When making an initial assessment of a case, with whom did you talk first? Next?


Bob Ensley


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

The first thing you do, you go to the black mortician. They're independent of the system. The barber shop, the beauty parlors. Then after talking to them, I tended to ask, "Who's the pastor in this town?" You know, the one pastor I think that could give me an overview of really what's going on this town. Then I would go to the schools. And I am going to say this with caution, and I hope you fully understand what I'm going to say -- but in the nature of this work, I'd try to find a Jewish business person. Because they have in some time suffered the effects of discrimination, the same as we have. And they would be very honest in telling me who the people were that I needed to deal with. And another thing that I would use, I always would ask the black people, "Who are the white people you think I need to see?" They would tell me. Then I would ask the white people that I would meet with, the white business leaders, and the elected officials, "Who are the blacks I need to talk with?" And nine times out of ten, they are the ones you didn't talk with.

Question:
You didn't?

Answer:
I wouldn't or they'd be the very last. They would not be at the top of my list, because they are the so-called hand-picked blacks that the white community has always used. So I made it a point for them not to be the first blacks that I would contact. Then I would go to the schools because, at that time, most of the schools were predominantly black. I'd meet with the principal and some of the teachers, and then try to find a teacher who's had the most difficulty, actually the one that's very outspoken.




Edward Howden


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
Would you usually call the community group first, or the sheriff?

Answer:
That is a good question, because sometimes it could be very sensitive who got called first. You know I'm not sure there's any fixed rule or practice on that. I think we might have been more inclined to call the community group first usually. And, of course, if we thought that they knew us or knew something about us or if we'd had any prior contact, certainly we would've asked, "What's happening?" Our next question would be, "Can we help?" Then of course we'd get quickly onto some of the establishment folks and talk to them.

Question:
Now if you said, "can we help?" and they said "no, we don't need help" did you drop it there?

Answer:
We might have said, "Are you sure? Let's talk about that." We would have explained what our legal duties are, and what we're not. It's very important to define the agency in its role. It might be that some group would say, "Well no thanks," but I hardly recall any situation like that. There must have been some here and there, but then you know the next question is, "is that group fully representative of the community and are there other folks whom we might probe a little further?" But if there's a clear cut group, for example, the NAACP branch, I don't think we really want to go around them. But we might want to get an assessment from the establishment- types of how serious that scene is. We have a duty to do that. As we read the act, it does place a legal duty on the agency to do its best to help in a situation. You don't have to wait for an invitation from anybody.

Question:
If you were in a situation where one person or one group didn't want you to come in but you still felt like it was important, what would you do?

Answer:
I think this would not be an individual decision. This would be in consultation with the regional director and maybe with Washington.




Will Reed


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

One of the things you learn is that you want contact with as many people as you can. The first person I called up there was the Governor's office. I didn't know if the Governor was playing a role or not, but I learned that the Governor's Chief of Staff was a guy that had taken quite an interest in the situation. He was interested from the point of view of seeing if the state could resolve this conflict.



Dick Salem


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
On your more major cases, when there isn't a phone call that comes in, but you are the initiator, who do you decide to talk to first?

Answer:
Typically it was an aggrieved party who would call. And in all of these cases you have people who were aggrieved, victims of an injustice, in their perception. So you would typically talk to that person and obtain information. You would then want to verify what was being said so you might call the local person in the local leadership who you could trust to get a view of that person's complaint. Typically, for example, if a parent called about a school problem, you might go back and check with the local NAACP or urban league or human rights commission, someone you knew in that community who could give you a good reading with a sympathetic perspective, who might even know that person. If CRS initiated the calling we would start by calling somebody in the community we knew and felt we could trust. We would try to get a reading before contacting the disputing parties.




Dick Salem


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Answer:
You asked me where you start. I'm saying you start with people who can give you more information.

Question:
So you're starting with a person who is neutral?

