News & Events

GMU & NAFCM Offer Graduate Certificate in Contemporary Dispute Resolution

The Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University is working with the National Association for Community Mediation (NAFCM) to co-create the Graduate Certificate in Contemporary Dispute Resolution, and they are offering a discount to NAFCM members (see below for more details).  The certificate is intended to enhance the mediator’s skills at initiating, educating, and facilitating processes that address conflict collaboratively, revealing opportunities to effect positive systems change. The system may be the family, the workplace, the neighborhood, institutions such as local government, public safety, education, or any setting where two or people connect.

The Graduate Certificate in Contemporary Dispute Resolution will provide space to explore the nexus between larger social structures that currently facilitate economic and racial inequalities, unequal access to justice and educational systems and our work as community mediators. This will be a time to sharpen your skills, within a small group setting, for:

  • analyzing the factors underlying disputes,
  • recognizing power differentials among disputants,
  • applying appropriate processes that will assist those in dispute to create choices that may revolutionize their conflict, and,
  • using mediation, negotiation, coaching and facilitation to assist people.

To strengthen their work, The Carter School is offering the certificate to NAFCM members at a reduced rate.  While NAFCM has four levels of membership (institutional, program, associate, student), to receive this benefit you must be a program member or associated with the community mediation center and volunteering at least 70 hours a year at the center.  Out-of-state NAFCM program members will save a minimum of $3,000 from the current standard on-line cost. NAFCM program members who are residents of Virginia will save a minimum of $1,700 from the current standard on-line instate cost.  Your estimated total credit hour tuition cost will range between $7,150 (if you already have your mediation certification) to $8,250 (if you need to obtain your mediation certification)!   The application fee will be refunded on the first semester’s tuition bill. 

You can learn more about the certificate program here: Certificate Program   
You can verify your NAFCM membership here:  NAFCM Verification

You can learn more about a NAFCM Program Membership for community mediation centers here ($200/year): Member Categories & Benefits - National Association for Community Mediation (

Please be aware that only up to 15 applicants will be accepted into this certificate program, and the deadline for Fall 2021 is May 15, 2021 (this Saturday!). So, if this is of interest to you, don’t hesitate!

George Mason logoNAFCM logo

2021 Fall Conference Call for Presentations

The Virginia Mediation Network is hosting the Annual Fall Training Conference September 20-October 1, 2021. The conference will be entirely virtual, and our theme this year is “Building Bridges” between people and communities.  

VMN is seeking proposals for 1-1.5 hour workshop presentations that would be of interest to conference participants.  Speakers will be offered a $50 discount on conference registration fees or a $50 honorarium.  Workshops on implementing Conflict Resolution in both Public and Private sectors are of special interest, however, all conference presentation ideas are welcome for review. To assist in thinking about topic areas, past participants have identified the following areas of interest:

Possible Session Ideas:

  • Navigating cultural, political, and worldview differences in mediation;
  • Intersection of social justice and conflict resolution tools;
  • Mediation techniques; 
  • Facilitating heated discussions involving difficult subjects
  • Conflict Coaching;
  • Careers in conflict resolution (beyond mediation and law);
  • Opportunities for conflict management and resolution; 
  • Mentoring;
  • Marketing and branding;
  • Technology and mediating online; 
  • Ethics in conflict resolution practice (must be 2 hours)
  • Effects of COVID-19 on laws;
  • Family mediation, including domestic violence screening, child support, and visitation’
  • Ombuds in organizations;
  • Arbitration demystified;
  • Raising the Bar-Advanced Mediation Certification-MC3.

Presenter proposals are being accepted until July 15, 2021.  However, we encourage you to apply as soon as possible so we can confirm continuing education credits for marketing purposes.  

The “2021 Call for Presentations Checklist” can be downloaded here: Newsletters & Downloads (  Please complete and return this form along with all requested documentation.  All forms are required when submitting the program proposal, as these materials are needed for the continuing education application process.

All materials should be submitted to Christy Brimmer, VMN Administrator, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or mailed to the address below.  Please scan in a signature copy of your CME application if submitted by email.   

