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Volume 1, Number 3, Aug/Sept 2000

Resource Reviews and Announcements

by The Mediation Centre at Carleton University

Good training simulations are most often based on real-world experiences. Since it's creation in February 1992, the Mediation Centre at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada as been training and providing services in conflict resolution to a wide variety of individuals, groups and organizations. While serving primarily the working, studying and teaching populations at the university, the Centre also provides services to groups off campus. The Centre has hosted an annual academic Symposium on Conflict Resolution that has produced some valuable sets of proceedings. The Centre is also a close affiliate of the Graduate Program in Conflict Resolution Studies housed in the university's department of law since 1997. These varied experiences have contributed to the creation of a nice set of training materials now available to the public.

Written by staff and volunteers at the Centre, the Roleplay Book contains 48 scenarios for mediation training: on and off campus, in the workplace, in the community, between students, faculty and staff, neighbors, landlord and tenants, businesses and customers, family members and friends.

In all, 17 of the scenarios are based within the university setting. Campus workplace cases include 3 co-worker disputes, 4 employee/supervisor disputes, and 1 supervisor/supervisor dispute; classroom issues include 2 student/student disputes and 2 student/professor disputes; and campus life cases include 1 student/staff dispute and 4 student/student disputes. Also included is concise information about how to write a roleplay (with a list of gender neutral names provided), how to play a role, and how to de-brief a roleplay.

The roleplays are written to imitate actual conflict situations wherein the parties in conflict do not readily share their hidden interests, thereby providing an interesting challenge to the mediator. Some of the situations deal with gender issues, sexual preferences, cultural differences, alleged harassment or power differences. For more information on the collection, contact the Centre at (613) 520-5765 or by email:

The Roleplay Book is available directly from the Centre at a price of $20 (Canadian, includes mailing and handling). Cheques should be payable to:
The Mediation Centre at Carleton University
2213 Dunton Tower, 1125 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa, ON K1S 5B6 Canada

Note: Individuals wishing to purchase using a credit card may wish to acquire the collection from NICR, the Canadian conflict resolution clearinghouse that also distributes it.

edited by John McDougall, Helen Raisz and Morten G. Ender

The American Sociological Association has a long and valuable tradition of producing collections of teaching support materials. One set that readers of the CMHER may be particularly interested in is this 1998 volume on the sociology of peace and war. An essay section includes overviews of the field, a pedagogical essay on taking a personal approach to peace and war studies, and on using conflict resolution scenarios in the classroom. Syllabi cover four main topics: overview courses, particular aspects of peacemaking, weapons and institutions, and particular issues of conflict. A section on "Other Resources" rounds out the set with references, scholarly journals of interest, electronic resources including LISTSERVS, professional associations, and a bibliography of the Gulf War.

199 pp.
$15.00 for ASA members, $19.00 for nonmembers.
Stock Number 334.T98
Available from the ASA via their online publications order form.

by Kathy Domenici

More campuses are offering academic courses or skill training programs in mediation than ever before. As faculty and staff develop these programs, they often face the question of what kind of textbook or training manual to use to supplement the course. Kathy Domenici, an affiliate of the University of New Mexico's Mediation Clinic, faced this question head-on. She worked with Waveland Press, publisher of supplemental texts for classroom use, to produce a concise, very readable, and relatively inexpensive paperback (under $12) text to support mediation training efforts.

Domenici is clearly influenced by the transformative wing of the mediation movement inspired by Bush and Folger's book The Promise of Mediation. Her text gracefully incorporates transformative concepts relating to the way the mediation process is explained to parties, the place and role of power, and mediator opportunities to foster empowerment and recognition, while at the same time not abandoning a stage model of mediation that newcomers to the field can hang on to as they learn the process. While the book is written for a lay audience and is not long (137 5.5x8.5 inch pages including references), Domenici manages to do a fairly complete job of explaining core conflict resolution concepts and the full mediation process in a friendly narrative form. The book is interspersed with a number of well-placed scholarly quotes and references, as well as commentaries from student journals. Also included are some quite practical exercises designed to ground key ideas and skills. Appendices include a sample agreement to mediate, a standards of confidentiality form, a resolution form, a mediation observation form for student use, and 5 short conflict scenarios for use in skill practice.

The book is probably not substantive enough to stand alone in a academic course, especially when compared to a more complex book like The Mediation Process by Christopher Moore, for instance. However, given that many courses these days rely heavily on article collections, the book could easily find a place as a practical guide to mediation that supplements more scholarly materials. It could also serve well as a basic training manual for student mediator trainings. Staff and faculty preparing for upcoming courses can request an examination copy from Waveland Press for review.

