Our History


For over 32 years, we have worked with communities using mediation, facilitated dialogues, and other restorative practices. We strive to improve human and race relations by addressing complex, cross-cultural community conflicts and its root causes through education, training, and the development of new restorative models and techniques.


Our History

Founded originally as an alternative venue to courts for AAPI disputants under the Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC) of Southern California (now known as Asian Americans Advancing Justice-LA) in the early 1980s as an additional departmental legal aide resource, the Asian Pacific American Dispute Resolution Center (APADRC) later achieved its own 501(c)3 nonprofit organization standing in 1989 when the need for alternative dispute resolution (ADR) received mainstream recognition after the California Dispute Resolution Programs Act of 1986 was legislated into law. 


After filing for incorporation in 1989, APADRC’s core values and organizational strengths began to emerge, and eventually, APADRC evolved into a multicultural conflict resolution center that served the diverse and historically underserved communities of Los Angeles, with the aim of cultivating peace through culturally competent ADR services that improved interpersonal and community relations. Since then, APADRC has matured into a cornerstone in the greater Los Angeles community as it continues to resolve both small-scale and large complex, cross-cultural community conflicts.


Honoring its humble beginnings as a supplementary resource for established organizations, besides mediation and other ADR centered direct services, APADRC also works with community partners – including schools, government agencies, faith organizations, businesses, and other nonprofits organizations – to develop and implement ADR education and training programs in our diverse communities on a local and national level. Though APADRC is the only organization in the country that specializes in providing conflict resolution services to the diverse, multilingual, low-income AAPI community in parties’ native languages – including Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Japanese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Thai, Hindi, and Urdu – we offer our services to ALL COMMUNITY MEMBERS in Los Angeles County and virtually across the US.


Operating with an average of 5 staff members, 15 newly trained peacemakers per volunteer cycle, and 4 cycles of volunteers each year, APADRC has established a strong history of building community bridges for race and human relations during tumultuous times. From mediating the 1992 LA Uprising (bit.ly/racelies), to facilitating dialogues after September 11 in 2001, or combating racism following the death of Trayvon Martin in 2012 and George Floyd in 2020, APADRC works towards opportunities for communities to live with meaning and in peace. Valuing the power of ADR to transform strife and bring harmony, APADRC created a Peer Mediation curriculum (peermediators.org) in 2012 and launched our Restorative Justice program in 2014, which partnered to train youth in juvenile probation camps in 2018. Continuing our efforts to make ADR accessible regardless of location or language, APADRC transitioned to be fully online without disruption to services in 2020.


In the context of COVID-related discrimination, APADRC began conducting free, multilingual workshops to counter the anxiety and loneliness precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Subsequently, in May 2020 APADRC created public educational talks programming to focus on the surge of AAPI racism stemming from pandemic misinformation (bit.ly/apadrccitynationalbank). In response to the Asian spa shooting in Atlanta, GA in March 2021 APADRC conducted a 2-part community dialogue series on “What it means to be Asian in America” and “What it means to be an Asian woman in America” to bring awareness to the often unseen plight of AAPI community members. In its work to create peace over the past year, APADRC also signed on as a community partner with StopAAPIHate.org and the LA vs. Hate initiative (lavshate.org/aapi), as it continued to participate in public events and panels (bit.ly/NBC4APADRC). Check out APADRC’s biweekly dialogue series, Building Pathways, for a space to connect with other community members!

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