Conflict Resolution Clinics

Community Boards’ Conflict Resolution Clinics are intensive, two-hour workshops designed for both new and experienced conflict resolution practitioners, adr professionals, and other interested individuals. Led by seasoned professionals, these clinics cover an exciting variety of topics and unique conflict resolution practices.

Upcoming Conflict Resolution Clinics


Cultural Appropriation & Appreciation

Trainer: Dr. Ashmi Desai
December 14, Wednesday
Times: 5:30-7:30pm, PST

Cost: CB Member, $25 | Public, $45
ocation: Live Interactive Workshop on Zoom
MCLE: 2 credits (see below)
After registering, participants will receive the Zoom information in the transaction confirmation email.

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Join Dr. Ashmi Desai, Assistant Professor, Conflict Management and Public Dialogue, at San Francisco State University to learn and unlearn ways to respectfully engage across difference.

Dr. Desai will guide participants in a conversation about real-life examples related to cultural appropriation and appreciation that are not easily answered. Leave with a set of tools to help navigate these issues in life and work.

In her mediation clinic, Dr. Desai’s key topics will include:

  • An introduction of the continuum of cultural appreciation and appropriation.
  • Learning intent vs impact when it comes to appropriating and/or appreciating cultural practices and relationships to power.
  • Practicing self- reflection and empathy, instead of shame, blame or fact-finding exercises about cultural symbols and acts.


Dr. Ashmi Desai
Ashmi Desai (she/her), Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor at San Francisco State University Department of Communication Studies, and also directs the Conflict Resolution Certificate Program there. Dr. Desai completed her Ph.D. in Communication from University of Colorado Boulder and her MA in Development Communication from India.

Dr. Desai is certified to facilitate dialogue from Essential Partners and Intercultural Development Institute. As a South Asian, she foregrounds matters of power, identity, cultural (mis)understandings and marginalization in all her research, teaching, and community engagement work. Ashmi recently co-edited a book titled, “Global Perspectives on Dialogue in the Classroom: Cultivating Inclusive, Intersectional, and Authentic Conversations,” published by Palgrave MacMillan.

Dr. Desai’s forthcoming publications include articles on research with international students, media representations of violence, and dialogic pedagogy. By centering community cultural wealth, and dialogic approach in conversations, she aims to cultivate critical and transformative connections across divides. Learn more about Dr. Desai here.


This course is approved by the State Bar of California for 2 MCLE credits for the Recognition and Elimination of Bias in the Legal Profession and Society (provider #9323). $25 processing fee required.


Creating Conversations During Conflict

Trainers: Caitlin Meredith & Hansa Patel
January 18, Wednesday
Times: 5:30-7:30pm, PST

Cost: CB Member, $25 | Public, $45
ocation: Live Interactive Workshop on Zoom
After registering, participants will receive the Zoom information in the transaction confirmation email.

Register Become a CB Member

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No one understands me!

This is a familiar feeling to anyone in conflict. We’re often reacting to misunderstandings, poor communication, and previous experiences. Not feeling understood builds walls between them ourselves and those we’re in conflict with. As conflict resolution professionals, we enter into this dynamic between the disputing parties, hoping to help. Sometimes, it’s hard to know how to communicate in a new way to shift the conversation from what happened to what’s next.

Based on Gary Friedman’s Understanding-Based Model, Hansa Patel and Caitlin Meredith’s interactive workshop will introduce techniques that help break through parties’ fight-and-flight responses to communicate more effectively with them. These techniques can help turn down the heat in difficult conversations to allow parties to better understand themselves and their needs, leading to more productive collaboration.

Caitlin and Hansa will also explore how we, as conflict resolution professionals, can navigate the feelings or judgments that naturally arises for us during our own conflict resolution work. (We’re only human like everyone else!) We will explore how awareness of our judgements and implicit bias can lead to better connections with parties and deepen our understanding of the conflict.

Through a combination of discussion, demonstrations, and role plays, you’ll get to experiment with:

  • Learning compassionate and structured listening skills
  • Building understanding between people in conflict
  • Moving gracefully moving through tension
  • Exploring what gets in the way of building connections with clients

In addition, you will be able to:

  • Explore how to identify our own internal biases and judgments that may interfere with connecting with parties.
  • Understand the fundamental concepts of the Understanding-Based Model of conflict resolution and what makes it different from other models.


Hansa Patel
Hansa Patel is an attorney, mediator, and trainer. After advocating on behalf of abused and neglected children for fourteen years, Hansa now empowers parties to transform their relationships. Hansa is a certified mindfulness teacher, and she is certified to teach Gary Friedman’s understanding-based model. Hansa has taught mindful mediation in USA, including the California Judicial Council Family Court Mediators, Canada, and Africa. Learn more about Hansa here.

Caitlin Meredith
After working for thirteen years for Doctors Without Borders in African war zones, Caitlin is passionate about working in the midst of conflict as a mediator and coach. She mediates a wide variety of cases, including landlord-tenant, divorce, and inheritance battles. In addition, Caitlin is certified to teach Gary Friedman’s understanding-based model. She teaches mediation at the Monterey College of Law. Learn more about Caitlin here.

Transfer Fees
If you cancel more than 24 hours before the clinic start time, there is a $7.50 cancellation fee. This fee will be waived one time if registration is transferred to a subsequent clinic that begins within twelve months of the training start date.  No refunds for cancellations 24 hours or less before the clinic start time.


Sarah Moss, Mediation and Training Coordinator