The Western Justice Center (WJC), in partnership with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, is holding its 16th Annual Peer Mediation Invitational (PMI) on Tuesday, February 26 and Wednesday, February 27, 2019, from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm each day.
Elementary, middle and high school students in peer mediation programs from around LA County will gather to celebrate the power of mediation, learn new skills and participate in mock mediation sessions coached by professional mediators, attorneys and judges.
With funding from Judicate West Foundation students will attend PMI from as far away as Huntington Park, Crenshaw and Pacific Palisades and from as nearby as Pasadena and San Gabriel. Food will be provided by Cutting Edge Catering and El Pollo Loco.
“We expect more than 200 people to attend PMI this year, including peer mediation students, their faculty advisors and our PMI coaches and trainers,” said WJC Executive Director Elissa Barrett.
“For the students, it’s a chance to meet peers from around the region and to get positive reinforcement for their efforts to create safer, more inclusive schools,” continued Barrett. “For the coaches, it is a chance to pass on what they have learned to a new generation.”
WJC’s mission is to build a more just and peaceful civil society where differences are valued. Peer mediation programs further that mission by helping students develop their capacity to empathize with others as well as their ability to communicate and negotiate.
PMI combines conflict resolution skill-building, live theater and real-time coaching to create a learning laboratory for peer mediators and their advisors.
PMI incorporates students from WJC’s Encompass Service Learning Class at the LA County High School of the Arts (LACHSA).
The LACHSA students design conflict scenarios based on their experiences at school and play disputants in the mock mediation sessions.
Peer mediation programs increase self-esteem, self-respect and self-discipline, empower students to express differing points of view and challenge them to find mutually acceptable solutions.
Peer mediation is also widely credited with reducing disruptive and violent behavior along with parallel reductions in disciplinary referrals and suspensions. Suspensions are a top predictor of dropout rates and contribute to the achievement gap between students of different backgrounds.
Students of color and disabled students are disproportionately represented among students disciplined or suspended. Peer mediation is therefore a critical intervention in support of greater justice, equity and opportunity.
To attend PMI 2019, contact Teresa Wang at email@example.com or call 626-584-7494 ext. 104.