Did you find yourself helping the parties strengthen their own capacity to deal with conflict?


Angel Alderete


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

So you've got to help these guys to understand that from the top down, that when somebody brings you x-number of concerns about what might be happening, they should look into it before they start blaming that guy for not doing his job. And as you begin to start building that relationship with that guy, they're going to feel freer to tell you what is happening. Maybe even doing something beforehand, and that's the important thing with people who assess. "If you can, do it, take care of it. If you can't, get somebody else from someplace else to do it."



Bob Hughes


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Describe a typical kind of case. You said, "The kind of thing I was getting involved in." What was that thing?

Answer:
Let me answer you with this. In 1981, it was virtually all mediation, fishing rights issues and other Indian relation issues. But one day in November of 1981, I received a phone call from the NAACP president in Spokane, and she said, "There's a picture in today's newspaper of a big cross being burned with a bunch of men in uniforms and hoods all around the cross. It says it's the Old Hinge Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. It says, Aryan Nations. What's that?" I said, "Aryan what?" And I didn't know. So I go over and meet with her, and then I realize that I'm going to Coeur d'Alene to meet the undersheriff for the first time. He's looking for somebody like me, and I was looking for somebody like him. We worked very closely together. After a number of contacts, I realized that there needed to be an entity to countervail the influence of the Aryan Nations. They weren't interested in sitting down with a Jewish person, or a black person, or anything like that. But I began the process of identification, and I realized that the Spokane area had a minority community that was concerned about these activities. And the Jewish community was concerned about these activities. But there was no minority community, to speak of, in Coeur d'Alene, or in Northern Idaho. And so whatever was worked out would need to be worked out on the joint basis for both geographies. So I pulled together NAACP representatives from Spokane, and the one Jewish Rabbi serving that whole area, as well as the representative from the school superintendent's office, the prosecuting attorney, the US attorney, the police chief, and the sheriff of Spokane County. Also, we had the Methodist district superintendent and businessmen and the secretary of the bar association. And on the other side, that undersheriff in Northern Idaho, and the representatives from the police departments over there. There was one Jewish resident, but I couldn't find a black person at that point who lived in Coeur d'Alene. I found out later that there were several, but I couldn't find them. Oh, and the state's Human Rights Commission had an office there, so that director joined us and a United Church of Christ minister over in Coeur d'Alene. And we pulled them together, after a lot of discussion, I was the common link between all of them. They didn't know each other, even in Spokane. I was the convener. It was important that we stay together long enough to formulate a program and for me to get out of that role as quickly as possible. Because if anything's going to evolve here, the last thing that should be done is that this group was formed by the US Department of Justice on one hand, and secondly, somebody from Seattle. Those are the bad people. I mean, Seattle is in competition with Spokane. Seattleites don't understand people east of the mountains. But, in essence, what we did was form an ad-hoc organization, sponsor the first conference on hate groups and hate activity in the Northwest. TAPE CHANGE; QUESTION UNKNOWN

Answer:
Not directly. I had contact with Reverend Butler, the head of it. But he really wasn't interested in dealing with me in anyway over that. And that was it. And I don't think that there would be anybody in these organizations that would have any interest in meeting with him either. There was a two day seminar, it was statewide, Northern Idaho with the state of Washington. And at the end of my plan, we had already drawn up a constitution, by-laws for the Interstate Task Force on Human Rights. And that conference gave it legitimacy and we went from there to do a number of things in supporting each other in both areas.

Question:
So I gather you did a lot more of this sort of thing afterwards.

Answer:
Yeah, out of that model came the Interstate Task Force on Human rights that we eventually formed. Hate group activity began to manifest itself, cross-burning incidents, harassment, and organized activity, and this was before skinheads surfaced. We had Klan activity and Aryan activity and your Christian patriots and various assorted organizations that had not been present before, or known to be present. We became aware of the territorial imperative of these groups, they were organizing to form a state within a state. The Northwest Aryan Empire.

Question:
So what did these groups do to try to counter that?

Answer:
Well, every year, the World Aryan Congress met at Coeur d'Alene, out at Aryan Headquarters, seven miles North of Coeur d'Alene. You had up to three or four hundred people coming there. The Kootenai County Task Force on Human Rights, broke off from the Interstate Task Force, so you had two different groups, after a couple of years. They formed Human Rights Observances in the City Park downtown, with several thousand people in attendance, and greetings from the governors of Oregon and Washington. That was my job, to generate these. It was to say, the media was coming to cover the Aryans, that was news. So this was to say, in effect, that there are other people besides them, and we stand for human rights, fairness, and say yes to equity, and so on. But they took on a lot of different projects and programs. Then there were incidents in Coeur d'Alene, Pocatello, Boise, Portland, Seattle, and it was just cropping up all over the place. I pulled together about fourteen people from over in Spokane to sit down and consult together, these would be the NAACP regional president, Human Rights Commission Representative, and LULAC, and so on. But after we had this initial meeting, we then decided there was a need for more input. So we held a series of consultations over a year. First in Spokane, and then in Seattle, then in Portland, then in Coeur d'Alene, and then at the end of a year, formed the Northwest Coalition Against Malicious Harassment. And that has now expanded to include Colorado. Surely you know this, or do you?

Question:
I don't.

Answer:
Oh. Well it's ten years old now, the Northwest Coalition. But it has representatives from the Governors' offices from each of the five original states that we had involved, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. It's a mix of officials and community leadership. The NAACP regional offices, and somebody from an Urban League, Latino organizations, one representative from a police organization in each state, a representative of the Governor's office in each state, a Human Rights Commission representative from each state, general local coalition organizational representatives from each state. This is on the Board of Directors. And we've held a full-time staff of five people. A foundation support of 265 organizations of different kinds, ranging from the police department to state departments of education, and Diocese. The local Methodist Church on Mercer Island, was the first church. That's where I lived. The annual Methodist conference, and even the Northwest Kite-Flyers organization. You don't have to be a civil rights organization to be concerned about these things. It is 265 organizations. But it's educational programs, conferences, and there's a big annual conference held in each of the three states annually. And then smaller conferences are supported. When an incident occurs, a team will be formed to go there and respond to the problem. I was the chair of the monitoring committee, which is the main role we had, and that was to document incidents. If we could document incidents, and show by compilation of credible data, that this number of incidents had occurred in this community. Or then over to the Northwest, so many homicides, kidnapping, all of the different forms of violence. We could persuade officials and public opinion that we have a problem. And that's what we did. We were doing bias-crime data collection on a five-state basis, way before the FBI started.

Question:
We, being CRS?

Answer:
No. No. The Northwest Coalition was involved in urging National Data Collection for some time before it became mandated by Congress. In fact, I'd done that kind of work in Alabama in the 1950's, state-wide.




