Mediation advocate wins peacemaker award
An attorney who works to help people resolve disputes peaceably will be honored Monday as recipient of the Martin Luther King Jr. Peacemaker Award presented by Church of the Crossroads.
A program at 7 p.m. Monday will applaud Elizabeth R. Kent, who has been director of the Hawaii State Judiciary's Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution for 10 years. The King holiday celebration will include musical entertainment and a reception. The service at 1212 University Ave. is open to the public.
Kent facilitates agreements between parties in public-policy disputes and neighborhood conflicts. Her office teaches mediation skills to state and county employees to resolve conflicts with each other and the public. She has worked to resolve domestic-violence incidents, expand service for crime victims and clear backlogs in court arrest warrants, according to a news release.
Kent was author of a video production by Waianae High School Searider Productions on how to use informal mediation skills to avoid anger and violence in relationships with friends, peers and family members.
Her role as peacemaker is part of her private life as well, said Ellen Godbey Carson, who nominated Kent for the award. She conceived a Mother's Day project to provide gift bags for foster children and children living in shelters to give to their mothers; 30 volunteers now assist in the five-year-old project, which has produced 7,500 gift bags. Kent has made many quilts for sexually abused children, Carson said.
The Mediation Center of the Pacific gave Kent the Lawyer as Problem Solver Award last year, and in 2001 presented her with its Improved Justice Award. The Hawaii Women Lawyers organization gave her its Rhoda Lewis Award for Public Service in 2000.
The Church of the Crossroads marks the King holiday each year by selecting a person who exemplifies the peace and justice ideals of the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, who was slain in 1968.