Are there other aspects of the process that you used that are worth noting?


Renaldo Rivera


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
Define the 2-step process.

Answer:
It has to do with when communities have lost faith in public officials, and law enforcement. They've recent experiences, recent incidents that have emerged with problems of trust with both public officials and law enforcement. You now have set the stage for a trigger incident to inspire civil disorder or unrest. Those are the pre-existing sets of factors that CRS watches out for. When you have both sets of them you now become more finely attuned to the possibility of a trigger incident occurring in that community. Since that's true in large numbers of communities with concentrations of people of color, the question becomes when they've had recent incidents that are highlighting this distrust. That's what occurred in this community because of the pushing out of the superintendent. So that immediately made the prioritization and the possibility for its alert status much higher.




Stephen Thom


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

A lot of times I've worked with cases where I actually write what's been agreed upon up to a point rather then wait to the very end. I give them notes to give them a feeling of building. So, when we convene in the second session I'll say, "Here is what we've agreed upon so far. I want you to look at it. We start with Item 5, then we know what we've invested in. Take a look at it and review it." They'll give me a few corrections or whatever. They'll have that and they'll take it home and muddle over it.





Bob Ensley


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Answer:
By telling them that I'm the one that's asking them to do this. I said, "It may not work. If it does work, it's going to be to your advantage. If it doesn't work, blame it on me because I'm the one asking you and I'm going to be right here with you." "Now, the one thing I will say is that I'm going to chair. It's going to be my meeting and I'm going to be in control. When I feel as though it's getting too complicated, we're going to adjourn the meeting and go home. But I want you all to know this is my meeting and everybody's going to have the opportunity to talk. I don't want any side remarks. I don't want any profanity. I don't want any reference made to a person's color or anything else. This is my meeting. I will adjourn it unless you come prepared to hear what people are going to say, no matter how they say it." I keep emphasizing that because they always talk about ignorant and uneducated people. "It's going to be my meeting and we're going to sit and listen."

Question:
You hear this from both sides?

Answer:
Both sides.

Question:
How do you decide when to stop dealing with them separately and bring them both to the table?

Answer:
It varies. Sometimes you have to do it in the heat of the conflict and have them realize that unless an agreement is reached today, there's going to be serious consequence and everybody's going to suffer. Then again, it takes time to build and you gotta spend days going back and forth from one group to the other. It's usually hot, you're tired, but you say, "I can't give up now. I have to go, I have to keep on going." Then when you start seeing little cracks and people saying, "Well, let me call so-and-so. Call me in a day." I'd say, "I don't have a day or two. Can't you call them now?"

Question:
So first you do this preliminary work with either side to kind of soften them up?

Answer:
Yes, oh yes. You've got to move between each, yes. But sometimes you don't even have that luck. You have to go to them and say, "Listen Frank Ford, you have to meet today." He's the county attorney up where I am working now. I said, "We don't have the time to wait until I'm able to meet with the mayor or the sheriff and everybody. With one phone call from you, you can have the people together."




Julian Klugman


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Answer:
More often we didn't do mediation. Table mediation is parties who are coming from different positions. It's a give and take. I give some, you give some, I give up some, you give up some. We come to an agreement. That's what I call mediation. More and more what we were doing was problem solving. Why? Because it's a multi-racial, multi-ethnic situation. It's too complicated to mediate. Also, I personally think problem solving is a better approach than mediation. It depends on what the situation is. Sometimes mediation is appropriate, sometimes it isn't. Some lawyers want it to go on and on. When I started, the discovery process was nothing. Now a year of discovery costs three, four hundred bucks an hour before you even come to trial.




Efrain Martinez


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

I never tell anybody what to do because it could be the worst thing they could do. But I do help them analyze their situation and then they decide what to do. Then we discuss option A, B, or C. Which one has the most positives, which has the most negatives. Then they decide which option they take. There's consequences for A, B, and C. Good or bad, but there's consequences for doing nothing too.



Werner Petterson


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
In general in this case, when parties would make demands that you felt or they felt were intractable, how were those resolved? How did you deal with those?

