2006

Judge Ralph Walker 2007

Beth Okun, Tan Schwab and Charlotte Adams 2008

Justice James G. Exum 2009

Judge James M. Long 2010

John Carl Schafer 2011

Judge James E. Gates 2012

Ann Anderson 2013

Professor George Walker 2014

Professor Mark Morris 2015

Leslie Ratliff 2016

Rene Trehy 2017

Barbara Ann Davis 2018

[1] The award is based on contributions and commitment to the field of alternative dispute resolution including, but not limited to: (a) Development of new or innovative programs; (b) Demonstrated improvements in service; (c) Demonstrated improvements in efficiency; (d) Research and writings in the area of dispute resolution; (e) Development of continuing education programs; (f) Leadership with local, state and national boards and legislative bodies.

[2] Alternative Dispute Resolution in North Carolina A New Civil Procedure p. 17 (2d ed. 2012)

[3] Id.