Comments: When Should Race, Gender Or Culture Be A Factor When Considering The Mediator?

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Linda Gryczan, Helena MT     03/08/10
Thank you for writing on what could be a sensitive issue for some. Describing how your client relaxed, knowing that she was working with another person of color, says it all. It is a basic fact that people of the majority culture, don't have to understand or know about people who are part of a minority group, while minorities have to understand the ways of the majority. If I were looking for a divorce mediator, as a white lesbian, I would first look for a lesbian or gay mediator, and check out the cultural competency of any straight person I was thinking of hiring. I assume that American Indian (the largest racial minority group in Montana) clients do the same with me, and I do my best to demonstrate understanding and support of Indian cultures in my private, work and public life.

I felt this was an excellent article. I could personally relate when you spoke of the old days when women who had been sexually assaulted were subjected to investigation and examination by a male and often one with very little sense of sensitivity. As I was reading, it occured to me that it might be helpful to those in the mediation field to also consider the culture of individuals of the Deaf community. As someone who has worked in the healthcare field for 30 years I have learned that the hearing impaired have a whole different culture from the hearing community and should be understood and considered when we are working with them as clients.