by LINDA FRABL | photos by Soul of Photography

Civility Costs Nothing 

faces_dinkin_1Del Mar Heights resident Steven Dinkin is quite an expert in civil conduct. After serving as the program director at the Center for Dispute Settlement in Washington, D.C., Steven became the president of the National Conflict Resolution Center (NCRC) in 2003. Of the mediation nonprofit, Steven explained, “The NCRC’s mission is to provide the resources, training, and expertise to help people, organizations, and communities manage and solve conflicts through civility and inclusivity.”

Since its inception in 1983, the NCRC has developed time-proven mediation strategies through a series of groundbreaking training programs and initiatives, which have expanded to nine countries throughout four continents.“We are deeply committed to building a more civil society in San Diego. Conflict is inevitable but our organization has shown that conflict can be managed wherever it occurs,” proclaimed Steven. “When opposing parties come together to have a respectful dialogue, they can move past their differences and chart a new path forward. Even at a time when our nation is struggling with extreme polarization, NCRC is confident that we can rebuild this society through civility and inclusivity.”

faces_dinkin_2In 2016, NCRC partnered with the City of Del Mar to provide interactive workshops for its elected officials and community leaders, allowing them to work together to reach shared goals. The partnership included the adoption of an official Del Mar Code of Civil Discourse. These tenets are displayed at the Del Mar City Council Chambers, and are now published in every public meeting agenda. Steven clarified, “The Code states that together we will: (1) promote inclusion; (2) listen to understand; (3) show respect; (4) be clear and fair; and (5) focus on the issue. It ends with an inspirational quote by Mary Whortley Montagu: ‘Civility costs nothing, and buys everything.’”

When Steven isn’t fostering cohesiveness throughout San Diego and beyond, he enjoys spending quality time with his wife Tara and three grown children: Jeremy, Simon, and Gabi. The Del Mar local also thrives on playing golf, hiking, and browsing through all the local farmers markets. He’s even a member of an all-men’s book club, where everyone takes turns hosting and serving dinner. Steven joked, “We’ve met every month for two years, and I think we’ve eaten spaghetti about 20 times.”


Name: Steven P. Dinkin
Community: Del Mar Heights
Profession: President of the National Conflict Resolution Center
Hobbies & Interests: Hiking in the canyons around Del Mar, playing golf with my kids, reading
Favorite Local Spots: I enjoy visiting the various farmers markets in the region, as well as walking the trails of the San Elijo Lagoon.