The impetus to create a formal mediators of color network grew out of the informal discussions that mediators of color had during the Society of Professionals in Dispute Resolution (SPIDR) Conferences in the late 1980's and the early 1990's, and the Participatory Dialogues Regarding Cultural Diversity in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) which began in 1994. The Reports from the Participatory Dialogues Regarding Cultural Diversity in ADR (1994-95 and 1996-97) enumerate issues, concerns, and recommendations regarding multicultural participation in the field of Dispute Resolution. Many mediators of color felt a need to have a formal network to support their issues and needs.
MOCA is comprised of experienced mediators who charge a fee for their services and those mediators who are preparing and positioning themselves to do the same. Through the MOCA Network website, e-mail, and directory, the MOCA Network provides a vehicle for mediators of color to connect, develop relationships, discuss issues, develop mentorships and role models, obtain ADR opportunities and information. Organizations and individuals interested in diversity initiatives encouraged and were instrumental in MOCA's development. In this regard, MOCA will be a resource for individuals and organizations looking to partner, collaborate, contract or employ talented mediators of color. After the initial Network Directory has been completed, MOCA plans to co-sponsor regional forums and social gatherings where individuals and organizations interested in diversity initiatives can meet, get to know and develop relationships with mediators of color. MOCA believes that better relationships and policies of inclusion will enhance opportunities for mediators of color and increase collaboration in the field of Dispute Resolution.