National African American Mediators Association

Welcome to NAAMA - National African American Mediators Association

Heru-Ka Anu, Founder

Our organization, NAAMA, provides a forum, network, promotion of, and the overall interaction of African American Mediators with each other, clients, and communities in general.

While our organization is new, our presence as Mediators and the need for African American Mediators is not. We have been mediating since before the term was ever used. There were those before us who had the calling and mission to resolve conflicts and disputes from the time of our earliest existence as human beings. That is to say that African American dispute resolution has African roots going back thousands of years and it informs us culturally today. This is also to say that we recognize African American clients in need of mediation bring a unique cultural presence to the table just as other people do, and more often than not, benefit from the presence of African American Mediators.

Without an organization like NAAMA African American Mediators are much more difficult to identify and locate. It is our intention to promote the existence of African American Mediators, information about us, to provide our services to all in need of mediation, provide the African American public with mediation information and resources, and promote African American Mediators to the world at large.

African American Mediators are welcomed to join NAAMA as we endeavor to empower our clients in the pursuit of conflict resolution.

Heru-Ka Anu, Mediator
Founder - NAAMA

January 9, 2020

African American Culture and Alternative Dispute Resolution

African American Attitudes about Dispute Resolution and Other Matters That May Affect Mediation Race and ethnicity are intricately linked to culture. Accordingly, African American people's race and culture are inextricably connected:

[D]ifferent cultures value their common elements differently, insofar as one puts the accent here, another there, and that is the ordering and the relations of elements to one another that determines the differences between the cultures. Thus, culture is not a static entity, but ever changing. The backdrop of this process is the continuous and unifying stream in [African American] life which is a combination of Africa, the American south, slavery, poverty, migration, and racism. It is a stream expressed in music, family life, language, love, religion, and countless other manifestations of a people's orientation to the world that constitutes [African American] culture.

In the previous section, I concluded that culture is of critical importance in mediation of family issues. Because race and culture are intertwined, race becomes an integral part of mediation too.

Empirical studies have shown that race affects negotiations. For example, when adversaries are members of the same race, they bargain more cooperatively with one another. Same-race disputants are more cooperative because they trust each other more easily than they trust people of different racial groups. In contrast, intercultural adversaries endeavor to "maintain a certain face or posture in the eyes of someone different." This posturing influences the parties' efforts to solve their problem.

(Excerpted from: African Americans "Are Not Carbon Copies" of White Americans - the Role of African American Culture in Mediation of Family Disputes , 13 Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution 405, 420-435 (1998) (280 Footnotes))

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Contact: NAAMA: Email: | Phone: 971-216-9732

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