Considering Cultural Issues in Mediation

Pre-requisite: Mediation Skills and Process

This workshop explores culture as an important variable in mediation. Awareness of cultural factors is critical to understand and address conflict in order to avoid unintentional bias. Participants will learn techniques to address various cultural issues in mediation. This workshop includes exercises, theory, and practical strategies. The instructors have extensive experience with conflict in multicultural settings.


Course Agenda

Definitions of culture

  • What culture is not
  • Stereotypes

High and low context cultures

Mediation model – people, process and problem

Relational empathy

Cycle of reflection


Case scenarios

Interactive role-play simulation


About the Instructors

Alma Jadallah, PhD

Dr. Abdul Hadi Jadallah is President and Managing Director of Kommon Denominator, Inc. She advised and worked on strategic projects related to conflict prevention and mitigation, training and education, and capacity building on the national and international levels. She designs and delivers highly successful small and large-scale interventions in corporate, community and international settings. She is a skilled facilitator and is a Virginia Court Certified mediator. She participates in numerous global conferences on Conflict Resolution and International Women’s Leadership Development and has been a speaker and participant at various forums including: U.S. Institute of Peace, Harvard University, U.S. State Department, Association for Conflict Resolution, and Jordan’s Securities Exchange Commission. Dr. Abdul-Hadi Jadallah earned her Ph.D. from the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University. She is currently part-time faculty at the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, affiliate faculty at the Women’s Center at George Mason University, and Visiting Scholar at the Center for Global Peace at American University.

Julia Morelli, MA

Julia Morelli has over fifteen years of experience as a mediator, facilitator, manager and consultant. She is the Director of Operations for the George Mason University (GMU) Instructional Foundation and President of Holistic Solutions, Inc. Her practice includes mediation and facilitation, organizational assessment and development, strategic planning; and training related to conflict management, the use of technology in dispute resolution, diversity and cultural issues, and communication. Julia provides the GMU community with conflict management training, workplace coaching and group facilitation; and serves as mediator for individual and group mediations for state agencies through the Virginia Department of Employment Dispute Resolution. Her private practice includes work with government, private and non-profit organizations. She received an M.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on Organizational Conflict and Diversity Management. She has also received a Professional Certificate in Human Resource Management.