How did you identify the proper people to talk to or get involved?


Angel Alderete


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

So, the people that I contacted were the agencies that serviced that area, which were very few, but they were Native American and African American. Latinos didn't have any group that they could call upon to serve them, and the Asian community had a religious group that served them, but they didn't get the sort of help from that group that the African Americans and the Native Americans got from their groups. It was mostly internal, and they usually took care of problems that arose within that Asian community and in effect, they took care of themselves.



Leo Cardenas


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

What kind of community groups are we talking about?

Answer:
The group included representatives from LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens), the American GI Forum, and locally, LARASA (Latin American Research and Service Agency). From the black side, the NAACP and the Urban League, and on the Native American side, the Indian Center. And there were others. It also included student groups at the universities..... more than thirty groups eventually.




Bob Ensley


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

First of all, you have to get credible people. You call so-and-so, they'll tell you there are certain people in every community that both black and white feel comfortable talking to. That's the only way to do it because you cannot do it yourself; you don't live there. You're not familiar with anyone there. You have to get people that are respected, who are honest. You let that rest with the community, don't try to take on that burden yourself, because you can't win.



Ernest Jones


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

The assessment that I did took place over probably 5 or 6 months. We made sure that we had all the points of contact that were necessary. What separates this from a regular case is that instead of going into Birmingham, AL and dealing with the mayor of Birmingham or the police in Birmingham, here you've got the Olympics coming to the city of Atlanta and you've got literally every level of law enforcement involved, every level of governmental entity. So there was a massive group of people we needed to touch base with to be able to move around to be able to get things done. Part of the assessment required an extensive amount of identifying who the key leaders were in different areas and then making contact with them. That way they would know who I was and vice versa. In the Olympics you've got all these people coming from all over the world. You've got an extremely diverse cultural atmosphere and because of that you've got the potential for all kinds of conflict particularly between law enforcement and people. The police aren't running the show, but they are making sure that it flowed smoothly. The tension for conflict between police, the majority of who would be white, and people from all kinds of parts of the world was exceptionally high and so we were trying to identify how that would work and where we would plug into this. The assessment and that leads me up to, the key factor in the assessment process was to make sure that we knew where we fit and where we could best provide the kind of service that we were supposed to.

Question:
How did you know who to contact, who would be the key players that you needed to bring into this process?

Answer:
Well a lot of it was common sense and experience. Because you've done it before, you go into a situation where there are certain people that you have to touch base with. There was a bureaucracy created and an Olympic Committee and they are kind of running the show. That's like the CEO's office. So you know you've got to go to them, you know that you've got to go to the key law enforcement agencies that are going to be responding to this, not just security within the Olympics. A lot of it was going to take place with the periphery and so you had to make sure that you touched base with the city police, the county police, the state police, and the federal police. And again that's kind of common sense. You just know that because that's what the job entails. And you know based on the assessment you can get a sort of sense where you think the problems are going to be so you invite other people that you might need to touch base with. Social service agencies for example, you might touch base with them. So identifying the key leadership, or who the people are that you need to get in touch with, you look first for the position. You find out who the chief of police is and you talk to him. Being here in Atlanta we had some advantage in that we knew some of the players already and so you talk to one and you find out you also need to talk to a couple more and it just kind of grows out. Over a period of several months, and not full time, I was dealing with other cases and everything else. We had a luxury of time because we had a long advance period prior to our involvement. I did the assessment and that gave me an idea of what we were going to do and it kind of created a picture of here's what needs to be done and here's what we plug into this whole process. Then I had to figure out how we were going to do that and how many people it would take and how you organize that and make it run smoothly.




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.

Question:
Are you doing this after you get there?

Answer:
Usually, we try to do as much as we can on the phone, but if it's an emergency we have to be there quickly. Once I get there, I ask them several things from their point of view. What do they think is going on? Also, these people will tell me a lot of things about each other. Sometimes people have things they don't want you to know. So we just ask a lot of questions. Who's the leadership, who's the top educator, who's the top businessman, who speaks out front, who's in the back? Who calls the shots? They tell us. Then we make sure we talk to those five key individuals. Then we can pretty much be effective. The whole point of being effective is to create some kind of change or to help them progress, to solve their own problems.




Efrain Martinez


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

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.



