Conference 2016 Highlights

Session A: Saturday – 10:30 am to 12:30 pm

Session A1
The Improvement of our Communities through the usage of “A tool for Business and Community Peace Building,”
African American Gospel Music

Presenter:  Professor Silvester Carl Henderson


This workshop will concentrate on the historical aspects of the development of African American Gospel Music since 1929. It will demonstrate how the framework of African American Gospel Music performers, and faith based music conferences, support positive social constructs of peace, equity, social justice, artistic collaboration, and the building of healthy communities. This seminar will focus on developing interpersonal communication skills, relationship building strategies and conflict resolution approaches that can positively impact structural challenges in our personal relationships, businesses, community colleges, universities, faith based organizations and K-12 educational systems. This workshop will provide an analysis of the components of a great “Gospel Choir” and how they can be used as “tools” and building blocks required for the development of effective relationships and business structures. Conflict resolution theories and organizational development strategies will be discussed. Small group topics about “everyday wisdom,” “critical steps toward eliminating conflict,” “how we can work together to build peaceful environments and communities” through love and inclusionary practices that can change everything we think we already know, are the goals of this seminar.

Silvester Carl Henderson is a nationally recognized Professor, educator, motivational speaker, business owner, respected real estate investor, community artistic organizer, musician/artist, and conductor of the Gospel Song. Professor Henderson earned his Bachelor of Music and Master of Arts Degrees from San Francisco State University. He taught there from 1984 to 1994 as a Professor/Lecturer of Piano and Music Theory. Presently he serves as the full-time Professor of Choral/Vocal Activities and Emeritus Chair of the Music Department at the Los Medanos College in Pittsburg, California. Mr. Henderson is an Emeritus Professor/Lecturer of African American Studies and Music from the University of California, Berkeley, where he served as the original director of the internationally acclaimed Young Inspiration Gospel Choir from 1985 to 2005. Professor Henderson serves as the original director of the famed Los Medanos College Gospel Choir, along with the Chamber Chorale. He has been Minister of Music for over 34 years at Hayward’s prominent Palma Ceia Baptist Church.

Eligible for 2.0 MCLE/BBS units, including 2.0 Recognition and Elimination of Bias units

    * See conference registration page for Continuing Education fees. *


Session A2
Transforming Conflict, Transforming Lives: Re-writing & Re-rooting Stories

Presenter:  Jennifer J. Wilhoit, PhD

There is great transformative power in the tensions that come with conflict. A potential benefit of conflict is that it offers an opportunity for deeper self-reflection and transition to a fuller, more whole, conscious engagement with life and relationships. Examining one’s role in the movement from conflict to peace (whether party, mediator, or community member) provides new perspectives, new ways of engaging, and reduces reliance on the old status quo (modus operandi) reflex that led to conflict. This presentation draws from my practice with people-park conflicts (environmental mediation) domestically and abroad; in restorative justice settings; within family mediations; and in daily, individualized deep story work with clients. I will use examples from around the globe and from various mediation contexts to illustrate the transformative potential and benefits of moving through conflict reflectively rather than reflexively. Conference attendees will have the opportunity to share stories as well as to learn about, explore, and sample creative, nature-based writing as a tool for professional and personal renewal. Experience how the transformational potency of this modality can lead to greater awareness and grounding. This presentation/workshop is designed to be appropriate and informative for all conference participants, those familiar with TEALarbor stories’ work as well as those who have not yet attended Dr. Wilhoit’s workshops.

Dr. Wilhoit holds a PhD in Environmental Studies, MA in Adult Education, and is a published author. Jennifer is a spiritual ecologist whose writing focuses on the interconnection between humans and nature, spirituality, grief and loss, and creativity. She has been helping people navigate conflict and transition for more than two decades in a myriad of situations including within special needs communities, hospice settings, crisis centers, ecological settings, intercultural contexts, restorative justice venues, and wilderness rites of passage circles. Jennifer is the founder of TEALarbor stories, through which she mentors writers, facilitates story and nature guiding© experiences, guides people through life transitions, and mediates conflict using nature-based and creative modalities ( Jennifer resides in the Pacific Northwest, serving Northern California and the world in-person and via Skype.

