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Social Justice Mediation Workshop for Students

Apply for the Workshop

Applications accepted through Feb. 2, 2020

Upcoming events

Date: Friday through Sunday, February 21-23, 2020
Time: ​9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Apply: Complete application form available at the top of this webpage.

Training overview

This three-day training is designed for and open to all students at the University of Missouri-Columbia (MU), University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) and University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL). Participants will explore the impact of social identity and power on conflict and learn a social justice approach to understanding conflict narratives relevant to a variety of roles in campus life. The focus of the training is on critically examining the typical ways in which conflict is handled that often results in perpetuating inequality and making resolution more difficult despite the best of intentions. 

Trainees are expected to participate for the full three days (9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.) and will receive a certificate upon completion.

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 training prepares participants to gather and understand conflict narratives, using skills which can help them perform their roles as leaders more effectively. The concepts and skills acquired through this workshop are particularly applicable for those already responsible for conflict resolution such as residential life staff, judicial board members and those involved in managing other dispute resolution processes. They also will serve as useful life-long tools for future leaders in our communities.

The training is offered through a variety of methods to address different learning styles: lecturettes, interactive activities, role-play demonstration, visuals, small and large group discussions,and skills practice activities. Clips of an actual mediation session are utilized for analysis and discussion.


Applications for the workshop are completed via an online form. If applications are being accepted, the form will be linked at the top of this webpage.

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 2019-10-08