Press and Deason, ‘Mediation: Embedded Assumptions of Whiteness?’

This article attempts to uncover some of the systemic ways in which white supremacy is expressed in the practice of mediation in the United States with the goal of inspiring additional conversations and deeper attention to these issues by scholars and practitioners in the field of dispute resolution. Our methodology is to apply the themes in Layla F Saad’s book, Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change The World, and Become A Good Ancestor (2020). We use the lenses of tone policing, color-blindness, racial stereotyping, anti-blackness, white silence, and white supremacy to reflect on the following aspects of mediation: communication norms, expression of anger, emphasis on the future, the development of narratives, mediator bias, mediator neutrality, embedded assumptions about conflict, who serves as mediators, and the role of self-determination. The article concludes with some suggestions for potential ways to address the issues raised.

Press, Sharon and Deason, Ellen E, Mediation: Embedded Assumptions of Whiteness? (June 17, 2021). 22 Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution (2021), Ohio State Legal Studies Research Paper No 637.

First posted 2021-07-03 09:00:44

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