By Carolyn McLeod and Kimberley Fink-Adams

This Committee has developed a good foundation for its future work. Since 1995, the Publicity Committee (then called the Pubic Relations Committee), has been working on creating a thoughtful, comprehensive media policy for VOMA itself, as well as guidelines for member organizations. The need for a media policy arose out of concerns about controversial media coverage of victim offender mediations in the early 90's.
Current VOMA Board Members Carolyn McLeod and Kimberley Fink-Adams, who began working together on the media policy during summer 1997, have made the following recommendations to the VOMA Board:
1) VOMA's Media Policy will reflect the intent of the Ethics and Training Standards of Practice for VOM mediators, which are currently being developed by the Ethics and Training Standards Committee.
2)This policy will make a clear distinction between what's considered educational and beneficial and what's sensationalistic and detrimental.
3) Maintaining the integrity of the VOM process will be of utmost concern in determining what is conducive for media coverage, as well as what kind of media coverage is appropriate.
4) Confidentiality of participants will be of primary concern in decision making around media exposure.
5) VOMA will provide media contact guidelines for member organizations, recognizing that individual organizations have their own procedures for dealing with media requests.
6)VOMA will seek to build positive relationships with media entities who can be helpful in promoting the mission and work of VOMA, Restorative Justice, and victim offender mediation/conferencing/dialogue.
Since the last VOMA Conference in Iowa, the Publicity Committee has not been able to meet via phone or internet, as the list of volunteers is missing. For those of you who so kindly put your name on the sign-up list, or didn't sign up at the conference but are interested in working


by Ann Warner Roberts, Fundraising Committee

Currently, the Fundraising Committee is evolving in its aims and goals. One idea is to address the issue of resources at  two levels:  1) VOMA member organizations and 2) VOMA as a national/international organization. For the latter we have received two suggestions. The first is that we need to find ways to create more ethnic diversity among our members and that this is an area for which funds could be sought. Secondly,  we have had a suggestion that VOMA be the mechanism for people to contribute their airline frequent-flier miles to enable those who need scholarship assistance to attend the annual VOMA conference. If any members have ideas or an interest in pursuing these ideas, please contact Ann Warner Roberts.
Whenever I ask professionals what the greatest challenge is to spreading Restorative Justice practice, whether through VOM, group conferencing or other initiatives, the answer is invariably "we need more money."  I would suggest that we broaden this need and call it  "support and resources."  I believe programs need both of these to not only survive but to thrive, and this may allow for more creative strategies in building and growing our practices.  Your questions and suggestions for fundraising and development are welcome as all VOMA members can participate in this committee's work. Many of you have vast experience and others are new to the game, and hopefully this committee will provide an opportunity for plenty of information sharing.


by Doris Luther

Emerging from the 1994 VOMA conference, this committee was formed with two goals:
1) to develop recommended ethical guidelines for practicing mediators that define their role and ethical obligations to clients.
2) to create a VOMA endorsed, but not enforced, introductory training curriculum. 
For the past year, out-going Ethics Committee Chair Niki Stewart has been gathering and reviewing existing ethical guidelines, such as those for the Academy of Family Mediators, Society for Professionals in Dispute Resolution and Dr. Mark Umbreit and Jean Greenwood's "Criteria for Victim-Sensitive Mediation and Dialogue with Offenders,"  created as a result of a grant from The Office of Victims of Crime, U.S. Department of Justice.
Umbreit and Greenwood's "Criteria" comes very close to what we feel would fit for VOMA's ethical standards. We have been given

(See "Doris" continued on page 10)