Werner Petterson


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Answer:
CRS has had a lot of different roles and situations. At times we were mediators, at other times we were what the agency termed as providing technical assistance. For a lot of my last few years I was in that role of trying to help communities come up with ways of handling conflicts within communities where there were complaints by the community against the police departments. I became quite involved and pretty successful in setting up Citizen Review Boards. One of the problems that you always faced in CRS was I would describe myself as like the Lone Ranger, you would ride into town, spend a day or six months. A lot of people might say who is that man. You are not really a part of the community. CRS was an agency that was always burdened with problems. You might not be able to be helpful because you didn't have the money to go there, or you had other things to finance. I think one thing that CRS was always concerned about was creating things within the community that would help the community solve its problems. I really got involved in trying to work in communities with citizens, police departments, and political leaders about setting up these police review boards so that the community would have a way of participating. I don't know what the last figure was, but I think almost close to 50% or more then 50% of cases that CRS handled over the years were cases involving minorities and the police department. That was always the number one issue. It far exceeded any other complaints. To help communities to come up with ways of responding to citizen complaints about police beatings was important.

Question:
Did you claim that the two time periods that you worked on CRS were, I can imagine there was a big jump, a big change from '75 to '97 involving the changing roles of society and civil rights in the agency?

Answer:
Oh yeah I started out during the days of demonstrations in the streets and so that's what we did. We would respond and go to some sort of conflict that was happening in the streets. That's what we did. We would go into situations and be a presence and reduce the tensions and get people talking. Then of course, in the process we would also help the local communities build their own resources. What happened is we would see communities forming human relation commissions because we had been a part of helping them set that up, and of course they were better able to handle situations so they didn't escalate up to conflicts on the street. I think the community shifted away from demonstrating on the street to taking issues into court. I started spending a lot of time being a mediator in the Federal courts, not so much in the streets anymore, but in the courts. I started '60/'69, the Federal Government was the way to get things answered on civil rights and solutions around those issues really needed to happen at the local level. Then I started getting involved with trying to set up these review boards so that the local communities could form solutions. Taking issues to the federal courts might not have yielded much of a solution. So in this way people themselves saw that they could get things done.




Ozell Sutton


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

And the next thing you are interested in establishing among people who before then had no power, you are interested in establishing in them a sense of power is the wrong word, but a sense of ways that they can protect themselves. In other words, you are empowering them. That's what I'm trying to say. And every time you ought to leave them empowered.

Question:
Yes, so you are strengthening their capacity.

Answer:
Oh yes. To deal with that problem, should it occur next week, or next year, or next ten years, that they aren't totally dependent on you, because you may not be in place. That they too can deal with it.

Question:
Hold that place and lets back up to empowerment. What are some techniques that you use to empower community members?

Answer:
Knowledge and know-how-- the ability to assess.

Question:
You taught them that? What did you teach them and how?

Answer:
You teach them how to locate resources. As I say, there are three levels of illiteracy, and only one of them is academic. Another one is systemic. How they use the system. Poor people and unempowered people are unempowered because they don't know how to use the system to their advantage. So they just go back and get mad about that. I have an old saying: Don't get mad, get even. Don't get mad is the same thing a preacher would say, don't curse the darkness, light a candle. And I call myself lighting a candle, teaching them how to utilize the system. The third area for illiteracy is that of race and ethnicity. We are so ignorant as it relates to race and other people beside ourselves. So I call that cultural illiteracy. We are culturally illiterate, we are academically illiterate, we are systematically illiterate, and when you put the three together, you can empower people. Blacks must learn how to solicit others in their fight. See, the question in America now is not just black and white, like it used to be. The Hispanics are coming in large numbers, as are Asians in this region. There is a greatly increased number of Asians in this region. From Cambodia, from Vietnam, and from other parts of the southeast Asia. I work with them and say, you know, "That's the Jewish community in there." The Hispanic community and you should get together. Go call on a leader with the Hispanic community. They have a natural kinship with you and so now they might not be willing to go as far as you are willing to go, because no one is willing to go as far as you're willing to go if it is your problem. So how to mobilize? I deal with black students on college campuses like that. How to be effective when you are a minority. Don't just sit back and say that white folk do this and white folk do that. They impose their decisions on us, get strategically into decision making bodies. Make sure someone from your group is on these bodies. You complain about spending all of the student activity fee and they won't bring anyone in that you want to come in and speak. Don't just sit back and complain, strategically get some of your people on the committee that disperses the money.

Question:
So knowledge of, as well as involvement in the system is important.

Answer:
That's true. It's important to know how to use it. Until you benefit like everyone else. Otherwise the majority uses it to its benefit.




Will Reed


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
Well, let me expand on that a little bit in terms of what you actually did in the meeting. Did you actually come up with the drafting of the agreement or did they come up with the agreement?

Answer:
No, you do that together. In any community they know who the scribes are. The scribes sit down and they write. So, you identify the person who can identify the scribes. And over here, well they figure that all of them are scribes, they just have to look around and grab somebody.

Question:
Beyond scribes, though, who's saying..? We know that one issue is education. Who's saying, "Well, I think we need to get six Indian teachers at the high school?"

Answer:
We don't deal with that. I do not deal with sitting at the table and talking about numbers. If you let people work together to make a decision about how many teachers they need, you put it together yourself. Along with the establishment and the minority community, you let them work out the details. This helps them because they get accustomed to working together. CRS mediators don't have the time and it's actually more beneficial for everyone involved. In this instance the Blue Sky Action Council is still in existence.




Nancy Ferrell


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
Let's talk about training. Did you use training as an intervention technique?

Answer:
A lot. We used it a lot with police departments, partly as an intervention and also as a courtesy to the departments. We would go in and do a review of the polices and procedures for compliance and then do training on excessive use of force. So the police officers would understand what that meant and how it related to the policy. Sometimes there were no policies. Sometimes there was a policy, but nobody knew about it. Sometimes there were policies people knew about and they chose not to abide by it. One of the interesting dynamics in the law, which affected police departments, were the deep pockets where the municipality could be sued and become liable for a police officer's action. As soon as that was discovered, the number of suits against municipality skyrocketed. It didn't change the number of incidences of abuse, it just changed the legal response to it because it became lucrative for attorneys to consider taking it on. So all of a sudden, the cities were saying, "You're going to have to do this differently." The pressure came from the legal system and the municipal government to the police departments, where it had never been there before. They were saying, "You are bankrupting us." And literally, several small communities were bankrupt by these kind of suits. There was the custom and practice of the department, and then there was written policy and procedure, and many times they were completely opposite. They did not match. And that was one of the training pieces. There has to be integrity between policy and procedure, and the custom and practice. If you end up in trouble they're going to look at custom and practice and you are going to be held accountable, regardless of what's written down. So we had that kind of discussion with administration, and then we did the orientation and training with police officers about their liabilities. We'd explain that the department wasn't going to back them up anymore because they are going to become liable. It was an interesting dynamic. One of the real hard struggles for police officers now was that if they get in trouble, they may not have even done it, and it may be false. But the department, all of a sudden, had its own interest, separate and apart from the police officer. So the police officers became very isolated and I think that it created some really difficult times. Community policing though, has helped bring back together the interests of the community, the administration, and the police officers. They don't see each other as adversaries.

Question:
How does it do that?

