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JAMS Foundation/ACR Initiative for Students and Youth JAMS Foundation

JAMS Foundation

JAMS Foundation/ACR Initiative for Students and Youth

The JAMS Foundation/ACR Initiative for Students and Youth provides grant funding for conflict prevention and dispute resolution programs for K-12 students and for adults working with youth populations in ways that directly transfer CRE skills from adults to youth.

Each year, the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR) and the JAMS Foundation identify specific subject areas seeking to address otherwise unresolved issues and unmet needs of both general and target youth populations, based on current research and feedback from leaders and stakeholders in the dispute resolution and education fields.

Funding contexts for selected subject areas will vary, and may include community-based organizations, alternative education settings (online education, charter schools), after-school programs, court- or juvenile justice-connected programs, as well as programs operating in traditional K-12 school districts.

Once a target subject area has been determined, a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) soliciting Initial Project Ideas will be posted on the ACR and JAMS Foundation websites and distributed through other appropriate venues. Following ACR’s review of the Initial Project Ideas received, selected applicants will be invited to submit a full grant proposal for review by ACR’s Grant Review Committee.

All grant inquires and proposals should be directed to ACR. Grant proposals submitted in response to the Notice of Funding Availability will first be reviewed by ACR, with subsequent review and final approval by the JAMS Foundation Board, based on recommendations from ACR and the Board’s own review of top-ranked proposals.

It is anticipated that for each designated subject area, 1-2 applicants will be selected each year to receive Year 1 grant funding of up to $40,000 to support their efforts to develop, refine, or expand programming in that subject area.  Grant recipients may also be eligible for Year 2 funding of up to $20,000, contingent upon the satisfactory achievement of Year 1 benchmarks and goals.

Current Areas of Concentration

The 2021 Funding Track focuses on utilizing conflict resolution education and training to enhance the ability of youth to find their voice and increase feelings of empowerment and safety in the following settings:

  • Foster care
  • Homeless shelters
  • Domestic violence shelters
  • Youth correctional facilities

To view the 2021 Notice of Funding Availability, click here

2020 Funding Track – Using CRE to Enhance Elementary School Climate

The following organizations were selected to receive grant funding in this area:

Harris County Department of Education-Center for Safe and Secure Schools (Houston, TX) - $40,000 to support #RollingwithRestorative, providing conflict resolution training for students, teachers, counselors and school administrators, using restorative practices to support implementation of these skills in interactions between students, parents and school personnel.

Kids First Law Center (Cedar Rapids, IA) – $40,000 to support the expansion of a restorative justice program in elementary schools with high rates of conflict-related disciplinary issues, providing full-time facilitators to lead proactive classroom circles with students, coach teachers in restorative practices and employ them to help address conflict or harm among students or between students and teachers.

To view the 2020 Notice of Funding Availability, click here

2019 Funding Track – Reducing Youth Bullying and Violence

The following organizations were selected to receive grant funding in this area:

Creative Response to Conflict (Suffern, NY) - $40,000 to support Social Media-tors!, an innovative conflict resolution education program to train high school students to safely and effectively intervene in potentially harmful situations both in person and online, empowering students to help reduce youth bullying and violence by creating a safe school culture in their school communities and beyond. 

Lighthouse Academies (Gary, IN) - $40,000 to support a pilot program to train 10th-12th grade students to initiate, facilitate and lead conflict resolution processes, including Restorative Circles and Peer Juries, in an effort to reduce the level of youth violence and bullying.  The program prepares and empowers young people to lead their peers in developing and sustaining a culture of mutual respect and non-violence. 

To view the 2019 Notice of Funding Availability, click here. 

2018 Funding Track – Conflict Resolution Education and Services for Youth at Risk of Gang Involvement

The following organizations were selected to receive grant funding in this area:

Kennesaw State University (Kennesaw, GA) – A 2-year, $60,000 grant supporting complementary programs for students and parents to reduce family conflict and anti-social behaviors associated with separation and loss resulting from immigration and related economic challenges, by increasing parental engagement in schools and providing students with pro-social skills to address conflict constructively, creating stronger community and support systems for children, families and schools.

Little Friends for Peace (Mt. Rainier, MD) - This 2-year, $60,000 to supports a community-based initiative providing conflict resolution education and leadership skills training to elementary school students at risk of gang involvement due to recent immigration and financial challenges, including peacebuilding and peace leadership training for children, parents, teachers and community members.

To view the 2018 Notice of Funding Availability, click here.

2017 Funding Track – Conflict Resolution Education for Youth Experiencing Interventions by Juvenile Justice or Social Service Agencies

The following organizations were selected to receive grant funding in this area:

Massachusetts Office of Public Collaboration (Boston, MA) This 2-year $60,000 grant supports the expansion of a successful program combining conflict resolution skill-building and creative arts to assist at-risk youth in dealing constructively with conflict and helping to prevent violence in their communities. Using PhotoVoice, a flexible platform incorporating participatory photography and videography, digital storytelling and improvisational drama, the project empowers adolescent youth to explore and create positive channels for addressing conflict and initiating social change.

