Vision & Mission

 

Vision

We envision all communities to be inclusive; in each, we respect, articulate and integrate differences through conflict transformation. In so doing, we establish, nurture and foster cultures that offer the necessary support for our communities to thrive as more just, more equitable and more peaceful.

 Mission

Our mission is to realize ADRNC’s vision by cultivating enhanced capacities for peacebuilding and conflict transformation within those professionally called to this work, such as mediators, arbitrators, ombudspersons, and attorneys as well as those who are challenged with conflict as an integral part of their ongoing work, for example: teachers, peace officers, social workers, community organizers and leaders, clergy, entrepreneurs, business contributors, prison guards, parents, students, coaches, family members and neighbors.

 We actively pursue our mission through education, outreach, advocacy, sharing resources, networking and actively collaborating with others.

 

 

Board of Directors

Evelyn Padua Andrews

Annual Conference Chair

Evelyn has over 20 years of higher education experience in both public and private institutions.  Her background is in higher education counseling, policy writing/implementation, and serving as a change agent.  She has served as the registrar for three CSU campuses, and one private higher education institution. She is dedicated to social justice advocacy and utilizes her professional and personal resources in a manner that promotes peacebuilding within organizations and throughout communities.

Ty Blair

diversity & equity

Ty is a Restorative Justice Practitioner, Project Manager, Event Planner, Leadership Coach, Facilitator and Trainer. He has done diversity trainings and group relations work with UC Berkeley's School of Social Welfare, and continues to work with area medical schools in the training of medical studentsand other healthcare professionals in relationship-centered communication with patients. Ty facilitates restorative and mindfulness circles for both inmates and the formerly incarcerated as they work toward building healthier self-esteem and new capacities in personal empowerment and constructive life strategies.  He has extensive experience in peacebuilding and cross-cultural capacity building.

Lark Curtin

chair of programs 

Heather-Lark Curtin, J.D., mediates in private practice with families, couples, colleagues, and business partners, who seek amicable resolutions.  She is continuously collaborating and partnering with other organizations, professionals and communities in creating innovative conflict transformation processes.  Lark is a core mediation trainer at the Center for Human Development where she manages the Community Mediation and Elder Mediation Program. She is a guest trainer and coach at Community Boards. She also teaches classes and lectures on mediation, communication skills for conflict resolution, mindful mediation techniques, and business and legal English at UC Berkeley and other institutions of higher education. For over 20 years, she has had a daily meditation practice is currently forming a meditating mediator practice group. Prior to becoming a neutral, Lark worked in state and federal agencies, courts, and political offices, and as a manager and legal counselor in NGOs.

Gail K. Efting

Executive Director

Gail started her career in the financial industry over 40 years ago, creating Compliance Management Information Services, Inc. (CMI) in 1981.  Over the last 18 years, through her consultancy practice, she has encouraged adults, and young adults, toward personal transformation and collaborative leadership, particularly as it serves those who have little or no voice.  Gail stimulates supportive learning communities around the world, in which those who have the least opportunity are fully accepted and valued, regardless of differences, whether mental, physical, or cultural.  Gail is committed to community building in adversarial environments through engagement, conflict resolution and indigenous practices, effective communication strategies, and cross cultural dialogues.

Dr. Dean Elias

Programs

Dean teaches, coaches doctoral students working on dissertations, and is engaged in scholarship and research on transformative learning, leadership, and political efficacy.  In the doctoral program in the School of Education at St. Mary’s College of California, he has taught Leadership, Theory to Practice; Management and Change; Applied Research; Values and Ethics. Dean earned an AB in American Studies from Cornell University, studied social ethics at Harvard Divinity School as a Rockefeller Fellow, completed an MDiv in Social Ethics at Union Seminary in New York City, completed an EdD in Learning and Leadership from Columbia University with a dissertation entitled Educating Leaders for Social Transformation. He has taught in seven colleges or universities, served in leadership positions in four. Dean has served as a management consultant for a wide variety of for-profit, non-profit and government institutions, from foundations to Health Care providers to School Districts, and to multinational corporations

John Hayden

membership

John has over 20 years of public high school teaching experience.  Much of his work with students has focused on supporting their social-emotional development, conflict resolution skills, and their development of a growth mindset.  He has spent his career advocating for students and pushing students to be their best selves, and is dedicated to transforming schools into socially just institutions.  He has served as a lecturer at Saint Mary’s College of California.