Answer:
Not necessarily. For example, someone might call and say we are having this terrible problem and I might pick up the phone and call the head of the local NAACP who certainly would not be neutral. He or she would say, "oh yeah, that's a problem and we've been dealing with that for a long time." They just never thought of bringing it to us for any reason, or maybe they'd say, "Well, yeah, that's a problem, but that's really an isolated case. They have a new principal over there and we are working on that." Then we get some sense of whether it is appropriate for us to intervene or not, based on our scale. Now if the NAACP director said, "Wow, now this is a real problem and am I glad you called," you probably would respond differently. Or if the aggrieved person was part of an organization rather than being just a parent it would influence our response. Was it a committee? A coalition? Is it a new committee or an established committee? We would ask, "Who have you talked to? What have you done?” You just try to flesh it out a bit.




Dick Salem


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Typically it starts on the phone and at a certain point it continues on-site if the case warrants it. After talking to the person or people involved in the matter and making some preliminary judgements, you might give them some initial advice. I'd suggest you talk to the assistant principal and call me back. If he is unaware that this is happening in the classroom and this teacher is doing this to your child, here are some things you might do to move this forward. Here are some people locally you might call, someone we know we'd refer them to. Or depending on the state of the matter I might call the assistant principal, or the school superintendent. Very often when talking to establishment officials I would start at the top with my Justice Department credentials to get their attention and worry them a bit. They seldom want the Justice Department to come into their school, police department or community. Many people with grievances do, but no public official wants anyone from the Justice Department coming in. So we don't say this is a Community Relations Service mediator governed by a confidentially clause. We say, "this is the Justice Department.” So, we would have to be careful in determining who to call first and let them know we are coming in. We wouldn't start with the assistant principal. We might call the principal or the superintendent of schools and say we've heard there is a problem at the George Washington School, and there have been some protests, we're wondering if we can be of any help. We offer our services and ask if we can be of assistance and try to get some information. I guess everybody would approach it differently, but we try to create some rapport so this person will be willing to talk to you. You begin to build your information base, your assessment about what’s happening. Also during this time, you try to build some trust and get some indication whether they would be receptive to your coming in. Or you might just say, "we’re coming in.” You might say, "we’re coming in for this matter," or you might say, "I’m going to be in the area anyway, I’d like to drop by and chat with you about it when I’m in your city."



Nancy Ferrell


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

I made contact with some of the student leadership that I was aware of; some of the black student organizations, a Hispanic organization, and a Native American organization.



Renaldo Rivera


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
Who knew that you were coming into town on that first visit to meet with the community group?

Answer:
The only one I called, the first one I called was the chief of police and the inspector that we'd had previous relations with to let him know we'd be on-site. Other than that, no one knew because it was that fast.

Question:
Is that your practice to let the establishment community know you'd be on-site and is it your practice to meet with the aggrieved community group first?

Answer:
Yes, that's my practice. I think it's CRS practice. If possible, if we have enough time, we try to have local contacts in the community that's aggrieved, that's making its issues known. A lot of times, in a lot of situations we may not have those people before we start. But we already know the conflict is taking place. We might not know the chief of police or the inspectors or the mayors in those communities, but we know there is a mayor, a chief of police, so it's a natural place for us to contact. It's always important to us to let local officials know that we're going to their communities and they can be aware of our presence early. So, we do let them know. That's pretty much standard procedure for us, and then to meet with the community groups as well as soon as possible.




Martin Walsh


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

So what I did was -- I think it was on a Saturday -- call the chancellor and talked to him about what was happening. He gave me a little background. I said, "We might be of help," and he said, "Would you?" Which is very interesting, especially in light of the type of entry problems that we have in universities.



Martin Walsh


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

I remember then calling the police chief saying I would like to sit down with him and we set up a time for that. Then it was the county supervisors who were in charge of the police department and calling them and saying, " I would like to sit down with you and talk about what is happening here and what happened there and the problems."



Stephen Thom


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

After I assess that, and determine where to go, I usually call the complainant first, and do my analysis, and try to get that face to face meeting. While I'm getting ready to have that face to face or have that meeting set up, I will call the other side whether it be police, corporation, school institution, university, whatever the other party is.





Angel Alderete


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

The first thing I did was to go to the chief through a lieutenant that I knew, a Hispanic lieutenant. He was willing to work with me. So then I went to the city council and presented my so-called plan to them, and explained that I had an agreement on the part of the police chief and that I had community folks helping me. They agreed to hear me out,



Leo Cardenas


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Did you make the decision about who to call first? Did you always try to call the minority group first or the authorities first? Did you have a rule about that?

