What types of resources from within the community would you use? How did you get them involved?


Werner Petterson


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
What were some specific trust- building strategies or activities that you used when either race, ethnicity, gender, or CRS affiliation was an issue?

Answer:
I would find someone from whatever the community it might be and in this particular situation it was in the black and the white community. I knew that if I would involve the community in this process it would be helpful to have people within the community who knew me, to introduce me to people and become a bridge and to be a patron of what was happening. And in that particular case there was a prominent State Legislator that I had known for many years and he was well loved in the community and became my bridge into that community. There were parts of the community that I needed to have some access to. It was also true on the other side that we were going to want the business community leaders in particular cities to be committed because in this particular city nothing happened unless a "blue book business" leader was being alarmed. So again, it was through someone I had met in the city, in another case, that became the bridge into that organization where I could go over there and speak and talk about what I was trying to do. I could win their support that if we could reach an agreement it was going to be something the business community was going to support.

Question:
In this particular case, this wasn't a community that you lived in. How did you cultivate those networks of people that you could call?

Answer:
I had other cases in this community before so I knew individuals here and there, and that's one of the real things. In that case it was a blessing because so many times you may go into a city and you have no context at all. That really makes it even more difficult.

Question:
In those instances where you don't have any networks or any people to intervene for you how do you build networks, or find them? How do you identify the resources?

Answer:
Well, I think mediation is a lot of work. I think you have to be willing to just talk to a lot of people and as you do, you're not only introducing yourself to people in the community, but you're receiving information that might help find a solution. And so it's just a lot of work and talking to people. I think by helping parts of the community become involved in finding solutions, sometimes what CRS has done is understanding the problem. For some reason the parties never seem to come together, or when they do come together it never goes anywhere and CRS, when it works well, helps things come together and if you can do that, then that in itself gives you a new standing and gives you a credibility that you are able to do something. You were able to bring talks together and just by being able to do that, it adds something to your name. Then you have to continue and show the parties that you're committed to helping them find a solution.




Dick Salem


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

The Italian American groupís support came from Legal Assistance to Minnesota Prisoners (LAMP) from the University of Minnesota law school. LAMP had students who would provide assistance to the culture group. Every other week, this very attractive young law student in a mini skirt would sit with her legs crossed while a dozen gawking, very light-haired and light-complected Italians with names like Smith, and Larson, would sit and listen to her talk about Italian culture or give Italian lessons. This got them out of their boxes. They werenít making any trouble for anybody, but they obviously didnít have anything beyond that which bound them together. So we interviewed the corrections officers. We interviewed each of the ethnic groups, and the leadership of the groups. Many of them came together and we spoke to white inmates as well. Also the stateís Ombudsman for Corrections and the director of the St. Cloud Human Rights Commission.

Question:
And what were you asking?

Answer:
We were trying to get a fix on the place. We wanted to know why were they still in lock up. The guards were saying tensions were too high, that it was too dangerous to end the lock up. But that was not our perception when we talked to the residents. When we met with the American Indian group, as I said, they were mostly well behaved within the institution. They avoided overtures, they said, from the Black Brotherhood Development and Cultural Organization (BBDCO), to partner with them. They wanted to be left alone.

Question:
The BBDCO was another organization within the prison?

Answer:
Thatís the black group. This is the American Indian group. And they were just concerned that their people be taken care of and they wanted no part of the violence. There were half a dozen, 5 or 6 Hispanic inmates, Mexican American, and they too, would align with the American Indians. They didnít want any part of any violence.

Question:
And, in fact, hadnít been part of it earlier?

Answer:
Probably not. I donít remember, but probably not. There were only a few and they stayed to themselves. There was a segment of the white population that was overtly racist and would attack the blacks. The blacks were quick to respond. Keep in mind, virtually everybody in that place was there for a crime of serious violence. Murder or serious assault. Otherwise you could get out and work a community program.

Question:
And these were teenagers, I gather?

Answer:
Up into their early 20's

Question:
So after you talked to them all what did you decide to do?

