Given the rapidly changing demographics of the United States, understanding diversity and how it can and likely will affect the mediation profession is essential in the twenty-first century. This engaging, and at times provocative presentation, will provide you with a blueprint to begin or continue that journey to understanding. The mediation profession is one founded on skills that require the ability to communicate effectively and accurately and the ability to listen actively. By learning more about diversity, equity and inclusion, one can become a better and more effective mediator. Mediation professionals must urgently and conscientiously realign their idealistic values and words espousing support for DEI with actual and meaningful efforts that result in transformation and more effective proceedings
Public quality assurance is at the core of professionalism. AAA Mediation.org and MC3 have developed a unique path for panelists who participate on the AAA Mediation.org Affiliates panel to deliver that professionalism. The AAA/ABA/ACR Model Standards of Conduct for mediators will be cross-referenced.
This session will provide a deeper understanding of why the major aspirational ethical code in the field (AAA/ABA/ACR), when operationalized by mediators, allows us to serve the public in a way that resonates better with public expectations for professional mediators.
In addition to creating a better understanding of how ethics ties into the professional voluntary mediator certification path offered by MC3 and AAAMediation.org Affiliates Panel, participants will receive more information on how to pursue that path.
Mediation is essentially facilitated negotiation. Each mediation involves unique circumstances that impact the role of the mediator and invoke the practical skills required to resolve the dispute. Regardless of the nature of the dispute, the mediator’s role as “negotiation coach” is critical. Indeed, mediation success is commonly measured by negotiation success. In this program, Stacie Hausner and Judge Alexander Williams, experienced mediators with ADR Services, Inc., will examine best practices during the negotiation stage(s) of mediation to identify opportunities to advance the pursuit of equity, diversity and inclusion and to promote recognition and respect for differences in the world of mediation.
RED CARD/GREEN CARD EXERCISE – A POWERFUL WAY TO HELP YOUR PARTIES IDENTIFY FEELINGS AND NEEDS – Following on the theme of the SCMA conference, this highly experiential and practical session will focus on “Building Inclusive Connections: Tools to Become a More Effective Peacemaker.” Sara Campos, Visiting Associate Director and Clinical Director of Loyola Center for Conflict Resolution, will guide participants through an exercise that assists parties in recognizing the feelings & needs of others, which is the first step towards empathy & connection.
The importance of social & emotional learning can not be underestimated, as it affects everything from learning, decision making, and creativity to relationships, health, and performance. Interestingly, research has indicated that the mean number of emotions that people can identify in themselves and others is three; commonly bad, sad, and glad. However, the list of core emotions can more accurately be listed as follows;
Our goal as conflict resolvers is to help the parties have a conversation they have not been able to have. Usually, we do this by talking about the underlying needs and interests of the parties, but how do we identify what they are when most of our parties grew up not talking about their feelings or needs? This exercise is most effective when used in real-time during a mediation where parties’ emotions are running high and preventing good communication from occurring. This tool helps the parties share a difficult situation with each other and then allows the other party to recognize and identify the feelings as well as the unmet needs related to that experience.
Participants will receive a set of Red Card/Green Cards, with definitions for each word, and instructions on how to conduct the exercise.
*Red Card/Green Card is based on the Nonviolent Communication work of Marshall Rosenberg
This workshop is designed to present practical information and encourage dialogue around the value of Conflict Resolution Education (CRE) and peer mediation programs in school environments as tools for promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion.
WJC believes that the road to a more just and equitable society starts with youth and the culture around conflict we create in our schools. WJC empowers youth to drive transformative change in their school culture and climate by training them to serve as peer mediators and restorative justice facilitators. WJC supports the empowerment of students by working with school administrators and educators on a multi-year basis to expand their capacity and commitment to sustaining CRE practices and programs.
CRE is an umbrella term that includes community-building circles, student-led peer mediation, restorative case conferencing, juvenile justice system diversion and other practices grounded in Restorative Justice (RJ), Socio-Emotional Learning (SEL) and Trauma-Informed Care (TIC). CRE can be used to reduce violence that threatens student safety and academic performance as well as to address more complex issues of intergroup conflict and bias when they arise. CRE teaches problem-solving skills so young people can learn how to address their own disputes and find acceptable solutions without punitive, adult intervention.