Answer:
We had them because as we tried to apply this solution or this approach, there were many times we came to real impasses because we had to reach a goal that took awhile to get and the point got pretty close and this approach really became a mathematical solution. We got arguing about numbers. Finally we went back-and-forth, back-and-forth, and it wasn't going anywhere -- I finally became an arbitrator. I said, "okay, we've been going back-and-forth on this and I'm going to suggest that you decide to think about this and let me know." Well, one side accepted this and the other rejected it. I said, "I guess we can't get anywhere, so I'm going home."

Question:
Were you really going to go home?

Answer:
Oh, yes I was headed to the airport. Maybe it was like a Friday or something, I don't know, but I had called and left messages at their office. I think it was at the airport that I got a call from one of the sides that panicked when they saw that I was going home. We got together again and after some more discussions we reached an agreement. For that I give to credit to my boss. He always impressed on me that sometimes as a mediator people get to the point that they so rely on you for answers. I guess in this situation by getting involved as an arbitrator I had really taken on that role. So when it appeared that I was walking out it fell back on them. I think what had happened is the two negotiating teams had talked and said we can't just let this collapse and that's why the one fellow called me and said we need to talk some more. I think that something had been said between the parties before the call came to me. They realized that they weren't going to allow a number or two to get in the way of coming up with a solution. That made the difference in breaking an impasse.




Dick Salem


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

The mediation was a long and tedious process. Some of these issues move quickly and easily, but throughout there were tensions. There was one point when BBDCO complained that they were being harassed, people were being put in lock up. They refused to come to the table for a while.

Question:
And did you proceed without them?

Answer:
We did on some issues, with their concurrence. I suggested they send an observer in the room to sit and watch without participating. I donít remember if they did, but I would not have proceeded without consent. There was also one incident when a white inmate got so ticked off that he verbally abused one of the guards. "You donít know what itís like, you s.o.b.Ē The officers all walked out and we had to wait a half-hour until they came back. There was a continuing problem at the institution that cut across mediation. The attorneys from the university could be discourteous and abrasive with the staff when they came to meet with residents. The officers disliked them. One of the attorneys caught me one day and said, "We are having trouble gaining entry. They hold us up till the superintendent is here or his associate is here. Then, they hold us up at the gate, then they donít escort us downstairs and we are losing an hour every time we visit. We arenít going to stand for this.Ē I asked them if they had talked to the superintendent about it?" "We shouldnít have to talk to the superintendent," they said, but they agreed to do so and I said I would work with them to get the matter resolved. The legal assistance attorneys were not participating in mediation at this point, but when we opened the next session that afternoon, one the attorneys and a student stormed into the room and announced that they were not going to represent the inmates any more if they were going to be harassed by the staff. "This is an issue which I want resolved here and now or we arenít coming back to this institutionĒ he said. You can image the response of the inmates. They then caucused with the legal team behind a locked door for 45 minutes. They hadnít been there for three weeks and all of a sudden they came in and made this announcement and caucused across the hall. Eventually they came back and the issue was resolved. I donít remember the details, but there were assurances given and then they disappeared again.

Question:
What were you doing while this was going on?

Answer:
I was cooling my heels. What can you do when the group caucuses and they donít want you there? Usually, you wait awhile and give them some time and stick your head in to see if you can be a positive factor. But they wouldnít let me in. Oh, they were furious. That ended and we got through that.




Nancy Ferrell


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
What does that imply about your thought process before you go into a case? Do you have any kind of a plan laid out, or do you go in with pretty much a blank slate and just wait to see where they are before you start coming up with plans?

Answer:
I learned after ten years that I did have some ideas, but I tried to protect against going in with those expectations. Or going in with a plan. I really believe in the power of the parties to resolve their own problems. My greatest gift to them is the process to help them do that. That's what they're missing. Like I said, in ninety percent of the cases, people want to do the right thing, and given the right environment, they'll rise to that. That's the gift I bring. If I go in with a solution, I may miss the real issue. Like the university case. I would have missed all of the other things that really were more important to them than the fraternity party was. That fraternity party was a slap in the face, but had they been treated fairly on that campus and felt like they were a part of that campus, that wouldn't have occurred or they would've gone to someone and said, "What is going on here?" So to go in there because of my preconceived notions, limits their environment, and the ability to really get at the core of their issues. Sometimes it's hard. Because you've seen this situation before, you think you know what you need to do. The power of that is that you do have some things to say, there is hope. I've seen people work through these things, and I've seen good things come from this. Here are some things that have helped in other situations. So it gets them thinking, but I very much try not to go in there with a preconceived plan. It's like the city that I went to and we ended up with five groups that night. I'd never done that before, but it seemed like the right thing to do at that point, because it's what they needed. I guess that was one of the most important factors for me, trying to respond to what they needed. It was critical to try and keep an open mind about the situation. I was always surprised. Hardly ever did I go into a situation where what you expected to be the most important issue actually was.




