Marvin Johnson is a nationally recognized mediator, arbitrator and trainer with over 27 years of dispute resolution experience. He is the Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution and previously was Associate Professor at Bowie State University. Mr. Johnson received his Doctorate of Jurisprudence from Catholic University. He has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from Kent State University and a Master of Science Degree in Industrial Relations from the University of Wisconsin. Mr. Johnson has worked for the Department of Labor, the Federal Labor Relations Authority, the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, the National Treasury Employees Union, the National Football League Players' Association, and the National Academy of Conciliators. As a consultant, Mr. Johnson serves as a mediator, an arbitrator, a fact-finder, and a facilitator in hundreds of public and private disputes. He provides dispute resolution training and lectures extensively on the subject of conflict management.
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Interview with Marvin Johnson
This is the complete interview by Robert Benjamin with Marvin Johnson, a national leader in the field of dispute resolution generally and on issues of elevating diversity in the ADR field, filmed as part of Mediate.com's 'Views from the Eye of the Storm' Video Series.
The Integrity of ADR Processes and the Risks of Blurred Boundaries
Historically, the three main dispute resolution methods used in the United States have been violence, avoidance, and litigation. Today, there are a variety of additional processes that can be used to foster the resolution of disputes. Many of these processes began gaining popularity in the early 1970s as a result of frustration with the varied human and financial costs associated with litigation.
ADR Techniques and Procedures Flowing Through Porous Boundaries: Flooding the ADR Landscape and Confusing the Public
A growing trend in ADR is the blurring of boundaries between various ADR processes. This blurring of boundaries raises crucial issues to the further development of the field - newly published January 27, 2012 edition.
Marvin Johnson: Relative Lack of Minorities in Field - Video
Marvin Johnson speaks to why he believes there is a lack of people of color in the mediation profession. He claims much of it has to do with organizations not being welcoming.
Marvin Johnson: Increasing Awareness of Unaddressed Race/Ethnic Issues in Field - Video
Marvin Johnson describes what he has tried to do to increase awareness about race and minorities in the field: hold workshops, talk about his experiences, and write about it.
Marvin Johnson: When a Moment of Genius Struck - Video
Marvin Johnson talks about a specific case he was asked to mediate - he was able to settle when others felt it was an impossibility. From the outcome, he felt a "moment of genius".
Marvin Johnson: Passionate About Mediating - Video
Marvin Johnson describes why he is passionate about his work as a mediator. Compares the feeling of helping people to resolve their disputes to a drug high.
Marvin Johnson: Advice to Aspiring Mediators - Video
Marvin Johnson provides advice he would give to those wanting to come into the field: one must like people, have flexibility and patience, timing and intuition.
Marvin Johnson: Defining/Labeling Mediation as Concern - Video
Marvin Johnson discusses his frustration with the field developing rigid definitions and standards of mediation. He believes this has come from other professions influencing mediation.
Marvin Johnson: Self Critique: Improving Questioning Technique - Video
Marvin Johnson describes what he could specifically work on as a mediator - asking questions in a particular way, with neutral wording and correct timing. Although he teaches questioning technique, he feels he could still improve his.
Marvin Johnson: Building Bridges Influences Career Choice - Video
Marvin Johnson speaks of his earlier years before he practiced mediation professionally. He recognizes that he had a tendency to bring people together which contributed to his current career choice as mediator/educator.
Diversity Resistance (Part III)
Although the outcomes that derive from encounters are not always positive, Diversity Resistance, as defined herein, is not about “bad people.” It is about the unconscious behavior of well-meaning individuals who, without provocation, would not intentionally harm another human being. If their actions/behavior inadvertently harmed or injured someone, most would apologize and, thereafter, pay closer attention to their actions/behavior under the same or similar circumstances.
Diversity Resistance (Part II)
Like the proverbial elephant in the room, Diversity Resistance can be in our face yet difficult to see. Lurking in the shadows of our existence, it is part of the blind spot that forms the barrier between the cognitive understanding and the actual acceptance of diversity.
Over the years, some have wondered why developing and implementing a diversity program was so challenging. Many have attributed part of the difficulty to the natural resistance to change (e.g. uncertainty, discomfort, loss of control). Notwithstanding those who outright oppose the concept of diversity, the difference between understanding the concept and accepting the implementation of diversity initiatives is a barrier that has to be surmounted.