Eligible for 2.0 MCLE/BBS units


Session A3
Engaging Group Conflict from a Systems-Centered Perspective

Presenter:  Peter T. Dunlap

This workshop will introduce Systems-Centered training, (SCT), which was developed by Yvonne Agazarian (Systems-Centered Therapy for Groups, 1997.) Its methods are used around the world to positively impact large and small groups. We will present a brief introduction of the SCT theory which is called the theory of Living Human Systems and will facilitate an experiential group process using SCT's unique method of Functional Subgrouping, a strategy used to engage differences and conflict in group settings. This method has as its main goal the differentiation and integration of difference that, along with other methods of facilitation, address the common problems of scapegoating, defensive posturing, conflict and intolerance in group dynamics. The process facilitates the development of capacity to explore and integrate differences both in individuals and members of a group or organization.

Peter T. Dunlap, PhD, is a psychologist working in private and political practice. Peter is engaged in research at the interface between group theory, Systems-Centered Training (SCT), and emotion-centered work in psychotherapy and groups. He works with social change organizations, their activists and leaders, in order to accelerate their political development. He has presented at numerous conferences pertaining to psychology, politics, and group work.

Eligible for 2.0 MCLE/BBS units


Session B: Saturday – 1:30 pm to-3:30 pm

Session B1
Cultural Humility: Bringing the Latino Community to the Mediation Table

Presenters:  Ivette Melendez and AddieRose Mayer

For 30 years, the Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center (PCRC) has illustrated its commitment to diversity in mediation through adapting processes with a cultural humility lens. A recent success in this approach is bringing the Latino community to the mediation table. While national rates of cases that make it to mediation hover around 25%, our program brings 90% of participants to the table. This is done through a focus on narratives and understanding the language and cultural norms of the community. This workshop will offer an interactive experience to learn about PCRC’s emphasis on storytelling, in both case development and mediation, and the successful creative problem solving that has removed barriers to accessing mediation service.

Ivette Melendez, Core Programs Specialist at PCRC, has worked in the areas of training, facilitation and mediation for the last 20 years. Her interests in popular education, leadership and sustainability have allowed her to enjoy a wide range of work experiences. For many years, she devoted her efforts to the cooperative area, educating, supporting and creating minority groups to make safer and mutually beneficial communities. Journalistic skills acquired in her native El Salvador have given her tools to implement workshops, create curriculums, give presentations, and help keep her motivated in order to educate others about personal leadership. During her years at PCRC, many as a volunteer, she has worked directly with communities and has developed strategies to promote change and improvement within communities, where direct participation is essential.

AddieRose Mayer, M.P.H., is the Director of Core Programs for the Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center. As a member of senior leadership she supports the strategic direction of the agency and mediation, facilitation and training programs. Originally from Vermont, AddieRose started facilitating collaborative problem solving 15 years ago as a high school student by bringing teens, educational professionals and parents together to have difficult conversations and create a vision for a more youth-friendly community. After completing her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science at Bates College, Maine, AddieRose worked in both adult education and substance abuse prevention and education, focusing her efforts on cultural humility, collaborative decision making, creative problem solving and community building. In 2010 AddieRose joined the PCRC, where she uses her experience and skills to support multi-sector collaboration and communication across difference to build strong, resilient and self-sufficient communities.

Eligible for 2.0 MCLE/BBS units, including 2.0 Recognition and Elimination of Bias units


Session B2
Conflict and the “Other!”

Presenter:  Bill Say

How sustainable is any conflict resolution when the “other” stays the “other?” How effective are we as facilitators when we are working with our “others?” The “other” may be defined as the person, group or experience that is seen as “not me” or “not us,” and is then marginalized. Apparently, all individuals, families, organizations and communities have their “others” and inevitably conflict with them. “Other” stands in relationship to a given identity and often represents what we don’t want to face. Power and equity issues exacerbate these conflicts and disturb the overall sense of community.  Conflict with one’s “others” can be an opportunity for greater wholeness if we consider the greater connection and understanding that is possible by facing our differences. Folk wisdom suggests that we “walk a mile in another’s shoes” before judging them; this age-old advice holds the promise that we might learn, understand and even transform by “becoming” the “other.” In practice, “becoming the other” reduces polarities and tensions. As a practice for facilitators, “becoming the other” helps us become more understanding, neutral, fluid and welcoming to all. As a social justice tool, “becoming the other” helps individuals and community groups address marginalization and equity problems more deeply. Facilitators may benefit from identifying main “others;” clarifying “other” styles, perspectives or qualities that are disturbing or challenging; and learning to connect with the energy of the “other” in the heat of the moment. This workshop offers lecture, discussion and an experiential exercise in identifying and contacting a main “other” in life.

