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Social Justice Mediation Training

We are not accepting applications at this time. Please check back for updates.

Upcoming training events

All staff and faculty from MU, UMKC, Missouri S&T, UMSL, MU Health Care, MU Extension and the UM System are eligible to apply for participation. Seating will be limited to 24 participants.

  • Check back for more information on upcoming sessions

Training overview

Participants will be trained to mediate while applying a social justice lens to their own techniques, working to ensure a fair process for all disputants. The training explores the relationship between social justice and how conflicts develop and are resolved through lectures, interactive activities, analyses of (actual) videotaped mediation sessions, skill improvement and roleplays. 

Participants will receive a mediation certificate upon successful completion of the training. 

Advanced Social Justice Mediation

This two-day Advanced Social Justice Mediation training is for those already trained in this approach to mediation. Trainees will be:

  • Introduced to additional concepts applicable to work with both large and small groups
  • Engage in advanced mediation roleplay practice
  • Receive a certification of completion advanced Social Justice Mediation training

Social justice approach to mediation

The Social Justice Mediation model was developed in response to a growing body of scholarship revealing that commonly used mediation models and practices do not serve all disputing parties equally. Despite the demonstrated success of mediation for many, research has also shown that it routinely reproduces privilege both structurally within the institution and interpersonally between disputing parties. Social Justice Mediation Training undertakes a critical examination of how and why this occurs in mediation and introduces principles and new strategies that account for privilege and work to counter its discriminatory impact. The training is open to both previously trained mediators and those without any mediation background.

More than 3,000 people have been trained in this model and it has been utilized by over 100 campuses and organizations across the country. It has been praised for preparing mediators to effectively respond to the realities of conflicts in diverse organizations and communities.

Benefits of participation

The institute offers participants:

  • A basic mediation training with social justice principles and strategies infused throughout each step of the process.
  • Advanced mediation practice and certification of completion.
  • Frameworks for understanding how identity and institutional practices can impact mediation processes and lead to the unintended privileging of some parties.
  • Hands-on strategies for program coordinators and mediators to help improve common patterns of disenfranchisement in mediation services.

The institute prepares trainees to mediate while applying a social justice lens to their own techniques. Participants will explore how mediation can routinely replicate inequalities despite intentions to the contrary. They will also gain strategies to address these challenges while still facilitating a process with self-determination about the outcome for the disputing parties.

Training participants explore the relationship between social justice and the development and resolution of conflicts in mediation through lecturettes, interactive activities, analyses of (actual) videotaped mediation sessions and a series of roleplays and simulations.


To enroll in upcoming Social Justice Mediation Training, please complete the online application. If applications are being accepted, the form will be linked at the top of this webpage.

Costs associated with the training will be covered by the UM System Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Individuals or sponsoring departments are responsible for any costs associated with participants’ travel, housing accommodations and food.

Who leads the institute?

Deepika Marya, Ph.D.

Deepika teaches in the Commonwealth Honors College at University of Massachusetts-Amherst. She has been teaching in higher education in the United States for the past decade and a half. A dispute resolution trainer since 1997, Deepika introduced critical theory to the field of mediation and integrates conflict resolution theory with multicultural approaches to conflict. She has trained at dozens of public and private educational institutions and organizations across the U.S. and provides consultation services for the development and implementation of peer mediation programs. She is co-trainer at the Social Justice Mediation Institute. 

Leah Wing, Ed.D.

Leah is a member of the Legal Studies Program faculty at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst where her research and teaching apply Critical Race legal theory to mediation. Since 1985, Leah has been a mediator and trainer for educational institutions, government agencies and non-profits. She served on the Association of Conflict Resolution Board of Directors (2002-6), is on the editorial boards of Conflict Resolution Quarterly and The International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, is co-director of the National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution and is co-trainer and director of the Social Justice Mediation Institute.

Reviewed 2020-09-17