Answer:
Because the bottom line is, even if it's a lawsuit, the whole community is the one that loses. If there's abuse, the whole community loses. If police officers are allowed to behave that way, then everybody loses. And if the administration lets them get away with it, then it's going to leave an impact on them. The right thing to do is to work with the community and make it everybody's interest. Cost-wise and law enforcement-wise, it's safer for the police officer when the community's involved, the police officers are less likely to be harmed. When the community's involved, the citizens are safer and community money is used in a more productive and pro-active way. It's interesting that most police departments still project themselves as protect and serve, but they have become law enforcement people. You can read about it in my dissertation. That shift occurred when the professional law enforcement image came in, and the image of protect and serve became a slogan and not a reality. The shift was partly because law enforcement realized that they can't enforce the law in a society that's democratic. The community has to allow them to enforce the law. The police theory is that they can only enforce the law in a police-state kind of environment. It can't work in a democratic society where you have to have the community give you permission to serve them. It's an interesting transition because the history of our style of policing is to protect and serve. I also saw it in the school systems, where the professional educators said they didn't need the parents there. Then they say, "We going to do. What are we going to do?" You need the parents there, you need the parents involved if you're going to do a good job.

Question:
Did you go after an incident, or did you do it pro-actively?

Answer:
If we were in an area and there were time and resources available, I would do it as a pro-active response if they were interested in it. If the department specifically called and asked, we would try very hard to do that. Anytime I was in a community, it was a service that I offered to the department. The training was pretty set and we could spend half a day. It was good public relations for them. The excessive use of force training was one of them. Principles of good policing was another, and it talked about some of the things I just talked about. Another really important piece was their mission statement. The police department's described mission whether it's protect and serve or law enforcement and arrest. That reflected throughout the department, one way or the other. Sometimes, there was inconsistency and one group believed it was protect and serve, but another group believed it was kick butt and take names. They all acted out in different ways, depending on who their field supervisor was. That in itself created conflict in the community, in how they interacted with the department. So one of the things we stressed a lot was to make a clear statement of what the mission is. That needs to be done in cooperation with the community. That way, the community and the police department choose the cooperative relationship between the two. That became part of our brochure that we did on commending and complaining about police officers. The first thing on there was the department's mission statement. Then, reviewing every police procedure that you have, or that you ever had, to see whether it enhances that mission statement or detracts from it. That became the benchmark. Does this policy enhance our mission statement? If it doesn't, we need to change the policy. If it does, then it's a good policy. That gave us a tool to be pro-active with the department and be a consulting resource to them.

Question:
Did you do other kinds of training beyond police departments?

Answer:
We did some training with housing authority people. One in particular, we would bring in teams from different community housing authorities, and we would do problem-solving and team-building and to respond to civil rights issues. Civil rights is our mandate, but they could use these skills in any situation. It was a problem-solving, team-building approach. I did the multi-culturalism diversity training with different groups, university students and faculty. A lot of the training was on the job. Often, I felt more like I was coaching and mentoring, being real careful to make sure I was modeling the skills of consensus-building and protecting interests. Those things were critical to every encounter and every community. That probably was the ongoing coaching, mentoring relationship. We did a lot of internal training.

Question:
You mean within CRS?

Answer:
Within CRS, in the last five or six years. There hadn't been a whole lot before that. One of the things that was a mission of that training was to create an environment where the veteran staff was honored and valued for what they contributed. They became coaches for the younger staff rather than it becoming competitive. That was successful. John Chase was kind of the dean of that group and there were about eight of us that were faculty for that effort. I felt good about it, I felt like we really were moving away from competing with each other to being a team and supporting and working with each other. I don't know what the situation is now.

Question:
Did you provide any kind of technical assistance to parties, beyond framing?

Answer:
Like understanding law or something like that? We would do technical assistance with review of policy and procedure. Once, I had a university call and request assistance with reviewing their student handbook. I went in and spent a couple of days looking at their policies and procedures and gave them recommendations. The interesting thing about that, was they were being pro-active and that was really positive. We looked at pictures, we looked at recruiting photographs. "What does it look like? What does your campus looks like? Looks like it's all white to me. If I'm a minority, I don't see myself in this university." Most of them were going, "Oh!" They probably took that picture back when there weren't any minorities there. In this particular instance, one of the glaring kinds of things I said was, "After reading your student handbook, the most egregious thing you could do on this campus is drink beer in the dormitory." The administrators said, "What do you mean?" I said, "Well you have eight full columns in the handbook about what's going to happen to me if I'm caught drinking beer in the dormitory. And you have one little column at the end of the handbook that says, 'Oh, by the way, don't discriminate against anyone!' It's obvious that this handbook was written in the fifties, when drinking in the dormitories was the most egregious thing anybody did. But now you have interest in discrimination and all you did was tag it on. Again, if I were a minority reading your handbook, the message is pretty clear from the written policy that discrimination was a tag on. So you need to incorporate that as an integral part and you need to be more realistic about what are the violations of the university. Drinking in the dormitory probably isn't high on your list right now." It was those kinds of things that people don't see in their publications. That's the benefit of that third party coming in. We're not here to harm you, we're here to help you. So I'm not going to then go around and tell people, "Look at what this," and then name that university. The positive thing is they asked for help and someone who has an eye for that is going to see some things that you're not going to see. It can help you, it's not going to harm you. So that was a good example of how we were able to help them see themselves and look at themselves in a way they hadn't been able to do. They wanted to, but you just don't see it if you've been looking at it for twenty years. That was considered technical assistance. We did the same thing with police departments. We'd review their policies and procedures. You would look at their policies and procedures, and they'd say they want to be community policing, but the policy still reflected traditional policing. One of the glaring examples of that was the evaluation system. That was interesting to help people understand. If your evaluating system is still evaluation of police officers on the number of tickets they write and the number of arrests they make, but you're asking them to be community-oriented, they're going to perform to the evaluation, regardless of what you say here. We all perform to our evaluations. So there has to be consistency between the evaluation and what your goals and missions are. That's difficult. It's difficult to change an evaluation system within an institution. But you can't change the mission if you don't change the evaluation system. We also helped people understand where they may not be in compliance with civil rights law, and then help them come into compliance. This was an ongoing thing regardless of whether it was housing or contracting. That was one of the real benefits of that municipal guide, it helps municipality look at themselves and do some of the things we would go and do if we had time to go into every community. I've done whole communities. Once we get in there, it's something that I'm willing to do to really enrich what we do.




Renaldo Rivera


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
Talk about your work with the aggrieved community, preparing it to meet with the establishment community or vice versa. Do you help them build a capacity to negotiate and represent themselves at the meeting?

