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 34 hours of professional mediation training in late January, followed by a five-month, 70-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:

    • 38 hours of professional mediation training which covers the various dimensions of mediation work, including: conflict theory, mediation stages, empathetic listening, facilitating negotiations, cross-cultural conflict management and more! The average cost for this training for paid participants (non-volunteers) is $970. The training fee is waived for all volunteers who complete the 70 hours of volunteer service and training. An unfulfilled commitment results in the collection of $970 for the cost of the training. You must be committed to attending all days/times of the 34 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. 16th from 9am to 5pm

Find more information about the training here.

    • A five-month, 70-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.

Renee BoveI am always challenged when someone asks me for my biography. Most Americans want to know your name followed by your profession. This seems important to Americans. “What do you do?” After announcing my profession I can see folks mulling it over wondering “is this a profession that interests me enough to continue the conversation”. If not, they move on. Other places I have traveled to are more concerned with the question “who are you?’ These folks want to know “Do you have children? Are you married? Why are you traveling without your family?” They never ask about the job. Who am I? I am 62 years old, a mother of two kind and compassionate grown children. I was married for 25 years. My father was born and raised in Cuba. He came to the USA to attend seminary at Vanderbilt University. That is where he met and married my Mother, an Irish girl from the South. They returned to Cuba but left during the Castro times. They ended up in Oregon. I spent my high school days in Eugene in the late 1960’s … free love! Power to the people! and with friends named Moonbeam, River, Sunshine, and Meadow. It was during this time I was diagnosed as having congenital vision impairment, Starggardt disease. To this day I am forever grateful neither my parent’s nor I paid any attention to this announcement. When you are born with a vision impairment you don’t know what you don’t know. As far as I was concerned it was full steam ahead. I graduated as a Registered Nurse and went on to get a degree in Health care Administration/Social Work/Bio-medical Ethics. I spent the majority of my work career involved in the field of geriatrics, specifically Adult Protective Services, Elder Abuse Crisis work. I loved that work. However, apparently it was destiny to change careers. In my early 40’s my vision impairment became an issue. Not for me but for my physician who bluntly told me that I could not see. I was significantly legally blind and needed to change professions. I was devastated. Once the huge blind spot in my central vision became apparent to me that was all I could focus on, the black hole, the things I could not see. Out of desperation I went to Oregon Commission for the Blind. I was given a white cane, a lot of instruction, support, encouragement and an opportunity to explore alternate professions. That is how I became a mediator. I could still be involved in people’s conflicts using ears and listening rather than eyes. That was approximately 20 years ago. Since that time I have been working as community mediator for Clackamas County Dispute Resolution Center and Resolutions Northwest. In 2006 I decided to heck with the vision ... go see some of the world, in particular Africa. I booked myself into a volunteer abroad program and took off for Tanzania. As fate would have it I was assigned to be a volunteer in a hospital and classroom for visually impaired children. Life works in mysterious ways. I since have returned to East Africa five times. I have shared conflict resolutions skills in Rwanda, Kenya, Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, South America and southern India. I currently am a facilitator for the Alternative for Violence Project (AVP) working in men’s prisons. This life adventure with Spirit is powerful. Spirit has been incredibly supportive. Spirit never once has made feel “less than” for having a vision impairment. I have never had to ask Spirit for help. Spirit intuitively knows when I need assistance. Spirit graciously extends its arm to me when crossing streets and makes sure I don’t fall into holes. I feel very blessed. Thank you Spirit for letting me join you in this amazing adventure.


November 22, 2017 12:00 am

November 22, 2017 11:59 pm

Lead Organizer

Teri Pierson


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

Teri Pierson

November 22, 2017 12:00 am

November 22, 2017 11:59 pm