Apply by Nov 22: Volunteer Mediator Training Program

Starts: November 22, 2017 12:00 am | Ends: November 22, 2017 11:59 pm

Become a Volunteer Mediator

“Becoming a mediator has been a life changing process.” – Lili, Volunteer Mediator, Neighborhood Mediation Program

RNW’s volunteer mediators work directly with people in disputes: easing tensions, building understanding, and helping the parties find solutions. With professional training and ongoing staff mentoring and support, volunteers gain the skills and confidence to mediate the most challenging neighborhood disputes. Being a volunteer mediator with RNW is a unique way to give back to the community while gaining valuable personal skills.

Getting Involved

All volunteers complete 39 hours of professional mediation training in late January, followed by a five-month, 60-hour mentor program, which includes a weekly commitment of a three-hour shift on Thursdays (4:00 – 7:00 pm or 5:30pm – 8:30pm). This allows RNW to maintain its high standards of service and commitment to improving Portland’s neighborhoods, while providing a valuable skill-building experience for the volunteer.

Applications due by November 22, 2017


What is the Program Structure?

If you are selected as a volunteer, you would complete the following:

    • 39 hours of professional mediation training which covers the various dimensions of mediation work, including: conflict theory, mediation stages, empathetic listening, facilitating negotiations, analyze and apply power/oppression dynamics, and interrupting racism. The average cost for this training for paid participants (non-volunteers) is $1070. The training fee is waived for all volunteers who complete the 60 hours of volunteer service and training. An unfulfilled commitment results in the collection of $1070 for the cost of the training. You must be committed to attending all days/times of the 39 hour training to be considered as an applicant. These times are:
      • 3 Fridays: Jan. 19th, Feb. 2nd, and Feb. 16th from 9am to 4pm
      • 3 Saturdays: Jan. 20th, Feb. 3rd, and Feb. 17th from 9am to 5pm

Find more information about the training here.

    • A five-month, 60-hour mediation training program, in which each volunteer commits to participate in a volunteer “shift” of three hours per week. The value of this training and mentorship is $1,200 per person, which is also waived for the volunteers. The scheduled volunteer shifts are on Thursdays, from either 4:00pm to 7:00pm, or from 5:30pm to 8:30pm. These are the only times offered; if these times will not work for your schedule, please consider applying at a future time.
    • Volunteers additionally have the opportunity to:
      • Be a mediator at “table mediations” through our Neighborhood Mediation Program after successful completion of new mediator criteria.
      • Participate in a variety of regular trainings, gatherings, and outreach events.

Volunteer Program FAQ

What makes our Mediation Training Program unique?

Read about the “The Essential Elements of Mediation Training” from Mediation Trainer Stuart Watson here.

What happens during a Volunteer “Shift”?

The volunteer shift is the core of our unique five-month training program. Each “shift” has three or four volunteers and one staff mentor, who learn together and support each other through their skill development.

The typical shift includes:

      • 90 minutes of a combination of group learning, discussion, and practice activities. The topic areas of the learning changes as volunteers progress through the year.
      • 90 minutes of working directly with neighbors in disputes. This case development work is done by telephone in our volunteer room, with the active coaching and feedback of the shift mentor.

What is our selection process?

We consistently receive far more applications (80-100) than we have positions available (8). Prospective volunteers submit an application before November 22nd. We currently use a lottery-style method to select 16 applicants to interview. From the people we interview, we select 8 volunteers to participate in the program using a wide range of criteria, through a social justice and equity lens.

In general, RNW desires to have volunteers with a variety of backgrounds, life experiences and perspectives. We additionally look for a sincere commitment towards self-growth and serving this community for years to come. RNW equally values people with and without prior mediation experience, because that’s what we do: We provide the training and mentoring, you provide the energy and heart.

What if I am not available for some of the training or can’t commit to a volunteer shift?

While we understand that people lead busy lives, it is a unique and selective opportunity to become one of our volunteer mediators. We will only accept those volunteers that can attend the full training and commit to participating in their volunteer shifts.

Do I need to take the training if I have already had basic or advanced mediation training?

Yes. Having all of our volunteers trained in the same manner provides us with an assurance of the quality of the training received and provides the bonding for peer support through the learning process.

Register for this Event

2018 Volunteer Mediator Training Program

Event Organizers

Stuart WatsonStuart Watson humbly strives to bring presence and connection to the most challenging conversations, and to infuse compassion into conversations around oppression and privilege. Stuart has spent the last 20 years devoted to transforming and healing conflict, through professionally teaching conflict resolution and compassionate communication, mediating hundreds of neighborhood, family and workplace conflicts, and counseling couples and families through rough spots and difficult decisions. Stuart is the Mediation Program Coordinator for Resolutions Northwest, a Family Mediator with Progressive Mediation, a Foreclosure Avoidance Mediator with Oregon Foreclosure Avoidance Mediation Program, an IRP Mediator with The Portland Citizen-Police Mediation Program, the Co-founder of the Oregon Network for Compassionate Communication, and the Author-Curator of The Relationship Repair Game.

Sidney MorganSidney Morgan was born and raised in Southern California and moved to Portland, Or, April of 2000. Sidney began her work with youth, as a Youth Pastor in Southern California and has been working with youth for over 20 years. Sidney has been working in Restorative Justice work for 12 years. She first began her Restorative Justice journey in Juvenile Justice with Multnomah County Juvenile Justice department in Portland Oregon. In her time with Multnomah County she worked in several positions that involved Restorative justice work. At the same time, she became certified in Conflict Mediation and has facilitated on-going mediations with families, neighborhood and corporation mediations. Sidney always found ways to incorporate relationship building with the youth she worked with, and through that developed a garden program that is still “growing strong,” in the Multnomah County Juvenile department. The Hands of Wonder garden program, gives youth basic job-skills that teach them how to grow, care for and sell organic produce. Sidney currently works as the District Restorative Justice Coordinator for Portland Public Schools. Sidney trains; coaches and supports school staff throughout the district in building in Restorative Justice Practices, as part of their school climate work. . Portland Public School district is the largest district in the state of Oregon and has taken a stand as a district to support Racial Equity, PBIS (Positive behavior, Intervention and Supports) and Restorative Justice practices. The vision that PPS has, speaks directly to Sidney’s purpose or “the why”, she has to see this work in every school within PPS. Sidney resides in Vancouver Washington, with her husband and three children.

Sandy BacharachSandy Bacharach is a white woman from southern California who came to Portland for college and stayed long after. Sandy has studied and traveled extensively throughout Latin America and worked as the Spanish Language Mediation Specialist with Resolutions Northwest for 12 years. Through that position and now as a Facilitation & Training Specialist, Sandy has developed and led trainings in English and Spanish on communication and conflict resolution, advanced bilingual mediation, interrupting racism, and addressing the intersection of race/racism in mediation.


November 22, 2017 12:00 am

November 22, 2017 11:59 pm

Lead Organizer

Stuart Watson


Apply by Nov 22: Volunteer Mediator Training Program
Resolutions Northwest, 2538 Northeast Broadway Street, Portland, OR 97232, United States

Stuart Watson

November 22, 2017 12:00 am

November 22, 2017 11:59 pm