Donald Proby

President

Donald has been a mediator, meeting facilitator, trainer, and motivational speaker for over 20 years. Donald has a long history working in the areas of government, social services and holistic health. He has served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for foster youth and volunteers with multiple other bay area organizations for the advancement of peace and community building.

Learn more about Donald at http://www.linkedin.com/in/donaldproby

Bonnie Wills

Bonnie received her Bachelors’ Degree in Social Ecology at John F. Kennedy University, a Masters in Culture and Spirituality at Holy Names University, and a Masters in Religion and Philosophy at California Institute of Integral Studies. She is a Certified Diversity Facilitator, and a Restorative Justice Facilitator and Trainer. Bonnie currently facilitates Restorative Justice Groups at San Quentin Prison, San Francisco’s Jail re-entry pod and Circles of Support and Accountability groups for formally incarcerated youth. Bonnie is committed to a just, compassionate and inclusive planet. Through her work, she strives to support the eradication of social injustice within our homes, workplaces, communities and institutions.

 


Council of Distinguished Volunteers & Donors

Denecia Jones

A recognized national expert on federal and state healthcare and the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Denecia Jones ensures you are prepared for any and all changes in the evolving healthcare industry. As a health insurance advisor for government representatives in Washington, D.C., she had substantial impact on the Affordable Care Act Health Care Reform law. She was also nominated to Covered California’s Small Business Options Program (SHOP) advisory committee. The founder of D.A. Jones Insurance Services, she is known for her depth and breadth of knowledge of the insurance industry, as well as for relentless client representation in healthcare matters. Like in Washington Denecia understand the importance in helping others with dispute resolutions. She is excited about the additional experience and knowledge in mediation to better serve the community.

Holly Joshi

Holly Joshi is a Bay Area native and dedicated public servant. She spent 14 years working for the City of Oakland in diverse capacities including patrol officer, public information officer, internal affairs investigator, child exploitation investigator, supervisor, and chief of staff. She has instructed law enforcement, community members, and service providers across the country on recognizing and responding to human trafficking and child exploitation. Her work with at risk populations has been featured on Anderson Cooper, MSNBC, and in Essence Magazine. Holly is passionate about the potential in young people, the urgency of social justice issues, and the power of collaboration. She is currently a community college criminal justice lecturer and the deputy director at a youth serving non-profit organization. She is committed to improving outcomes for under-served populations and developing capacity for conflict transformation, and believes that everyday people can save lives.

Virginia Kahn

Virginia Kahn's most recent passion is the nonprofit foundation that she co-created in 2015, Living Signs and Wonders ( LSW ), where she currently serves as both Executive Director and Board President.  LSW pairs individually selected and trained rescue dogs with special needs children and their families, providing ongoing support, training and recreation programs for all.  LSW aspires to release the greatest potential in each child and dog. Virginia is also a long time board member of the Christopher Reynolds Foundation, anorganization that supports work to strengthen the connections and understanding between citizens in the US and their counterparts in Cuba. She, and the Foundation, are thrilled with the recent openings between the Obama administration and Cuba.

Molly McCann

Molly is an international education consultant who teaches Educational Research and English language for Multimedia Communications at Academy of Art University. She specializes in intercultural communication, culturally responsive higher education, and race/ethnicity/nationality and language education. Molly utilizes principles within educational leadership contexts to promote cross cultural understanding and peacemaking.

Saheema Rawat

Saheema is a graduate of the London School of Economics, a member of the English Bar and an accredited mediator. She has worked in the field of equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) for many years, advising, guiding and supporting the work of a variety of organizations across multiple nations. Saheema specializes in translating legal provisions into actionable and effective practice for multiple stakeholders, developing evidence-based approaches and metrics for EDI plans, promoting accessible website designs and creating innovative and engaging e-learning systems. She develops research reports, case studies and articles dealing with hate crimes and intolerance, creating and supporting effective staff networks, the benefits of marriage equality in the UK and US and advancing cross cultural capabilities.

Coreal Riday-White, Esq.

Coreal is a San Francisco based attorney. As an associate at Davidovitz & Bennett, he handles mostly environmental and personal injury cases. Before law school, Coreal worked as a special education instructor and youth counselor with youth in group homes and foster care. Trained as a mediator in law school, Coreal mediated his first cases in New York City, for the Queens County Civil Court, Community Mediation Services, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Currently, Coreal serves as a volunteer mediator on the Community Boards, and Office of Citizen Complaints mediation panels, as well as an arbitrator for the Housing and Homeless Division of the Human Services Agency of San Francisco.