Manuel Salinas


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
How did you assess the feelings of the community?

Answer:
Generally when we would go into various cities, we'd meet with the establishment and let them understand what we were going to try to do, and then I would then identify in community organizations who should be involved. They'll be agency people, like G.I. Forum and NAACP would probably be there, perhaps the Urban League, perhaps SER, the church. I would try to work with the church to identify community leaders. Sometimes there would be a Latin American club that would be helpful. You talk to them, just like I did with the establishment. They have to know that I'm there also. So I let them know that "we have a problem area over here in this school, and perhaps you can be of some help, or you can come together when we go further down the road." Most of them would generally agree or would identify other people who are more aware of a situation. Or they might identify good teachers that could help.




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."



Silke Hansen


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
How do you determine who exactly to talk to?

Answer:
If it's something that was just in the paper, and I don't know anybody there, I would start by trying to locate the organization and/or any names that were mentioned in the paper. I would try to find a way of contacting them and talking to them. If there are no organization names or specific individuals to start with, then I'd try to find out which minority organizations exist in the community in question. Then I would figure out whether I knew anyone in the community who might be able to get me connected to the actual "players". I still would prefer to start with the community perspective because that is where the conflict seems to exist and then move on to the institution. In each case, I would ask the people that I talk to, "Who else would I contact to get more information, to get a broader perspective on this?"




Renaldo Rivera


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
How did you identify the other groups that didn't contact that committee?

Answer:
We had a long-term relationship with one of the inspectors in that police department. He was aware of what was happening, because it was in the local papers on a daily basis. We said, "Look what are we going to do? How can you help us because you've got your men tied up with all the demonstrations that are taking place and they're not going to go away. It's one town, and this is an opportunity for us to see what we can do together. You can have better relations because you'll need to have better relations in this community." I just asked.

Question:
So other people helped you identify the leaders?

Answer:
All you do is ask the question from a responsive source, which is what CRS used to do in the old days in the South. They'd go into a community cold and have to find who the people of influence were. So you start asking the people closest by. You ask the clergy who has influence. You ask the NAACP, to see if you were able to identify some of those people of influence even if they weren't highly visible in the public providence. Then we went and talked with them and expressed the concern and told them what was going on. They were also able to influence the publisher of the paper because the United Way has this little corporate committee round circle. They were able to talk to the publisher of the paper and that also influenced the nature of the direction that they took with the case. So in identifying the people, you need to talk to a large number of people and what begins to happen is that a smaller subset -- that's the other part of the underlying question -- you need to talk with a wide range of people in the community. You ask, "Who is it that can get things done. Who do you go to get things done in this community? Who else do you go to when those people don't work?" What happens is that you talk to community members, church members, members of municipal departments. And you talk with the private giving community. What begins to emerge is a small cluster of individuals and those are the ones you want to talk with or have other people talk to. That technique and that strategy goes way back to the beginning of CRS. They may not always be lawyers and doctors. They may be in some places where people have coffee, in the homes. Those people of influence exist in each place. A lot of them are unheralded and unsung, but they're there in each community and getting your way to them is through the process I just described.




Martin Walsh


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

We didn't know any of the players at all. There were a couple of names in there, so the phone calls started as to who was dealing with this issue. There were some ministers and there was a community group that had taken the leadership role. We talked to them about what was happening and what they knew about the matter. I said, "We want to see if we can be of assistance. I would like to sit down with your group to explore this thing." It was a matter of then trying to identify who are the players. I think regarding the community groups, it is who is moving this issue along? Often it takes awhile to do it, but that's our first process.



Stephen Thom


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

How did you identify the parties?

Answer:
We went to each of the families over a period of months.

Question:
You define a family as?

Answer:
All the stakeholders that we could find. The Native American Heritage Commission keeps a list of most-likely descendents to any geographic area. Through a list of people that Larry had provided we went down that list and worked with those families who likely had relationships to the remains. Later, we met with leaders of those families, and eventually brought the leaders of those families to one large gathering of the tribe.

Question:
Over what period of time?

Answer:
I would say that it took at least a two and one half months. We had at least 10 meetings. You always have a lot of hits-and-misses - people don't show up for meetings, so you have to go back... we were driving all the way out to these rural areas and meeting with people, only to find that the right leaders weren't there. So we'd have to come back and meet again. It was an exhausting pre-mediation process.




