Office of the Ombudsperson


Misunderstanding, miscommunication, and conflict among people are inevitable. Anger and mistrust, however, don't have to be.

When you're caught in a conflict, it sometimes can be useful to involve a neutral party who can present options, devise strategies, and help find solutions.

Oberlin's ombudsperson is a multipartial and independent administrator who helps individuals—students, faculty and staff—resolve conflicts, solve problems, and communicate more effectively with others.

A Note from Oberlin's Ombuds Office

Dear Oberlin campus members and friends:

Thank you for visiting our website.

The Yeworkwha Belachew Center for Dialogue is a multipartial independent entity within Oberlin College that strives to promote change through conflict transformation, mediation, community building, educational workshops, and facilitated dialogue. Our program is based on a social justice model and therefore it is the responsibility of our group to uphold the belief in social change.

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Conflict transformation through the Yeworkwha Belachew Center for Dialogue

The YBCD offers confidential mediation and facilitation, as well as education workshops on conflict transformation.


In Memoriam: Retired Ombudsperson Yeworkwha Belachew

Yeworkwha Belachew, retired ombudsperson and founder of the Oberlin College Dialogue Center, passed away on June 14 following a lengthy illness. YB, as she was known to almost everyone, pioneered the role of ombudsperson and conflict mediator at Oberlin.


Honoring Yeworkwha Belachew

Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music have benefited from the extraordinary service of so many faculty and staff members through the years. One of the greatest was Yeworkwha Belachew, or YB, as she was known to Oberlin’s students, faculty, staff, and residents. For 35 years, YB was a pillar of this community in a variety of posts, most recently as ombudsperson.

YB retired in 2015, and we officially celebrated her service as ombudsperson with a ceremony at the Lewis House.


The Social Justice Institute

A two-day workshop for new students, the Social Justice Institute explores multicultural issues at Oberlin and in the larger social community.


Participants in the 2008 Social Justice Institute