The CUNY Dispute Resolution Center at John Jay College and

The Association for Conflict Resolution of Greater New York 

Invite everyone to the

NYC-DR Virtual Roundtable Breakfast

Thursday, Sept 3, 2020

8:00 am –  8:30 am [Join]

8:30 am – 10:00 am [Presentation and Discussion] 


RSVP: for Zoom link 


FACILITATOR: Matthew Lattimer

SPEAKERS: Michael Bertty, Tajae Gaynor,  Marvin Johnson, Lauren Jones, James Williams

Currently, Americans are engaged in a long overdue conversation on race. Integrated into that conversation are racial implications of Covid-19, massive protests in response to George Floyd's death and police excessive use of force. As a result, the concept of race and racism have now been interjected into our daily discourse.  

This breakfast will shine the spotlight on the discussion of race and how it matters in the dispute resolution field.  Five Black dispute resolvers will reflect on and share their experiences about the dispute resolution field.  Their remarks will be guided by the overarching question, "How, why, and when does race matter in dispute resolution related work?"

Matthew Lattimer is a Conciliation Specialist with the US Department of Justice Community Relations Service (CRS), where he deals with community conflicts and tensions arising from differences of race, color and national origin. He holds a law degree from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, where he participated in their Mediation Clinic and also interned with the UN and the Southern District Court of New York with Robert P. Patterson, Senior US DJ. He served on the ACR-GNY Board and has been a mediator with the Brooklyn Mediation Center, the Harlem Community Justice Center, the New York Unified Court System and Safe Horizon, currently the NY Peace Institute. 

Michael Bertty has served in several Mediation and Investigative positions, including NYC Transit Authority, Assistant Chief Officer, EEOC Investigations, Vice President of Dispute Resolution at Drier Law Firm, United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ADR Coordinator, Northeast Region. He has also been an Adjunct Professor at New York University, New York Institute of Technology, Long Island University, CW Post Campus and Cornell University School of Labor and Industrial Relations.

Tajae Gaynor is the Director of the Westchester Rockland Mediation Center of CLUSTER. Since his beginnings as a junior high school peer mediator 25 years ago, Tajaé has worked with thousands of young people and adults teaching Conflict Resolution skills, Restorative Justice, Mediation and implementing programs. His commitment to violence prevention earned him national recognition from the Democratic Congressional leadership in 1999. In 2004, Tajaé, a graduate of John Jay College, was honored with the James Boskey Award for outstanding youth leadership from the Association of Conflict Resolution (ACR). He previously served on the Board of Directors (2010-2013) for ACR National and was the first Diversity and Equity Director appointed for ACR.

Marvin Johnson, J.D. is a nationally recognized mediator, arbitrator, and trainer with more than 27 years of dispute resolution experience.  He is the Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution, the first dispute resolution center founded at a historically black university.  Mr. Johnson provides workshops and lectures extensively on the subjects of diversity and conflict management. Two Presidents of the United States, a Secretary of the United States Department of State, a Governor of Maryland, a Chief Judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals, and the County Executive for Prince George’s County, have recognized Mr. Johnson's dispute resolution expertise by appointing him to various dispute resolution panels and positions.   In addition, he serves on numerous other neutral rosters, including the American Arbitration Association and the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. Mr. Johnson is a Past President of the International Academy of Mediators (IAM) and has served on the Boards of the ABA’s Section of Dispute Resolution, the Association for Conflict Resolution, and IAM.

Lauren Jones is the ADR Coordinator for NYC Surrogate Courts. Immediately preceding this role, she was a principal court attorney in New York County's Commercial Division where she focused on conducting settlement conferences and mediations. Prior to joining the Court System, Lauren served as a litigation partner at a large national firm. She is the co-chair of the Metropolitan Black Bar Association's task force on ADR and also a Commissioner on the Franklin H. Williams Commission, appointed by Chief Judge DiFiore in 2018. She holds a BA from Duke University and JD from Brooklyn Law School.


James Williams is the Lead Conciliation Specialist, Community Relations Service, US Department of Justice western region, responsible for providing mediation, conciliation, training and consulting services to assist communities in resolving conflicts based on race, color, and national origin and in the prevention and response to violent hate crimes. He has served as a Jegna (mentor) and advisor to many men facilitating and supporting their growth and development. He has a B.S. in Psychology and an MSAD in Sociology (all but Thesis) from the University of Southern California.  A Los Angeles native, James has actively worked in the community for the past 37 years. He is a local poet, a practicing martial artist and founding member of the International Association of Black Yoga Teachers.