Starts: November 8, 2019 9:00 am | Ends: November 17, 2019 5:00 pm
Become a Volunteer Mediator
Training Dates: November 8, 9, 10, 16, 17, 2019 from 9:00am – 5:00pm
Join this Mediators of Color training to explore an equitable approach to mediation. Learn how to apply skills as you provide conflict resolution to your community.
“Becoming a mediator has been a life changing process.” – Lili, Volunteer Mediator
Community Mediation Program
Applying an equity informed, racial and social justice approach to all of our work, 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 community disputes. Being a volunteer mediator with RNW is a unique way to give back to the community while gaining valuable personal skills.
All volunteer cohort members will complete 35 hours of professional, equity-informed mediation training in November, followed by a six-month, 50-hour mediation cohort (December 12, 2019 – May 21, 2020), which includes a three-times a month commitment of a 3-hour shift on the first three Thursdays of the month from 5:30-8:30 pm. This allows RNW to maintain its high standards of service and commitment to serving Portland’s communities, while providing a valuable skill-building experience for the volunteer.
Note to applicants: We are applying for funds to cover transit fare, child care, and meals. However, we do not yet know whether that funding will be approved. Please make a note on your application if there is any support you would require to make this program accessible for you. We will keep you posted as we find out more.
What is the program structure?
If you are selected as a volunteer, you would complete the following.
35 hours of professional mediation training which covers the various dimensions of mediation work, including conflict theory, mediation stages, empathetic listening, and facilitating negotiations PLUS analysis of power/oppression dynamics and interrupting racism/internalized racism. The value of this training is $1,070. We offer this training free of charge to our POC volunteer cohort. You must be committed to attending all days/times of the initial 35 hour training to be considered as an applicant. These dates/times are 9am-5pm on the following days:
- 1 Friday: November 8th
- 2 Saturdays: November 9th and November 16th
- 2 Sundays: November 10th and November 17th
After the initial training, volunteers will complete 54 hours of additional volunteer time through the POC mediation cohort program in exchange for the free training:
A six-month, 54-hour mediation volunteer and training cohort, in which each volunteer commits to participate in a volunteer and additional training “shift.” The value of this training and mentorship is $2,500 per person, which is also waived for the volunteers. The scheduled volunteer shift meets three times a month, on the first three Thursdays, from 5:30pm to 8:30pm.
These are the only times offered for the mediation cohort; if these times will not work for your schedule, please consider applying at a future time.
Volunteers additionally have the opportunity to:
- Be an equity informed mediator at “table mediations” through our Community Mediation Program after successful completion of new mediator criteria.
- Participate in a variety of regular trainings, gatherings, and outreach events.
What is equity-informed mediation (EIM)?
EIM is a form of mediation where mediator applies an equity framework to offer support to ALL parties at the table. In EIM, the mediator is prepared and ready to engage in discussion of race and social justice, and has knowledge of systems of oppression and is able to recognize and make analysis at the table. The mediator remains impartial while being alert to the most impacted folks in the room, and is aware that many concepts in mainstream mediation may be western concepts and is flexible to match styles of participants.
What happens during a volunteer “shift”?
The volunteer shift is the core of our unique five-month training program. The “shift” has 6-8 volunteers and 1-2 staff mentors 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 months.
- 90 minutes of working directly with community members in disputes. This case development work is done by telephone in our volunteer room, with the active coaching and feedback of the shift mentor(s).
The shift also may include community outreach for the mediation program.
What is our selection process?
We consistently receive far more applications (80-100) than we have positions available (13). Prospective cohort members must submit an application by or before October 1st. Applications will be reviewed and applicants will be chosen for interviews for the week of Oct 7-11, 2019 . From there, we’ll select 13 volunteers to participate in the program using a wide range of criteria and 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.
Nyanga UukaNyanga comes to us as a Community Health Worker, Community Organizer, Activist, Mediator and Doula, who is very passionate about conflict resolution and is deeply committed to the social justice movement. After spending much time gaining life experience while on the road traveling throughout various parts of the US and abroad, he decided to call Portland his home after visiting a friend from Portland and attending his wedding: he literally never went back to the state he called home after the wedding. After settling into Portland, he was able to find the momentum he needed to engage and connect with community members, hear their stories of displacement and the consistent discrimination they’ve faced over generations. He decided to work with and for the community to build and bring about collective change. His first step in this process was when he became a state certified Community Health Worker, trained by the Multnomah County Community Capacitation Center in the beginning of 2014. His second step was becoming a Community Organizer for the Urban League of Portland, where he was able to be one of a few Organizers to lead the Ban the Box campaign (HB3025), which went on to success in the State and with a stronger ordinance passed in the city of Portland. At the same time, he was organizing with a local chapter of a Pan African Organization that established a youth breakfast program in New Columbia (the “Villa”). Shortly after that he organized with the local Chapter of the Black Lives Matter before moving on to become an International Center for Traditional Childbearing (ICTC) full circle student Doula. His search for conflict resolutions techniques lead him here to Resolutions Northwest where he has plunged into the world of peacemaking and relationship building. Nyanga started his relationship with RNW through the 2016 Mediation Training and Cohort Volunteer. In May of the same year, he became one of RNW's Restorative Justice Specialist, coordinator at Madison High School (2016-2018). He is now RNW's Mediation Program Coordinator.
November 8, 2019 9:00 am
November 17, 2019 5:00 pm
VENUEApply by Oct 1: POC Volunteer Mediator Training Program
2538 Northeast Broadway Street, Portland, OR 97232, United States
November 8, 2019 9:00 am
November 17, 2019 5:00 pm