Answer:
It would depend on our knowledge of the disputants. In a lot of cases, we know someone and so we would call whoever we knew in that particular community, and sometimes, in fact before we even contacted them, we would contact people to get a background at the local level.

Question:
Would you always contact both parties, or all parties involved before you decided to go on-site?

Answer:
Always contact both parties, yes.




Bob Hughes


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
So did you just go up and start knocking on doors?

Answer:
Exactly. I went to the area where I understood that they were talking about. This was a sharp contrast to the kinds of mediation that I was doing. Here, my task was to organize. I became a community organizer in order to have a bona fide, representative party composed of persons who would represent the interests of the people on the island. That needed to include those who were creating problems, as well as others who might provide some answers and positive leadership. That was what I was aiming at. A person that I made an early contact with was the pastor of a very small fundamentalist church, and I never did know where he lived. He was off the island and he was never involved. So it was the one church, the pastor, the one resident clergyman on the island who became a key person. There were two people who were identified by the tribal fishermen as people that they had particular problems with, more than once. Let's say Landowner A and Landowner B. After visiting with them, I had the issues from the Native American standpoint and the issues as identified by the landowners. The brandishing of weapons was one of the issues by both sides, I believe. Anyway, I came to meetings with them. I also talked to the State Department of Fisheries Enforcement personnel who had jurisdiction of that area and with the Marine Patrol of the Pierce County Sheriff's Office, to get information that they might have about this situation, confirming that they had been called and that they had not been involved beyond just responding and then leaving. I was talking to the sheriff, too.




Bob Hughes


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Were there any other reasons why you wouldn't inform a party other than just time constraints?

Answer:
Well, there are plenty of communities where we would not know who to contact, smaller rural areas. We may not know anybody there, or have a contact. So you just show up. You try to contact somebody who does know the community, or that had been through there, or the next community over. "Can you put me in touch with somebody there?" But, again, you don't always have the luxury of making that many phone calls. And at some point, you've got to go, and you will end up going unannounced. And in rural areas, that's not unusual. Sometimes that works against you, but other times, people are glad to see you.

Question:
So who are you looking for once you get there? Who are you looking for first?

Answer:
The people that call me, usually, just to get that out of the way. I usually try to respond to whoever calls and try to make contact with them first.

Question:
And the cases where you are not called and don't have a contact, who are you looking for and what's your procedure at that point?

Answer:
Well, I call somebody that I have a relationship within the next community over, or somebody who works that area.

Question:
Do you try to go to the minority community first, or the white community first?

Answer:
Generally the minority community because, in part, they're the ones who usually would have called, rather than say police chiefs, as an example. The Department of Justice is the last kind of agency that they would like to see there. They become generally very defensive as soon as you say Department of Justice. They don't hear Community Relations Service.




Julian Klugman


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
So how did you assess this case when the judge called? What did you do next to figure out what was going on?

Answer:
First of all we spoke to the judge. This had been our first court referral, so there were a lot of things we didn't understand about court referrals and lawyer stuff and the kind of power you have and so on. You're told different things. You're told that judges are really very neutral. You have to be very careful. I've had judges call me in to do segregation cases and say, "Hey, Julian what should I do?" But you'd better be damn careful who you're talking to because there are judges who are deaf if you open your mouth and try to influence them. They'll nail you. We're not part of that whole circle and that's an inner circle, an inner kingdom. Are you a lawyer? Well if you aren't a lawyer, you aren't anything in that circle. We then talked to the city and we got the picture there. The police chief became the spokesman. We went and talked to the police chief and to people in the black community and the lawyers. We talked to all the parties. You listen, you sound them out, you find out what's going on.

Question:
How do you figure out who in the black community to talk to?

Answer:
They tell you. Here we were talking to the NAACP. We didn't go talk to everyone in the community. The NAACP was officially representing the black community.




Efrain Martinez


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Who would you contact first? Do you ever do that or are you mostly just responding to people calling you?

