Carl Hopkins has been an extremely active volunteer mediator for the Community Mediation Program and Guardianship Program since he joined the organization in the early 1990’s. Mediators devote four hours to each session, expertly facilitating communication between people in conflict. In addition, Carl has worked tirelessly developing the mediation cases before the mediations. This part of the work involves contacting the parties in conflict by phone and starting the facilitation process.
Carl’s skill as a mediator is especially apparent and appreciated when he is working with families in distress in the Guardianship Mediation Program. He brings a wealth of experience and compassion. His approach in mediation immediately puts families who are on the brink of losing their child at ease. This opens the door for a more productive mediation experience. Considering just the past couple of years, Carl has mediated, on average, two to three mediations a month. Each mediation session involves three to six parties. Therefore, he has served over 150 people on a yearly basis and given triple that number of his personal time. Carl was an important presence in the Diversity Dialogues group which was designed to improve the consciousness, sensitivity and understanding of volunteer mediators so they could better deal with ethnic/cultural/racial diversity when mediating.
In a turbulent, low-funded period of the organization history, Carl came on CRP’s Board of Directors and helped to keep the organization afloat as it was going through this rough patch. Serving in the Armed Services, working as Chief Probation Officer for Contra Costa County and Assistant Chief Probation Officer, Carl has brought his unique life experiences, understanding and compassion to his work with the organization.
Carl assures that cultural sensitivity is always kept in mind. As an African American raised in Texas, he and his wife experienced a very segregated America. He was determined to leave his children a better society. He has enriched CRP and the hundreds of disputants he has worked with.