The Oberlin College Dialogue Center
Coordinated and overseen by the ombudsperson, the Oberlin College Dialogue Center (OCDC) promotes social change through conflict transformation, mediation, community building, and dialogue.
The ombudsperson can provide OCDC mediators for individuals or groups on campus to help resolve disputes informally, or to facilitate group discussions.
The OCDC cannot address union cases, sexual harassment, or legal disputes; however, we encourage all parties to use our services to gain information, and to pursue mediation as an additional option.
Mediation and Social Justice
The OCDC helps individuals and the college community to confront and resolve sources of community tension, particularly those stemming from racism and other sources of prejudice and misunderstanding.
Research in conflict resolution has shown that mediation often does not fully address concerns raised by people of color and people affected by poverty.
Using the social justice model of mediation, OCDC mediators are trained to help all parties recognize differences in power and privilege, and to address issues such as race, class, gender, and sexuality, so that all parties can be supported and have their voices heard.
...after this training I can see why it is more powerful to be able to understand not only the two sides of a situation, but the many sides of it.... I can work with others instead of constantly feeling like I am working against them in understanding our conflicts, why they exist, and what we can do about it.
- OCDC member