VMN, P.O. Box 29007, Henrico, VA 23242

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Christy at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (804) 316-5271.

Call for Presentations for 2021 Fall Virtual Conference

We are now accepting presentation proposals for this year's fall virtual conference (Sept. 20-Oct. 1, 2021).  Our theme is "Building Bridges."  Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

 call for presentations

Save the Date for VMN's Fall Virtual Conference

We are proud to announce our 2021 Annual Conference scheduled to be held virtually between Sept. 20 and Oct. 1. Our theme this year is, "Building Bridges."  VMN welcomes all ADR and allied professionals to its membership, webinars and and conference. More information will be posted soon regarding submitting proposals for presentations and, later, to register to attend.

 FINAL 2021 Fall Conference Save the Date

MC3 Expands its reach in Agreement with VMN

Mediator Certification effort extends to East Coast with new alliance


LOS MC3 RecognizedProvider forWebsitessANGELES, Calif. (November 17, 2020) – MC3, the Gold Standard for Mediator Certification, and the Virginia Mediation Network (VMN) have entered into an agreement whereby MC3 and the VMN have agreed to work cooperatively in support of the MC3 Certification Standards.  The agreement further establishes the VMN as an Allied Organization of MC3, encouraging VMN members to apply for MC3 Mediator Certification, a benchmark for mediator training, education, practical experience and continuing professional activity and development.  Mediators in California, Oregon, Utah and Virginia have qualified to be MC3-Certified Mediators in the eleven months since MC3 first launched.

The agreement, announced jointly by Dr. Jack R. Goetz, President of MC3 and by Dr. Pam Struss, President of VMN, was shared as a statement of mutual support.  MC3 and VMN will reciprocally link their respective websites.  Additionally, MC3 has further agreed to provide a rebate a portion of the cost of initial certification to VMN members.  Finally, as an Allied Organization of MC3, VMN recently invited MC3 principals to present and discuss mediation, professional standards, ethics and other topics related to the practice of mediation at the annual VMN Fall Conference, which took place in late September. The agreement also designates VMN as an Education Provider to offer virtual webinars that meet CME/CLE requirements. 

“MC3’s ability to act as a neutral in certifying mediators on standards and values held universally in our field made a difference for us,” said Pam Struss, in support of the newly announced agreement.  “The other certifications we researched primarily ensued from the completion of education offered by the certifying organization, whereas MC3’s own bylaws prevent them from offering educational programs.  From education and training to practical mediation experience, to continuing professional development, the MC3 Certification is a model that we believe can benefit our Virginia mediation community as well as our field as a whole.”

Jack R. Goetz, MC3 President, added, “MC3 is an effort to more firmly establish mediation as a profession; A profession guided by rigorous professional and ethical standards and committed to upholding those standards for all of the work we do and the communities we serve.  We are very appreciative that VMN has agreed to support that standard and look forward to welcoming qualified VMN members to our expanding directory of MC3-Certified Mediators.”  

About MC3

MC3 is nonprofit organized to ensure user and public confidence in the mediation process by setting standards for mediator training, education, and ethics and by maintaining those standards through its certification program. MC3 has set a higher standard of review than other credentialing agencies in mediator education including an ongoing requirement for continuing education as well as a requirement that MC3-Certified Mediators have a basic understanding and familiarity with legal/litigation terminology and California courtroom procedures as well as understanding of the ethics that guide mediation practice and policy. All MC3-Certified Mediators complete employment background checks and have agreed to a Quality Assurance program that provides disputants with an opportunity to address any ethical concerns that may have arisen during the course of a mediation.  To learn more about MC3, visit the MC3 website at:

About VMN

The Virginia Mediation Network (VMN) is a multicultural organization whose mission is to promote public understanding of conflict resolution services and provide its members with interdisciplinary knowledge and skills and a community to enhance their professional success.  The VMN envisions a Commonwealth where people choose peaceful ways to resolve conflict assisted by conflict resolution professionals who practice strong ethical values and deliver the highest quality services.  To learn more about the VMN, visit the VMN website at: