Become a Mediator


Training Overview | Lead Trainers | Payments, Cancellations & Refunds | MCLE | Scholarships | Questions?

“”Today was my first mediation and it was a wonderful experience in every way, shape and form. When the participants thanked me, I shared with them how honored I felt that they had allowed me to share in their process. It truly is a special moment when you witness the transformation.”   Michael H., 2016 Basics Graduate

Here’s what others have said about their training experiences: Participant Testimonials

Upcoming Basics of Mediation Trainings

FALL 2017:  October 14-15 & 21-22
WINTER 2018:  To be scheduled
SUMMER 2018: To be scheduled

Fall 2017 Registration

October 14-15 & 21-22 | 9:30 am – 6:00 pm
CB Member: Early Bird – $720 | Late: After October 2, 6pm PST – $770
Public: Early Bird – $795 | Late: After October 2, 6pm PST – $845

Fall 2017 Registration Become a CB Member


Training Overview

Community Boards’ nationally recognized The Basics of Mediation introduces core conflict resolution skills in a training designed for managers, human resource professionals, attorneys, ombudsmen, social workers, community mediators and others who intervene in disputes as part of their work.

Basics is a 40-hour training, over two consecutive weekends: October 14-15 & 21-22, 9:30 am to 6:00 pm. There are also two additional 2-hour learning modules that will be assigned. 

Participants gain the knowledge, techniques and skills needed to handle a broad range of disputes. This training is required for those wishing to become volunteer Community Mediators for our Neighborhood Mediation Program.   While California has no statewide certification process for mediators, Basics meets the minimum requirements for almost all California court mediation programs.  Upon completion, participants receive certificates of completion.


Basics training topics include:

  • Effective communication and active listening skills
  • Stages of mediated problem solving
  • Balancing power
  • Managing a negotiation
  • Cultural and gender issues in mediation
  • Dealing with strong emotions
  • Breaking impasse
  • De-escalating anger
  • Drafting agreements that work

Our Trainers

Basics_of_MediationSIOBHAN CASSIDY: Siobhan is passionate about conflict resolution and believes the intention to connect across difference is the foundation on which all relationships are built. She works as a mediator, trainer, and educator and is the Program Coordinator for San Francisco Zen Center. Siobhan lived at Zen Center from 2000-2008, studying Zen Buddhism. In addition, Siobhan volunteers as a mediator for Community Boards and SEEDS Community Resolution Center in Berkeley.

DONALD PROBY: Donald is a social justice advocate and circle keeper. He has been a mediator and trainer for over 20 years with a long history working in the areas of city/county government, social services, public health education, and holistic health. Donald works with multiple Bay Area organizations for the advancement of peace and community building. He views public service as an important element of individual wellness and community development.  As a dedicated mediation and diversity/inclusion trainer, he is currently a doctoral student in the field of educational leadership and avidly works to support restorative and eco-justice related causes.

PEGGY AHN: Peggy is an attorney-by-trade and worked at NYC corporate law firms, The Legal Aid Society in NY, and at the San Francisco Ethics Commission before becoming a Mediator and Certified Coach. She currently works as a mediator for the San Francisco Bar Association and is passionate about mediating and resolving conflicts — through fostering mutual understanding, generating clarity through effective communication, and creating empathy among parties. Peggy is on the Board of Directors for the Association of Dispute Resolution of Northern California and is a volunteer mediator for Community Boards and at SEEDS Community Resolution Center in Berkeley.


MCLE:  This course is approved by the State Bar of California for 30 MCLE credits including 2 credits for the Recognition and Elimination of Bias in the Legal Profession and Society (provider #9323). $75 processing fee required.

You can pay online here:   Click for CEC payment.

Payments, Cancellations & Refunds

Registration Fees

  • Academic Rate*: $480
  • CB Members: Early registration $720 / Late registration, $770
  • Public: Early registration, $795 / Late registration, $845

*For more information about our academic rate for currently enrolled undergraduate and graduate students, contact Karen Lipney, ADR Programs Director, (415) 920-3820 x109, or email her at  Please include her name in the subject line.

Full payment is required to complete your registration. When your payment is received, you will be sent confirmation by email of your reservation along with additional registration and training information.

Fillable Registration & Payment
Pay by credit card
by completing the fillable registration form and emailing it to with “Basics Registration” in subject line.  Pay by check or purchase order by mailing to address included on form.  (All information is secured and confidential.)  Download fillable form here: 2017 Basics Fillable Registration Form

Stretch Payments

You can make three easy installment payments by prior arrangement with Karen Lipney, ADR Programs Director, (415) 920-3820 x109, or email her at  Please include her name in the subject line.

Cancellation & Refund Policy
Though it rarely happens, Community Boards reserves the right to cancel a training. Should we cancel, registrants will receive a full refund. We also reserve the right to substitute trainers or presenters. All other cancellations will be treated pursuant to the Refunds and Transfer Fees policy described below.
Refunds & Transfer Fees

Once registered, if you cancel 5 or fewer business days before the training start date, there is a $150 cancellation fee. $100 of the cancellation fee will be waived one time if registration is applied to a future training that begins within twelve months of the training start date.


Community Boards primarily awards scholarships to individuals residing and nonprofit organizations based in San Francisco.  The primary goal of our scholarship program is to maintain and expand the diversity of our citywide pool of volunteer Community Mediators.

We review applications individually, evaluating each based on our own current demographic and program needs.  Application questions reflect these needs. All information remains confidential.   Awardees may be requested to provide additional program, outreach and/or public education assistance.  All scholarships are awarded at the sole discretion of Community Boards.

DEADLINE:  Applications must be submitted no later than four weeks prior to training date.  Complete the fillable scholarship form and email it to Karen Lipney at  Please include her name in the subject line.

2017 Scholarship Application Deadlines:

  • Winter: Jan 4, 6:00 pm PST
  • Summer: Jun 15, 6:00 pm PST
  • Fall:  Sep 15, 6:00 pm PST

Download application here: Fillable Basics Scholarship Application Form.


If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact Karen H. Lipney, ADR Programs Director, (415) 920-3820 x109, or email her at  Please include her name in the subject line.

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