Answer:
Well, then we had to sit down and see what we could come up with. It was difficult to get in to see the black inmates. They were a Muslim group. I was the "white devil", (which they later called me in their newsletter) who could not be trusted. They verbally abused me. You know, you expect some of that. The BBDCO said "we canít end the lock up," and it became apparent to us that they were using the lock up, as leverage against the institution. Nobody in the reformatory wanted to be in lock up, but the BBDCO was using it politically. Creating a scare by saying it wasnít safe. It wasnít clear why they did this, but perhaps it gave them some power. As I walked out of the room I remember a BBDCO leader pounding on the table and waving his fist at me and saying, "there ainít going to be no mediation in this place and if there is, itís going to be in front of television cameras.Ē So that told me that the only question we had to resolve ultimately would be the openness of mediation to the press. I had the good fortune some weeks earlier to meet a women named Gwen Davis who ran the Antioch Minneapolis Communiversity, an affiliate of my alma mater, Antioch college in Yellow Springs, Ohio. We coincidentally met on an airplane. I remembered that she had told me that her husband, Syl, worked with prisoners. I called Syl from St. Cloud, told him what I was doing there and he came out to the institution with Raymond Johnson, an ex-offender, who regularly worked with the BBDCO.

Question:
And were they black?

Answer:
Yes. They were also teaching courses at St Cloud. When they agreed to support ;the mediation effort, it gave CRS credibility with the inmates. Eventually the black inmates agreed to come to the table. There were conditions, but basically everyone finally agreed to come to the table. I also enlisted the help of T. Williams, the Ombudsman for Corrections.




Dick Salem


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Answer:
At one point, I brought in Ellis McDougal as a consultant. He was corrections commissioner in Georgia at the time and a consultant to CRS. He met with Orville Pung. Being able to bring in that kind of guy is useful. You never know if that helps or doesn't help the credibility, but I think it does.




Dick Salem


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
You talked off and on about bringing in resources that CRS knew about and also community resources. How did you identify resources that you werenít previously aware of? Community resources for instance.

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




Silke Hansen


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

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



Silke Hansen


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

A lot of that ended up being almost like a cultural training, because a big part of the concern of the Korean business people was that they weren't familiar with American culture. For instance they didn't have a clue as to what to do with the dry beans they were being given for food assistance. If they were going to be getting food assistance, they needed things they were familiar with. So we got the Red Cross to look for more fresh vegetables and rice. In some cases it was just a matter of looking at the physical layout of the disaster relief center it was called the DAC Disaster Application Center. I looked at the layout and considered how that lead to or avoided confrontations between inpatient people who needed help. Sometimes we ended up just playing a role in rearranging the furniture in a way that made it more conducive to having people being served at various sides at the same time, rather than having long lines which made people lose patience. There was a real sense all along on the part of the Korean victim community that they were not being understood, that the severity of their situation wasn't being dually acknowledged and they could not understand why nobody was taking responsibility for the fact that they, through no fault of their own, had suffered all of these losses. They couldn't figure out why nobody had resigned yet -- you know, out of shame, for having allowed this to happen. And the other piece which was major, particularly early on, was that they did not believe that they were receiving protection from the police or national guard for their businesses. So they ended up forming their own protection force a young adult team which was heavily armed and spent nights patrolling streets of Korean businesses to make sure that they weren't vandalized, attacked, or destroyed. As they began to go through the process of applying for assistance at the DAC, and then waiting for a response, and looking for help, there was a lot of impatience. Language was a big problem. They were threatening big demonstrations in front of the DAC at first, and later on they did have demonstrations at City Hall. It took awhile to get mediation going. When we were trying to arrange it, there were one or two Koreans who wanted to speak for everyone. We tried to explain that while it wasn't that we didn't trust them, and we were sure they were honorable people, we couldn't take their word for what the entire Korean community wants. We insisted that we have more participation from the Koreans. There were a couple of business associations we got to participate and we had the leader of this Korean young adult team which was doing the protecting service. There were a couple who were clearly sort of elders within the Korean community, too. The entire process had to be bilingual, so I had to have a translator, because I don't speak any Korean at all. These were all day sessions, and we ended up going on for three days. I could never persuade any translator to come back for a second time because they were so worn out, so totally exhausted after one day. So there was no way I could persuade them to come back again. Part of what happened is that some of the Korean victim party who spoke at least some English, so if the translator didn't get it just right, they would jump in and say "No," so this poor person had a very, very difficult time with it. The other challenging thing was that almost everybody at the table on both sides were men, and here I was, a woman, taking charge of the process. But I did it, and it was fascinating, just because of the dynamics of what was going on, some of the interactions among parties. Never mind the actual negotiations between the parties. I ended up becoming very close to that leader of that adult group. He calls me "Mom." I'm his American mother. So we ended up being a very close link into that particular community. They really they were concerned that they receive protection. They would've much preferred that L.A. police do it, so later on, we managed to arrange for some meetings between some of them and law enforcement on how to coordinate security services in these neighborhoods It didn't become a full time vigilante group working in the community, but it was certainly challenging.

