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Mediator to Discuss Peacemaking


Mediator to Discuss Peacemaking

UCR alumnus Forrest S. Mosten to launch annual lectureship in conflict resolution and peace studies on May 7.

(April 30, 2008)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Forrest S. (Woody) Mosten, an internationally known mediator and advocate of conflict resolution methods to settle disputes, will speak at UC Riverside on Wednesday, May 7, at 5:30 p.m. in the Alumni and Visitors Center, 3701 Canyon Crest Drive.

Mosten will discuss “Conflict and Peacemaking: From Kindergarten to the Middle East” in the first lecture of what will become an annual event, the Forrest S. Mosten Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies Lectureship.

The Los Angeles attorney, who earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from UCR in 1969 and a law degree from UCLA, is donating $5,000 annually to fund the lecture series and student internships with organizations that promote peacebuilding or conflict resolution in an effort to support peace studies at the university, said June O’Connor, professor of religious studies.

“Conflict is a feature of human life and we have to be creative and imaginative in how we resolve disputes,” O’Connor said. “Mr. Mosten sees his funding as a challenge grant that will encourage others to join the effort with donations to enrich and enlarge what we’re able to do. We have a vice chancellor for conflict resolution, and there are courses on nonviolence in the Department of Religious Studies and peace studies in the Department of Political Science. This gives visibility to those efforts.”

Mosten said an internship with the Urban League 40 years ago, arranged by Riverside Mayor Ron Loveridge — an associate professor of political science at UC Riverside — “changed my life forever.”

“The fact that my alma mater is doing this means more to me than I can tell you,” he said. “The Inland Empire does not have enough mediators, and there is tremendous need. Hopefully UCR will be a regional center for conflict resolution and will draw students because of it. Those students will come from diverse backgrounds and life experiences.”

Mosten is the author of “The Complete Guide to Mediation,” “Unbundling Legal Services” and “Mediation Career Guide.” He has been honored for his mediation work by the American Bar Association, the Los Angeles County Bar Association and the Beverly Hills Bar Association

Conflict resolution methods are employed by courts, schools, corporations and policy-makers at every level of government, said Mosten, who trains mediators worldwide.

“People, programs and institutions are working on it at every level in our society to try and deal with the pernicious effect of conflict and violence and come up with peaceful and workable approaches,” he said. “There is a move to have a national peacemaker museum and to create a U.S. department of conflict resolution. There are laws supporting conflict resolution. It’s well overdue, given the problems in the world and the costs of engaging in conflict, both financial and personal.”

Politicians from former Vice President Dan Quayle to Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich of Ohio have advocated the creation of a Cabinet-level department of conflict resolution or peace, Mosten noted.

“Vice President Quayle talked about our economic disadvantage in the world because we spend so much on lawyers and litigation,” Mosten said. “This is not a partisan approach. In a lawsuit, no matter whether you’ve won or lost, it’s usually a loss. Litigation is public. People lose their sense of privacy. It’s slow, it’s overburdening. Mediation and other forms of conflict resolution empower people to take control of their own lives and find creative solutions that work for them.”

Mediation and conflict resolution offer many career opportunities for UCR students, he said.

“It’s a career that’s very satisfying. You have control over your own life, and you’re helping people all day long,” Mosten said. “I do well by doing good.”




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The University of California, Riverside (www.ucr.edu) is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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