Peer mediation programs are a significant tool used by WJC and our school and community partners. Peer mediation programs empower students to resolve differences constructively; manage the expression of their emotions; de-escalate potentially explosive situations without violence; and create opportunities for reconciliation.
When WJC trains students to become mediators, we focus on increasing empathy, collaborative problem-solving, personal growth, and social awareness, along with the technical skills required to become effective, conflict-adept mediators. These skills play a part in how students learn how to treat one another, how to accept differences, and learn to be more inclusive with one another. Peer mediation programs can also be used to address the racially disparate impact of punitive school discipline policies, replacing them with restorative, mediation-centered practices.
Through a panel discussion with presenters from WJC staff, school partners, and student mediators, WJC will share the impact that CRE and restorative practices, like peer mediation programs, are having in the more than 25 schools WJC works with. Audience members will have a chance to dialogue with presenters and to learn about how they can become involved as mediation mentors, coaches, and mediation tournament judges.
In this training participants will identify the ways in which racial tensions, microaggressions and implicit biases manifest in a mediation context and examine the role of the mediator in navigating these issues throughout the mediation process. We will discuss best practices for ethical dilemmas that arise during mediations where racial tensions, dynamics, and other factors may emerge. We will conclude with an understanding of the skills mediators can use to reduce such tensions. We will be joined by the Honorable Angela Robinson in our discussion of resolving conflicts that implicate diversity, equity, and inclusion.
High conflict disputes are often frustrating for mediators because of the preoccupation with blaming others, rigid thinking, unmanaged emotions, and extreme behaviors that one or more parties display. This session will focus on a new method called New Ways for Mediation, which includes a specific simple structure and tasks for clients which can help mediators be more effective in resolving their disputes, but which can also be used in any mediation. The emphasis is on problem-solving, rather than focusing on the past, upset emotions, and trying for insight. The mediator guides the parties through the process while providing a lot of empathy, attention, and respect for all parties. There will be video clips and time for Q&A. This session will be based on Bill Eddy’s 2021 book with co-author Michael Lomax titled “Mediating High Conflict Disputes.”
Serving as a mediator, you already are an experienced peacemaker and demonstrate a commitment to bettering our community through your work! The goal of this workshop is to support participants’ actively engaging in their own self-evaluation critical components of striving for inclusion as a mediator, which are: terminology, intersectional identities, privilege, and allyship. Presenters with expertise in equity, diversity, and inclusion education will share a framework with participants to evaluate their own journey towards enhancing their support of all clients. Participants will also have the opportunity to share their own experiences of learning in this space while helping to develop a sense of community learning within our mediation community.
Along with the growing diversity of mediators in terms of their gender, race, ethnicity, training and expertise, the mediation field continues to see an ever-increasing inclusion of non-attorney mediators in a field that has been traditionally dominated by attorneys. A diverse panel of two attorney and two non-attorney mediators will discuss the issues that are often debated as the number of non-attorney mediators and professional neutrals continues to grow. Discussion topics will include:
As mediators, most of us ask the bigger question, how does our profession serve our community? Where are lessons from mediation, culture, and leadership relevant to the communities that we serve? This workshop will explore community conflict from Southern California through the lens of mediation skills-sets, cultural theory, and leadership interventions, asking participants to think about how their profession contributes to our health as a community. Presenters with expertise in public sector dispute resolution, diversity, restorative justice, cultural competencies, and systems design will analyze local conflicts. Participants will have the opportunity to expand their toolkits by contributing to the conversation and brainstorming regarding the role of conflict resolution in the larger community.
Professor Robert A. Baruch Bush will help close out our conference with a video presentation only to be seen at the conference.
Over a decade ago, an interracial/ethnic team of researchers conducted a study to identify what people from “underrepresented racial and ethnic groups” experienced as “barriers” to full participation in the ADR field as practitioners, trainers, educators and administrators. The several dozen participants described informational, cultural, social and economic barriers that made it hard for people like themselves to enter, remain and advance in the ADR field. Identifying these barriers carried important implications for how to open the field to greater diversity. However, despite some progress, significant barriers still operate, and the field is still challenged to find ways to lower those barriers and make greater participation and diversity a reality.