The Basics of Mediation

Training Overview | Lead Trainers | Payments, Cancellations & Refund Policy | Dispute Resolution Process | MCLE | Scholarships | Questions?

“Your training was so wonderful! For instance, when we learned and practiced active listening, we used real life scenarios from previous mediations. The trainers demonstrated the techniques and we were able to practice them until we got them right. I valued having the instructors coming around to each role play group to coach us.” – Stefan R., LCSW

Here are what others have said about Basics: Participant Testimonials

The Basics of Mediation: 2020 Trainings

WINTER: March 5-8, Thursday-Sunday | 9:30 am – 6:00 pm
CB Member: Early Bird – $720 | Late: After February 6, 6pm PST – $770
Public: Early Bird – $795 | Late: After February 6, 6pm PST – $845

Register here Become a CB Member

SUMMER: June 4-7, Thursday-Sunday | 9:30 am – 6:00 pm
CB Member: Early Bird – $720 | Late: After May 7, 6pm PST – $770
Public: Early Bird – $795 | Late: After May 7, 6pm PST – $845

Register here Become a CB Member

FALL: October 1-4, Thursday-Sunday | 9:30 am – 6:00 pm
CB Member: Early Bird – $720 | Late: After September 3, 6pm PST – $770
Public: Early Bird – $795 | Late: After September 3, 6pm PST – $845

Register here Become a CB Member

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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, ombuds, social workers, community organizers, and others interested in learning conflict resolution and mediation skills.

Basics has set the “gold standard” for Northern California’s mediation trainings: comprehensive, professional, practical, topical, and affordable.

Basics introduces and reinforces the skills critical for effective conflict resolution: clear communication, problem-solving, constructive engagement, mediation, and managing negotiations. Participants receive a training curriculum and supplemental handouts, attend lectures and presentations, work together in large and small groups, and discover and refine their personal techniques through a variety of coached role-play practices.

Basics is a 40-hour training held over four days, plus assigned learning modules. It is also a prerequisite for those interested in joining the volunteer Community Mediator pool for our Neighborhood Mediation Program.

Basics meets the minimum requirements for almost all California court mediation programs.  Participants receive certificates upon completion.

Attendees gain the knowledge, skills, techniques, and strategies needed to handle a broad range of disputes. Basics training topics include:

    • Employing effective communication and active listening
    • Balancing power
    • Managing a negotiation
    • Addressing diversity and gender issues
    • Dealing with strong emotions
    • Breaking impasse
    • De-escalating anger
    • Drafting agreements that work

Basics provides these additional professional benefits:Basics_Mediation_Small_Group_1

    • Gaining recognition to enhance your credibility and professional standing with the people that you serve
    • Investing in your career and demonstrating your professional experience and skills
    • Showing commitment and dedication to your own profession
    • Distinguishing yourself by joining a committed community of progressive professionals


  • Mar 5: 801 2nd Street, International Longshore and Warehouse Union Hall
  • Mar 6: 1390 Mission Street, 10th & Mission Family Housing
  • Mar 7: 601 Van Ness Avenue, Opera Plaza, Mezzaine
  • Mar 8: 1390 Mission Street, 10th & Mission Family Housing

Your Trainers

Donald Proby, Lead Trainer
Donald, currently a doctoral scholar in educational leadership with an emphasis on cross cultural conflict transformation, has been a mediator, restorative justice practitioner, and conflict resolution trainer for over 35 years. He has worked in government, social services, nonprofit leadership, and public and holistic health arenas.

Donald also works with multiple Bay Area organizations to advance peace and community building. Donald has been co-leading our Basics of Mediation training since 2011. His approach to adult education involves holding space where learners are encouraged to engage with their natural curiosity, explore, experiment, and master the content through transformative embodied experiences. Donald works to create an environment where risk taking is encouraged and the collective experience is engaging.


As ADR Programs Director, Karen draws on years of experience working for a national labor union. In a career transition, Karen focused on mediation to expand her legal and organizational skills. Since 2014, Karen has worked as a volunteer Community Mediator, Conflict Coach, and Facilitator. She was raised in San Francisco and giving back to the community is part of her family heritage.


30 MCLE Credits:  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 to make MCLE payment.

Payments, Cancellations and Refund Policy

Registration Costs

      • 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 H. 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: 2020 Basics of Mediation Registration Form.

Stretch Payments

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

> Cancellation & Refund Policy
> Dispute Resolution Process


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.

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

Scholarship Application Deadlines

  • Winter 2020: February 7, 6:00 pm PST
  • Summer 2020: May 1, 6:00 pm PST
  • Fall 2020: September 6, 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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