Question:
Did you provide technical assistance to both sides?

Answer:
Yes. I always provide technical assistance to both sides. Now sometimes, the technical assistance required by an establishment side, just for the purpose of kind of grouping them, they require less assistance than the minority community. But I make sure that I offer pre-mediation training and preparation to everybody who's going to be involved. In this case, there was actually relatively little preparation for each. Partly because of the immediacy. I think some people thought they were just coming to a meeting. But I made sure that we kind of put it into a mediation session rather than a free-for-all conversation, because it was the only way to accomplish what we needed to and, well, I'm a mediator, and that's what I do. But I really thought in this particular setting -- we must have had at least thirty people in the room that we needed mediation. We had many response agencies maybe about twenty people, and six, maybe eight Korean representatives. So we had to have some kind of a structured process so this discussion could actually take place. Part of what came out of that is that, after all the broad issues were addressed, was there were then sort of splinter mediations, if you will, or splinter meetings. And the one that comes particularly to mind was with the Small Business Administration. Besides FEMA, SBA ended up being one of the major sources for financial assistance. They had an excellent director there on-site who really bent over backwards to understand and meet the needs and be flexible. He was one of the least bureaucratic bureaucrats. So that made a big difference. They helped out with business loans, because it was mostly businesses that were destroyed during that time. We helped facilitate the Koreans applications, helping them to apply by giving them technical assistance to make the application process easier.

Question:
So the negotiations were basically over what kind of assistance was going to be provided and how and when?

Answer:
Yes. And what the procedures would be for making that happen. A lot of it was even just how you get access to some of the leadership of some of those agencies if you know there's a particular issue in your community that isn't being responded to. And in some cases, the time line was a problem, because when people apply for a loan they'll get an answer within a month. But these folks were looking for an answer next week. So how do you handle some of those emergency situations? In some cases, it was just a matter of really clarifying what the procedures are and what has to be done to have to go through that.






Will Reed


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
Do you get these people from Denver or do you try to get them from the local community?

Answer:
Oh, we get these people from across the world. In other words, we did have the resources enough to get people from everywhere. If we wanted somebody from a university, we got somebody who used to be with CRS. We've got two people. We've got the former national director, the first director of CRS in a university. One year I brought him in and he met with a group of historians and everybody else. He's in the history department of George Mason University. Brought him in. A friend of mine from George Washington University. Brought him in a thousand times in education. When we started doing the Denver bussing plan, we had all kinds of experts coming in. So many people that you can't even begin to count, I can't even remember half the guys we've brought in as consultants about some issue. You stretch around the world to find an expert when needed.

Question:
Did you ever allow the parties to bring in people they considered consultants, did you accept who they referred to you?

Answer:
It wasn't up to us to accept or not accept. We were the neutral third party, so we said, "why, of course." We didn't call the shots. We might have been responsible for manipulating some shots, but we didn't call any shots.




Renaldo Rivera


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

We also have our FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) responsibilities for recovery.

Question:
What do you do there?

