ACCORD Hosts Basic & Parenting Plan Mediation Training

For the first time in our Community Dispute Resolution Center history, ACCORD hosts in conjunction, the basic and parenting plan mediation training, within our facility located in Binghamton, NY. Throughout the months of January and February, this training was led by Learning Laboratories Duke Fisher. Duke is an internationally known mediator and trainer. He is the lead trainer for the Skidmore College Project on Restorative Justice bringing restorative practices to schools and universities nationwide.

In 1999, he founded Learning Laboratories, an independent training venture that finds creative ways to address difficult topics including restorative justice, family conflict resolution, responding to discrimination, and building collaborative teams to assemble care for children of all abilities. He is a leader of powerful workshops for schools, universities, conferences, prisons, and individual agencies much like ACCORD.

Until recently, Duke was a Special Professor of Law. In 2007, Duke was the recipient of the Lawrence P. Cooke Peace Innovator Award in recognition of his never ending search for creative methods to support effective communication and learning. For more information regarding Duke and his line of work please feel free to browse the following information on his Training and Consultations by Clicking Here.

ACCORD’s very own Moira Osorio assisted in this training with Duke and led the newest volunteer mediator cohort through seven full days of intense basic and parenting plan mediation training in order to build the necessary skills for meeting individuals “where they are at.” This pairing certainly did not disappoint, as they are responsible for bringing 14 new apprentice mediators to ACCORD to better serve our community.

This group displayed the interest in assisting others to respond creatively to conflict. Through their experience of a New York State Certified 30 hour basic  training encompassing collaborative, facilitative, and open-ended community mediation, each has gained an understanding of the principles and methods used by mediators to assist individuals and groups to develop their own solutions to fit their unique circumstances while specifically tailoring plans to meet the needs of all involved.

In addition, the apprentice mediators encountered a 12 hour parenting plan mediation training as well. With this, it is their primary goal to assist parents in facilitating a discussion to create a parenting plan that satisfies the needs of the children and their family members. Do note, mediators facilitate the meeting and do not counsel, give advice, interpret any law, hold judgement, levy a decision of any kind, nor assess blame, all while remaining neutral and allowing the participants to design their own plan to best accommodate their own family.

With the end of this training workshop, the apprentice mediators are now ready to continue the observation process and begin to co-mediate with experienced volunteer mediators to help lead constructive conversations for individuals, families, and groups within the community. ACCORD would like to proudly congratulate each of the 14 new apprentice mediators and welcome you to the ACCORD family. Congratulations to the following individual apprentice mediators:

  • Shannon D.
  • Deb F.
  • Kathleen G.
  • Erik J.
  • Becky H.
  • Betty H.
  • Samantha K.
  • Beth R.
  • Tom R.
  • Emily R.
  • Wayne R.
  • Miranda S.
  • Patty S.
  • Tasha T.

For more information on how to become a volunteer mediator, visit our website at & please complete the following Volunteer Form.

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