Bill Say, M.A., brings over twenty years of experience to the intersection of diversity awareness training, conflict resolution, and leadership/team/community building, including work in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. He has consulted to non-profits, educational institutions, community groups, and UN refugee health organizations. He is a faculty member of the UC Berkeley Extension School of Professional Communication and the California Institute of Integral Studies and is a Mindell Process Work Diplomate.  His website is

Eligible for 2.0 MCLE/BBS units, including 2.0 Recognition and Elimination of Bias units


Session B3
Do No Harm: Mindful Engagement and the Power of Narrative
Presenter:  Wendy Wood, PhD

How do we conduct our work, as mediators and alternative dispute resolution practitioners, in ways that Do No Harm? Whether we work with an organization, a community, a family, or a devastating environmental disaster, we are being asked to show up in the best way we can, in a way that promotes peace and reconciliation, healing, transformation, and does no harm – or at least does not make things worse. We are being asked to engage in the world in a way that is meaningful, mindful, compassionate, authentic, and effective.

As veteran practitioners, human scientists, scholars and advocates, Dr. Wendy Wood and Dr. Thaïs Mazur felt compelled in their academic research to look deeper into this phenomenon, asking the question, “What is truly required to work in ways that Do No Harm?” This led to their book, Do No Harm - Mindful Engagement for a World in Crisis (Integral Publishers, February 2016 Release), which shares the stories of seventeen people working in the fields of mediation, social/environmental justice, health, and education. Their stories –including the stories of many well respected mediators and peacebuilders such as Kenneth Cloke and Richard Reoch – reflect these qualities.

This presentation will present the findings from Drs. Wood and Mazur’s work, share the power of narrative as a way of making meaning of our experiences as ADR practitioners, and present the qualities of mindful engagement that have been found to be critical to our work so as to Do No Harm. The presentation will also help guide the participants to think deeply about their own experiences as mediators and dispute resolution professionals and how they might be shaped by these qualities of mindful engagement and compassion in action.

Wendy Wood, PhD holds a doctorate in Human Science, is a professional mediator, author, researcher, professor, and leader in the field of conflict resolution, narrative research, social change, and mindful engagement. Working with Resologics ( in the San Francisco Bay Area, Wendy provides mediation, conflict management, and conflict systems redesign work for individuals, communities and organizations. She is the co-founder of The Karuna Center for Mindful Engagement ( and a founding member of Mediators Beyond Borders International. Wendy has worked in New Orleans post Hurricane Katrina, as well as Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. She is the coauthor, along with Thaïs Mazur, of Do No Harm: Mindful Engagement for a World in Crisis (Integral Publishers February 2016 Release). Wendy lives in Northern California.

Eligible for 2.0 MCLE/BBS units


Session C: Sunday – 8:30 am to 10:15 am

Session C1
Peace at Work: Workplace Mediation in 2016!

Presenter:  John Ford

Those that are drawn to conflict in the workplace have their reasons. Beyond making sense of our choices to do this important work, this session focuses on the status of workplace mediation in 2016. We will explore a simple model that provides the macro strategy, and discover the nine elements of the all-important Mediator’s Stance, the micro strategy. Whether we seek to mediate in the workplace for money, or to do it as part of our job, we need to be able to market our skills to actually mediate.

John Ford is an experienced workplace mediator and trainer. Since moving from Namibia to California in 1996, John has successfully mediated hundreds of disputes in the workplace. He has mediated for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and currently specializes in the mediation of internal workplace disputes. John has provided training to thousands of employees in the workplace, at all levels, across a wide range of industries. His workshops have focused on mediation, negotiation, facilitation, conflict resolution, emotional intelligence, and customer service. He is the author of Peace at Work: The HR Managers Guide to Workplace Mediation (available as a free download HERE to all who register for the conference).

John teaches negotiation at UC Berkeley School of Law, mediation to graduate business and psychology students at Golden Gate University, and organizational collaboration online through Creighton University. He was the managing editor of from 2000 to 2011, and past president of the Association for Dispute Resolution of Northern California (ADRNC).

Eligible for 2.0 MCLE/BBS units


Session C2
Creativity, Conflict, and the Brainstorming Myth
Presenter:  Cordell Wesselink

What if brainstorming is not as effective as we've been told? Many of us have been taught that brainstorming is a good tool for generating creative ideas when groups are stuck. Jonah Lehrer, in his The New Yorker article, The Brainstorming Myth, disagrees.