Stephen Thom


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

You were confident you knew the player, the parties?

Answer:
We were confident that we knew how to get to the players. We knew that we had a list of most-likely descendents, and that always leads to more descendents, but we had enough of the contacts to track down the key leaders. And they would come because of the common ground and the interest in the number of remains. We knew this case would be spiritual to Native Americans and that there was a lot of interest in what would happen with the remains.




Stephen Thom


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

We could never get the chief of police together with the tribal chief. It would just be one accusation after another. It was very tense at that level. But we decided we could bring the town council representatives and the tribal council representatives together. Vermont was really taking the lead on this case. It was decided that we get the two councils together to sit in on the mediation.



Stephen Thom


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Well, I'm looking at analyzing the conflict to figure out where or who to contact next. I'm going to look at all sides. What police department, who do I know that knows whom. In Long Beach, I've had such a long association, I've known the last three chiefs, I even think I know the up and coming chief. I have several advisors in the minority advisory committees that I've worked with over the years, and I've worked with the community relations division. So I'll start with the Community Relations Division, and figure out, who's in charge of it, who's doing it. Then I'll hone in on the police side.





Nancy Ferrell


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
Did you sometimes use outside community resources to help resolve conflict?

Answer:
Yeah, again it would always depend on how the case played itself out. The situation in the small community where the Iranian students were coming into the community college and they were really being discriminated against by the community, is an example. The incident occurred because some high school students had been driving along and used a baseball bat on an Iranian student as he was walking. That was the triggering incident that got our attention and brought us into it. I went to the police department and it was a "boys will be boys” kind of thing. I went to the school board, and the principal, and it was, "Well, they're dating some of the girls,” and the boys were mad, and that's what happens in small towns. I wasn't getting any empathy. They wouldn't generate any understanding from the Iranian students’ perspective at all. I talked with the community college about their guardian responsibility to these students. There really wasn't any strong support there because they saw their funding and support coming from the community at large, which was an Anglo-white farming community. I was just pretty much saying to myself, "This is going to have to take some legal action or the students are going to have to do something in terms of protecting themselves from the legal perspective. The community's not open and they're not going to listen to the interests of these Iranian students.” I started thinking about that small rural community and they would have 200 Iranian students come in there. It had become a place they would come for two years to get their English up to a level where they could be admitted to the University of Tulsa, in the Petroleum and Engineering school. So it was a pipeline for that community college. I thought about how much money had to be coming into that community because of those students and what impact would this have on the community if those two hundred students a year went away? The network that got them there could certainly stop them and pretty quickly cut that off. And if they kept treating them as badly as they were, and there was physical danger, they'd leave. So I decided to go to the chamber of commerce and talk to them about, "What is the impact on this community economically, about having these students, and what's gonna be the impact if the student's are gone?" And so they got involved, and of course, that meant the business leadership got involved and things began to change then. We began to see some empathy and some understanding that we need to do something different. But, again, I appealed to their self-interest. I think in most instances, that's where you have to start with people and try to figure out what is in it for them. What's it gonna cost them if this continues, and if I point that out, then they're more likely to listen. In another situation, there were some educational issues for migrant workers. And I learned through just talking with some people, listening to people, that the great operator was really the power broker in the community. And I had never sat down and talked with him directly, so I made an appointment, went in and spent a couple of hours just talking to him about what we were doing and what our interests were, and what would happen in the community in the long term if these kids don't ever get an education. It was almost just honoring him by the appointment. He opened the doors, and things started moving then. So, that's part of the dance. If you go in and you're not ready to move wherever the thing's going, then you're gonna miss something good. Q - Now he didn't feel threatened by you? A - No. He didn't project that. He probably felt he was finally honored. Q - And he wasn't being personally accused? A - No. But everyone knew that as soon as he said to the school board, "Let's go for it," it would happen. As a mediator, you could go in there and try to strong-arm, but we didn't have any strong-arm to go with, except if this is not resolved, then the agencies who do enforce may come in. But it was persuasion and working from a perspective of good will, and to appeal to people's higher being. And 90% of the time, people will respond to that. And that's what this man did. He made a call to the president of the school board and all of a sudden the school board president was open to some ideas. And he hadn't been. I'm not sure that he had talked to that operator. He just historically thought he knew what he wanted, and he wasn't going to violate that. That's the nuance and that's the dance. It’s following those trails and seeing where they go. It’s finding out who the power structures are and where the doors get opened, and then appealing to their higher being. And most of them will respond to that. Anybody who's self-interest is greed or power, is not going to respond. And that's when you have to know to hand it over to whoever the law enforcement people are and let go of it. But most often, when you give people an opportunity, they'll respond.




