April 17, 2009
New York - The JAMS Foundation’s first ever Warren Knight Award was presented today to the Bronx-based organization Effective Alternative in Reconciliation Services (EARS), along with a surprise $25,000 grant, in recognition of the organization’s creative use of alternative dispute resolution to benefit the community. Announcement of the honor and accompanying grant by JAMS founder Hon. H. Warren Knight (Ret.) was answered with applause and ovation during the Awards Breakfast at the American Bar Association’s Section of Dispute Resolution 2009 Spring Conference at the Sheraton, New York Hotel and Towers.
EARS provides fundamental violence prevention and intervention services and resources for schools, foster care and youth and community organizations in New York City and nationally. Its expert staff and teams of youth leaders, age 12 to 21 years old, have trained more than 24,000 youth and adults in conflict resolution, leadership development, and violence prevention issues.
“At a time when the economic downturn has strained and lessened critical resources for community programs everywhere, this award and grant serve as a timely reminder of the need for continued attention and support of the communities in which we live and work,” said Judge Knight, who presented the award to EARS Executive Director Marcy May. “The increased struggle and financial hardship that is being felt in New York, the Bronx and communities nationwide is an opportunity for each of us to offer our time and resources to the programs that positively shape our future.”
“We are incredibly grateful to receive this award recognizing the important contributions that young people can and do make to the ADR field in general and to their peers in New York City,” said Ms. May. “These critical life skills not only help save lives, but also empower our youth to become invaluable members of our communities.”
“EARS and its dedicated staff do phenomenal work in the area of youth conflict resolution and youth dispute resolution. The JAMS Foundation is proud to present the first ever Warren Knight Award to a recipient as valuable and relevant to our youth, families and communities as EARS,” said Chris Poole, JAMS Foundation President and JAMS President and CEO. “This grant will help young people discover, appreciate and spread the use of conflict prevention and dispute resolution tools to address conflicts they are faced with throughout their personal and professional lives.”
About the JAMS Foundation (www.jamsfoundation.org)
The non-profit JAMS Foundation is the largest private provider of ADR-related grants in the world. The Foundation was established in 2002 by JAMS, The Resolution Experts, the nation’s premier provider of alternative dispute resolution services, and is funded by JAMS mediators, arbitrators and employee associates who contribute a percentage of their income. The JAMS Foundation has provided nearly $2 million in grant funding since its inception. Founded in 1979, JAMS and its more than 250 full-time mediators and arbitrators are responsible for resolving thousands of the nation's most important cases.
About Judge Knight
Hon. H. Warren Knight (Ret.) is the founder of JAMS, which he created in January 1979. He continues to be active on the Board and involved in the leadership of the company. Judge Knight is considered a pioneer in the ADR and legal communities and was instrumental in introducing and furthering ADR, including mediation and arbitration, within the legal community in California and throughout the United States. His distinguished judicial career included six years of service with the Orange County Superior Court and two years with the Orange County Municipal Court. Prior to his appointment to the bench, he was in private practice with Portigal & Knight in Orange County for twelve years. He is now retired and lives with his wife, Carolyn, in Orange County, California.
About EARS (www.earsbronx.org)
Founded in 1989, Effective Alternative in Reconciliation Services (EARS) uses a youth development approach to empower young people with the skills to become self-sufficient and responsible young adults, preparing them to meet the challenges of adolescence and urban life in a safe, supportive setting. With teen trainers leading workshops for their peers, EARS provides opportunities for upward mobility within the organization, and “graduates” of the organization’s programs are leaders on college campuses and in numerous prestigious youth and community organizations in New York City and beyond. EARS provides services to over 3,500 people annually in schools, community organizations and foster care facilities.