Answer:
No there's occasions like when I went to Jasper, I heard about it in the news. The body had been discovered on Sunday and it made Monday TV in Houston. I saw it Monday night and I decided to go there. Every town has a mayor practically so that's always a good source, a good place to start.

Question:
So did you call him before you went?

Answer:
Yes, I called him. Let's say in that situation, since there was a black victim involved, I wanted to see the concerns of the black community so besides calling the mayor I tried to reach the NAACP, and the ministers. I tried to reach the First Baptist church, also. As I left town I called the F.B.I. to see what had been happening. The F.B.I. district director special agent in charge talked to me and said they held a press conference at noon, and he was on his way back to Houston. He just filled me in a little bit on what happened. I had also tried to reach the mayor and the mayor finally called me back and arranged to meet with him. We arranged to meet about 7:00 or 8:00 that evening, so on the way up there about thirty minutes from Jasper, I called the mayor because I thought maybe I should meet with other people and he could notify them. He said sure, come on over we'll talk about that. He was going to see what he could do. Later I was up at his house and he had a whole lot of black men there all dressed up in suits and all that. I thought it was a monthly meeting of some group. I realized after a while that he had called them to meet with me. There must have been about fifteen, or twenty people, maybe more. They told me about what they felt about the current situation, what they had been doing already, and some historical issues involving race in the community. We agreed I would help them, and we'd look into the historical issues at a later date, but right now we would look at what's happening currently, what was expected, and who was doing what already. I found they had begun working very closely with the white ministers.




Efrain Martinez


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Do you usually go to the city or county or whatever official first, like the mayor?

Answer:
It depends on who I make connect with first. I try to reach the NAACP, I try to reach the ministers, the church, and I try to reach the mayor. It was the mayor who called me back first. But within the first few hours you try to reach all parties and I let them know who I'm meeting with, or ask them if they could identify somebody from the community. If I'm talking to an official, I ask who do they think I should be meeting with? Who's the one that's been active? Who do I need to see? They'll tell me. Then I call them up.




Werner Petterson


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
Would you start by telling us how you became involved, what types of things you did, how they came?

Answer:
I had read about the case for some time in the local newspaper and there was something in the articles that gave me the indication that the judge handling the case was trying to find a way to mediate it. The words were not in the article, but there was a clear indication that he wanted to find a way short of going to trial to resolve it. So I called the judge's clerk, we don't call the judge directly, but it's really a way of testing to see whether the judge was open. That way also you didn't jeopardize the judge by talking to somebody about the case without the parties being present. I called up the judge's clerk and told the clerk about CRS and asked him to share with the judge on the case the service of CRS. It seemed like less than a day when I received a call from the judge and we spoke more about it. He invited me down to the city to meet with him and with the parties' attorneys. He had made up his mind by the time I got there that he was going to appoint me to the case. So, even though there was some reluctance upon the part of the attorney for the school board about my being involved as a mediator in the case, the judge had made up his mind and he just announced that he wanted the parties to meet with me to try to mediate the case. So after we introduced ourselves, I explained to the attorneys of the parties about CRS and how we operate and about our ground rules. Then I set up a time to meet up with the parties separately at a different time.




Manuel Salinas


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

A lot of times when I go into a situation, even though it was the reverse here, I'd rather talk to the system first, the police, the city, the schools, or whatever, than talk to the community. Because they're they ones that ultimately can make the change. So if you deal with them first, and they get comfortable with you, or at least they know you're there, even though they're not comfortable with you, at least then you've opened the door somewhat, so that the community then can come in. Then you talk with the community, if you have the community clamor first, the door may not open as easily. So I'd rather go the other way. I think the city fathers, police, educators, they want to know you're there. And they want to know who you are and what you do. So once you open that door, you're better able then to get to the problem and work with the community. And the community won't condemn you for meeting with them first. I never had been condemned for it. But in Salt Lake City, I went to the police, but then I immediately went to the other gentleman, without a lot of dialogue with the police department. Maybe I should have proceeded as I normally do, but I thought it was too hostile. I thought I'd better get to that gentleman first.



