Our colleagues Christine Kim and Joanne Schaefer are on our teaching team in St. Kitts this week. They, along with Riverdale associates Elizabeth Hyde and Jared Norton are delivering training to 35 community leaders as part of the IMPACT Justice Project.
Exploring Culture in Mediation by Christine Kim
For the last few years, I’ve been exploring this idea of cultural competency in mediation. As a mediator based in Toronto, there is a lot of material to work with as it is a hub of diverse ethnic groups but culture is not just about ethnicity, it’s encompasses much more.
I am presently in beautiful St. Kitt’s teaching as part of the Riverdale Mediation team with Elizabeth Hyde, Jared Norton and Joanne Schaefer. As part of the teaching, we provide case scenarios. One of which involves a neighbor dispute regarding a barking dog. The upset neighbor gave an anonymous note to the dog owner complaining about the barking dog disturbing the sleep of her young children.
The reaction of the St. Kittitians reflects the collectivist values present in society. The shock of how a neighbor would even consider writing a note and in addition, an anonymous note did not make any sense to them as they would expect that they would come to the door and have a conversation with them. They spoke about how they all know their neighbours and had plenty of stories that reflect their relationship. Needless to say, the reaction to the anonymous letter was strong and their response to hold a community meeting to address the issue and restore the trust was a common theme in how to resolve this issue.
The desire of ADR/mediation in this community is aligned with many of the cultural values that are very much embedded in this society. The preservation of relationships and community is a priority. Although we are teaching mediation to the St. Kittitians, we have much to learn from them.
Negotiating the Heat: Day 2 in St. Kitts by Joanne Schaefer
Our mediation training team , Elizabeth Hyde, Christine Kim, Jared Norton and Joanne Schaefer are on Day 2 of our 5-day mediation training course in St. Kitts. After spending yesterday providing a high-level overview of on theories around conflict and negotiation, this morning we discussed the framework of mediation, the mediator’s role and the importance of neutrality and impartiality. We also had a lively exchange about the different skills mediators use to structure the process and empower clients to negotiate effectively.
This afternoon we are going to demo an intake interview and then hand it over to our students to work on a case study. As a group we are also going to work on reframing, re-stating and focusing exercises.
Christine Kim is an experienced family mediator specializing in custody and access issues.With over twenty years experience in the social work field, Christine has worked locally and globally with diverse groups including street youth, seniors, women, and the LGBTQ community.
Joanne Schaefer is a certified professional coach and lawyer dedicated to getting, growing and keeping lawyers in practice. Joanne brings over 20 years experience to coaching law firms, lawyers and students, both as head of professional development and student recruitment and as a former commercial litigation partner.
Elizabeth Hyde is the Principal of Medius Dispute Resolutions, the Executive Director of mediate393 inc. and an associated mediator, arbitrator, and parenting coordinator with Riverdale Mediation Ltd. Elizabeth’s practice is focused on providing effective and informed family mediation involving parenting plans, child and spousal support and property division.
Jared is a registered social worker and an accredited family mediator with the Ontario Association for Family Mediation. Jared has a diverse professional and practice history, and has applied his skills in numerous community and clinical settings, including the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Frontenac Youth Services, and the Distress Centre of Toronto.