Silke Hansen


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

But before school opened we did a lot of work with community leaders, including clergy, with the school system, and police department, trying to do some contingency planning. We assumed that there would be demonstrations, but we wanted them to remain peaceful. So we planned what these groups would do in case of an emergency. Who was going to be the liaison between school and police for instance? We also started looking for ways to form multiracial student councils so that, as these new groups of students were brought together, that they would have a mechanism for being able to work together. Unfortunately, in South Boston, that was next to impossible, because white kids and certainly their parents were very clear that they didn't want to do anything to try to make this successful.



Martin Walsh


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

How did you know whom to talk to?

Answer:
We knew some of the players on the faculty from our previous work there. Then one meeting turned to another and they would refer us to some of the students or resident assistants and other persons who were quasi-faculty.




Martin Walsh


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

In those types of cases the most difficult process issue is the reaction in the community. There is no one reaction in the community to a shooting death. There is no one leader. How the community will process the death is the critical issue. The first thing in meeting with the community was to assure myself that they were the leaders dealing with the shooting issue. After checking out the matter in a few phone calls, those identified in the media agreed to bring several of the leaders together who were meeting about this issue. It seemed that they were some of the people who were moving this matter.



Martin Walsh


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

So, it's who is taking the leadership; who are the real players in these incidents. Sometimes we go by who comes forward and is willing to address the problem. I remember one of the problems with which I was involved in my hometown of Wellesley, MA. One of the cases there was with Dee Brown, a basketball player with the Boston Celtics. He was stopped as the alleged bank robber who robbed a bank in Wellesley the day before. It led to a celebrated case in the paper. There was a lot of publicity. Into that process came a public meeting which the selectmen held in Wellesley at which the issue of the police treatment of him was discussed. The police were defending their procedures. But the major issue that came out of the meeting was that other members of the African-American community came forward and said that they had been stopped driving through Wellesley. The issue was racial profiling even though we didn't call it that then. There was a real problem. From that meeting, one leader reached out and helped convene a group of African Americans, some who testified. They became the community group. Was everyone reached out to? No, not necessarily. But, I always think you want someone who might be on the negotiating team. If you want to make some progress, I think the best way is through the mediation process and getting the community involved. But sometimes you don't know whether that group is representative of the community. There was no election and there was no formal group formed. I suggested that they call themselves something, so they called themselves the Wellesley African-American Committee (WAAC). They dealt with a number of problems, not only with the police but a number of other issues like schools in Wellesley.



Martin Walsh


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

The question often is: are they a representative group or do they need to involve other people, especially if we have already talked to other persons. We can make suggestions like the NAACP is concerned about this and so forth.



Stephen Thom


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Were these student leaders, parents, organizational?

Answer:
There were student leaders.

Question:
Did you meet with them?

Answer:
I'd met with some of them individually.




Stephen Thom


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

I started working with the Korean leadership and I knew some of the Korean leadership from other case work so I began to move in and actually we met the key leader of the young men's Korean organization that was really the organizer of the response for the Korean community to all those stores.



Stephen Thom


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

The mayor had a Korean worker on his staff, and she was our liaison for a lot of our pre-negotiations with the mayor. She was a key person who really helped us into the Korean community from the very beginning.



Stephen Thom


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

If it's an excessive use of force case, I'm looking for who is the spokesperson for the complainant. Usually it is the NAACP, CORE, SCLC, sometimes some community spokespersons evolve. So I'm looking for linkages to the complainant side.





Angel Alderete


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

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. We made certain that the group was multiracial. We didn't want to have anyone from the administration say, "I want my favorite," which would then be translated into all white. The warden (and he's a great guy) then made the selections and he just chose so many people from a certain group. He got together a good group to sit down with and begin talking.



