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Straus Institute Honors Judge Daniel Weinstein with Peacemaker Award

The Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution hosted A Conversation with Judge Daniel Weinstein and presented him with the Peacemaker Award, its highest honor, on January 23, 2020. Nearly 200 students, alumni, faculty, ADR professionals, and distinguished judges and policymakers attended the event, which featured an inspiring discussion with Judge Danny, as he prefers to be addressed.

Pepperdine Caruso Dean Paul Caron offered opening remarks that contextualized the Straus Institute, and dispute resolution more broadly, within the history of the law school. Former U.S. Ambassador David L. Carden then introduced Judge Danny and shared his dear friend's eternal optimism stating, "For Dan Weinstein, it is always morning in the world. He looks ahead, not behind him. And he prefers to see the sun rise in the east, rather than set in the west."

Judge Weinstein received a lengthy standing ovation, and then joined Professors Sukhsimranjit Singh and Thomas J. Stipanowich, along with current Straus student Maria Luisa Mansur on stage. The group's conversation focused on Judge Danny's career, his passion for advancing mediation globally, and what he envisions as the future of dispute resolution. When asked how he may bridge the polarization in political dialogue in the United States, Judge Danny paraphrased the poet Rumi, stating, "Beyond the arena of right and wrong, there is a field. And I will meet you there. Too often [lawyers and disputants] stay in the arena. We have to start getting people into the field."

"Today we celebrate Judge Danny's vision, his courage and conviction, and his generous spirit in advancing the field of dispute resolution. But most of all, through the Peacemaker Award, we honor his leadership in making mediation accessible to far-reaching corners of the world and creating a global network of talented ADR professionals and problem solvers," said Professor Singh.

Judge Danny co-founded JAMS, and in 2008, he launched the Weinstein JAMS International Fellowship Program to provide ADR professionals outside the U.S. an opportunity to learn about and advance ADR practices in their countries and beyond. In 2018, in response to increasing global challenges and conflicts, Judge Danny founded the Weinstein International Foundation to expand this network and enhance the fellows' capacity to mediate disputes in their communities, both locally and across borders.

The Straus Institute has been honored to have as its students several JAMS Weinstein Fellows, including but not limited to, Kennedy Odhiambo, Jody Sin, Blazo Nedic, Ximena Bustamante, and Fernando Navarro-Sanchez, all of whom were present for the event.

The Peacemaker Award presentation followed the engaging discussion. Professor and Associate Dean Thomas J. Stipanowich stated, "Judge Danny, his illustrious career and philanthropic efforts perfectly embody the values of our Pepperdine and Straus community–purpose, service, and leadership. We are honored to present him with the Peacemaker Award today." Judge Danny's family was also in attendance to celebrate this honor.

The award was last presented in 2013 to Archbishop Desmond Tutu.