Nancy Ferrell


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Answer:
We had the document. Once we began writing it up, we spent time clarifying the issues that we were going to deal with, and then took them one by one to develop a response or a remedy. Part of the technique there was that each time at the end of a meeting, I had drafted what we had done as far as issues and remedy. I brought that back to the table at the next meeting with the draft working paper and that's where we started each time. The problem with not having something like that is that you keep backing up. If you don't keep a consistent group, you have to start all over again. So the consistency was critical, and we did have consistency. Each group had an alternate that was available, who came to all the meetings. That was part of the reason for having more than one representative. So that we had the consistency and could keep moving forward. Once we had all of these issues addressed and some remedy proposed, we checked a couple of things, institutionally or legally. We would have to check to see if they were viable. If they were legitimate, within the context of either policy or law or whatever. Once we had all those things cleared up, and everybody agreed, we had a document. We got everybody to sign off one, and then I was finished. They were just beginning, but my role was finished. I went back a couple of times just as a kind of a courtesy, but also it's fun to go back and work with the group on a issue or something, or an educational thing. I went back one time and did one of the trainings that they had proposed in the document for the students or for the faculty. I think I did a faculty training on multi-culturalism or something like that. So it is that kind of interaction. I was in town for other things with other issues in Stillwater but from then on, it was really theirs.




Martin Walsh


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

In a lot of the cases we are involved in, the community doesn't have the issues framed properly for negotiations. Part of our process is getting the problems and concerns structured in an issues and demands type of format so that they can be negotiated. In this case, it was going back and forth to the administration -- they already had the student demands -- and whom we thought should be at the table.



Stephen Thom


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

I often use what I call the Forced Field Analysis, where you look at the issues and you look at them by rank order, and you kind of line the issues up juxtaposed to each other by rank. Then you really take to heart the opinions of those people that you felt were neutral and very objective about the disputed issues to try to see if you can bleed some truth and logic into the sequence and the viewpoints of the parties' positions. So that's the way I approach it. It's very intuitive, but at the same time I'm relying on as many of the neutral perspectives that I can get because I think that objectivity lends some credence to some of the very biased views of people involved in the conflict. That's the best I can do in those kinds of cold situations. Sometimes you need time to bleed out the truth by getting to more levels, in-depth levels.



Stephen Thom


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

How do you identify them [neutrals]?

Answer:
Well, in any of these groups that we work with, there's a range of personalities on any side. You have the adamant positions, they're wrong, I'm right, I'm going to get my piece. Then you have the hangers-on who don't see it at the same level of compassion and anger, and they tend to be more objective. I look for these people because they are very important in preparing for the mediation process. In our mediations, we usually have 5 to 7 people on either side. If you diagram the personalities that sit at the table, I kind of hone in on who I can depend on in really being my aides and will assist me, who are the ones that are basically just position bargainers, and which are the ones that I can count on really giving me a more objective insight. So, working with the personalities and the positions of the parties themselves is important in knowing who to go to, who to ask questions, who to diagnose the problems and issues with and who might give you a possible solution, etc. Even within the parties you can find diverse views and position to help the mediation process.




Stephen Thom


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

I analyze them against the other parties' priority issues and then when I write the issues down I try to manipulate them so we work from the easiest to the hardest. At that point, I share the issue with each of the parties one at a time and gain their concurrence. The parties are also given a chance to add or delete issues. I generally do that all the time because I want them invested in the process before we get to the real hard ones. I've had situations where I've put hard ones on the front end and we couldn't get through them and there wasn't enough good will established to get through that issue.