Answer:
Yes, there's an element of capacity building. What you try to get them to do is, what's their beef? They know what it is. We're not telling them. They know what it is. What their issue is, what their concerns are, what their beef is. The question for them to figure out who is going to represent those interests concerns and issues in their conversations with officials. Sometimes large community meetings are helpful, but they have to be organized in such a way, and the community needs to speak for itself; but its leadership or its representatives have to create the stage for that meeting to take place. For that to happen, their representatives need to be able to say what it is that they're concerned about in such a way that at the pre-meeting with officials that it can be heard, and then a stage or setting can be created for those issues to be either raised by the wider community or addressed with the larger community. So what you're really doing is listening enough so that they get through their anger, because the first part of the activity is enormous. I mean when CRS goes in people are very angry. A tremendous amount of the time, I think the overwhelming majority of the time, people in the aggrieved community are very angry. It takes a bit of courage, quite a bit. I guess it's sophistication and working in these settings, patience, and not thinking you have an answer for people. What we do -- what I do -- is go in there prepared to deal with a high level of anger and frustration and to listen with patience for a long period of time, as long as it takes without making suggestions. In that process they might ask for suggestions as how they might proceed and then I'll ask, "What's the array of options available to you?" Once again rather than telling them how to proceed -- because then you become just a simple advocate for their advocacy -- is helping them to explore what options they may have available to them. Then, which ones they'd like our help with. From that kind of meeting, we're also having a parallel set of meetings with officials so we can get their point of view on what they see as the difficulties or the problems and often times officials see it as issues of personality, or historical questions with inability to build bridges. Then there's another section of officials that sees it as part of the on-going effort to build appropriate relationships and bridges. In either case, we try to get them into the framework of building relationships and appropriate bridges of trust and communications. We know that we're only there during the crisis period. One of the main things that we try to do in addition to leaving a structure or a vehicle in place, what we're always trying to do is enhance local communication and the local relationships. We talk about that with each set of parties, with all the parties, because we know we'll only be there for a short period of time. It would be presumptuous of us to think that we're going to solve it for them, and it would be ineffective of us if all we wanted to do was help them to reach agreements when in fact if you help them with their local relationships and local communication, you've left in place the infrastructure for them to resolve future problems before they escalate; or if you have to come in, at least your relationships and your communications is at a better level and better point than the first time you came in.




Martin Walsh


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Did the president ask for your advice?

Answer:
Yes, we talked to him about how that meeting should go. He was sensitive to our work and his work in racial problems at the previous university and he knew the dynamic there. And the chancellor knew that he should not have walked out on the students the previous time. And that some of the language youth used in angry situations are part of the venting process and it's needed to occur. We talked about that. The most important thing was his willingness to convey that things were going to change and that he knew the issues; that the students did not have trust that the university was really going to carry forward and live up to whatever they would say. He also had to say something about the legitimacy of their demands and that the university was going to deal with them. So he set that tone. He did not increase the anger.




Stephen Thom


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

I contacted the principal, and I was amazed that the principal is wide open. "Come on down, I'm trying to do this and that." I'll go over what we are trying to do. What he talked about was that he tried to form a multicultural club to work with both groups of students, to kind of figure out what the school could do to get the students to relate better. I said, "That sounds like a great idea, but too often, when you have a voluntary club, you only get the goody-two-shoes. The hardcore kids that are really the cause of the problem, you can't get them into those kinds of voluntary situations. You have to figure ways out to pull the really critical leadership that are involved in the conflict to the table." I said, "Let me share a couple of strategies that we've used and I'll send you some material and see whether that's helpful. So that's always for me a very positive thing, when I can go to my experience and pull out a couple of real visual, clear tools that I can send to an institution, and say, "Look, we've tried this and this works at these locations." I sent it to him and I think it changed the demeanor of our relationship and I said, "I'd like to come out and meet with you".

Question:
Had you met with him at this point?

Answer:
No, this is all over the phone. Now he feels that I'm an asset. Not only have I been there, but I have some tools to offer. So then he's more than willing to meet with me, and to let me come to the school and review it.

Question:






Nancy Ferrell


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
You mentioned yesterday that you spent a year on the church-burning task force. Tell me about that.

Answer:
When the public outcry over the church burnings hit its peak, toward the end of 1995, the administration had to do something. There had to be a public response. The group obviously most competent in that field was CRS. However, the staff had just diminished down to forty-five people across the whole country, so they didn't have the resources. So they started calling some of us back on contract if we were willing. If they called me back today and said they had a situation they needed me to help them with, I'd go in a minute. I think most of us have that commitment to the task, regardless of any of the problems we talk about. There is a commitment to the task. I would help in a minute. So I was glad to do that. They put together teams, and I was working out of Birmingham. What we did was go to communities where fires had occurred. Our role was to coordinate with the other federal agencies, the F.B.I., the ATF, the local law enforcement, the U.S. Attorney's office. We all became a part of a team, and it was one of the most effective cooperative efforts I've been a part of. So that became a good model for some future things they might do. Green County, Alabama was where several fires were, so we spent a lot of time there. We did the same kinds of intervention that we would've done in any circumstance. We found out where the tensions were, where the perceptions between the races were, and if it was causing additional tension. Was it likely to erupt into any other violence? In many instances, many communities just did what they needed to do. They didn't need our intervention.

Question:
What they needed to do?

Answer:
They met with the parties involved and they made a public and professional response to the perpetrators. That had integrity, that said, "This is not acceptable. We're going to figure out who did this, and we're going to do something about it." The community at large, other churches, began voluntarily to mobilize resources to rebuild the churches that were burned. They gave support and affirmation to those generally minority churches. By doing this, they showed, "We do not condone this." Those were the kinds of things that didn't happen in the 1960's, which made this different. I think CRS can be proud of that. I think many of those people had learned how to do that from CRS intervention in the past. The way to do it is for us to work together and say to the perpetrators, "This is not acceptable. Whoever you are, this is not acceptable. All of us are going to respond to it." The black church, the Hispanic church, or the Jewish church is not isolated in this community. They were doing what they needed to do. In communities where they needed some help, we did community building things. I met with a group in Green County for six or seven months once or twice a month, and began to do some things that were community building. After you get into it, it didn't have anything to do with the church fires. It was, "What can we do to become a stronger community?" They put together some really exciting proposals and implemented them, and had some good things going on as a result. I did some training there, community training and department training. One of the things I did was bring teams in. One of the things we did in Alabama was put together a regional training. We brought in municipal teams that included community leaders, law enforcement, civic leaders and elected officials. We had resources from all those different agencies to help everyone understand what was going on and what resources were available to them. Then we did team building workshops with them, to help them function more as a team when they go back. That was a broader regional response. They were probably one of the most exciting things we did. A few of the instances continued to be responding to the fire and the tension over that. It was a he said, she said, he did it, we did it, kind of frustration. There were also difficulties and conflicts that arose out of money. There was money coming in for the churches to be rebuilt, but the perception from some of the communities was that it was being siphoned off and stolen, and used for other benefits. In some places, they couldn't get resources because of whatever technicality, and we'd try to network for them and try to find some other resources. We were really very generalist consultants out there, trying to respond to community tensions. While we were there, we also provided some technical assistance.




Silke Hansen


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
You mentioned at one point that the majority of cases don't go to mediation. What determines whether a case is appropriate for mediation or not?

Answer:
Well, for a start, you need parties that are identifiable enough so you can say "These are the sides." Sometimes that is not clear. Sometimes there is tension in the community, but it is hard to define who, exactly, the opposing parties are. Second, you need specific issues that are clearly-definable. One of the things that's difficult to mediate is, for example, if there is a court case and a community believes that even bringing the case to court was an injustice, or the disposition of it is not fair. Usually you can't mediate that. So in that case, I would look for ways to bring some healing, some communication, some positive interaction among members of the minority and the majority community. I'd just try to begin to get some common interests, some common goals to deal with race relations in that community in general, without going through a formal mediation process. Now, I'm one of those people who starts off every case initially by saying to myself, "Okay, how can I bring this to mediation?" It helps me from day one, minute one to have an agenda in my mind. As I'm working toward that, it may become clear fairly quickly that the case is not going to go to mediation, and that's fine. But if I start out thinking that it might go to mediation, I have a perspective to work from when I approach the parties. If that doesn't work, then I ask myself, "Is there some training we can do? What other kinds of assistance can we provide? Are there some documents I can give them, or maybe I can just facilitate some meetings?" or whatever. But usually, unless I am asked specifically to come in for some other purpose, I'll assume we're trying to initiate mediation. Remember the case I was talking about earlier, about tax day? In that case I was asked to come to facilitate the meeting. I ended up facilitating another one similar to that about a month later in the same community. And there were some great things that came out of that, so it was a very rewarding and beneficial event. But that would be an example of where I didn't attempt to go toward mediation, even though there were some pretty good outcomes that arose from that particular situation.




