Montclair, NJ, October 13, 2023 – In what may be a first in the divorce mediation training field, the New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators is pleased to announce an anti-bias and cultural awareness/sensitivity component has been added to their fall xxxx xx-Hour Family & Divorce Mediation Training Program that starts on Sunday, October 15. This five-day program is being held in person on October 15, and November 12 at the Fairfield Inn in Somerset, New Jersey, and online on October 22, October 29, and November 2, and is approved for applicants to the New Jersey Family Economic Mediation 1:40 court roster. The organization has offered training in family/divorce mediation, and also in civil/business mediation, in the spring and fall of each year since 2005. The focus of both programs is to train professionals from law, finance, accounting, mental, health and other fields to either become full-time mediators, or to add mediation services to their existing practices.
NJAPM’s 40-Hour Family & Divorce Mediation class includes parenting, division of assets and liabilities, child and spousal support, taxes, and all other issues clients need to address for an uncontested separation or divorce. The lead instructor for the class, Anju Jessani, indicated that since New Jersey serves as a gateway to the United States for many immigrants, and draws a sophisticated and diverse client base due to New Jersey’s location between two major North American cities, mediators need to have a cultural perspective beyond their own experiences. Further, while the parenting section of the course previously addressed the important issue of a mediator’s self-awareness of their own biases so as not to impose them upon their clients, there was a need to extend that conversation to making all clients more comfortable throughout the process. The addition of an anti-bias and cultural competency/sensitivity component to the 40-hour training class is part of the ongoing creative efforts and platform by NJAPM to support the cause of educating new and experienced mediators alike on this subject.
Lawrence Jones, chair of the NJAPM Diversity, Inclusion, and Cultural Competency Committee, developed the new component that includes “10 Basic Principles of Cultural Competency” (co-authored with Joni Jones), along with classroom hypotheticals for the program. According to Jones, “We live in a diverse, heterogenous society, and the issues presented are of great social relevance. Throughout the country, intermediaries consistently help people from different backgrounds, address, and resolve challenging issues in a mutually peaceful and constructive fashion. This new component in our training is designed to help produce well-rounded mediators.”
In addition to Jones, the NJAPM Diversity, Inclusion, and Cultural Competency Committee includes Margarita Echevarria, Felicia Farber, Anju Jessani, Joni Jones, Ken Neumann, Tamika Pollins, and Marvin Schuldiner. The Committee has previously launched several educational programs on this subject matter including presentations with Rutgers’ Law School, Kean University, and the Maryland Judiciary’s Court of Special Appeals.
NJAPM President Suzanne English states that training is an essential component of NJAPM’s mission, and the organization is pleased that NJAPM is pioneer in the mediation training field with this new component. She stated that “just as we adapted to COVID in 2020 with our online training format, we seek to make all our trainings relevant to our changing times. It is of utmost important that mediators not only have the knowledge and skills to mediate, but that they also they bring respect and understanding to their clients.”
For more information about NJAPM divorce mediation training programs, please contact Anju Jessani at [email protected] and xxx-xxx-xxxx. For more information about NJAPM, please contact Suzanne English at [email protected] and xxx-xxx-xxxx
About New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators With nearly 300 members, NJAPM is the only organization of professional mediators in New Jersey. The mission of NJAPM is to foster excellence in the field of mediation, promote and encourage mediation as the preferred method of dispute resolution, provide mediation education to the public, the government and professionals, train and educate mediators, and protect the public through a standard of conduct for mediators. It also provides accreditation for mediators with substantial experience and advanced mediation training. NJAPM members include attorneys, mental health professionals, accountants, and other professionals who have participated in varying levels of mediation training. For more information, to find a mediator, or to contact the NJAPM, go to their website at www.NJAPM.org.
New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators Anju D. Jessani, MBA, APM xxx-xxx-xxxx www.njapm.org