Stephen Thom


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

I do a lot of writing on easels to point out what points we've made up to now and does everybody understand that. Ask a lot of questions: Are there any differences in opinion? Is there anything more that needs to be said about this or are we ready to go to resolution? So, that works. A lot of it comes naturally through dialogue and the discussion by the parties. You know it happened and that they fully understand by their counters or by their stated thoughts: "I didn't see it that way, this is what happened to me," or "I didn't know you thought that way!" A lot of times you hear it in the dialogue itself and you don't need to do anymore. So, it's a combination of all those things.



Stephen Thom


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

I think one great thing that mediation has, when you're selling it is, you don't have to give up anything. There is very little risk. "You can maintain your lawsuits. You can maintain your EEO complaint. You have all these options and you have the right to use them, but we're going to give you another option that you can control and there is very little risk. If you don't like it you can walk away." Point out other options available to the parties while still involved in the mediation. "What will happen if nothing is done?" That's always a good way to pose it. One thing we use against institutions all the time is, "If you don't come to the table, what is going to happen? What is the complainant going to do next? You're forcing the ante to go up when you're not willing to respond and at least make yourself available to discuss these issues. So, when they get frustrated where do they go next? They either start marching or they go to the media and it just escalates. So, why wouldn't you go to the table and at least hear them out?" Give examples of similar resolutions and after you've mediated long enough you can say, "I've had a similar case to this and these are the kinds of things that people came up with." That takes the fear factor out. "You aren't selling the ship or anything, you're just saying we could all move along and people have already come to the conclusion that we've moved the ship in different ways and different times. This isn't the first time this issue came up. Let's go through and look at the history and share some of the more valuable things that have occurred in mediation cases that I've been involved in." So, I think that's helped. The mediator and his or her impartiality should not become an issue.





Martin Walsh


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

The venting process takes place and I think that no matter what the person says it's going to be an angry type of confrontation that can leave people very upset about what the university didn't do, about that incident, about that person being beaten up and nobody doing anything and letting this guy come back on campus and nobody ever paying attention to the students and other incidents. That was the whole process and I think it's important for those things to take place. But they were able to go from there as they had planned to the next step. We've seen so many of these things. If they aren't prepared to go to the next step, then where do they go? That anger just percolates out there. It may recede over time as people do things, but it's there beneath the surface. If anything else that takes place, another triggering incident, that relationship is bad and then something else builds up and Boom!



Stephen Thom


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

But at the table, we had a big language problem. The Koreans has such strong accents, I couldn't understand them. The African Americans couldn't understand them. We had one African American who worked in the swap meet who was our translator. It was just amazing. The candor of the discussions and the open realizations that African-Americans went through and that Koreans went through and their thankfulness that they shared their real feelings as people about why Koreans followed African Americans around in stores, why the Koreans look angry and then now to smile and other nuances that they didn't understand. What one culture felt was a better alternative to a real demeaning and discourteousness act, was found to be a taboo or idiotic thing to do in another culture. I had an easel and I wrote the agreements that they came up with, I wrote them out because we knew language was a real barrier so we wrote out everything that they concurred on. Then I went and asked the Korean community if they understood each issue and proposed resolution, and would ask, "Are there any questions?" I went through tediously pointing out exactly what the exchange was, what the agreement was piece by piece.





Bob Hughes


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

So you never go into caucus and say, "You better drop that one because it's never going to be solved?"

Answer:
Oh, well I might go into caucus and give some advice. Or say, this particular issue that you've raised is going to be pretty difficult to get an agreement on and I would make some recommendation.

Question:
I'm wondering if you would advise parties saying, "I just don't think the other side would accept that?"

Answer:
Oh, well I might say that. Meeting with parties in private caucus can be risky because presumably, they need to be consulting among themselves and really digging down and exposing their best thinking to each other. And for the mediator to be there and then leave and go over to the other caucus, at least the thought passes through the minds of most people, "What's he going to tell them that he's just heard? To what extent? How's he going to help them? Or maybe he won't?" That is I think a fairly risky area.

Question:
So I gather you don't caucus much?

Answer:
Not much. And it may be to test something out. I may go in and say, "What do you think about doing this?" I might go back and ask the same question to the other caucus and get their response and get back together and ask if they would be willing to try this based on what they've told me.