Answer:
What we've done there is again balance the playing field. Ground Zero is about seven blocks from our office and most of the attention around Ground Zero went to the communities of Battery Park City and Tribeca, which are on the west side of Manhattan. Equally distant from Ground Zero was China Town and the Lower East Side. A large degree of media and political attention tended to be focused on the more affluent communities immediately surrounding Ground Zero. Immediately adjacent to it were lower income populations, mostly jurisdictional populations for CRS: differences in race, color and national origin. So CRS -- our usual relationship is to work with FEMA because we had a responsibility to helping create the community relations function in FEMA and participate in training of that function may years back -- traditionally works along with FEMA to be more of its advanced arm in particular issues that they should be taking a look at, particular problems that they are going to face in outreach, giving them a better assessment of the communities that they are going to outreach to and what they are going to encounter. We immediately found language and cultural issues for their telephone lines and registration at their 800 lines. We had to help FEMA address those because the only languages you were getting were English and Spanish. Also, they needed to have their fliers and other materials translated into Chinese. We assisted them to determine what other languages they would need for their flyers so people could get in touch and register. We also helped them identify translators because they didn't have the staff available when they set up their disaster resistance recovery center. We did the outreach through our existing network of organizations and community groups to help them identity translators to both work with the community relations outreach team and in human services at the disaster recovery resistance center. Then we moved them to consider subcontracting this effort with some local umbrella groups so they had the temporary staff needed to work with the populations they were going to be facing. These two communities represented special challenges to FEMA, given its usual composition and because of linguistic and economic issues. In addition to assisting FEMA in these ways, we helped them to think through how their staff deployment. FEMA's initial concern was pretty much at the rescue effort, as it should have been, but we noticed that a large number of the people who were impacted by this disaster were wage earners who were in occupations that were ancillary to or support of what happened in the financial district. So while the primary attention was placed on getting Wall Street up and running, there were a large number of displaced wage earners living in the outer boroughs who used to work in and around the Trade Center. We needed to help them connect with our federal partners to work that through. We began to reach out to the borough presidents and the community boards in the areas immediately adjacent to Ground Zero, both in Brooklyn and Manhattan and then reaching out as far as the borough presidents in the Bronx and Queens and their community boards, so that we could get a better handle on how much displacement of workers had taken place and what level of disaster relief was necessary in those areas. After our initial outreach, FEMA came along with us, to present its programs to them so that the borough president's office would have a better sense of what was available. We had been working pretty much with the city administration and the state office of emergency management, but we needed to move it into the boroughs because we saw clearly that there would be widespread and potentially disparate impact, in terms of access to service or service delivery. This was because of the attention being placed on large businesses, primarily financial. The need for attention to be paid to wage earners who were affected -- non professionals who provided a tremendous amount of work between clean-up, food services, deliveries, etc. of all kinds to that financial district -- was critical for us. We saw it as important and so did the borough presidents' offices. In fact, they and their community outreach people were so concerned that they asked for additional sessions with us because they are looking at expanding the number of FEMA disaster recovery resistance centers. There is only one place in lower Manhattan with long lines.

Question:
Like the ones we saw outside the federal building?

Answer:
Yes. There are along the lines on the other street around the corner. Some of the boroughs and the community boards are looking at how do we get these into each of the boroughs for a short period of time. Then if they aren't necessary we can get rid of them. We can get to the people more directly affected much more easily. They've asked to meet with us and so have some of the clergy groups that we had met with earlier, to see about working together with FEMA to get the services more decentralized.

Question:
Has CRS done this kind of work with FEMA before or is this something new?

