The Basics of Mediation

Training Overview | TrainersMCLE | Cancellation & Refund Policy | Financial Assistance | Questions?

2021 Training Dates

FALL 2021

October: The Basics of Mediation

Trainers: Donald Proby & Karen H. Lipney
Dates and Times

  • Oct 7, Thu, 5-7pm PDT
  • Oct 9-10, Sat & Sun, 9:30am – 6pm PDT
  • Oct 16-17, Sat & Sun, 9:30am – 6pm PDT
  • Oct 23, Sat, 9:30am – 6pm PDT

CB Member, Early Bird – $720 | Full – $770 (After Sep 21, 6pm PDT)
Public, Early Bird – $795 | Full – $845 (After Sep 21, 6pm PDT)
Nonprofit: $545*

Location: Online via Zoom

Register Here Become a CB Member


*Nonprofit Rate: Please email Chelsea Kaplan, Program Director, for more information and to register at, ATTN: Chelsea.

Training Overview

Community Boards’ nationally recognized The Basics of Mediation is a 40-hour training that 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 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

Here are some frequently asked questions: FAQ
Here are what others have said about Basics: Participant Testimonials


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.

Karen Lipney
As Community Boards ADR Programs Director, Karen oversees the day-to-day operations of programs including mediation, conflict coaching, facilitation and training, training and supervising volunteers, as well as maintaining crucial relationships that forward the mission and values of Community Boards. She is a trainer, mediator, facilitator, conflict coach and is a co-trainer of the Basics of Mediation.

Karen draws on years of experience working for a national labor union and before that, as an attorney. In a career transition, Karen focused on mediation to expand her skills and experience. In 2014, Karen began to volunteer her time for Community Boards as a Community Mediator, Conflict Coach, and Facilitator. In 2016 she joined the staff as the Outreach Coordinator. She was raised in San Francisco and giving back to the community is part of her family heritage.


MCLE: This course is approved by the State Bar of California for 40 MCLE credits including 4 credits for the Recognition and Elimination of Bias in the Legal Profession and Society (provider #9323). $75 processing fee required.  Make your MCLE payment here.

Cancellation & Refund Policy

Though it rarely happens, we reserve 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 receive a refund minus the appropriate cancellation fee described below.

Cancellation & Transfer Fees

  • Cancellations 11 or more business days before the training start date will incur a $50 cancellation fee. This fee will be waived one time if registration is applied to a future training.
  • Cancellations 6-10 business days before the training start date will incur a $150 cancellation fee. $100 of this fee will be waived one time if registration is applied to a future training.
  • Cancellations 5 or fewer business days before the training start date will incur HALF THE ENROLLMENT FEE. $100 of this fee will be waived one time if registration is applied to a future training.

Financial Assistance Application

Community Boards is committed to ensuring accessibility to all our trainings and workshops. Awards of financial aid are needs based. Our primary goals are to provide financial assistance and to maintain diversity in our pool of volunteer Community Mediators.

All information in the application is confidential. Please note that applicants may be requested to provide additional information.

Submit your online application: Financial Assistance Application Form.

Deadlines: Completed applications must be submitted no later than four weeks prior to the selected training date.

  • Fall 2021: Sep 21, 6pm PDT

Be sure to join our email list for future updates on The Basics of Mediation and other training opportunities.

Connect with Us


Chelsea Kaplan, Program Director
Email:, ATTN: Chelsea