Question:
What would make you decide that it's time to do that?

Answer:
I don't know. Some perception of an idea that arose in the need for some fresh ideas.

Question:
But something that you couldn't bring up in joint session.

Answer:
Well, I mean if they were already in session I reflect on it. In other words, why would I withhold it until they were in private caucuses? I don't know, I guess you'd say trying to test the waters.

Question:
How did you decide when to meet separately with the parties and then when to bring them together? Presumably at the beginning you are meeting separately with each party. How do you decide that it's time to bring them together?

Answer:
Well when I've met separately with them that's primarily for the assessment purposes from relation of ideas we'd mentioned. And once the recommendations have been made then that reflects the idea that we should move into mediation. In the Portland case that I mentioned earlier, we had been in continuing contact with the parties throughout that period of tension and we didn't make the recommendation for mediation until what might be a fairly late hour. We felt that mediation would be effective and that the parties would now, likely, be agreeable to mediation. And check it out individually with them and if they said yes, then we formally arrange it.




Julian Klugman


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Answer:
Yes. I'm not going to let anybody yell at anybody, I'm not going to let anybody get out of line, I'm not going to let anybody intimidate anyone else. I'm there to help them solve their problems.

Question:
What if they develop an agreement which you consider to be unfair?

Answer:
Tough.

Question:
Tough to you, or tough to them?

Answer:
Tough to me. They're not there to do what I want them to do. I'm there to help them, I work for them. They don't work for me. But there are times when mediation is going to fall apart and there are times when you don't mediate. That's what I was talking about regarding ethics. Nobody talks about that anymore. Sometimes mediation doesn't make sense. Sometimes it shouldn't be done.




Efrain Martinez


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

I was doing a court mediation case against a federal agency. I'm part of that agency, Department of Justice. It was over an action INS took in a community in apprehending day laborers, and that town's police force helped INS in conducting this action. The plaintiffs felt there were a lot of civil rights violations, such as the fourteenth amendment, first amendment, seizures laws, and all that stuff. They filed a suit in court against the Attorney General, against the Department of Justice, against that city, and against the city's police department. So the plaintiffs asked me if I would mediate it after it had gone to federal court. They all got together, and even though I work with the Department of Justice, they were asking me to mediate. I had worked with a lot of the plaintiffs before. They felt I would be fair and impartial. It's the same idea with being Hispanic, dealing with issues involving Hispanics. I'll never stop being who I am, but I will try to be as fair and as impartial as I can. To be able to help them. When I'm in town they say, "Well are you going to talk to the sheriff?" I say, "Of course." "Are you going to help him?" I say, "Of course. I've got to help the sheriff deal with you, and then help you deal with the sheriff. If I can't do that, then I don't have any business here." In this court case, once we got the judge's okay for mediation, we had a second meeting where some new lawyers came from Washington. The plaintiffs were asking for class designation and for thousands of dollars to pay for their attorneys. The government said, "No, there's not going to be a class designation and we're not going to give you money." They were asking right off the bat for about $600,000. Then said I asked the government, "If you give them $100,000, is that reasonable?" "No." "$50,000?" "No." "$25,000?" "No." "$5?" "No." "Five pennies?" "No." Nothing, zero, no pennies, nothing." So the plaintiff's attorney was there, and he said, "Okay, you're not going to give us class, you're not going to give us a penny, then we're out of here." So they just walked out. I called for a recess and a caucus. I talked to both sides about how important this was. The government wasn't going to give up any money, but what would be reasonable? What would their supervisor and the taxpayers feel was comfortable? But it became a personal matter to them about giving up anything. So now they're playing hardball. Then I talked to the plaintiffs and their party privately about their ultimate goal. Is their ultimate goal getting class and getting money, or is their ultimate goal reaching settlement on correcting the problem they say happened? What are you here for? Are you here to make money, are you here to declare that this is a class action, or are you here to get what you can get for the people you represent? I also said, "Okay, if it's critical to you, think about how much money you want. Also, why don't we put that at the back end of the discussions?" So it becomes issue number twenty instead of issue number one. That way, you all feel you've accomplished a lot if you've accomplished eighteen of the things on your list. Of all the things you really wanted, corrective action on the police department was very important, corrective action by the government. If you get that, then maybe money won't mean as much. Now you've gotten pretty much all that you wanted. And that's how we did it. It involves helping them realize what their true self-interest is. I just helped them through the process of analyzing their interests. The plaintiffs didn't get half a million dollars. That's what they felt they had spent in legal fees. As for the class, they were just defined as one. But everybody got a whole lot of what they came there for. They went to the judge and the judge gave the okay a few months later.