Silke Hansen


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
Do you often have lawyers at the table?

Answer:
Fairly often.

Question:
And then are they typically the spokespeople?

Answer:
Not if I can help it. Sometimes a party most typically the community will want the lawyer to be the spokesperson, because they don't have enough confidence in themselves. They believe that their lawyer will represent them better. But if I can persuade them that both sides will have a lawyer there as an advisor, but that the lawyers should not be the spokespeople, I find that more effective. And once they've started in the process, that works. But I'm not always persuasive. I can think of at least one example where there was a great deal of hostility between the parties and, in fact, the lawyers are the ones who made the agreement happen. In this case, the lawyers had gotten beyond personal hostility issues and were able to advise their parties on what made sense. The lawyers devised a solution that met both sides' needs, and then they sold that idea to their clients. There was no way that the clients could have done that on their own, because they weren't getting beyond their mutual resentment and hostility and total lack of trust in each other. But the lawyers didn't assume each other to be jerks, so they were able to work out an agreement. Without the attorneys, an agreement would never have been reached.

Question:
Did the agreement hold?

Answer:
For a while, for quite a while. I don't know what the situation is now. Again, this is one of those communities where there has been conflict for decades, if not centuries. But it certainly held on those particular issues, at least for quite a while. I haven't been there for a number of years now. I suspect if I go back now, the same parties will still exist and some of that same hostility and distrust will still be there. But there is at least a significant core of people who participated in that mediation process and in reaching that agreement, and who saw that this makes sense. But again, it's not just up to the people at the table. Everyone at the table has people behind them, out in the community who aren't at the table and who don't benefit from that process. So those pressures on the people at the table ultimately have their impact again. I think the agreements that are easiest to carry out and ultimately implement, are the ones in which the entire party is at the table, without a lot of constituents out there who are going to look over their shoulders or second-guess them, or even worse, have to approve the agreement that gets reached at the table.




Martin Walsh


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

In that case, you were helping the community develop a state of readiness and really coaching and helping to strengthen them.

Answer:
Helping them to address the issues. The issues were out there. There was a meeting; there were problems between the police and the community; but before you could get into an agenda to deal with it, there had to be someone who would be representing the community's concerns. That was a suggestion on my part. "Why don't you call a meeting of some of the leaders and persons who are concerned with this issue and I'll talk to them about the process that we can provide." They had a meeting and I came and talked about our process.






Julian Klugman


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

I learned mediation out of labor mediation, so it really was taking labor mediation principles and applying them to community disputes. So it's mediation. At that time, though, we were very, very concerned about empowerment. Minority groups didn't know how to do it. Later, black and Mexican groups became much more sophisticated and we were also working with the Indians, the Native Americans. You were three quarters of the way there if you could get a police department or a school system to sit down with the NAACP. These little towns would have little pockets of black people and NAACP chapters. The NAACP didn't have any staff, so we were servicing them. The empowerment was extremely important, and we were the U.S. Justice Department.

Question:
How did you do it?

Answer:
We didn't do it, the black community did it. But we backed them. They did it partly by school boycotts because California school districts get paid by school day attendance. If your kid isn't in school, the school district doesn't get the bucks from the state. So that became important. We weren't advocates for the black community. I didn't have a right to speak for the black community, neither did my black staff members. But there were things wrong there, all kinds of things wrong tied to the school system. They were in violation of the employment laws. Usually blacks were really being mistreated. It's like the South, as soon as you got out of the big cities. It was hard, it took years of work, then gradually I got to know everybody, and I got to know where the bodies were buried. My staff got to know people, so you weren't just coming in, you knew what was going on in that town.




Julian Klugman


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
Were you always able to control the elements?

Answer:
No, you have to be flexible. I learned that working with kids years ago. When I went through college, I worked with 5 year old little boys. I learned you have to be flexible and work with a short attention span. Mediation has some of the same elements. One of the first thing I did with those little five year old boys was to say, "Let's take a vote. Should we cross the street together?" They all voted against me and that's the last time I've ever asked a group when I can't accept their decision. Don't let people vote on something if you're not prepared to give them what they want. I believe in people. If you give people a chance, they usually will come to a good decision, but you've got to give them power and don't kid them.




Manuel Salinas


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

So I identified agency people -- because they're the ones who had the resources -- agency people that might be interested in understanding what radio and TV is all about, the FCC regulations and so on. We came together at the post office in downtown Denver and we had at least forty people there. They were interested, so I brought in a person that knew FCC law to explain it to them further. He explained about the citizens' rights -- that the airwaves belong to the citizens and not the companies and so on. They were very much interested in it because they were concerned about lack of employment opportunity for Hispanics in radio and TV. The group was formed immediately because they were so interested in the issue. They called it the Colorado Committee on Mass Media of Spanish Surnames. I brought in a professor from Metro State that was interested in media, and then we brought in people who knew even more about media in Denver. They had a round table discussion on it and then the committee spread out to go to the various TV and radio stations to look at their licenses. At that time the license renewal was every three years. At that time the community had the right to protest. Now I think it's seven years, or nine years, or twelve, they've extended it so much. However, it was only three years then, so the committee members went to the various stations and looked at their licenses and found out how many Hispanics they had working for them. They found that there were hardly any Hispanics at all, on or off the camera. So they came in and they went over the whole thing again and talked about strategies to approach the problem. There was another group in Washington D.C. that was even stronger than the group that we had identified initially. It was called "Citizens Communication" and they had attorneys helping them. Also, the United Church of Christ was much involved in communications at that time too. So CRS paid for some people from Citizens Communication to come in to Denver and to explain how they could help the Denver group, what they could do for them. Then they returned to Washington to begin preparing some documents -- they already had a boiler plate of something they could do. In the meantime the group had a conference on mass media in Denver. So they ended up with two conferences -- one followed the other. At the second one they broadened the constituency group: the Indian group came into it and the black group came into it. The first conference was primarily Hispanic. Because they're the ones who were leading it. By the time of the second conference, the larger group was about ready to file a complaint. By then it was a mixed group -- even the American Indian movement was there. We had it at one of the colleges there in Denver. So we had a large group and a lot of publicity on it and the Colorado Broadcasters Association became concerned. They even had their own meeting, saying who are these people, and what are we going to do, because they're really beginning to challenge us. Sure enough, we did file a lawsuit. That happened because one company was going to purchase five stations and there's something in the law that one company can't dominate the media. That company had publications and everything else, and now they were trying to purchase five radio stations too. One was in Denver, and that was the wrong place to choose it, because we had the media group really going strong then. They were also purchasing one in San Diego, one in Bakersfield, one in Indianapolis, Indiana and one other place that I don't recall. But our group, along with Citizens Communications challenged the purchase of these stations and filed complaints against these stations for their lack of minority participation. And we also filed a case saying that the company could not purchase five stations, they could purchase three. We won; the court went along with it. From that time then, all the stations began to open up and say, "Well what can we do?" What happened with the company, is they only bought three stations, not five. Also they identified a person who coordinated their activities with our Colorado committee. That coordinator became like a spokesman for them, and he provided resources to the Colorado committee. So he became a little more knowledgeable about what was going on in the stations. In the meantime the stations formed Hispanic committees, and black Committees, and the TV stations did too. All those established committees and they would meet with those committee people and they would foot the bill for everything. Those committees began to explain what their priorities were what their objectives were for changing the media in Colorado to be more inclusive.

