Community Dispute Resolution Role-Play:

Farrakhan Negotiation, The


Eric Collins

Five-person, multi-issue negotiation among university administrators and student organizers over cost and arrangements for a controversial figure to speak on campus


Please note: you must order a copy (a.k.a. license/usage fee) for every person participating in the simulation in your course. This simulation has multiple roles, so you will be unable to complete your purchase without meeting the minimum quantity requirement of copies per role.

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PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center

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Soft copy vs. hard copy

You may order this role simulation in either soft copy (electronic) or hard copy (paper) format. If you select the soft copy option, you will receive an e-mail with a URL (website address) from which you may download an electronic file in Adobe Acrobat PDF format. You will have one week to download your materials from when you receive the email. You are then only authorized to use, print, or share the materials as many times as the number of copies you purchase. The TNRC charges for use of this simulation on a per-participant basis. Therefore, you must purchase a separate copy of this simulation for each person who will be participating, regardless of the number of roles in the simulation. You will only receive a link to one electronic file, which includes all general instructions, confidential instructions, and any teaching notes for the simulation. You should separate out the instructions before distributing to participants.

If you select the hard copy option, you will receive paper copies of this role simulation via the shipping method you select.

For additional information about the soft copy option, please visit our FAQ section, or contact the PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center at or 800-258-4406 (within the U.S.) or 301-528-2676 (outside the U.S.).

Please note: At the present time, Teaching Negotiation Resource Center soft copies are compatible with the following versions of the Adobe Acrobat Reader: English, German, French, Spanish, Swedish, Portuguese, Japanese, and Korean. If you have a different version of the Acrobat Reader, you may wish to download one of these at, or contact the PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center at, 800-258-4406 (within the U.S.), or 301-528-2676 (outside the U.S.) for further assistance. This restriction does not apply to the freely available Teacher’s Package Review Copies.

Ordering a single copy for review

If you wish to review the materials for a particular role simulation to decide whether you’d like to use it, a PDF, or soft copy, version of the Teacher’s Package for the simulation is available as a free download from the description page of most role simulations and case studies. All Teacher’s Packages include copies of all participant materials. In addition, some Teacher’s Packages (but not all) include additional teaching materials such as teaching notes or overhead masters.

Ordering copies for multiple participants

To order multiple copies of a role simulation for use in a course or workshop, simply enter the total number of participants in the box next to “Quantity.” There is no need to calculate how many of each role is required.

If you are ordering hard copies, the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center will calculate the appropriate numbers of each role to provide, based on the total number of participants. For example, if you wish to order a 2-party role simulation for use with a class of 30 students, you would enter “30” in the box next to “Quantity.” You then would receive 15 copies of one role and 15 copies of the other role, for use with your 30 participants. As another example, if you ordered 30 participant copies of a 6-party role simulation, you would receive 5 copies of each role.

In the event that the number of participant copies you order is not evenly divisible by the number of roles in the simulation, you will receive extra copies of one or more roles. Participants receiving the extra roles may partner with other participants playing the same role, thus negotiating as a team. So, for instance, if you ordered 31 copies of a 2-party role simulation, you would receive 15 copies of the first role and 16 copies of the second role. One of the participants playing the second role would partner with another participant playing that same role, and the two would negotiate as a team.

Bulk Pricing Discount

For bulk orders, we offer the following pricing discounts. Please note that these only apply to bulk orders of the same simulation.

  • Between 100-250 copies – 10% discount
  • Between 251-500 copies – 25% discount
  • More than 500 copies – 50% discount
Log In or Register to download the free Teacher's Package Sample.


The case is loosely based on a series of events which occurred at Princeton University in January and February, 1989, but reflects a number of similar situations that have taken place on various college campuses. In this exercise, the Black Students Union (BSU)–one component of the parent Minority Peoples' Center (MPC) at fictional Garden University–has invited the well-known Minister Louis Farrakhan, an outspoken and controversial African-American speaker, to give a speech at the University. When the student organizers learn that the costs of this speech will exceed their initial estimates, they are forced to seek additional sources for funding. It would seem that without additional financial support from somewhere in the University, the BSU will not be able to afford the speech.

At the same time, the University administration finds itself in a position to rethink their decision to support Farrakhan's speech. The speaker is contentious; racial tensions at the University are already high; the money needed to make up the BSU's shortfall seems to be in short supply. In addition, there is dissent both inside and outside the administration as to the true benefit of having someone as controversial as Farrakhan give a speech. This case centers around an upcoming meeting between three students and two administrators where these and additional matters will be discussed.



The case is designed for five negotiators: Two representing the University administration and three representing various students. The participants should spend approximately 45-60 minutes negotiating. A review and discussion period requires 60-90 minutes.



  • The knowledge that one's BATNA is weak often leads people to negotiate much less vigorously than they otherwise would. Is this ever justified? If so, under what conditions? This exercise affords a good opportunity to point out that any such analyses should be based on a consideration of the parties' relative BATNA's.
  • The substantive issues in the case seem easily understood on both sides, and provide the opportunity for tough bu creative negotiation. Too adversarial an approach can easily lead to serious, escalating conflict. Skillful discussion of interests and options can lead to significant gains and a mutually satisfactory and effective outcome.
  • Focusing on issues that are value differently will allow students to assess the importance of trading across issues to reach an agreement.



For all parties:

  • General Instructions


Role specific:

Confidential instructions for the:

  • Special Assistant to the President
  • Assistant to the Dean of Students
  • Chair of the Minority People's Center
  • Co-Chair of the BSU
  • Second Student Organizer


Teacher's Package

  • All of the above instructions
  • Teaching Notes
  • Excerpts from a speech given by Louis Farrakhan



Alternatives; Authority; BATNA; Communication; Currently perceived choice analysis; Drafting; Group process; Interests, dovetailing; Legitimacy; Options, generating; Partisan perceptions; Power imbalance

Farrakhan Negotiation, The Attributes

Time required: 1-2 hours
Number of participants: 5
Teams involved: No
Agent present: None
Neutral third party present: None
Scoreable: No
Teaching notes available: Yes