Dick Salem


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

The last negotiation I took part in took place on a school bus, which was in the DMZ. It was a convenient place, the people fit and it was pitch black. I was in the back of the bus, and they decided what they needed to do was find a way to end. It was agreed they were going to end and what terms would be. There would be no arrests, but those who had felony charges pending were subject to arrest. CRS would be the intermediary for turning in guns. Guns wold be registered and returned to their owners if the could show they owned them. That was our role at that point. Now there may have been more of a role played in other meetings. I left at that point.



Nancy Ferrell


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
This was the same group that you had constituted?

Answer:
Part of that group became the first task force. Then they had in place the criteria for replacing themselves over time. Because the students would have to rotate. But they put in the document, ways for the group to replace itself as time passed. We did the brochure out of the group. We had it designed and printed up out of that process.

Question:
And what is the task force's purpose?

Answer:
There was one overwhelming interest that came up. That was the minority students' lack of anonymity when they needed it, when they felt they were being discriminated against. So part of it was to create a buffer between them and the complaint in the classroom or housing or whatever. So that they had a place to go to deal with the problem, and then that group became part of their voice. Obviously they'd still be identified, but here's this task force group looking at it, so that the faculty member or housing authority or whatever is not just dealing with this student, they're dealing with this task force. And the task force is made up of a cross section of the university, who says discrimination is not appropriate. So it gave them some buffer against the majority because you can't create an environment where they can be anonymous, when there's so few. So how do you create a place where they can be safe? So that was the purpose. The other was to try to be pro-active. Looking at additional ways where we are not meeting the needs of our students, where we are not encouraging minorities to stay here, and be a part of the campus. They looked at things dealing with handicap access, housing, the systemic kinds of things that affect students. The different programs that the university has, why are there no minorities in this particular program? They had the two goals, as I remember. One was to create this safety net for the individual, and the other was to be pro-active in proposing and recommending change for the institution to continue to do that. I think they called themselves the multi-cultural action team. They wanted to be sure that "actionĒ was a part of their title.




Silke Hansen


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Did they do any formal negotiating?

Answer:
Not really. They did negotiate with the police department to send more black officers and they did it very effectively. The next day there was a remarkable change in the complexion of the officers at South Boston High. They had a profound impact, since everybody knew that South Boston whites opposed forced bussing and that the entire community felt that way. So when the police chief found someone this forceful and this adamant working together with black parents and coming jointly as a team to say this is what we need in South Boston, oh yeah that made an impact, it definitely did! Q - Tell me a little more about the dynamics on the bi-racial parent council. How did the black and white parents learn to trust each other?

Answer:
I just got them talking about their hopes and fears and they found out how much they had in common. Of course the black parents focused more on the security issue and the fear that they had for the safety of their children, but that had a profound impact on the white parents because they realized it was their neighbors that were generating that fear. I don't know if "guilt" is the right word, but the white parents certainly could identify with the black parents' fears. So at least within that setting they wanted to be a resource to turn to, so those parents did not have to be afraid. And they wanted to show that even though there was just a small group of them, that there were those in South Boston who did not want to see any children get hurt.






Leo Cardenas


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

The day-and-a-half meeting was the initial exploratory meeting sponsored by CRS. And CRS also got universities and the media to be co-sponsors. The meeting was highly structured. Usually, it started with a keynote address by someone in the media, and then face-to-face meetings between the two groups. Actually, a lot of venting would go on in those meetings.

Question:
Was that public or private?

Answer:
Those were public.




Leo Cardenas


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

The key thing that gave them power was bringing them together?

Answer:
Yes. The CRS conciliators spent a lot of time coalescing the community groups. But they did a tremendous job.