Will Reed


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

I called the chief of police, and I got in touch with key community leaders. As you're identifying issues at first, you also want to identify key players, and their roles. Going into any situation like that one, without having some idea of who the leadership is, is kinda putting your life at risk -- very much at risk, because you're walking around like a zombie or something, because you don't know who's who, and what's what. But you know for sure that the police chief is the Police Chief. In any city, you know for sure that the mayor's office is the mayor's office. But before you know that, you have to understand and learn what form of government a municipality is operating under. For example, you may go in there and say, "I'm going to talk to the mayor, and see what's going on with him." The mayor may just be a symbolic individual, so you have to find out if the mayor or the City Manager is in charge. So in this situation, the city manager controlled and wielded the power. He was reluctant, as most city officials are about the Justice Department coming in. On the other hand, it's a situation where if they can find somebody else to blame, a scapegoat, they welcome you to come on in. So light bulbs go on in their heads, and they start saying, "Scapegoat! Come on up!"



Will Reed


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

I went over there by myself and got a car and drove down to this little town. I made contacts with the person who was heading up this Indian festival deal. She began to tell me about the problems they were having. So I looked at the situation and said, "My role here would be to see if I can keep the police from beating up on the Indian people. I would go meet then with the sheriff and everybody else. And the sheriff was a black man. And he was half Indian and half black. But he was strictly for law and order.



Wallace Warfield


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
So when you were making that initial telephone assessment as to whether CRS should get involved, was one of your criteria whether or not you thought they’d be amenable to talks, or was that something that was left for later?

Answer:
Well, you’d get some of that. If you got into a conversation with people on the phone, you might ask, "Is this something that you think you’d like to get resolved? What do you see happening? What do you want to do with this?” You may not ask them about whether or not they want to get it resolved; you might ask, "What do you see as an outcome? What would you like to see happen in this particular situation?” Depending upon what they would say, that would give you some clues as to their willingness to sit down and talk.




Dick Salem


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Very often we would make entry into a case by a phone call from a person in the minority or church community. While conducting the assessment, we would call the establishment party and tell them we had heard there was this problem. "Oh, where did you hear that?” And you’d invent language, or pet phrases and just talk generally, but you would not reveal who alerted you to the problem. When asked, "Who have you talked to about this,” You might respond, "Well, a number of people.” You try not to say who you spoke with or met with if you think it will create a problem. Sometime we would plan an on-site visit to start late in the day when the offices are closed. We would call ahead and tell the city office we would be arriving Tuesday night and would like to meet with them first thing Wednesday morning. Then on Tuesday night you could meet with the community people who may not be available during the day anyway because they’re at their jobs. You’re up until two in the morning or until midnight working. And then at 8 in the morning when you see the city official you say, I got in last night and had a chance to speak with some of the people in the community who are concerned a bout the problem. That way, you didn’t violate protocol by not seeing him first, especially if it’s a mayor. Sometimes it was important to see an official first, but if it wasn’t critical, then you try it the other way and you get the community perspective of the problem before you meet with the public official.



Dick Salem


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
What makes it important to see the public official first?

Answer:
Just a protocol matter. It would be more important if the public official triggered the request. If you felt he or she would be offended if you didn’t see him or her first, then it was important to. But you get a better rounded view of the problem as perceived by the aggrieved community. If you would see them first, then your meeting is more productive with the school superintendent or whomever.




Nancy Ferrell


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Part of our approach was that you go to the highest level for entry and so I needed to talk to the President to find out if he was open to us going in.



Silke Hansen


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Who did you initiate contact with, or how did you initiate contact?

Answer:
I don't remember. Again, I think some of the initial contact was made out of our national office in consultation with our regional director. So when I actually got involved in this case, I was in meeting with the minority coalition. Right now I'm talking about the whole mediation process, sort of what I would call a pre-mediation session, and how that would work, and what the procedures would be, and making sure that they're together. You're all here in the same city at the same time. I needed to make sure that mediation was still a process that made sense to them and that they, indeed, wanted to use our mediation services in pursuing this. I also had a similar meeting with the company to make sure that they had that same understanding.