Answer:
We've worked with some of the natural disasters before, but working through this kind of national disaster and in this particular way, I don't think so. FEMA has a community relations unit that does outreach work to let people know how to get in touch, but it doesn't do the conciliation or conflict resolution work that is occurring as special challenges are met. That's where CRS has been very helpful to FEMA, working along with them. It has always been CRS jurisdiction to work in partnership with FEMA. And then we go beyond FEMA's work because we have community tension that is showing up. To us, as we looked at how we did here with our limited resources -- and we brought in some teams from outside out region -- since day three of FEMA's operation we were located at their site. We've been able to work through all the issues I identified earlier and continue to help them work them through. Then we were able to quickly identify other problems, like the lack of phone service in China Town at a time when you had call in to get to be a part of FEMA to get your number identification. Well, if there were no phones in China Town you couldn't even get on the phone. And once you got in there was the language problem, which I mentioned earlier. So, we've been assisting FEMA to work through all those kinds of things and to anticipate them in the future. Also, the way in which the police barricades were located for the purpose of the rescue and the recovery were adversely impacting China Town. The merchants were experiencing a 70% business loss -- 95% of the businesses -- so everybody who was marginal was gone as were a lot of others who were on the edge. So we were able to work along with NYPD in Manhattan South and also their emergency command center to allow some access for vehicles for food distribution businesses and others during certain hours of the day. That's something CRS can do, but FEMA cannot. It's just not part of their mission. We were able to work with merchants and business men and leadership locally to at least alleviate some of their early concerns. We are continuing to work it through because some of the business leadership from China Town has asked for an additional town meeting with the SBA (Small Business Administration) and FEMA where they would bring in their merchants,' lawyers' and insurance associations to talk directly with FEMA representatives even though FEMA has had a site set up in China Town since the second or third week. This is a larger scale interest for them to speak more directly with a broad array of leadership than the ones around FEMA services. CRS has been asked to facilitate that. So that's an additional role that is beyond what FEMA would usually do, but it's clearly jurisdictional for us and allows us to build our jurisdictional work around these sets of community concerns back to FEMA for service delivery. For the foreseeable future our work is around the road to recovery and the encouraging community stability.I think the last area about the WTC and where we are right now is the attention that CRS has had to pay to the impact on displaced workers. There are a large number of them who are in the immigrant community or have immigration status questions. We work with everyone regardless of their status, but immigration status is not a trigger for CRS. Our jurisdiction is race, color and national origin. What has happened in the WTC disaster is that individuals, between language difficulty and immigration questions, even if they are legally here, have not always been able to get what they need from FEMA. So, from very early on we worked with the New York Community Trust and the United Way of New York which had already set up the September 11 Fund. They had determined they were going to use Safe Horizons, a community agency we had met with, to provide relief services regardless of immigration status. That was an important entree for people across the board, particularly in the lower income areas in New York, and those who might have immigration status questions, to actually be able to get some relief. Also, the Department of Justice victims' assistance money flows through the State Crimes Victims Assistance Board. We were able to work with them and the New York State Crimes Victims Assistance Board and Safe Horizons so that people in this immigrant community would feel more comfortable coming forward to look for services or assistance for the recovery. That continues to be something we pay attention to. The boroughs, surprisingly enough, are particularly interested in that question as well. It is something that wouldn't hit at the city-wide level or state officials, although the Attorney General for New York State has already said once you are here you are eligible for service, that immigration status questions are something for INS to deal with, not for local determination. Working within that framework and within CRS's framework, what we noticed is that there was a large degree of tension in the advocacy community around relief and recovery services for these communities. We've been working with the advocacy community and the immigration groups around those questions with Safe Horizons and the State Crime Victims Assistance Board. Those activities have also been supported by the Catholic the Lutheran churches. The services have been located at Pier 94. There has been some interest -- because of security concerns about getting into Pier 94 -- of also getting that service decentralized. So between the requests we've been receiving from the community boards and the borough presidents' offices and the concerns from the advocacy community and the immigration community -- both people with legal status and those without legal status -- and our work with the State Crimes Victims Assistance Board and Safe Horizons, CRS is in the position to try to facilitate the communication so that service delivery can get to the points of impact where they are most needed. I think nobody else has been in a position to do that and deal with all the cross level of concerns that are raised with a multitude of issues ranging from language to immigration status. We've been able to get agreements from INS because it is not undertaking raids or indicating any additional concerns around status questions for those who have an inquiry because they were effected by the disaster. They're able to process those inquiries without triggering the enforcement arm at the IRS district office. We have been able to develop those relationships pretty well here. I don't know how the rest of the country is doing, but we were able to get that determination. Then also, to get the INS Commissioner to make statements of clarifications so that the INS in general, from the policy level in its law enforcement would be more responsive in a compassionate way to the recovery and relief efforts, rather then to penalize people whose status may have been affected by the loss of a loved one.So, CRS has been able to coordinate and facilitate an enormous amount of communication related to the recovery effort, particularly for specialized populations like this. I don't think that any other agency would have been able to do that. We were fortunate to both be able to have the insight to see it as something that needed to be done, and then have the staff capability to be able to effectuate it.There is one other component to this. We worked through channels to make INS as well as the State Department and the Attorney General's office aware that there were some people whose status may have been undocumented whose loved ones perished in the disaster. The numbers range into the 400-plus that are known so far to various community-based organizations. Their loved ones and their countries of origin are unable to claim whatever remains may be here or even the symbolic urns that Mayor Guilianni is making available with some of the debris from the World Trade Center site. They haven't been able to get to the consulates to get the visas to come to this country to be able to deal with recovering the remains, or whatever symbolic remains there are of their loved one. We were able to raise that through channels and highlight that as a focus question to provide the advisories to the Attorney General, the INS and the state. Then we were in attendance when the Mexican and Central American consulates were making outreach presentations, through community organizations, on how to access the visas for this purpose. They are not able to do very much at this time; the borders are closed because of the war effort. It's difficult, but we've at least provided the advisories and we also clarified the ability to apply for advanced parole provisions with INS for people to come into the country. We at least clarified that for local groups. Other than the advisories and providing that information and being in attendance with sets of national departments and international consulates, we've at least crystallized the problem that people are facing. That is as far as our jurisdiction will take us.

Question:
Since September 11, have you, not withstanding the good relations and the receptivity to CRS, had any conflicts with other agencies, organizations or key individuals where you had to begin applying some of your conflict management techniques?

