Document Type

Research Report

Publication Date

Summer 8-25-2023


This report presents over three years of systematically engaging, documenting and analyzing the diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) needs/gaps and assets of state funded community mediation centers in Massachusetts. The report was compiled by researchers and an in-house DEI expert at the statutory state office of dispute resolution, the Massachusetts Office of Public Collaboration (MOPC) at the University of Massachusetts Boston. The office has been serving as a neutral forum and state-level resource for over 30 years.

The report is based on qualitative research that falls into the category of community based participatory research conducted through a series of community listening sessions organized and facilitated by seven community mediation centers from 2021 to 2022 involving residents from Cambridge, Framingham, Lowell, Lynn, Vineyard Haven, Greenfield, and Leominster in Massachusetts. The report also contains a literature review of diversity, equity and inclusion research, particularly on nonprofits and DEI in mediation/ADR. This research offers findings for Massachusetts community mediation to increase diversity, equity and inclusion and offers recommendations that are broadly applicable for all community mediation systems interested in developing their own DEI systems across the globe.


The Massachusetts Office of Public Collaboration would like to acknowledge the efforts of the community mediation centers in Massachusetts who convened and facilitated the listening sessions and the community members who participated in the listening sessions, providing valuable input on DEI needs. MOPC would also like to thank the reviewers for reviewing this report.



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