Angel Alderete


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

So I used to go down to the institution where he was the warden, and we talked and we would try to figure out how in the heavens we could deal with this issue. Also, we discussed how best to deal with the administration. That includes not only the corrections people, but the state people as well. We decided, "Well, the first thing we might be able to do is bring in more people that want to talk about it." So he did that. In the meantime, he talked to the director of the Department of Corrections. Since they had a good relationship, the director said, "Yeah, go ahead and see what you can do about it." The major reason why I was so interested in doing this is that I felt two things. One, I could make an entire career out of just going to the institutions, and the other one was that since I knew this fellow and he and I were pretty good friends, I thought we could work together effectively. And the director was allowing him to get these people together to talk.



Angel Alderete


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Could you tell us who you decided to talk to first, and why? Sort of walk us through that case.

Answer:
I decided to talk to the warden first, because of his background. Also because I knew him and because I liked him. And I trusted him. His background included having worked with the UFW, when he was a warden south of Salinas.




Angel Alderete


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

It was just a matter of calling someone that I knew in San Diego and making arrangements.



Leo Cardenas


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

I want you to back up and tell us about who you contacted first before you went on-site. How did you make initial contact? What were the interests of each group? And proceed through to the table, how you got to the table.

Answer:
As I mentioned, the initial contacts had been made by the field office conciliators. They had actually worked the beginning of the case. When I came on board in February of 1971, the regional director assigned me to this case almost immediately. I made a trip to Denver and met with the community groups, with the conciliators assigned to the case, and then with officials of McGraw Hill




Ernest Jones


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
Wow, before we even get to the table, you said that you were called in by the judge to come into the case, what did you do first? Who did you initiate contact with, was it by phone, was it by mail, did you just show up? Take us through step by step.

Answer:
I don't honestly remember how initial point one came about. I'll tell you how it probably came about, but I really don't remember. This is the way that it finally happened. The case was filed in federal court by the NAACP and we became aware of it through the normal courts. We spent a lot of time in Louisville around that time. But anyway we became aware of it, and I think we called and made an appointment with the judge, and met with him and offered our services to mediate no loss. The judge was interested, but he didn't want to deal with this case. So what he basically did is he told the parties that you will go into mediation. I don't think it was worded that way, but that's pretty much what he said. So, the judge referred to the law that would give the case to CRS for mediation and the parties were advised, and so the judge let us know once he had done that. We called the parties and talked to them over the phone and then followed up with a written letter. Saying that judge-so-and-so asked us for your time, and that we would like to meet with you at such and such a date. We signed the letter and we met, with each of the groups individually. So we met with the city officials, the department chief of police there, city council people, etc. Then we met with the legal defense fund people, then we met with the FOP people, then we met with the Black Police Officer Association. And at each one of those meetings we explained to them who we were, and how mediation works.




Julian Klugman


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
Let's back up, who did you call initially when you said, "Hey this sounds like a good idea." Did you call the school system, can you walk us through this?

Answer:
You have to call the superintendent first. We had program specialists, Bill Briggs was an education specialist, so he got permission through the superintendent of schools. The power is at the top, but the principal runs the school, so you really need both. I knew a black woman on the school board. When there's a poor school system, poor quality police department, who gets the bottom of the ladder, the people with the problems who need help. Anyway, we got them to say "yes," and the kids were just amazed by us because we took them seriously. First of all, they have to agree to some things before you do this. I have prerequisites, I won't do it unless it's okay from the top and the principal goes with it. I won't do it unless there's an agreement up front that there will be a student group formed which will meet on a regular basis. We're going to have a work plan. Also subsequently we learned some other things. I won't go in and do it if there is a weak principal because it's a complete waste of time. If the principal's the problem, forget it, because this is hard to do.

Question:
What about teacher involvement?

Answer:
We tried that. Teacher involvement, parent involvement. We tried that, it's too ambitious. You're talking about fights between students. That's what you focus on. But subsequently when I got into workshops for the Association of California School Administrators, we divided it other ways; we did it by school systems. I would get 5 to 10 school systems together because it was too slow to do it by school. In L.A., they set up sub districts, like 16 schools. We took one sub- district out in the Valley, 16 schools that were going through a lot of racial change. In fact it wasn't just racial, it was ethnic changes as well. They were getting the Russians; they were getting the Iranians. So we split different ways. I would end up with school superintendents; somebody else ended up with the principals. We did try to do it with parents, except we couldn't get the Hispanic parents to participate. We tried to do it through the Catholic church. We spent an incredible amount of time trying to get the service employees involved. That first school system, we tried to get everybody involved. (I remember, with the Mexican kids, I used Ada Montare.)




