Hello Friends and Supporters,

Last month, CUC was excited to invite five highly qualified new members with experience in political science, law, finance, family therapy, restorative justice, education, and public health to our board. They begin their work this month, and we are excited to move forward together in partnership during a transformative period in CUC's history.

In April, we marked a significant milestone with the resumption of in-person training in New York. Our 24-hour introductory mediation course, tailored for local practitioners, was a testament to our commitment to hands-on learning. We were delighted to welcome attendees from across the state, including recent CUC alums Ivan Alter and Michelle Minovi, who joined Katherine Miller as trainers for the program. Meanwhile, our 2024 cohort had their first in-person meeting in California. 

At the end of May, our organization's leaders will gather for a DEIBA workshop led by Niyonu Spann Associates. This workshop is a crucial part of our year-long effort to enhance awareness and understanding. By equipping our trainers and partners with these insights, we aim to make a broad impact on communities while promoting the understanding-based model.

Thank you for all you do to bring people in conflict together every day and for partnering with the Center to support your efforts.

Best regards,

James Dykeman

Executive Director

The Center for Understanding in Conflict is happy to announce our newest board members joining in 2024 - Adam King, Hayden Lilien, J.D., M.B.A., Dr. Barbara Rothberg, Earl Mu'min Simms, and Lisa Taubenblat, LCSW.

From experience in political science, law, and finance to family therapy, restorative justice, education, and public health, their combined expertise and passion for conflict resolution and the understanding-based approach will make a wonderful addition to our leadership team, and we are honored that they have decided to join the CUC.



Bringing Down Barriers: Non-caucus Mediation as a Path to Understanding

In the last fifty years, mediation methodology has evolved into a widespread and reliable approach to resolving disputes amicably, effectively, and efficiently. While traditional forms of mediation often involve caucus sessions where parties are separated, and communication occurs through intermediaries, a growing trend towards non-caucus mediation has garnered attention for its innovative approach. As conflict resolution practitioners and mediators, we find ourselves increasingly drawn to this method because it fosters direct communication, promotes understanding, and facilitates mutually beneficial solutions.

Non-caucus or joint or face-to-face mediation starkly contrasts its caucus counterpart. In traditional caucus mediation, parties are separated into different rooms, and the mediator shuttles between them, relaying messages and proposals. While this approach can sometimes be practical, it inherently limits direct communication between the conflicting parties, potentially exacerbating misunderstandings and hindering the discovery of common ground.



Conflict Resolution Playbook: Practical Communication Skills for Preventing, Managing, and Resolving Conflict by Jeremy Pollack

In the ever-evolving landscape of interpersonal dynamics, Jeremy Pollack’s “Conflict Resolution Playbook: Practical Communication Skills for Preventing, Managing, and Resolving Conflict” contains insight and guidance for everyone, not just conflict resolution and mediation practitioners. With a pragmatic approach and a wealth of actionable strategies, the author equips readers with the essential tools to navigate the turbulent waters of conflict with finesse and efficacy.

At its core, this playbook serves as a comprehensive manual for both novices and seasoned professionals. It offers a treasure trove of practical wisdom from his extensive field experience. Grounded in the fundamental principles of communication and psychology, Pollack delves into the intricacies of conflict resolution, illuminating the nuanced interplay of emotions, perceptions, and interests that underpin every dispute.



Empowering Divorce through Understanding with Guest Gary J. Friedman

Gary Friedman, author, mediator, and co-founder of the Center for Understanding in Conflict, joins The Other Chair to talk about the nuance of understanding-based matrimonial or divorce mediation and the human challenges faced by the mediator and parties that may be unique to other forms of conflict.



Join the Center for Understanding in Conflict for a comprehensive 16-hour Advanced Matrimonial Mediation Training which will:

  • Teach participants relevant New York State matrimonial and family law.
  • Teach advanced skills helpful to mediate divorces and family cases effectively rooted in the understanding-based model.
  • Qualify as an advanced mediation course approved under Part 146.4(b)(2) of the Rules of the Chief Administrative Judge of New York State.
  • Provide 16 hours of NYS CLE credits.
  • Be combined with the 24-hour Basic Mediation Training Course to receive a 40-hour completion certificate.
Learn More

Our flagship experiential certificate training program centered around the Understanding-Based Model. 

Realistic simulations, in which participants work through mediations from beginning to end, with coaching from our teachers, offer participants the chance to hone their skills and experience the emotional challenges faced by parties in dispute. Participants describe these different learning modes and their interplay as enjoyable, engaging, and rewarding.

East Coast

April 25 - 27, 2024

May 29 & 30, June 5 & 6


June 20 & 21, 26 - 28, 2024

West Coast

November 6 - 10, 2024

View Our Full Events Calendar

Have you have taken a conflict resolution training and want to add consensual dispute resolution to your existing work or start a new practice, what next? This three-part series will help you explore your motivations, professional goals, opportunities and challenges.

This annual series is an interactive process with exercises and briefings on practical aspects of starting and/or incorporating ADR into a practice or your work and bringing people in the door. You will leave with a concrete action plan to develop the next phase of your work.

Learn More


Embarking on a career transition bringing together parties in conflict can be a formidable journey, often fraught with uncertainties and questions. Whether you’re contemplating a switch due to dissatisfaction, seeking new challenges, or aiming for personal growth, this webinar provides invaluable insights and guidance.

Join Catherine Conner and Melanie Rowen on Monday, May 13th, for tips that will help demystify the transition process while delving into crucial questions such as where to begin, what factors to consider before making a leap, and which skills and experiences are instrumental in navigating this transformative journey.




September 03 - 06, 2024

Self-Reflection Seminar with Gary Friedman and Norman Fisher (FRANCE)

Interstices Mediation and the Everyday Zen Foundation

Tufts European University Center, Talloires, France

Support the Center with a CUC Connect Membership and enjoy interactive monthly webinars, over 50 program recordings, and professional support!

The Center for Understanding in Conflict, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Learn how to support our efforts to bring together parties in conflict.

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