The Committee on Diversity of the New York State Bar Association’s Dispute Resolution Section encourages, fosters and supports the development of diverse talent and inclusion in all types of alternative dispute resolution, including mediation, arbitration, early neutral evaluation, mini trials, etc. both as neutrals and as representatives of parties in the processes. Diversity of those participating in the dispute resolution process enables the presentation of many views and provides a greater perspective on how and in what way to use dispute resolution to resolve problems, leading to more options and fairer results. Encouraging a diverse and inclusive environment also promotes respect and fosters treating individuals of diverse backgrounds fairly.
“The mere presence of diversity in a group … leads to better group problem solving.” -Better Decisions Through Diversity, Kellogg Insight
The Committee on Diversity will encourage and provide an avenue for all members of our dispute resolution community to participate, provide a vehicle for their voice to be heard and for their views to be taken into consideration. The Committee on Diversity will contact other Committees of the Dispute Resolution Section, as well as other Sections of the New York State Bar Association to encourage potential users of the alternative dispute resolution process to use diverse talent. The Diversity Committee anticipates holding meetings, planning networking and other activities, presenting programs and publishing articles that encourage diversity and inclusion in all areas of the alternative dispute resolution practice, and we will promote diversity in panels and speakers for programs presented by the New York State Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section. We will work with the courts to establish mentoring programs for diverse talent new to the dispute resolution community to gain experience and exposure to the process through shadowing experienced mediators. “A diverse … population helps to broaden the worldview of everyone involved.”
The Diversity Committee, chaired by Noah J. Hanft and Iyana Titus, serves to encourage, foster and support the development of diverse talent and diversity in ADR. To further our goal, we have initiated a program to reach out to, and coordinate with, minority bar associations to have joint programs with them and to encourage their members to use ADR as advocates in their practices and encourage their members to become neutrals.
In this year, during which the Association is focusing especially on diversity, we will be working closely with the Dispute Resolution Section Chair in sponsoring special efforts to encourage diversity. We are also working with the Membership Committee and will be reaching out to other Sections to encourage diversity within our Section.
We welcome suggestions for programs, speakers, networking events and articles on diversity in the ADR profession, including articles discussing diversity efforts of corporations, law firms and other entities. The Committee will assist in getting these articles published in the Dispute Resolution Lawyer, the Section’s magazine.