Question:
These were made up of citizens?

Answer:
Citizens of the minority groups. I thought that was great -- and that's why you saw all sorts of changes all of a sudden. There were programming changes and personnel changes and so on. I still don't think they did as much as they could've done, but nonetheless they got something done. And they got results and even though CRS didn't mediate, per se, they provided enough resources and enough consultants to educate the committee. And the committee, since they were agency people, understood it quickly and moved quickly on it.

Question:
So this is another instance where CRS empowered the local citizens to help themselves.




Will Reed


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Answer:
Yes. Well you don't really go in trying to empower a particular group. You may unwittingly go in and say, "Hey, look, this is what's going on and here's a way that you can be better off," if that's perceived as empowering. You want to teach and you want to provide knowledge if you can. So in some instances, that would be empowering. You have to remember that some prisons are not going to allow you in there -- especially Federal prisons because they're on the same level that you are, the Department of Justice. If they don't want to see you in their prison, they're not going to let you in there. Other times, I wasn't allowed into Bureau prisons.

Question:
So when you did empowerment on various levels, how was your work affected by issues of neutrality, impartiality, and objectivity? Were those things that were at the forefront when you did this?

Answer:
Let me just stop you right there by saying, number one, you use the wrong word. Really, we didn't go around and try to empower anybody. We were out to try to mediate and hopefully come up with strategies that would speak to certain issues that would, in turn, provide the tools for people to become empowered themselves. We might also try to have the officialdom at hand to work with them and work together with the community or the group that was having a problem to the point where there could be some empowerment. As far as us sitting down and saying, "We're going to place this power in you hands," we don't do that.




Will Reed


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Before you were able to put it all together in a nice training session, did you provided any type of training for the parties who were in conflict, like immediate training? Sitting down with them, saying, "This is the way mediation works?"

Answer:
I did that several times. I don't know how effective it turned out to be, because you have new officials, things turn over, sometimes people may not want to embrace what you've done. And then there's other times, someone may say, "Hey, this is a good idea. We may want to keep this."




Dick Salem


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
Did you find yourself wanting to do anything to strengthen the parties' capacities to deal with the conflict, or did they pretty much do that themselves?

Answer:
They really did that themselves. The great fortune here is that this had time to run it's course. It didn't happen in two visits. It just took a life of it's own. That administration was very poorly run and bright inmates helped the administration figure it out. So there really was very little need. The one time I felt intervention was needed was with the Hispanic inmates. They were just waiting and waiting for their kiln and their room, and they started with six of them and two of them went home. In the preliminaries, Martinez met with them to bolster them and encourage them. With the Indians too, who could relate to them? You really need a person of color in that setting to maximize your credibility, or to get as close as you can to build something.




Nancy Ferrell


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Answer:
There was an incident and the local NAACP president was a part of the group and then the president of the bank was the other major leader. I mean, the group was bigger than just those two people, but they were a part of it. The police chief was, too. It had started over police stuff. Six months after the incident with the banker, a young black man had come home one afternoon and told his mother that someone had kidnapped him and tried to hang him. They went to the police department and the police chief couldn't find anything to support what the boy was saying. But he also knew he couldn't go to the community and just say, "I don't have anything." He had established a rapport with the president of the NAACP and had established a trusting relationship. He went to him and said, "You've got to help me, I don't know what to say. I can't find any evidence and I know we're going to have another problem if I just come out and say that I can't find anything to corroborate the boy's story." So the NAACP president went with him, and they went to talk to the boy and the mother again. The short of the story was that the young man had lied, that he had skipped school and he knew the only thing that was going to save him from his mother's wrath was a really good story. Well, that wouldn't have come out if the police chief didn't have rapport with somebody in the black community, someone who trusted him, someone who knew that he wasn't trying to cover something up. Because of that trust, that incident didn't become an incident. But you can't sell that. That success is long-term. That's where the success is, as far as I'm concerned, because my hope is that there's instances like that all over Oklahoma and Texas where people are going to each other and avoiding incredible hurt and disaster. Hopefully they've learned they can trust each other. That was one of those things where it confirms that it was worth the 6 months I spent there.




Nancy Ferrell


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Answer:
Yes. We had what was called the Annual Appraisal of Racial Tension, and then I put together a program orienting people on how to use it, how to score it, and what to look for. New employees could look at that and say, "Here are the things that I need to look at. Here are the elements that I need to look for. Does the community have confidence in those systems? Systems could be there, but if they don't have confidence in them, they might as well not be there. So now we need either an educational program, or the system's redesign. It could be just a matter of education. It may be a legitimate, viable, confident system, but the community hasn't been educated on how to use it. Or, it may be a ruse, where they don't really intend for them to use it. So you have to address that. It was a very good method, but many of the old-timers resisted it because it seemed to push them into something, when in fact, it was just a reflection of what they were doing. But they thought someone was trying to tell them how to do their job. The truth was, it was just a description of how they had been doing their job. And maybe the fault there was our role in educating them in what we were doing and how it came about. I was real new, so I didn't have any input there. I was just doing what they asked me to do, the political part of it. But at that point, I didn't know what the political impact on the other conciliators would be.




Nancy Ferrell


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
How much do you read when you're trying to delve into this with these groups? Do you let them explore on their own, or do you ask them leading questions? How directive are you?

Answer:
I'm really not directive in the content. I'm directive in how they interact, as far as not letting them take each other on. I try to get to talk about their own issues without talking about the other groups. I don't try to lead them into discovering their issues. Before I got into this, I was finishing up a PhD in Adult and Continuing Education. The philosophies of adult and continuing education are very compatible with peace making. The core value there is the adult knows what the answer is, and it's the teachers responsibility to help them discover it. And I had students in class with me say, "We really are the experts, right?" The teacher will correct them and say, "No." You're an expert helping them discover. And I believe that, I believe whole-heartedly in education. I think my role is to help them discover, and I'm good at that. Part of that is because as strong as I feel about my own answers for my own questions, they will not be helpful to them. It may be a great answer, but it's not their answer. And whatever answer they come up with is going to be better then mine. I believe that. So I think those two disciplines really have cemented my commitment to the fact that my job is to help you discover and to create a safe environment. That is a critical element, I think. You can't discover and you can't explore if there's not safety. We shut people down real quickly when there's not a safe environment. So I try to honor that. I will give guidance and ideas when people are having trouble formalizing.