Efrain Martinez


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

How do we know who to talk to? We have an idea since every town has a mayor. We don't know any names, so we just call the operator and say, "Hey, give me City Hall and the chief of police." Hispanic minorities in Texas are associated mostly with the Catholic church. But you cannot ask the operator to give you the number for the Catholic church. You have to ask for a specific name. But there's always a First Baptist Church. You can call that preacher and ask him for the name of the Catholic church in that town and where the minorities go to church? I would also ask about African American churches and their pastors, and how I could reach them. Before we show up, we know a lot about the town because the people tell us. Once I arrive, I look around to see who's got the biggest business, who's got the biggest house, are they racially mixed. Usually, I ask for the top three business people and I ask those people who the top politician is. I also ask the mayor who are the top business people, the top educators, the top community organizations, the top law enforcement.



Werner Petterson


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
So can you talk about your initial meetings during that intervention? Who did you decide to meet with, and how did you decide to meet with whomever you met with?

Answer:
As I said, I started meeting with the plaintiff's side. Initially it was two lawyers who were handling the case for the NAACP. So they were the people I went to talk to. On the other side with the defendants with the school district; they selected the school superintendent, who was a board member and an attorney. That was basically the team, 2 lawyers on one side, and a lawyer and a school superintendent on the other. I made it clear in these initial meetings that I was going to be talking early on with many parties and people in this community about the issue of school desegregation. I would also ask people where to begin to build some information about where the sentiments and the attitudes of the larger public were around the school desegregation issue. We needed to find a way to involve them in the deliberations. There was no reluctance; they were quite willing to have opportunities for representatives from the community to come before this negotiating team and share their opinions about the school system and what they thought were some answers to desegregating the schools.




Manuel Salinas


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

I met with the chief of police and the city manager. We tried to explain to them what CRS was all about, and said that perhaps we could try to reduce hostility and tension in the city. But by the same token, we could try to seek a solution to how and why this occurred and develop some alternative ways for the department to handle such problems in the future. We thought we could reduce the hostile nature of the community at that time, if they would allow us to do so. Of course, they were seeking answers; they didn't have answers. So they were seeking somebody to come in and be of some help. They didn't have enough communication with the Hispanic community, at that time you called them "Chicanos." So what I did is I asked the chief to name a few people that had already approached him, because I didn't know anybody. So he gave me a few names and from there I contacted those people and I had a meeting with them. We had a round table discussion like we have right here, maybe fifteen or twenty people. More active individuals, and they expressed concern about what had occurred.



Manuel Salinas


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Answer:
First of all, I would try to deal with the establishment. I work with the establishment and identify myself, and say there's a problem area, involving a school or the police for example. I concentrate on the establishment where the problem area lies, like if it's the school, then I concentrate with the school. But in the meantime I would talk to the police department, because they're the one who do all the enforcement. So they're one of my first contacts, so they know I'm there. Since we carry the Department of Justice label, they have all kinds of imaginative ideas about who we really are, are we FBI or whatever? And we're not, we're not that at all. When it's a school issue, we would end up with a superintendent. From the superintendent, we'd go down to the principal.




Dick Salem


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

The commissioner apologized when I met with him, because his deputy commissioner, who had oversight of St. Cloud, wasn’t present. I told him that we could assessment conditions at St. Cloud and that we had a training capacity and mediation capacity and we would be pleased to go on-site and work with them.



Nancy Ferrell


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
Do you have any standard approaches of who you talk to first?

Answer:
Obviously if somebody initiated the contact, that would be easy. If it was a news report or some other way that I found out about it, I would try to contact the aggrieved group first to try to get some read on what the level of violence and tension is. Also, how quickly do we need to respond?







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by Conflict Management Initiatives and the Conflict Information Consortium at the University of Colorado