Angel Alderete


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

It started off again by knowing someone in the city of Pomona, and asking him who the people might be that I ought to contact. He was willing to sort of lead the interface for me, and so that's how we got in contact with the Latino community and with the African American community. With official folks. It isn't hard with official folks. You just show up and introduce yourself, and they'll sit down and talk to you. But the community folk, they don't care who you are. I mean, they want you to prove yourself.



Angel Alderete


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
How did you get cops involved in this?

Answer:
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, so I explained to them what I thought should be done. One of them got involved, and that gave us a pretty diverse group. There were four community people, four school kids, the police chief, the city administrator, somebody from the school board, some people from businesses, city council and so forth.




Bob Ensley


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

how you knew which parties were involved?

Answer:
That results from looking and listening and making a detailed assessment. You look at people and see who they're talking with, and try to make a determination whether they are sincere in their efforts, or they're just promoting themselves at the expense of the group. And many times you're fooled into supporting or associating with the wrong person. But you just can't go in and assume that a given person is the leader. You have to find out who the real leader is. It may not be the one up there talking, the one who has the microphone. Sometimes it's the person standing there with a pair of coveralls on and his hands up into the bib area. So you have to do an accurate assessment to find out who the leader is. Then you begin to talk with those persons. And then the most important thing is, don't you try to take credit. When I did this, you always say, "Well, thank you." You give them the credit for what they're doing, and you will find out that the result is very rewarding and productive.




Bob Hughes


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
Have you ever had a situation where the state police, or the authority does not want you involved?

Answer:
Oh, there are degrees of cooperation. Some is very superficial kind of cooperation, such as not having time to meet with you, they have to handle another issue, or they have to go out of town.

Question:
What do you do then?

Answer:
What do I do then? I work down. If I can't meet with person A, then I go to person B. In the case of say, a police chief, if there's a Community Relations Unit, and I know the officer there, I might go to that officer first, before going to the police chief. It's all according to what kind of rapport you have within that department or within that community. It's hard to generalize.




Efrain Martinez


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

What I'm looking for is consistent names. If four of these people tell me I ought to talk to John Doe, I'll make sure I talk to John Doe. Now once I get to see them, what do I see them for? Essentially, I want to know what they know about the situation.



Manuel Salinas


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
Let me back up a little bit. How did you identify who the players, who the other participants should be?

Answer:
Well once the chief of police identified a few people, and we met with those few, they formed a group. Then we knew who was taking a leadership role there. There were a couple of people who took on a leadership role. There was a mixed group, women as well as men, and young people as well as older people. So that formed el Comite. It was about nineteen to twenty people total.




Ozell Sutton


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
Okay, that's what I want you to walk us through. How do you know who the conflict is with? Who are the parties? What are the demands? Exactly what you said.

Answer:
Well, I knew that it was the sanitation workers. It was just a matter of finding out particularly who was leading the sanitation workers and where their leadership was coming from, who was making the decisions. I knew it was against the city, so it was just a matter of finding out what powers in the city were pulling the strings. The mayor, the city council, what part everybody was playing. You do that by just simply conferring with people.




Ozell Sutton


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
How did you identify which of the grassroots people to invite to the meeting?

Answer:
You just sought out the leadership. The leadership comes to the surface. It may not be of the same class as middle class blacks, but it shows itself.

Question:
Again, how did you know that? How did you find those resources?

Answer:
Well, I've been around for a thousand years. I used to be a community leader, myself. I was with Central High 9 when they entered Center High School; I was a young NAACP worker in those days. So I know it when I see it, because I used to be a part of that too. Some of the greatest things I ever dealt with was grassroots community leadership. I could persuade people. It's a culmination of a life of involvement in that. Every aspect you see, you've done it-"been there, done that." And I tell whites now, and I tell blacks, don't try to squash leadership, because it does not lead as you would lead as a middle-class black. Let it go, try to direct it, but be proud of that fire that sends them forth.