Answer:
People realize that everybody in this situation can be empowered and nobody is going to be diminished by it. They realize that by involving the minority community in decision making, it's not going to diminish the power of the establishment, it's going to enhance that environment. To me there is nothing more exciting than to see people actually start to believe it, because that's what keeps them from cooperating, everybody believes they're going to lose control. You have to create an environment where they can see that cooperative efforts enhance everybody. They want that. It just takes such a burden off everybody.

Question:
So what do you do if the person says, "We want to fire the superintendent?"

Answer:
That's not our role. We'll look at that the problems your having with the school district, why you think the superintendent needs to be fired, but the decision about whether of not the superintendent keeps his job is the board’s decision.

Question:
So do you try to get them to define more exactly what the problems are and then try to propose some other solutions?

Answer:
Right. "What is going on that makes you believe firing the superintendent is going to change anything?" "Well, because none of our school kids can ever sing in the school choir. Not one of our children have ever been invited to sing in the school choir." And that's just one part of that coaching stuff. "Firing the superintendent is not something we can deal with. Let's talk about where your concerns are." "My daughter was valedictorian and it was taken away from her, and the superintendent didn't support us." Now you have a specific issue. You can go back and start looking at how that decision was made.




Nancy Ferrell


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
What about power being a factor? Do you have to provide some way where they can maintain power? We sometimes talk about the difference between 'power with' and 'power over.' Is there any way to have power with instead of power over?

Answer:
I would interchange that with what I just said about honor and put power in there. Before, the power, the only way they perceive themselves as having any influence is by 'power over.' You've got to create a new picture for them that they can buy into, and that's 'power with,' that still has honor and influence. If you try to diminish them and their influence, it won't work. So if you can reorient their paradigm to see that they have more influence inside the group and they can make a difference here. "You've had an incredible influence on this community. What you've done has made an incredible difference for these people, for the change in working relationships. Let's look at it a different way. You can still have influence. You're very important to this process." Many of them will see that and come along, if you'll help them create that new picture. That's one of the gifts of the third party. You don't have anything to win or lose, so they're not looking at you as a vested interest. Nobody else can play that role because everybody else is suspect. But yes, I think everybody has to have a position of honor and have some sense of personal empowerment.






Bob Hughes


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

It occurred to me last night, that there's one aspect immediately following the mediation at this island case that I thought was significant. It was the way the announcement was made to the community. I thought it was unique. The parties, after the mediation, and the pastor of the United Church of Christ suggested that we have an open house at his church and invited everybody from the community. This would be the white community and the non-Indian community, that's where the concerns were. They were all supportive that the community go along with this. Anyway, we had an open church a few days after the agreement was signed and had a very good turnout in terms of attendance. The procedure that we went through was that the key persons on both sides had a meeting together, had an explanation of what the grievance was, and people could ask questions and so on. After that, it became very informal and they had cake and coffee and that sort of thing and broke up into small groups and there were Indian tribal members chatting with residents and vice versa for the first time really, especially those who were most concerned about what had been happening. I happened to notice that there was one person, shall we say Subject A? If you remember, he was one of the person's who had more complaints about this person than anyone else that I came across. I couldn't help but notice that he was off in a corner with three men standing around him, and he was talking with them and showing them something. I couldn't see what it was and I had to look over his shoulder. This was a copy of the Bolt decision that he had somehow gotten a hold of. And it was all underlined with these parts and he was saying, you see, they have a right to come under our property. Now that is just as significant a part of mediation I think as the negotiations at a table. What the people at the table do at the wake of it. They've got the job of convincing their constituencies. We must never lose sight of that, empowering those people and each side needs to be aware of those needs, it works both ways. Later on, this same individual was sitting on his porch and noticed across a neck of the lake a tribal fisherman over there, somebody on the dock who looked like they were having some kind of problems, he couldn't tell what it was. This guy wasn't young and he wasn't in good health, but he gets in his rowboat, rows as fast as he can clear across the bay, and intervenes and sorts it out and works out whatever the problem was. That again is involvement in this way. At the subsequent meetings, before the next season started, those became very important people to tell their experiences and reinforce this kind of positive action. As they looked forward to relating this, they became a reference group of those involved in the review of their decisions. The persons involved in those joint meetings later moved on, tribal leadership changed and so on. Tribal Fisherman Patrol chief became police chief in another reservation. These follow up meetings helped to perpetuate the original understandings and most importantly working relationships, regardless of what's on paper. That's what producing the paper and producing the agreements created, working relationships. Those small joint committees focused on a purpose. That's what creates the working relationships. In other words, mediation sessions are just the beginning. There were people in CRS, when I would relate stories like this, who would say, "Oh no, that's not mediation. When you finish up your mediation sessions, signed, you're out of there and that's it." That's a philosophy practice. To me, I think it's the human relations, in addition to the human rights involved, they're equally important.



Bob Hughes


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Are there any other kinds of situations where mediation's not appropriate?

Answer:
I don't know. I think it's probably useful in more ways than are generally thought of. I think it can be used to provide leadership in a community. You may have incidents that are occurring in a community, where there's no specific party involved, but mediation would work rather than leaving it as strictly a law enforcement matter. There was one mediation case I had at an alcohol rehabilitation program. Unidentified persons were stoning and breaking windows out of this alcohol rehabilitation program, which was a state run program, but the community was primarily the minority. And who they were doing it to and why they were doing it was not known. There was no specific set of demands from anybody, nobody knew why it was being targeted, but apparently a number of people were involved. Community tensions were being aroused by the continued incidents that were occurring, and I was able to arrange a meeting between some of the minority community leadership in that area, the administrators, and county and local administrators of that program, to come up with a joint statement to the community. But, it was in the form of a mediation agreement. It was signed and released to the press. The pre-amble stated the value of this program to this community, and community leaders were affirming this. The institutional officials were stating that they wanted to be sensitive to community needs, but we need to know what they are and urge people to come forward and so on. That was a very minor, small scale kind of case, but I think it's one in which many people would say for an institution to be targeted for vandalism, that's not a mediation case. But I think it is possible in some circumstances, maybe somewhat like that, to provide mediation. Providing a joint voice to the community, that would help to provide standards of behavior or would work to secure such.




Bob Hughes


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Did you offer any type of training to various parties that were involved in conflict?

Answer:
Well, I would talk about mediation and explain the guidelines. I might also expound on how they might comply with these or fulfill these, or react to these in the mediation. But I know that for some mediators before mediation starts they'll have training sessions with one of the other parties on how to negotiate, and I've never done that. I felt like it could be difficult to my image of impartiality. I would always try to do the same thing to both sides, and let each of them know that I was doing this. We have had cases that would eventually be taken through a process where you ended up in a training session, but that's a little bit different from what you were asking.

Question:
We talked yesterday about the training that was given to police officers. How did that come about?

