Association for Conflict Resolution - Chicago Chapter

Frequently Asked Questions about ACR Chicago

What is alternative dispute resolution (ADR) or conflict resolution (CR)?
The terms ADR and CR refer to a wide range of processes that encourage nonviolent dispute resolution outside of the traditional court system. Common forms of CR include mediation, arbitration, negotiation, mediation-arbitration, facilitation, coaching and restorative justice. The CR field also includes efforts in schools and communities to reduce violence and bullying and help young people develop communication and problem-solving skills.

Who is ACR Chicago?
ACR Chicago is an association of multidisciplinary professionals who have an interest in or practice managing and resolving conflicts. We are dedicated to the development and advancement of knowledge, skills and tools in the field of conflict resolution (CR) and collaborative decision making.

What does ACR Chicago do?
ACR Chicago develops our members' knowledge and skills in employing best practices in CR procedures, provides our members with knowledge and tools to help them develop their CR practices, and increases the use of CR by promoting public understanding of CR processes.

How can I find a conflict resolution practitioner in the Chicago area?
To locate a CR practitioner in the Chicago area, please visit our online Practitioner Directory listing dozens of local practitoners in many different areas to identify a practitioner who meets your needs. 

Who does ACR Chicago serve? Who are its members?
ACR Chicago represents a diverse circle of professionals committed to advancing alternative dispute resolution (ADR) as an approach for empowering people to resolve conflict. Our membership consists of individuals from various professions and communities, including judges, attorneys, mediators, educators, human resource professionals, coaches, social workers, psychologists, teachers, students and many others interested in CR and collaborative decision-making.

What are the benefits of being a member of ACR Chicago?
Membership in ACR Chicago provides an opportunity to network with a diverse group of professionals to exchange ideas and share perspectives about ADR, to learn about current dispute resolution issues and approaches, to enhance ADR skills and techniques through informational and skill-based programs, and to meet continuing education requirements for attorneys and mental health professionals. Specific benefits include:

  • Programming
    Monthly programs focus on current issues, developments and approaches significant to those involved in the field, as well as skill building to help members grow as ADR practitioners. Programs are usually held in the downtown Chicago area and are free to members.
  • Practitioner Directory
    Members can list a profile on ACR Chicago's online Practitioner Directory free of charge. The directory identifies members who practice in the ADR field and is available to individuals or organizations seeking CR services. Interested parties can locate practitioners by name, type of dispute, or type of ADR service. The directory serves as an important marketing tool for members.
  • Mentorship Program
    The mentorship program matches less experienced ACR Chicago members with experienced dispute resolution practitioners through our Practitioner Directory. The scope and duration of each mentoring relationship is mutually defined by the parties. Please indicate your interest in participating on your application.
  • Video Access to Past Programs 
    ACR Chicago maintains a video library of dozens of past programs on a wide variety of CR topics. These videos are exclusively available to members. Please check back in the coming weeks for these videos. 

What support does ACR Chicago offer for people interested in building a practice?
ACR Chicago offers various resources for members interested in building their CR practice. All members are welcome to market their practice free of charge through the online Practitioner Directory. Through the mentorship program and other networking venues, members are able to connect and receive tips from more experienced practitioners. Various programs throughout the year emphasize tips and strategies for building your practice. Members also receive regular email blasts providing updates on relevant resources and events throughout the area.

What networking opportunities does ACR Chicago offer?
ACR Chicago offers various venues to meet with peers and learn what others are doing in the field. The initial 30 minutes of each monthly program are devoted to networking with other members. The lunchtime "Talkabout" series offers opportunities to discuss CR issues directly and network with a small group of fellow members. Finally, the mentorship program provides less experienced members with an opportunity to connect with seasoned practitioners.

How do I become a member?
You can become a member of ACR Chicago by paying an annual fee of $55. The membership fee allows you to market your conflict resolution practice using our online Practitioner Directory, attend informative and exciting programs, participate in the Mentorship Program, receive mailings and participate on committees. There are two ways to complete your application: submit it electronically via Pay Pal, or submit a paper application along with a check. Click here for more information on the application and payment process.

As a member, how can I get involved with the organization?
There are many ways you can become more involved with ACR Chicago. We welcome your participation on any of our committees and work groups. Standing committees include Programming, Membership, Public Relations and Outreach, and Governance. Work groups and task forces include Diversity and the Mentoring Program. For more information on membership involvement, or to join one of the above committees, please contact info@acrchicago.org. 

How is ACR Chicago supported?
ACR Chicago relies on membership dues and donations (both monetary and in-kind) to provide monthly programs and other benefits to our members. Click here if you are interested in making a donation

Who leads the organization?
The affairs and activities of ACR Chicago are managed by a Board of Directors which includes Officers -- President, President-Elect, Secretary and Treasurer. Committees and work groups, including Programming, Membership, Public Relations and Outreach, Governance, Diversity, and the Mentorship Program, are led by selected Directors and individuals.

How does ACR Chicago differ from other dispute resolution groups?
We are a local association of multidisciplinary professionals affiliated with the Association for Conflict Resolution, a national organization, and also partner with other local organizations for programs and other activities. Our members come from diverse backgrounds and other groups and are not limited to a particular area or method of CR for collaborative decision making. 

What is the relationship between ACR Chicago and ACR National?
ACR Chicago is a regional Chapter of the national organization, the Association for Conflict Resolution. The ACR Chicago Chapter provides face-to-face interaction with those who live in the Chicago area and allows members to build local networking relationships, share ideas, experiences, and challenges, and collaborate on issues of mutual interest. ACR National provides additional benefits and resources to their members, including subscriptions to CR publications, access to the ACR Carreer Center Bank, and discounts to annual conferences, to name a few. For more information on ACR National, or to become a member of the national organization, visit www.acrnet.org.

What is the relationship between ACR Chicago and the Center for Conflict Resolution (CCR)?
ACR and CCR are not directly connected. The Center for Conflict Resolution (CCR) is a not-for-profit organization in Chicago that provides mediation services and conflict resolution training. ACR Chicago is a professional association for individuals interested in the field of CR. CCR and ACR collaborate often to provide programs and resources that are of interest to both ACR members and CCR volunteers.

What are the requirements for being certified as a mediator?
There is no national or state certification to become a mediator. After completing a mediation training from a training provider, you may receive certification from that provider stating that you have completed their mediation training program. Some entities that use mediation services have approved providers. However, completion of a mediation training program is not a guarantee that you will have an opportunity to mediate. ACR Chicago is not a mediation training provider, although we  alert our members to training opportunities in our area and sometimes collaborate with training providers for programs.

How do you obtain professional liability insurance as a mediator?
ACR Chicago does not offer professional liability insurance for mediators. ACR National offers a program covering Professional Liaility insurance for their members. For more information, or to receive a quote through the Quick Quote process, please visit http://www.acrnet.org/membership/insurance.htm

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