A series of community conversations put on with help from Mitchell Hamline’s Dispute Resolution Institute (DRI) has been honored by a statewide local government organization.
The League of Minnesota Cities honored Falcon Heights with a 2018 City of Excellence Award for its Policing and Inclusion Community Initiative.
The effort was in response to the shooting of Philando Castile by a police officer in Falcon Heights on July 6, 2016. Seeing a need for healing in the wake of the shooting, Falcon Heights developed a task force assigned to hold five community conversations around policing and police-community relations.
Mediation experts from DRI, along with the Bureau of Mediation Services Office for Collaboration and Dispute Resolution and the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, helped coordinate and guide the community conversations.
“I was grateful to assist with this important community engagement process and pleased to see the city of Falcon Heights recognized for its efforts,” said DRI Director Sharon Press.
180 residents attended the meetings, and input from the conversations was included in the final recommendations on inclusion and policing that were ultimately adopted by the Falcon Heights City Council.
DRI’s work with Falcon Heights was one of two recent projects supported by a $45,000 grant from the American Arbitration Association and the International Dispute Resolution Institute. DRI also helped coordinate community meetings last year as the St. Paul School Board searched for a new superintendent.