Answer:
Well, we arranged for that. You didn't ask this question but I'll answer it anyway. When you have a minority group that has limited resources and had problems with, for example an institution that has a lot of resources. When you get down to the point of fashioning an agreement, the last thing you want is for one side (it's usually the institution) to commit itself to doing all the things and the other party not committing itself to doing anything. So when you have this situation where your minority resources are limited it taxes the brains of everybody when they're trying to fashion an agreement and think in terms of each other. What can we work out that would help you, where you could help us do these things. Cross-cultural training was an area that seemed to fit into this, so that you know that is one area. Another one was the idea of promotion of careers in say, the criminal justice area. The minority community might be alienated especially by the conflict they are dealing with and would not entertain such thoughts. But if you have leadership that are urging people to get into this area and we will help you fill out an application for employment or maybe they could generate a scholarship or that sort of thing, it's a way of trying to balance the commitments.

Question:
I just realized when you spoke with us before I was misinterpreting the term promotion, I was thinking about moving up in rank.

Answer:
That too, well in the area of affirmative action. I was referring to both the recruiting and promotions of the existing officers so they have a model they can see that it's that there is a future. It's important for them to be able to see this.

Question:
But the other sense of the word was that the minority community would try to get people to come into police work.

Answer:
Promote careers in that professional vocational area.

Question:
When you provided typical assistance to one group did you always inform the other group that you were providing technical assistance to the other group?

Answer:
Yes, I tried to be open and equal in how I would treat each of the parties. I don't remember any obvious instances where I either did this unintentionally or was accused of that sort of thing.




Bob Hughes


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
Any key lessons we're missing here?

Answer:
There's one conciliation case among the Nez Perce Indians in Northern Idaho and the State Department officials of Idaho. There was one summer where there was a confrontation between the younger travel fisherman who traveled a hundred miles off the reservation to a site near a state hatchery. Anyway, a confrontation had developed and I knew that it was pending. The confrontation had developed as the Indian camp, which was along the side of the river, was invaded by the state department fishers and a forestry specialized team. I won't call it a swat team, but it was a specialized and very mobile team, trained and well-armed of enforcement offices. There were about thirty Native Americans, or tribal members, in the encampment in all. Men, women, and children. About a dozen members of this swat team would make sweeps through the village, looking for illegally caught salmon that was not in season. These sweeps would occur at any hour of the day or night, without warning. The agents would go into teepees and so on. This created a lot of tension. I was there, sort of on the sidelines, because these operations had been set up and planned in Boise, well in advanced of the season, when the fishing opened and the run began. One time, when they made the sweep, the Indians chased them out of the village with clubs, not firearms. But, they were chased up the hill to the road where the truck of the troopers was there to pick them up. This was all on foot. Well, as they approached the truck, the Nez Perce Indians caught up with them and cut them off from accessing the trunk. They had their cars parked in this area, the tribal members did, and they were unlocking the trunks, but not opening them. Several obvious guns were in there and it was clear that they were on the verge of a firefight. The state enforcement officers had shotguns and they began to chamber their weapons. They were almost surrounded and backed up against their truck. The Indians were moving in on them, shouting, with clubs. With the weapons that were obviously there, I felt that when it came down to it, the last resort was that I had to walk over between them and tell them to stop. "Somebody's going to get killed here, and none of us want bloodshed if it can be avoided. Tom, I want you to select one or two persons. And Bill, I want you to select one or two persons with you, and in two hours from now, I want you to meet me over at my motel. We're going to work out an alternative to settling this thing. In the meantime, you have your people turn around and go back that way, and you have your men get in that truck and go back to your camp." And it worked. A couple of hours later that evening, we worked out an agreement that would establish a process that they were willing to follow in establishing communication and in inspecting the camp. They were calling it a sweep, but it was "inspecting the camp" for these purposes. "It will be done at these reasonable hours. And when you approach, you will wait until one of these designated persons comes to meet you and escort you through." And that seemed to defuse the situation. There was a television camera team on-site from Boise, that filmed the confrontation. The governor saw it that night on the evening news, and he sent his legal representative up. There were some state patrolmen involved there, too. Highway patrol. The governor has authority over highway patrol, but not the Commission of Fish and Game. He had no authority over them, but he sent legal council of the state department of law enforcement up by helicopter that night, and it landed in the field out there. There was a big stir and he had the captain in charge of that state patrol unit order them back to the barracks. He did not want the state troopers providing support for the fishery enforcement personnel. The legal council of the tribe, and the legal council for the state department of law enforcement, and the tribal chairman, and I got a group together representing both sides. Together, we realized that we did not know what the law provided and what the law did not provide. We decided to meet at the University of Idaho, at the Law School, and have a conference and invite representatives of other tribes. It would be co-sponsored by the Department of Justice Community Relation Services, Nez Perce tribe, State Department of Idaho, law enforcement of Idaho, and the Law School. We had about a two day conference, Indian Law and Jurisdiction was the title that we gave it. Other tribes sent some people in, because they had similar problems. Not necessarily fishing, but traffic control on the reservation. That was very successful in establishing a collaborative approach. This developed relationships, trust building, and so on. The following year, instead of meeting at the university, we went to Spokane. There's a large convention hotel, and we had 300 or more people attending from all over the Northwest. Some were there from other parts of the country, experts on Indian Law and Jurisdiction, conducting a seminar on fishing and other law enforcement jurisdictions. It was very successful. That all grew out of that. Guys involved in that confrontation jointly sponsored Native American and official agencies. That model was unique in the country. You've had one party or the other holding these conferences at universities while we're here, but not a jointly sponsored, collaborative effort. That was also the model that we used in the Northwest Coalition. Officials and Civil Rights Groups together, making a collaborative program, and forming approaches to those hate issues. The same thing in these Native American fishing issues. Both of them were unique and there had not been that kind of joint collaborative effort in either area previously. Well hey, I didn't realize it was going to get into all of that, but some of these, which may seem to be a little, fairly limited, area of mediation will channel conflict to the table. At the table, we don't have it all here either. "We better involve some other resources and do something." It kept growing and growing until it developed to that scale, and a lot of that seemed to put a cap on a lot of those confrontation issues. The sponsorship in the second of those Indian Law Jurisdiction conferences was very broad, with the Northwest Tribal Law Enforcing Association, the State Department of Law Enforcement, for 2 or 3 states, the Northwest Indian Treaties, the Northwest Indian Tribal Council and so on. They were authorities from all over the country.




Ernest Jones


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
Did you do that by providing any type of training or other technical assistance?

Answer:
We said we would assist with some training that they were doing for street cops and ended up not doing it. I don't even recall why. Our input was emphatic on the need for training not just of crowd control, or those technical kinds of things, but in how you effectively interact with people who are culturally different from you for example. How to better communicate with people. Those kinds of things, more the touchy-feely stuff as opposed to technical definitive kinds of things.

Question:
Did they welcome your input when you say that touch feely type stuff that law enforcement is not generally used to? Did they welcome that part or was there any sort of uneasiness about that component?

Answer:
Well there wasn't any uneasiness about it.




Efrain Martinez


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

I would say, "Why don't I go back to that community group, propose to them they come meet you with a list of what they want. They want answers, but I'll have them prepare their questions beforehand. So before the meeting, you'll have all their questions and maybe something that they want you to do. You can analyze that and see how you feel, but I'm going to run the meeting. Before the meeting starts, everybody is going to agree to some ground rules. No screaming, no hollering, no insults, no nothing, I'm going to introduce the topic, I'm going to run the meeting, I'm going to manage the process. With those assurances, they're more willing to meet.












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