Dr. Kathleen Taylor

As a professor and adult educator, Dr. Taylor's professional workshops on adult learning and development have been presented internationally with high acclaim. She has also consulted to the World Bank on issues related to teaching aging brains and continues to publish on topics related to transformative learning and the adult brain. Her award-winning book, Developing Adult Learners, describes best practices in teaching adults. She consults widely on topics related to positive adult development and the neurophysiology of adult learning.

Susan Thornton Zahn

Susan brings a multifaceted career history to her recent launch as a Mediator and Conflict Coach. She spent 17 years as a teacher in the United States, Bhutan, Nepal and the Solomon Islands. Over the years she has taught children, teens, adults and teachers. It was during this time the seeds of communication, listening and peacemaking were planted. Starting in 2001, Susan opened and ran a Healthcare clinic in Eugene, Oregon for 15 years. She founded and was president of a neighborhood group that interfaced with the University of Oregon. Susan worked with local attorneys and community members and leaders to promote quality of life and growth.

She has a Mediation and Conflict Coaching practice in Susanville,CA.


Staff

Sheryl Faria

Administrative Assistant

Sheryl earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She worked for multiple decades in technology services, including telephone and computer troubleshooting. Sheryl is deeply committed to conflict management, diversity and inclusion practices, non-violent communication methods and community building. Sheryl has a profound love for animals and believes animals along with humans are worthy of living in a more peaceful and loving world. She is very pleased to be partnering with ADRNC to promote alternative dispute resolution by utilizing her technological and customer service skills to better serve its membership.

A History of ADRNC

 

By Ron Nelson

 

The Association for Disputes Resolution of Northern California (ADRNC), a Chapter of the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR), is actually the fourth incarnation of an organization dedicated to mediation as a means of conflict resolution in all aspects of human experience. It was created to start engagement between practitioners from many disciplines – family, labor, community, and commercial – with the hope and expectation that each perspective would add to the tools that practitioners had at his or her command.

The genealogy of ADRNC started with the Northern California Council of Mediators (NCCM). That organization was formed in 1983 on a rainy day in November at Mills College in Oakland. The moving force behind the organization was the efforts of five mediators – Joan Kelly, Tim Birnie, Harriet Whitman Lee, Henry Elson, and Mary Duryee. The organizing meeting drew about 60 attendees.

However, the focus of the organization was not just on networking and education for its members. Another major objective was to “establish an ongoing educational program for the general public through publications, resource libraries, speakers bureaus and public forums.” Accordingly, after a year of operation, the organization entered its second incarnation by changing “Mediators” in its title to “Mediation.” Membership was not limited to fee for service practitioners and volunteers; it included “users and just plain supporters” of mediation.

One of the organization’s initiatives was “Speaking for Mediation” (SFM) – mediators gave presentations on mediation and trained other mediators to speak in public. Many area mediators today credit SFM with giving them speaking skills and confidence.

In the mid 1990s, after an internal conflict caused many members to leave and made the rest of the members despair for any peace in an organization of peacemakers, the Board voted to disband NCCM. Happily, that was not the end of the story. A group of “true believers” — Ron Kelly, Harriet Whitman Lee, John Helie, and Victor Herbert — established the third incarnation of the organization, the Northern California Mediation Association (NCMA), rededicating themselves to the same objectives they had been pursuing with NCCM.

There are many organizations that are focused on the fee-for-service mediator, providing not only training in mediation skills but in business skills as well. However, like NCCM, NCMA wanted to promote a broader view of mediation and embrace volunteer and non-profit mediation as well. This focus resulted in some key strategic decisions:

  • Keeping training programs low or no cost.
  • Promoting mediation as a force for social change in addition to private disputes resolution.
  • Making diversity a core value.

The fourth and current incarnation resulted from a union between the Northern California chapter of the Society for Professionals in Dispute Resolution (SPIDR) and NCMA. SPIDR was a group for fee for service mediators, but many of its local chapter members were either members of NCMA or very involved in programs that NCMA was sponsoring. In the early 2000s, there were negotiations between NCMA and local SPIDR to effect a merger. However, formal terms could never be agreed upon.

John Helie, then-president of the local SPIDR chapter and a supporter of NCMA, advised the national SPIDR organization that he was disbanding the local chapter. He believed that the two organizations should merge, and he knew that if the local SPIDR chapter were dissolved, NCMA would become the de facto chapter of SPIDR.

When the national SPIDR merged with the Academy of Family Mediators (AFM), the Conflict Resolution Education Network (CREnet) to form the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR), the timing was right for NCMA to become the Association for Disputes Resolution of Northern California (ADRNC), a chapter of ACR.