Julian Klugman


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
So what did you do to try to get them to trust you?

Answer:
You start by asking questions. "You can't bring up everything. In what order do you want to bring this up? What are you willing to settle for? What is the bottom line position? How do you want to present this stuff? Who will be your spokesman?" That wasn't easy because it turned out to be the woman and her son. There wasn't a lot of leadership in the Indian community. "You don't want five people talking, so who is going to be the spokesperson?" The woman chose to be the spokesperson. You've got to defer to her. Let's go through the ground rules on mediation. Then I had further complications. I had people there from the outside. The U.S. Attorney, a very liberal guy, had hired a young Indian woman who was the first female Indian person to get a law degree in Oregon. She was there. I had an Indian guy from the state who was part of the Alcohol Control Commission of the state. He was an Indian official with the state. He wanted a piece of the action.

Question:
And you decided that, you didn't leave that up to them?

Answer:
Well, it was both. Remember I was supposed to know everything there was to know about mediation. No, there has to be only one spokesman. If you want to advise, you can't do it openly. I said, " I'll call a recess if you want, then you can caucus with the Indian group. If they want you in their caucus you can advise them, but you can't interfere with the mediation process.

Question:
Which means only one person from each side at the table?

Answer:
No, five people from each side at the table. But I'm the mediator, I'm in control. I said, anybody from the Indian side can speak, ask questions and so on, but you shouldn't disagree with each other. Think that out beforehand. Don't openly start discussing among yourselves. I'm mediating between you and them. I told the other side the same thing. You've got questions, you better get it down before it starts. If things come up that you're not sure about, give me a signal, I'll call a recess. That's what caucuses are all about.

Question:
Now did you help mediate within groups during caucuses, or did you just let them do it themselves?

Answer:
I don't make their decisions. I'll tell you what I think if you ask me. If I think you're really screwing up, I'll tell you. But I'll tell you it's my opinion, and what I base it on. If I think you're being unrealistic, I'll tell you and I'll tell you why. I'm not going to take responsibility for the group, that's up to them. If I have a good idea, I'm not going to hold back, I'll tell you. But I won't do it openly, I'll only do it in caucus. However, when the woman's son lost his temper with the sheriff, I immediately called a recess, because that could have been dangerous. I sat down with him and his mother privately and said, "Look, we'd better talk. I don't live here, you do. You don't do that in this community. I understand why you got mad, but you have to keep cool. Not only for the process, or for the Indian people.

Question:
What if the sheriff had gotten out of hand? Would you have done the same thing? You wouldn't have said it's dangerous, but would you have called him on it?

Answer:
It can be dangerous too. Some young Indian kid can get mad and get drunk and go after the sheriff. That's a small town.

Question:
Keeping control of the process.

Answer:
I controlled it. I am a firm believer in people deciding for themselves. I really believe in democracy, no fooling, and that means you've got to be willing to share power. I really believe in people doing that, but people have to be informed. That's what the preparatory meetings are for. I went through the ground rules and I met with the Indians and they made decisions. When they asked for advice, I gave it to them. If I thought they were really going way off, I told them. If they overruled me, it was their decision. I didn't have the final say, they had the final say. There were a couple of times where I thought they were wrong, but it was up to them.

Question:
So basically, you helped to identify the issues, you helped them prioritize the issues,

Answer:
And understand what the mediation process was about.

Question:
Ok, you told them what procedure you're going to follow, and you did this with the other side too?




Julian Klugman


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
Does that mean you don't mediate a case like that?

Answer:
No you might, but you have to find leadership somewhere. There has to be movement on the problems. I can't move the problems if I'm not the principal. If there's no hope of anything happening, if there's just discussion, it'll make things worse. If you have discussion without action, you're building up expectations. That's where riots occur. Riots don't occur when things are bad. When things are bad, people are being submerged. It's when there's hope. It's the same in schools. So don't kid people, be serious. If you come in, and have a discussion group and raise expectations and then nothing happens, I guarantee you it's going to get worse. That was one of our prerequisites. Same with mediation. Don't enter a mediation unless you're prepared to make changes. It's solvable.




Efrain Martinez


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
Was the KKK involved in this process?

Answer:
Yeah, they were. They came to some of the meetings.