Supreme Court of Ohio (Columbus, OH) – A 2-year, $60,000 grant to fund The Right Track Project, an innovative conflict resolution and truancy prevention initiative for at-risk youth, families and local communities, including the development of a unique web-based mobile application and truancy mediation program intended to reduce school truancies and to divert students in grades 5-12 from involvement in the juvenile justice system.

To view the 2017 Notice of Funding Availability, click here.

2016 Funding Track – Conflict Resolution Education for Structurally Disadvantaged Youth

The following organizations were selected to receive grant funding in this area:

Nashville Conflict Resolution Center (Nashville, TN) – In collaboration with the Juvenile Court, public housing authority and other community partners, this 2-year $60,000 grant funds the development and expansion of a mediation and restorative justice program for at-risk youth involved in cases of fighting, assault, threats, harassment, bullying, vandalism and theft in an effort to reduce violence, provide non-punitive alternatives to juvenile justice and connect youth with other needed resources and community-based services.

Our Family Services (Tucson, AZ) - This 2-year, $87,000 grant will expand a pilot program providing conflict resolution education for homeless and abused youth and the direct-care helping professionals who work with them. The program employs circle processes to create safer and more constructive environments for vulnerable youth while at the same time teaching them peaceful conflict resolution skills. The curriculum and training modules developed through this grant will be made available at no cost to organizations serving structurally disadvantaged youth, including homeless youth, those in foster care, involved with juvenile justice or child welfare systems, immigrants and those in academically disenfranchised or economically impoverished communities.

To view 2016 Notice of Funding Availability, click here.

2015 Funding Track – Conflict Resolution Education in Special Education

The following organizations were selected to receive grant funding in this area:

Direction Service (Eugene, OR) - This 2-year, $90,000 grant funds the development of a series of high-quality, easily accessible and self-directed online learning modules to help students with disabilities learn and master essential communication and conflict management knowledge and skills, as well as a facilitator’s guide and tools to assist parents, mentors and teachers in supporting students’ e-learning experience.

SchoolTalk (Washington, DC) - This 2-year, $60,000 grant funds the development and evaluation of an interactive and test an interactive, arts-integrated conflict resolution education curriculum to help transition-aged youth with disabilities aged 14-21 address interpersonal conflicts and organizational challenges in the workplace, providing them with knowledge and skills to improve their own transition outcomes by maintaining meaningful community-based employment.

To view the 2015 Notice of Funding Availability, click here.

2014 Grants

The Foundation provided grant support for the following initiatives:

Online Peer Mediation Platform

Initiated by ACR and currently administered by the National Association of Peer Program Professionals (NAPPP), this $55,000, 2-year grant funds the development of a comprehensive online peer mediation website, enabling children aged 10-18 to learn about, practice, receive mentoring, and provide peer mediation services online.

Based on the increasing prevalence of online public education and growing preference for technology-supported communications, the online platform will be designed to serve students in a variety of settings, including conventional school peer mediation programs, charter and cyber-schools, as well as programs sponsored through community groups, recreation centers, boys and girls clubs, and other interested organizations.

The comprehensive web-based platform will include several interactive components, including a clearinghouse of peer mediation information and resources, online peer mediation training, skills assessment for trained peer mediators, and a platform for conducting online peer mediation sessions.

For additional information regarding this program, click here.

Conflict Resolution Education for Children of Incarcerated and Returning Parents (CHIRP)

Developed by the Good Shepherd Mediation Program in Philadelphia in collaboration with state and local, prison administrators, juvenile justice advocates and child welfare organizations, this $85,000, two-year grant funds a unique program providing conflict resolution education to children of parents who are currently in prison or returning home after a period of incarceration.

Complementing GSMP’s Restorative Reentry Services for inmates and former inmates following their release from prison, this initiative focuses on providing their children with the necessary communication, decision-making, and conflict resolution skills to help them effectively navigate the many challenges they face and, where possible, to facilitate family reunification.

For additional information regarding this program, contact Cheryl Cutrona at Good Shepherd Mediation Program at

For further information regarding the JAMS Foundation/ACR Initiative for Students and Youth, contact:
Cheryl Jamison, ACR at
David Brandon, Managing Director, JAMS Foundation at


JAMS Foundation

JAMS, the nation’s premier provider of commercial dispute resolution services, established the non-profit JAMS Foundation to provide financial assistance for conflict resolution initiatives with national and international impact and to share its dispute resolution experience and expertise for the benefit of the public interest.

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  • David Brandon
    Managing Director, JAMS Foundation
  • JAMS

    Two Embarcadero Center, Suite 1500
    San Francisco, CA 94111