Come prepared to discuss this fascinating and controversial topic. We will explore the history of brainstorming, discover how to overcome the "myth" while fitting it into a problem-solving framework, and play with some new and fun brainstorming techniques to help parties find their own creative solutions to conflict. You are also encouraged to bring your own favorite brainstorming technique to share.


Cordell Wesselink is Community Boards' ADR Programs Director in San Francisco. As director, Cordell oversees all operations of their Neighborhood Mediation Program. To complement this service, he helped to create and implement their Conflict Coaching program for one-on-one conflict resolution counseling. Cordell has been a facilitator since 2007, and is Community Boards’ head facilitator for small- and large-group meetings. He leads Community Boards’ facilitation trainings, and customizes and delivers conflict resolution trainings to a range of clients. Cordell also designs and delivers restorative justice trainings for the San Francisco District Attorney's Neighborhood Court Program.

Eligible for 2.0 MCLE/BBS units

Session C3
Images of Orientalism: Combating Islamophobia through Theater of the Oppressed
Presenter:  Beshara Kehdi

In this workshop participants will use Theater of the Oppressed techniques to explore issues of oppression, Orientalism, and Islamophobia.  Theater of the Oppressed is an arsenal of tools and games that seek to motivate people, restore true dialogue, and rehearse alternative futures. Participants will build community, and work to create understanding in order to deconstruct and analyze further the mechanisms that perpetuate injustice in our lives and society.

Beshara Kehdi is a San Francisco based youth educator, organizer, and dance instructor.  He choreographs children and youth's Dabke, a traditional folk dance and practice indigenous to Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Jordan, and Iraq that serves as a form of cultural resistance to colonialism, erasure, and oppression.  He is an editor of "Inclusive Classrooms: A Resource for Educating about the Arab World and the Arab Experience in America."  He is also a volunteer mediator with Community Boards in San Francisco, and a Theater of the Oppressed "Joker" and practitioner.

Eligible for 2.0 MCLE/BBS units, including 2.0 Recognition and Elimination of Bias units


Session D: Sunday – 10:30 am to 12:30 pm

Session D1
Thirty-Minute Mediation

Presenter:  Ron Kelly

So many fights involve family members, coworkers, neighbors – people with ongoing relationships. In this workshop, you’ll learn an amazingly effective mediation process you can use to help resolve these disputes in half an hour. You’ll see the process demonstrated on a real dispute, and use it yourself in a direct experiential exercise.

Ron Kelly is a principal architect of California ADR law. He has initiated and guided enactment of dozens of laws protecting the integrity of mediation and arbitration. Ron has been honored with eight major ADR awards in recognition of his work in pioneering the field, including Peacemaker of the Year in California. He has trained thousands of lawyers, judges, government officials and business professionals on four continents. His training materials are licensed and used around the world in several languages. Judges in most Bay Area courts have chosen to enroll in his trainings. More info at

Eligible for 2.0 MCLE/BBS units


Session D2
Self-care for successful and sustained mediators

Presenter:  Denecia Jones

In my presentation I will discuss ways that mediators can revisit ways to care for themselves. The major categories that I will discuss are Self Love, Goals for Successful life balance, and Self Awareness techniques. The presentation will discuss how a mediator can focus on internal peace and harmony with words and actions that lead to positive results. I will provide statistical support for each topic’s information listed along with exercises such as basic yoga stretches, and breathing exercises that will help heal the body and mind.

Denecia Jones is a recognized national expert on federal and state healthcare and the Affordable Care Act (ACA). A health insurance advisor for government representatives in Washington, D.C., she had substantial impact on the Affordable Care Act Health Care Reform law. 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. Denecia understands the importance of conflict resolution in her mediation practice and her insurance agency. She is a Marathon runner, a certified Hatha Yoga instructor, and a Reiki energy healer.

Eligible for 2.0 BBS units


Session D3
Keeping it in the Family
Presenters:  Luigi Lucaccini and Monika Hudson

Family business combine family and business.  Among the characteristics of families is a set of feelings around equality, inclusiveness and caring; conversely, businesses tend to be governed by meritocracy, selectivity and critical analysis.

What's a family-owned firm to do? Some try to resolve this fundamental dilemma by recognizing that essential decisions need to be made in the interest of preserving family harmony.  Others determine that, over the long haul, the family's best interests are served if the business is managed for performance.  Under either circumstance, advance planning, applied emotional intelligence and conflict management knowledge facilitate family firm continuity.