Will Reed


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Sometimes you developed strategy with somebody that wasn't part of the agency but who might have been, for example, another agency, a sister agency, contemporaries or what have you. You might find yourself developing some strategy with the police department. You might find yourself discussing strategy with a community action director. You might find yourself discussing strategy with anybody that you felt fit into the scheme of things to the point where they could make a contribution and where you were comfortable with their input. And that happens lots of times when you are in the field. Especially if you are out there and you are by yourself. And if you're by yourself, you're trying to figure out who you're going to work with. Who's amicable to this situation? Who's hostile to the situation? That's how -- getting back to the other question you asked me -- that's how you tried to figure out what you were going to do when you knew that, clearly, somebody didn't want you around. You tried to determine whether or not you were going to be playing the enemy, or playing the friend. And then a lot of times, some of the foes came around and decide to work with you after all. Often the foes came around. I know in my situation, I had lots of foes who came around because they came to the conclusion that the work you might have been doing at the time was something that they could buy into, or something that they perceived as worth while.



Dick Salem


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

So on the one hand, we worked with city officials and the police. I joined them in some of these meetings on techniques for minimizing the likelihood of violence, as the Skokie police had no experience in this. We got Commander Jim Reardon from the Chicago Police Department to help us. He had worked the Democratic Convention years earlier.



Dick Salem


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
You talked off and on about bringing in resources that CRS knew about and also community resources. How did you identify resources that you weren’t previously aware of? Community resources for instance.

Answer:
Well during the course of the assessment you would identify the power points in a community, who they were and how to reach them. I remember when we were in Indianapolis, working on school desegregation, there was a banker who was also a big figure in the Indianapolis 500 race, and headed the Indiana Bank in Indianapolis. He was known to be active socially and so we gravitated toward him once we learned of him and his interest and clout in the community. You know that the Eli Lilly Foundation is down in Indianapolis so you try to find out what the interest is there. You learn from people in the community as part of your assessment what resources are there. When you do your assessment, one of the questions you are asking is, what’s the history of this conflict, who are the parties, who else has been involved, and sometimes it will surface that way. People have set up committees to work on a problem and may have some people to do that. Former public officials, leading business people, you ask around and you move in those directions.




Nancy Ferrell


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
How do you find somebody to call?

Answer:
I don't know, it's kind of like being a detective I guess. You check the paper and you call groups that you're aware of. Sometimes you call the newspaper and find out if they have any names. A lot of times, in the minority community, the church leadership will know somebody that's involved. So you just have to ask around the first six months or a year and after that, I've created this file of people in every community. So I may even call one community and say, "Do you know anyone in this community?" Usually they do. But you begin to have a network. Once you've established those trust relationships and those networks within a territory you can do something with a phone call because you've already established the trust, you've already coached them through some conflicts before. You really do multiply your efforts when you create those networks and alliances with trusting people. I began to have people from the establishment call me, and that was a real benchmark. The establishment people were saying, "I think we've really done some things here which might be a problem. We're not sure where to go with it, could you help us out?" You just create a network like you would with anything else.






Manuel Salinas


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

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.



Nancy Ferrell


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
Now where do the sorority and fraternity come into this?

Answer:
The sorority structure became a party to what we were doing. What do their by-laws look like, do they have discriminatory practices and policies and then how is that impacted by the national fraternal organizations? The first response from the minority student groups was that the fraternity should not be a part of the resolution. My response was that they must be a part of it. Even if the fraternity is kicked off the university, they still needed to be a part of the solution. There needed to be some awareness around the table of where that came from and how it felt and the whole deal




Nancy Ferrell


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
Did you always know all of the parties before you went down?

Answer:
Yes, if at all possible. You might not be able to get in touch with everybody, but the goal would be to get in touch with all of them before you got there. Whoever I talked to first, I would tell them that I'm going to be talking to the other party today. "Before I leave, I'll be talking to these people. Is there anyone else you think I should talk to?" That did two things. First, it broadened the network for talking to people, it began to identify some of those leaders. Second, it began to establish the trust that I was in fact going to talk to the mayor, the police chief, LULAC, or this person who's in charge of the demonstration. Everybody knew I wasn't trying to hide anything. Usually the next person is the chief of police who will say, "Why did you talk to them before you came to talk to me?" I would tell him I made the appointment with them first and I didn't try to go into that anymore. I knew there was always that feeling of, "Who did you talk to first?" One would always say, "They're just trying to con you." So I just say, "Everyone's trying to con me. It's part of the deal. Everybody tells the story from their perspective." I understand that it's part of the dance. "I understand that's a concern of yours." I'm trying to minimize any impact it has in a negative way. "I think we can be helpful."







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