Welcome to the March issue of Just Resolutions, sponsored by the Mediation Committee. Our theme is Diversity, Inclusion, and Community-Building. We want to express our thanks to Gabrielle Hartley, Doug Witten, and Abigail Ony Nwaohuocha for devising the theme and curating this issue. Now, more than ever, we need mechanisms and safe spaces for expressing disagreements and resolving conflict, and this issue presents several visions for getting us there.
Facilitation is a technique that is not always in the top drawer of our toolbox in the mediation community. Author Linda Gerstel reminds us that facilitation is the art of making a conversation easy and safe, enabling participants to share willingly. Her article emphasizes the use of facilitative techniques to address the divisive issues that have undercut trust in our social institutions.
Community mediation centers aim to provide access to conflict management to the underserved. Authors Rae Kyritsi and Missy Greathouse provide valuable insights on how to develop such programs anchored in the needs and voice of the community.
Finally, Daya Naef discusses how mediators can be fully present and look past their own biases to the real person on either side of the issue. That includes being alert to what is not said as well as to what is said.
We hope this issue provides food for thought on the challenges ahead and we look forward to continuing the conversation with our fellow ABA Section of Dispute Resolution members.
Judith Starr, Susan Guthrie, and Edd McDevitt
Mediation Committee Co-Chairs