UHLC Prof Willis discusses diversity issues in mediation at ABA conference

Texas panelists for a discussion of diversity issues in mediation were Mitchell Katine, left, Professor Kay Elliott, Judge John Coselli, Judge Bruce Wettman, UHLC Clinical Professor Tasha Willis, and Lynn Nash.

Texas panelists for a discussion of diversity issues in mediation were Mitchell Katine, left, Professor Kay Elliott, Judge John Coselli, Judge Bruce Wettman, UHLC Clinical Professor Tasha Willis, and Lynn Nash.

April 22, 2015 – University of Houston Law Center Assistant Clinical Professor Tasha Willis and a panel of Texas lawyers and judges recently led a presentation on diversity issues in mediation at the 17th Annual Section of Dispute Resolution ABA Spring Conference in Seattle.

Willis, director of the Law Center’s ADR program, said the presentation underscored the benefits of diversity and true cultural understanding in the practice of mediation.

The program on April 17 involved theory, practical skills, and group participation in formulating measures that should be taken to resolve diversity issues in mediation, including:

  • Modifying the current training of active members to develop responsible multi-cultural understanding;
  • Understanding why the practice of mediation has historically not produced a diverse enough set of mediators;
  • Developing better standards for training a more diverse population of mediators, and;
  • Broadening the term “diversity” as applied to mediation recruiting, selection, and training to include race, nationality, gender, religious, and LGBT concerns.

In addition to Willis, panelists included Mitchell Katine, Houston LGBT attorney and mediator; Professor Kay Elliott, adjunct mediation clinic professor at Texas A&M School of Law, arbitrator, and mediator; Judge John Coselli, senior District Court Judge for Harris County, arbitrator, and mediator; Judge Bruce Wettman, senior District Court Judge and director of the mediation clinic at South Texas College of Law; and Lynn Nash, M.A. in conflict resolution from Abilene Christian University.

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