Luigi Lucaccini and Monika Hudson, of USF's Gellert Family Business Resource Center, discuss factors that should enter into considerations for family business support.

Eligible for 2.0 MCLE/BBS units


The Gil Lopez Award

The Gil Lopez Award is presented to a person of color who has demonstrated excellence in her or his work and has made important contributions to the field of peacebuilding and our shared communities.

Dr. Joy DeGruy

Education:  Dr. Joy DeGruy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication, a master's degree in Social Work (MSW), a master's degree in Clinical Psychology, and a Ph.D. in Social Work Research. Dr. Joy DeGruy is a nationally and internationally renowned researcher, educator, author and presenter. She is an Assistant Professor at Portland State University and the President of JDP Inc. Dr. DeGruy has over twenty-five years of practical experience as a professional in the field of social work. She conducts workshops and trainings in the areas of mental health, social justice and culture specific social service model development.

Published Works:  Dr. Joy DeGruy authored the book entitled Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America’s Enduring Legacy of Injury and Healing, which addresses the residual impacts of trauma on African Descendants in the Americas. Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome lays the groundwork for understanding how the past has influenced the present, and opens up the discussion of how we can eliminate non-productive attitudes, beliefs and adaptive behaviors and, build upon the strengths we have gained from the past to heal injuries of today.

Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: The Study Guide is designed to help individuals, groups, and organizations better understand the functional and dysfunctional attitudes and behaviors that have been transmitted to us through multiple generations. The Guide encourages and broadens the discussion and implications about the specific issues that were raised in the P.T.S.S. book and provides the practical tools to help transform negative attitudes and behaviors into positive ones.

Dr. DeGruy has published numerous refereed journal articles and has developed the “African American Male Adolescent Respect Scale” an assessment instrument designed to broaden our understanding of the challenges facing these youth in an effort to prevent their over-representation in the justice system. 

Randall Robinson, Al Sharpton, and many more have praised the book. Susan Taylor, Editorial Director of Essence Magazine says that “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome is a master work...Her book is the balm we need to heal ourselves and our relationships. It is the gift of wholeness.” Adelaide Sanford, Vice Chancellor of the Board of Regents for the State of New York states that “Dr. Joy DeGruy’s mesmerizing, riveting book is vital reading for our time...With Dr. DeGruy’s potent words we can and will heal.”

In addition to her pioneering work in the explanatory theory and book, Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome, she has developed a culturally based education model for working with children and adults of color.



The President's Award

The President's Award is presented to recognize excellence and outstanding contributions to the field of Dispute Resolution
and Community Building.

ron Kelly

Creating The Law and Awards:  A principal architect of California ADR law, Ron Kelly has initiated and guided enactment of dozens of laws protecting the integrity of mediation and arbitration. These include key sections of the California Evidence, Insurance, Government, and Business and Professions Codes. Ron has been honored with eight major ADR awards in recognition of his work in pioneering the field, including Peacemaker of the Year in California and the American Arbitration Association's Distinguished Service Award.

Arbitration, Mediation, Subject Matter Expertise:  Ron is a business arbitrator and mediator, specializing in disputes involving construction, business partnership, and real estate. He has been successfully mediating voluntary settlements since 1970. Since 1986 he has arbitrated cases through local courts, state agencies, and the American Arbitration Association. Ron chaired the Design Review Committee for the City of Berkeley, and served eight years reviewing plans and holding hearings on proposed commercial and residential developments for the city. His background includes training in real estate and construction law, structural engineering, and architectural design. Ron has extensive experience in the purchase, design, construction, and sale of real property and has held four licenses (California General, Electrical, Plumbing, and Solar Contractor’s Licenses).

Trainings:  Over the past quarter century, Ron has provided ADR training to thousands of lawyers, judges, business professionals, and court and government staff on four continents. His trainings cover conflict resolution skills, ethics and law. He regularly trains through the University of California Berkeley’s CLE Program, the Bar Association of San Francisco, and other local bar associations. Ron’s training materials are licensed and used by leading universities, bar associations, court systems, and professional organizations around the world. He is a frequent speaker on current issues in the field.

Professional Leadership:  A founder of both the California Dispute Resolution Council and the Northern California Mediation Association, Ron has served on the boards of several mediation and arbitration professional associations, and remains a very active member of the Bay Area ADR community.