Paperback (January 1996)
137 pages, $11.95 list;
ISBN 0-88133-894-X
Waveland Press, Inc
P.O. Box 400
Prospect Heights, IL 60070
(847) 634-0081
by Jackie McClain

The College and University Personnel Association (CUPA), recently renamed the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR), strives to provide its membership of primarily human resource professionals with practical tools. Violence on campus, always a tragedy, can also seriously jeopardize an institution's sense of security and increase its legal liability. The Association believes that HR professionals play a vital role in preventing such violence and mitigating its harmful effects. To this end, in 1998 CUPA produced a 28-page document suggesting best practices in this area. It outlines how to:

  • Exercise Ťreasonable careÓ in hiring and review processes;
  • Recognize the early warning signs of violent behavior;
  • Create policies that comply with the ADA, workers' compensation laws, and privacy rights;
  • Facilitate crisis intervention;
  • Establish comprehensive, team-based violence prevention and management programs for your institution; and
  • Restore order to the campus after a violent incident.

Staff charged with responsibility for providing a safe working environment on campus (is that all of us?) may wish to pick up a copy, if only to get a better sense of the legal landscape in this area of ongoing concern.

1998. Paperback, 28 pp.
CUPA members - $7.95, nonmembers - $14.95
Available from CUPA-HR's website.
BLACKS AND JEWS: A Documentary Film
produced by Alan Snitow, Deborah Kaufman and Bari Scott, distributed by California Newsreel

"Provocative and absorbing... Blacks and Jews will undermine stereotypes, inspire discussion, and help repair a wrongly damaged relationship." - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun Times

While ethnic and intergroup conflicts are widespread, the subject of Black/Jewish relations has for many has become a touchstone for debate about whether different ethnic, racial, religious, or cultural groups can or should work together. The film Blacks and Jews is a really well-conceived documentary, made collaboratively by Jewish and Black filmmakers, that provides a starting point for productive discussion on these issues.

The 85-minute film re-frames the issues of Jewish/Black coalition and conflict by presenting one historic and four contemporary stories from multiple perspectives. The events unfold on camera, and the stories are told by people who were directly involved. Archival footage and interviews with scholars and critics like Gary Rubin, Letty Cottin Pogrebin, Michael Lerner, Salim Muwakkil, Cornel West and Clayborne Carson place these stories in context and explain how attitudes have hardened as a result of competition over a stagnant economic pie, a shared psychology of victimization and exploitative media coverage. The stories are linked by dramatic presentations, including excerpts from the play "Crossing the Broken Bridge" and a story by author Patricia Williams about the difficulty and the necessity of empathy.

The film is divided into five segments or stories which can be shown all at once or in segments over several days or class periods.

  • Story One - Crown Heights: Diversity & Representation - 15 minutes. A Caribbean born journalist saves the life of an Hasidic Jew during the 1991 Crown Height riots, and a Jewish youth leader brings the youth of both communities together.
  • Story Two - Lawndale & the Civil Rights Coalition - 18 minutes. A Chicago Rabbi takes on real estate speculators and racism in his own community in the 1960's.
  • Story Three - Nationalism & Leadership - 14 minutes. One man's journey through the Nation of Islam to the Million Man March - Salim Muwakkil critiques Black anti-Semitism.
  • Story Four - Hollywood - 9 minutes. A Jewish director succeeds in Hollywood...a Black screenwriter struggles to be heard.
  • Story Five - High School Students & The Challenge of Empathy - 26 minutes. Black teens laugh during "Schindler's List," provoking a media frenzy and political circus.

I have used the film in my Roots of Social Conflict course, and have found it to be a useful and flexible teaching tool. Individuals interested in more specific information about the film may wish to review the online facilitator's guide or even the full transcript of the film's dialog available from the film's page on the California Newsreel website.

Directors: Alan Snitow and Deborah Kaufman
85 minutes, 1997
Free Facilitator Guide Shipped with Purchase
Video Purchase: $195
16mm rental: Inquire
California Newsreel
149 Ninth St. San Francisco, CA 94103
Phone: 415.621.6196 Fax: 415.621.6522
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Page last updated 11/27/2005

A project of Campus Conflict Resolution Resources.
Supported by a FIPSE grant from the US Department of Education
and seed money from the Hewlett Foundation-funded CRInfo project.

Correspondence to CMHE Report
(Attn: Bill Warters)
Campus Conflict Resolution Resources Project
Department of Communication
585 Manoogian Hall
Wayne State University
Detroit, MI 48201.

Please send comments, bug reports, etc. to the Editor.

© 2000-2005 William C. Warters & WSU, All rights reserved.