2018 Volunteer Mediator Training Program

We Strive to Provide Access for All.

Resolutions Northwest provides interactive and engaging workshops to help you or your organization build capacity in conflict resolution, communication, mediation, facilitation, diversity and equity. You can attend a workshop or we can bring one to you.

The training and resources available are meant for everyone. RNW is a nonprofit organization and, in alignment with the VISION, we have made all our classes accessible to as many people as possible.


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2018 Volunteer Mediator Training Program

September 12 until November 22
Mediation volunteers

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 six-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.

Scroll down for more information about the program and selection process.

2018 Volunteer Mediator Application here
Applications due by November 22, 2017

What is the Program Structure?

If you are selected as a volunteer, you would complete the following:
    • 34 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:
      • 2 Fridays: Jan. 19th and Feb. 2nd, from 9am to 5pm;
      • 2 Saturdays: Jan. 20th and Feb. 3rd, from 9am to 5pm;
      • 1 Tuesday eve: Jan. 23rd, from 5pm to 9pm.
Find more information about the training here.
    • A six-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 six-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.


September 12
November 22
Event Category:


Resolutions Northwest – new location
2538 NE Broadway, Suite A (2nd floor)
Portland, OR 97232
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Artful Facilitation for Productive, Inclusive Groups

A 3-day workshop for facilitators, managers, community leaders, advocates, or anyone who is motivated to guide groups to do their best work.  Learn how to understand, design for and manage group dynamics by grounding the work in themes of inclusion, connection and clarity of purpose.

This training focuses on skills for outside facilitators (those who are not members of the groups they are facilitating), though the tools are applicable to other situations.

Conflict Resolutions: The Basics

Where do you need these skills the most?  Girlfriend who never listens? Racist uncle? Unsupportive boss? Tantrum-ing teen? Bring your questions and examples, and learn to apply these skills to all of who you are and where you go.

In this practical and interactive training, you will gain tools to have hard conversations, say what you need to say, and listen with your whole self.

Build your communication skills and learn ways to separate your intention from your impact on others. Effective communication often begins with a deeper understanding of how the world is experiencing you.

Equity-Informed Small Group Facilitation

Join us for an exploration of the difficulties and intricacies of facilitating small-group discussions that touch on our personal experiences of race, identity, equity and more.

This training focuses on small-group discussion within a larger forum; we will not cover process design or lead facilitation. The skills we will cover are applicable in any situation where people struggle to discuss difficult or divisive issues.

Interrupting Racism: Imagine a world where, when racism arises, we take action.

We’ll start by providing a grounded space to talk deeply and with heart. But we won’t stop there! Simply talking about racism is not enough to dismantle the power structures that uphold racial injustice. At the same time, creating systemic change requires healthy working relationships.

This actionshop is focused on interpersonal racism, within the context of systemic and institutional oppression. We will explore the way racism arises in our everyday interactions and offer tools and practice for interrupting racism.

Institutional Equity: Tools and Frameworks for Leaders

By the year 2042, white people will become a minority in the United States of America. The context of the world is changing radically, and we are living the response to those changes in our communities and our workplaces.

This training intends to empower individuals to take leadership, wherever you are, to ensure that the response to the cultural shift in our country is responsible, healthy, and just.

People of any level of experience are welcome. The training will be highly interactive and will challenge each of us to move through challenges and discomfort toward engagement, connection, and action.

Understand Racism: 6 Week Dialogue

Two hours a week for six weeks you will explore racial bias from many different angles. A trained facilitator will create a safe environment in which participants can engage in guided discussion around selected readings and videos.

You will have the benefit of making deeper connections with people in the dialogue and raising your awareness of how racism affects us all; whether it is your personal lived experiences or learning from the experiences of other participants and/or facilitators.