Question:
Was that the sympathizers or the KKK?

Answer:
The KKK itself did come. They weren't wearing their robes while they were at the meetings.

Question:
What was their dialogue? what were they saying?

Answer:
First of all, that the Vietnamese were fishing illegally but the government wasn't doing anything about it, they weren't enforcing the laws. And because they weren't enforcing the laws, the Vietnamese were taking advantage of the locals' situation and the government was giving them all this money so it's an unfair advantage and so the Klan was out there to help the locals fight that. They were protecting the local community and its way of life.

Question:
Did you ever find out how they became involved?

Answer:
Any situation like this brings them out. Later on in another setting, when thousands of persons were coming across the border illegally, the Klan said they were going to help the border patrol because the border patrol could not keep all these aliens out. The border patrol said, "Hey, we don't need your help." Then I found out a vigilante Mexican American group was going to go out there to confront the Klan if they ever showed up, but they didn't. There's not that many of them. Through cross burning and rhetoric the Klan can cause a lot of concern. The minority community would say some law enforcement people are sympathizers. That they may not be wearing their robes but they certainly share the same feelings. We don't find guilt or innocence, we're trying to find out what they can do together. Also, we don't make any decisions. In essence in this whole process we sell ourselves. It's always a personal interaction. I have to sell myself to you. Once I do that, then I sell the mediation process.




Will Reed


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

And then as you begin to hang around there for awhile, it's a situation where you may be lucky. You get to the point where they'll send a representative to sit down at a table. So the two major parties elect spokespeople. Usually it's pretty difficult for the spokespeople to come right away. Because you've got to remember, if they've been elected as spokespeople, they perceive themselves as being important. And if someone's the President of the University, then he or she is important. So that's just a matter of fact. So, you try to pick a way in, getting your representatives to help you along, getting allies from your side. It is important to try to figure out who the movers and the shakers are -- who's going to get things going. So you try to identify who that person may be within the establishment's office, the President's office, or within the street, or the student body office. You've got to understand, a title doesn't necessarily make a person a key spokesperson. A mouthpiece is important and the same mouthpiece is even more important when you've got those people on hand, you need to identify them. Just so happens, you're going to find the same mouthpiece in the chancellor's office, or the President's office. Who? It may be the attorney.



Dick Salem


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Then just recently you said you only did 6 or so formal mediators. So presumably most of your stuff is what you call "informal mediation.Ē How is that different than formal mediation?

Answer:
CRS defined mediation and had a series of activities. There was conciliation, there was pre-mediation, and there was mediation and follow-up. It was quite structured. In formal mediation, you have an agenda, you have ground rules, you have parties agreeing to all of this. That was highly structured. Much of what we did never reached that level. Yet you had the same behaviors in bringing parties together and getting them talking around a table. Now was Skokie a mediation? Sure it was, but not by this formal standard. Parties wouldnít come around the table. So you did Mediation things and the definitions become blurred, but I donít want to get hung up on that. There were formal mediation that I did and there were informal mediation, or conciliations, call them what you want.




Nancy Ferrell


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
Now did you generally try to move people toward mediation, or was that open for later determination?

Answer:
It was later. I think probably as far as sitting down at the table, if it looked like it would be a good tool in the long run, yes. If not, no because it was so time-consuming. We worked territories, generally, and I had Oklahoma and Northwest Texas. I may be in Stillwater, and then I'd be back in Stillwater again dealing with the school district, or the police department, and some of the same players in all of those situations, especially with the community. So maybe we could deal with the university and you ended up with formal mediation, but you're dealing with some of the same players with the local school district and you really don't need to go that far. They've already been through some of that, they already know some of the process, and it's just a matter of helping them focus again to use the process themselves. Sometimes the parties weren't willing to sit down at the table, and the best you could do was to try to minimize the tension and the potential for violence. That's all you could accomplish, so a lot of things would be a factor if you ever got to a table. I guess the driving interest for us in region six was, is there an opportunity for a systemic change? Then we would move there, whether that resulted in a formal mediation or not. We may still get some sort of document where they change the way they recruit teachers, even though we never sat down and had a formal mediation. But we made a systemic change. So that was more of a driving thing than the mediation.







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