Topics Addressed by
Nancy Ferrell


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  .When did you begin at CRS? When did you leave?
 
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        A. What did you do before coming to CRS?
                   
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        B. Why did you decide to work at CRS?
                   
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        C. What did you do at CRS (what was your role)?
                   
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  .Background information on a case
 
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  .When the case first came to your attention, what did you do?
 
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        A. When making an initial assessment of a case, with whom did you talk first? Next?
                   
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        B. Did everyone want you involved? If not, what did you do about that?
                   
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        C. How did you prepare for your intervention?
                   
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        D. Did you phone all parties before your arrived?
                   
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        E. Did you assist them by phone only? What types of assistance did you provide? Can you provide an example?
                   
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  .How did you do your onsite assessment?
 
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        A. Who did you talk to first on site?
                   
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        B. Were your initial meetings during your intervention private and confidential?
                   
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        C. How did you respond if you thought that CRS intervention might harm a legitimate protest activity?
                   
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        D. How did you identify the proper people to talk to or get involved?
                   
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        E. How did you identify leaders?
                   
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        F. Did you set goals for your intervention? At what point in the process?
                   
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        G. Did the parties assist in the goal-setting process or influence your choice of goals? How?
                   
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        H. How did you determine your own role (e.g., to act as an advisor, conciliator or a mediator)?
                   
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  .What did you do to build and sustain trust with the parties?
 
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        A. How important was it for you to gain the trust of the parties?
                   
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        B. How did you build trust with the disputants?
                   
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        C. How did you detect whether your trust-building efforts were successful?
                   
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        D. Can you recall any examples of when you served as a scapegoat or in some other way helped a party save face?
                   
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        E. What factors contributed to your ability to build trust?
                   
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        F. Were parties ever reluctant to participate because of a lack of trust in you or the process?
                   
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  .How did you identify underlying issues?
 
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        A. Did you find it necessary at times to help the parties define or prioritize their issues? How did you do this?
                   
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        B. Did you find yourself assisting one party to understand the other party's perspective?
                   
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        C. How would you deal with a demand on one party's agenda that the other party said was non-negotiable?
                   
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        D. Did you ever deal with a conflict that seemed to be truly intractable?
                   
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  .Tell me about your meetings with the parties when you were helping them to resolve their differences.
 
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        A. How did you decide who would be at the negotiation table?
                   
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        B. How did you decide when to meet separately with the parties and when to bring them together?
                   
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        C. Was timing of the discussions critical? Did you ever need to wait or hurry up in order to get people to come together?
                   
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        D. How did you assist in opening communications between the parties, to get them talking and listening to one another?
                   
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        E. How would you respond when you were called upon to carry messages between the parties?
                   
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  .What did you do to diminish tension between the parties?
 
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        A. Did the situation ever become violent or potentially violent? What did you do to diminish that?
                   
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        B. Did you ever separate people into small groups and work with them that way?
                   
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  .Did you find yourself helping the parties strengthen their own capacity to deal with conflict?
 
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        A. Did you provide technical assistance to the parties? Can you give some examples?
                   
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        B. Did you provide training for the parties? What types of training? Who did it?
                   
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  .What did you do when you hit a brick wall in your effort to bridge differences between the parties?
 
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  .Did you try to analyze or address power disparities between the parties? How did power differentials effect the process?
 
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        A. When you perceived a significant power imbalance did you try to level the playing field? How did you do this?
                   
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        B. Did you ever provide assistance to one party without the knowledge of the other?
                   
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        C. Did you ever have a need to strike a balance between helping the parties reach a settlement and achieving equity?
                   
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        D. Did you work on cases involving hate groups such as the KKK or neo-Nazi groups?
                   
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        E. Were there techniques you used to help you maintain your impartiality?
                   
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        F. Did you have techniques for managing your emotions during case work?
                   
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        G. Did you ever intentionally act as an advocate for one side? Did you ever do this unintentionally?
                   
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  .Are there other aspects of the process that you used that are worth noting?
 
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        A. What role does listening play in your work?
                   
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        B. How much direction did you give the parties in mediation?
                   
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        C. Did you ever try to pressure the parties to change their approach?
                   
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  .What cultural or racial factors influenced the process?
 
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  .What brought the parties to the table?
 
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  .How did you provide a "safe space" for discussions?
 
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        A. Did you ever draw upon resources or refer parties to resources from outside the community?
                   
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        B. Did you provide information about outside resources that could help the parties in conflict?
                   
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  .How did you deal with issues of confidentiality during your casework?
 
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  .How did you deal with the media? Were they an asset or a liability to your work?
 
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        A. When the needs of newspaper, radio, or television reporters interfered with your work, how did you deal with the problem?
                   
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  .How did you determine when to end your involvement in a conflict?
 
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        A. Before terminating a case, did you help the parties develop a contingency plan to help prevent a recurrence of the conflict?
                   
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        B. What might a contingency plan include?
                   
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        C. Did you assist the parties design other structures to prevent a recurrence of the conflict?
                   
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        D. Did you plan any follow up after the case was closed?
                   
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        E. What would you say were the positive outcomes of the contingency planning process?
                   
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        F. Were other enforcement mechanisms put in place?
                   
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  .What were the overall outcomes of the intervention?
 
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  .Were you able to bring about organizational or structural change?
 
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  .What were your measures of the success of your intervention?
 
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        A. How did CRS measure the success of your work?
                   
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  .Have there been changes in CRS over the years?
 
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  .What do you think are the most important skills and attributes of an effective civil rights mediator?
 
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        A. What do you think has been your greatest strength as a civil rights mediator?
                   
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  .Interesting anecdotes.
 
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  .Agency-related information
 
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        A. Trust between CRS workers
                   
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        B. CRS reputation
                   
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        C. Collaboration between CRS workers
                   
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        D. CRS structure
                   
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        E. CRS cooperation with other agencies
                   
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  .Mediation of identity conflicts
 
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  .Mediation theory
 
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  .Descriptions of CRS institutional programs
 
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