SCI was contacted when a high profile coach at a Division I university had engaged in a public argument with a number of witnesses. As a result of the argument, one of the parties to the conflict felt strongly that the coach has said a number of things that were racially motivated and had begun to seek a number of remedies for having the coach fired and to make this a national headlines incident. SCI agreed to mediate the dispute.
SCI began with intakes for six different individuals involved in the altercation. As is often the case, the range of perspectives on what occurred was significant but all agreed to mediation.
Through mediation, specific language was identified that was understood by several of the parties as having significant racist connotations. The individual who has said those words expressed strongly that his understanding of those words and his intent in using them were quite different than the way they were heard / received. This led to a very meaningful conversation about each parties' backgrounds and some of their experiences that contributed to such a different understanding. Instead of seeking legal remedies, the parties apologized to each other for the incident and developed a plan to work with the athletic department, in partnership, to offer a short, educational workshop on race and athletics.
That specific incident and the mediation to resolve led to a sustainable educational program and a strong relationship that did not exist prior to the relationship.