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Straus Institute Awarded $450,000 Grant by JAMS Foundation in Support of Shared Commitment to Conflict Resolution

The Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law has been awarded a grant of $450,000 by the JAMS Foundation in support of its planned two-year training and engagement program to address the relationship between the Los Angeles community and law enforcement.

The program, which is part of the Institute's "Beyond the Dialogue" initiative, will use dispute resolution techniques to advance understanding and collaboration between the two constituencies, with the goal of restoring relationships and inspiring unity across the city. The program aims to transform the culture of conflict in Los Angeles by honoring the distinct experiences of community members and law enforcement officers, and rebuilding trust through training and shared-experience interventions.

"We see this initiative as a pivotal opportunity to strengthen the relationship between law enforcement and Los Angeles community members. We are grateful to have the support of the JAMS Foundation as we look to provide our community with tools to resolve conflict, share experiences and encourage empathy for one another," said Professor Sukhsimranjit Singh, Judge Danny Weinstein Managing Director for the Straus Institute.

Caruso School of Law Dean Paul Caron stated, "I am delighted that our distinguished faculty, who are global pacesetters in the ADR field, will have the opportunity to promote dialogue and understanding closer to home through this transformative initiative."

A pillar of the program will be shifting the dialogue within each group away from negative perceptions of the other by cultivating understanding, identifying shared interests and facilitating positive engagement that may foster trust. Accordingly, the program will provide community members and police officers with unique conflict resolution skills so that interactions between the groups may begin from a foundation of respect.

"We are proud to support the efforts that the Straus Institute is undertaking in working to resolve long-standing conflicts between law enforcement and community members in Los Angeles," said David Brandon, JAMS Foundation managing director. "We think the program provides an innovative approach that leverages ADR principles to navigate the nuances of Los Angeles' complex history with law enforcement, and we are optimistic that it will prove impactful in rebuilding trust and mitigating conflict."

The nonprofit JAMS Foundation was established in 2002 by JAMS, the largest private provider of alternative dispute resolution services worldwide. The mission of the JAMS Foundation is to provide financial assistance for conflict resolution initiatives with national and international impact and to share its dispute resolution expertise for the benefit of the public interest.