“Diversity is the collective mixture of similarities and differences” – Roosevelt Thomas
by Warren Chan, APADRC Conflict Resolution Specialist
As an intern mediator at APADRC, we often learn about others, but how often do we learn about ourselves? The Cultural Issues in Mediation Workshop led by Edith Ng helped me understand the kind of mediator I am, and how I can use my cultural background and experiences to help others. Cultural issues often arise during mediation; however, by being aware of the different layers of diversity and exploring the commonality of our experiences, we can eliminate our unconscious assumptions. Edith brings us through a thought-provoking process of self realization.
The workshop helped me identify my mediation style. I am a direct communicator and I avoid expressing strong emotions. This type of mediation style is not always compatible with others and may further complicate the matter. Through the interactive workshop exercises such as constructive listening, I was able to reflect on the meaning of events and ideas of others and by utilizing strategic questioning, I can engage innovative thinking between the parties.
Other attendees of the Workshop include the Center of Civic Mediation, Centinela Youth Services, Department of Consumer Affairs, and the LA City Attorney’s Office Conflict Resolution Program. We had the opportunity to share our experiences with one another and hopefully we’ll have the opportunity to collaborate on different projects in the future.