What is the Western Justice Center Peer Mediation Invitational?
The Western Justice Center Peer Mediation Invitational is an annual event hosted by Western Justice Center (WJC) and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The Invitational is designed for peer mediators throughout Los Angeles County in elementary, middle and high schools.
With the support of our conflict resolution education partner organizations - Asian Pacific American Dispute Resolution Center, Center for Civic Mediation, and Centinela Youth Services - over 100 students from more than 20 schools participate each year, along with program advisors and volunteer mediation coaches. The Invitational features presentations from high-ranking judges at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and mock mediations (role-plays) with coaching from some of the best experts in the field, including professional mediators.
In the role-plays, students take turns as mediators and disputing parties. Students have the opportunity to:
- Learn skills and demonstrate their strengths as peer mediators;
- Receive feedback and encouragement from coaches;
- Receive recognition for their skills and contributions to their campuses.
Feedback on the Invitational
- “The best thing I like about the Invitational is meeting new people and learning different techniques in solving problems based on their experience.”
- “It was a great experience having someone show you and guide you in a professional mediation."
- “I loved everything about the invitation, from the theater activity, to our session with our coach. Most of all I love the fact that we got to use our skills as mediators and the feedback given to us"
- “I liked the coach and the mock mediation. I really enjoyed being able to get my questions answered.”
- “Absolutely, 100%, positively GREAT. It created buy-in from the kids.”
- “It was excellent. It gave the students a practical experience of how mediation should or should not go.”
- " My studentshave the opportunity to learn from other student mediators. They get fresh ideas and a new focused approach for our school."
"It continually gives the students practice and the professional coaches show them how the skill becomes a career."
Sponsors and Donors
The Western Justice Center Invitational is provided at no cost to participants. The financial support of donors allows at least 100 students to participate every year. WJC needs your help to raise enough funds to produce other Invitationals throughout the region, allowing additional students to experience the benefits.
Each year, WJC recruits volunteers to serve as coaches for students’ mediation sessions. These volunteer coaches provide feedback and encouragement to student mediators during their role-plays. Please help by volunteering.