phone number: (831) 220-0222
In May 2018 Lejla became the executive director of CRC. She comes to this organization with a wealth of experience in conflict resolution, mediation, and non-profit work. Lejla has initiated and executed programs locally and globally, focusing on “Promoting Peace through Dialogue” and encouraging the use of interest-based negotiation as a preferred method for resolving conflict. She co-founded Global Majority, an organization dedicated to the promotion of nonviolent conflict resolution through education, training, and mediation.
Lejla was a recipient of the prestigious Weinstein International Mediation Fellowship, assisting in complex multiparty mediations at the JAMS San Francisco office, and was part of the “Making Peace Our Business” initiative, focused on mediating violent conflicts over natural resources. Prior to this, she was also an Ariane de Rothschild fellow on social entrepreneurship and cross-cultural dialogue. She specializes in mediation and training and has consulted with United Nations organizations and educational institutions. Although much of her work has been international, Lejla has a strong community focus. She spends much of her time working towards institutionalizing conflict resolution education in our public schools and volunteering at peace focused youth initiatives.
Originally from Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Lejla came to the United States as a refugee in 1993. She holds a Master’s degree in International Policy Studies and a Certificate in Conflict Resolution from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. She is an advocate for peace and nonviolence.
Restorative Justice Programs Director
phone number: (831) 475-9733
Alaya manages the Restorative Justice Programs at the CRC. She was trained as a community mediator in 2009 with SEEDS in Berkeley. Prior to her current position, Alaya was a volunteer mediator with the Parent Teen Mediation Program and the Victim Offender Dialogue Program since 2011 and the Family Affordable Mediation Program since 2014. Alaya earned a Master’s Degree in International Policy Studies with a specialization in Conflict Resolution and Negotiation in 2005. As a part of her graduate studies, she spent a month in Cyprus with the International Institute of Mediation and Conflict Resolution studying conflict resolution in the Middle East. In 2008, she interned with Global Majority in Nepal where she co-led workshops on interest -based negotiation and conflict resolution to Nepali youth peace activists. She has since created and led Effective Communication Workshops for corporate and non-profit clients. Alaya furthered her studies of restorative justice at a week-long course on Restorative Circles with Dominic Barter in 2011 and a 4-day course with the International Institute of Restorative Practices in 2015. She continues to design and lead trainings on communication, conflict resolution, and restorative justice for the CRC as well as facilitate mediations and dialogues with youth in the juvenile justice system as part of the Parent Teen Mediation Program and the Victim-Offender Dialogue Program.
Neighborhood Courts Program Coordinator
phone number: (831)220-0221
Danitza coordinates CRC's the Neighborhood Courts Program in collaboration with the Santa Cruz County's District Attorney's Office and Probation. Since receiving an Anthropology degree and Certification for Innovation and Technologies in Agriculture at the University of Concepcion in Chile, Danitza has worked in both the private and public sectors focusing on community work, preventive programs, and cultural development within the southern region of Chile. Her experience includes coordinating social programs addressing impoverished youths, indigenous agricultural communities, people with disabilities, entrepreneurs, and inmates throughout the country. She worked to provide alternative solutions to reduce recidivism for those incarcerated while advocating for changes to the criminal justice system through life skills training and societal reintegration.
Danitza moved to Santa Cruz in 2017 where she looks to promote community safety and a better quality of life for all residents.
Mediation and Training Manager
phone number: (831) 219-8229
Stacy manages the Community and Workplace Mediation programs, Training, and Conflict Consulting program at the CRC. Beginning in 2009 and joining the CRC in 2013, his mediation and training experience includes restorative justice, community, small claims and unlawful detainer courts, parent-teen, divorce, workplace, and coaching. Active mainly in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties, Stacy has also been involved in mediation and/or training in Japan, Colombia, and Switzerland. His background includes coordinating large-scale US-Japan grassroots exchange and education programs; two decades, 12 global circumnavigations and 80+ countries with the Japan-based international NGO Peace Boat; and he is a facilitator with the Alternatives to Violence Project which conducts 3-day violence-reduction and community-building workshops mainly inside prisons as well as in communities. After graduating from UCSC, Stacy lived in Japan for over 10 years (and visits frequently) and one year in Switzerland for an MA in Peace and Conflict Studies. Through his work - traveling to places like Russia, Iraq, or the prison down the road - he learned of the inherent commonality among people despite our polarization, and found in mediation a key process for addressing that which divides us. Stacy's love for the ocean and passion for connecting people across conflict lines came together in 2015 on a surf trip to North Korea.
Affordable Divorce Mediation Program Manager
Court Mediation Program Manager
phone number: (831)475-6117 ext. 405
Amanda Clark manages both the Affordable Divorce Mediation and Small Claims Mediation programs. She has worked in advocacy for survivors of domestic violence as well as individuals with special needs in a variety of capacities. She also served the community as a labor assistant/Doula for several years. Both the Affordable Divorce and Small Claims mediation programs empower people to negotiate and create their own agreements and resolutions in a supportive and guided environment, and Amanda is passionate about bringing these services to the community.
Amanda is pursuing her Jurisprudence Doctorate at Monterey College of Law and intends to practice as an attorney in Santa Cruz County. She has two beautiful sons.
Victim Awareness Educator
Venerable Tenzin Chogkyi is a Buddhist monastic who first became interested in meditation and Buddhism in the early 1970s, and became a student of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and other Tibetan Buddhist teachers in early 1991. Venerable Tenzin took novice ordination in 2004 with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and completed several long meditation retreats over a six year period. Venerable Tenzin teaches Buddhist philosophy and meditation, and also teaches Cultivating Emotional Balance (a secular program developed by Alan Wallace and Paul Ekman) and the Compassion Cultivation Training developed at Stanford University. She is passionate about social justice and interfaith work in addition to her Buddhist practice, and has been teaching in prisons since 2006. Tenzin's connection with the CRC began in the 1990's when she served as a volunteer mediator and trainer. She is excited to be returning to CRC in the role of Victim Awareness Educator, and hopes that her experience in encouraging empathy and compassion as well as her belief in personal transformation through group process and dialogue will be a good fit for this role.
Restorative Justice Programs Assistant
phone number: (831)-219- 8231
Karina Chavez obtained her B.A. in Psychology in 2018 and she is currently working towards her Masters in Child and Adolescent Development, both at San Jose State University. Karina has worked in both private and public educational institutional settings. Karina is trained in behavioral therapy and has worked with toddlers for over a year. During her undergraduate studies, Karina published a research project that aims to reduce the educational disparities in higher education. She is currently conducting research to try to identify the protective factors that help those who have been exposed to trauma. Karina began volunteering at the CRC as a bilingual translator for the Parent-Teen Mediation and Victim Offender Dialogue Programs and is now The Restorative Justice Programs Assistant. In the future, Karina hopes to continue to broaden herknowledge in restorative justice practices to better help youth and families in need.
We rely on a pool of 50 trained community mediators coming from various backgrounds and expertise. If you are interested in becoming a mediator, sign up for our trainings and become a certified mediator!
We are actively looking for native Spanish-speakers volunteer mediators.
If you are interested in joining our team please contact us at (831)475-6117 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Conflict Resolution Center 614 Ocean Street
Santa Cruz CA 95060
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