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Empowering Our Community Through Mediation

Community Collaboration

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The Straus Institute has a longstanding history of collaborating with local organizations and global entities to devise creative solutions to complex problems, educate individuals and groups on dispute resolution principles, and promote peace and justice by facilitating meaningful conversations. We invite you to read more below about our various collaborative efforts and community-based partners.

Shaping the Dialogue on Policing

This summer's movement for racial justice has led to a national conversation on the use of force and related police policies and procedures. At Straus, we believe that a critical need for intervention exists, one that allows community members of color to feel safe and providing police with renewed strategies, information, and support on issues of racial inequity and bias. 

Professors Singh and Blondell have facilitated multiple community dialogues on policing that empower individuals to share their experience in the presence of police. These conversations have led to an increased understanding in particular geographic areas. While much remains to discuss--especially in the wake of national protests following the death of George Floyd--these dialogues open the door for healing and build a path forward.

Additionally, in a generous grant by the Open Society Foundation, Pepperdine Caruso School of Law collaborated with the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles Police Officer Women's Association to provide conflict management training to sworn and civilian police employees. 

LAPD Training 

On January 29-30, 2020, the Straus Institute trained a cohort of 50 Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) personnel, including officers and civilian staff, in workplace conflict resolution skills and practices. Read More

Providing Mediation Services for COVID-Related Community Disputes

This fall, COVID-related rent moratoriums implemented by Los Angeles County are anticipated to come to an end, and this will likely lead to some disputes between residential and commercial tenants and landlords.

In an innovative partnership with the City of Santa Monica, the Straus Institute will educate local individuals and businesses on the mediation process and offer to mediate disputes for residential and commercial tenants and landlords. Our students, through the Mediation Clinic or a supervised externship, as well as our alumni and faculty will serve as mediators to resolve these conflicts and serve our community. We invite you to read more about this creative collaboration.

Reimagining Peace through the Lens of Civil Rights

In spring 2020, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti appointed Pepperdine Caruso distinguished alumna Capri Maddox to lead the city's new Department of Civil and Human Rights. We are working closely with Ms. Maddox and her team to explore how mediation and dispute resolution strategies may help our city advance peace and justice.

More about Capri Maddox (JD '01) and LA's Department of Civil and Human Rights