Answer:
That's a good question because my description makes it sounds like everything was just easy to do.Well, what happens is that a large number of agencies, both state and federal, law enforcement and other, have missions that are more delineated then ours. So, it's my job to do immigration, either in enforcement or some services, it's my job to do law enforcement, it's my job to do the investigation of the terrorist attack, it's my job to do hate or biased crimes, it's my job to provide services to citizens on FEMA, The broad overview of how this tragedy is impacting a larger community, and then jurisdictional populations, doesn't fit neatly into anybody's daily work. But it is how CRS looks at its work for reducing community tension, preventing the escalation of tensions and, in this case, promoting community stability. We had to take this work forward in the field. We were often in advance of our federal and local partners to such a point that we established relationships with affected parties sooner and in more effective ways. Then we wound up being able to assess the community tension levels in a much more fundamental and profound way than any narrower view is able to take in. Because of the narrower focus -- that's what their missions and charges are, it's not through any fault of their own; but our mission and mandate being broader and focused around community tension questions -- we were able to provide a fundamental assessment of what is taking place both for racial and community tensions as well as community stability issues and provide that information in a cogent way to each of the affected departments.






Bob Hughes


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Give us an overview.

Answer:
There was a young black man, 22 years of age, shot and killed by a police marksman after he was a barricaded suspect in an apartment complex. This was in Anchorage. The reaction of the African-American community was very predictable. Outrage, and so on. As often happens, there are other incidents that have occurred that are brought to mind, and the Alaskan community had similar issues. "Hey, this happened to us too." Local human rights commissions held a community meeting, and as I understand it, pretty well lost control. The outrage was so strong that they were not able to provide any effective leadership and CRS came in a little bit later. This was going to be ongoing, and we helped to organize community representatives of a number of groups that had become involved into a community coalition: The Native Alaskan Organization, the statewide organization, the local Native Alaskan Organization, the NAACP, and the Black Leadership Conference. After the assessment recommended mediation with the police department, the police chief agreed to enter into mediation, we met in a federal building in a little auditorium where eventually we were able to hammer out a fourteen point agreement. This took maybe eight sessions. We had two sessions that first week and came back the next week. It made some real breakthroughs. That's the first time, I'm aware of, that a firearms policy of a police department was revised by mediation agreement. Use of deadly force was sharply curtailed to a defense-only policy, which was certainly not the standard in that time. Among other things, we found a graduate student of criminology, who was unemployed, living out in the community. We brought her in, and created a position for her, because we needed that influence. It was virtually an all white department, too. The things that were dealt with in the agreement: firearms policy was number one, of course: training black and Native American leadership; and cultural awareness training, both in service and in the local police academy. It was affirmative action. Not only recruiting, the community agreed to assist in promoting careers in the department, and agents from the community. There were promotions for those who worked within. They established a community relations unit more or less around the criminologist, although she wasn't a sworn officer. Those were the regular kinds of elements of an agreement. In the event of any racially based crisis, the members in the negotiating teams would establish communication. In other words, either could initiate contact and there were co-chair persons I believe, and either of them could initiate a joint meeting to ensure communication and to secure factual information over police reports so that they could effectively address the issues involved. So that grievance channel was established. Lastly was the review of the agreement. In three months the mediator will return. This time, I learned my lesson and was trying to get it incorporated in all of the agreements. Everybody agreed to that. Every three months, for about three quarters, I would go back and convene such a meeting. But the participants said, "Can you come back next month?" I had to say, "My budget won't allow me to travel every month up here, why don't you meet on your own? You've got two co-chairs." That was fine. They began to meet every month, I was overjoyed at this, it was succeeding. They said, "What about the Koreans, the Korean Human Rights Committee? They've had a lot of problems- accusations of drug dealing and so on." LULAC is here, so they expanded it to involve these other organizations that weren't involved on the initial negotiating team. Then a black sergeant had soldiers at the local military base bring in some of them dressed as Klansmen, and burn a cross on the door in the barracks of a black sergeant, trying to scare him, 'playing a prank.' This was publicized and the community, the black community in particular, was outraged. Nobody had a channel, a line, out to Ft. Richardson, and they weren't involved and the community was all uptight. So I went out and talked with the Marshall, and it happened to be that he was from Anniston, Alabama, right next to where I was raised in Gaston. Anyway, I got him to become involved as a member of this committee, and also, with the permission of the others, invited the US Attorney. But he sent an assistant. The FBI agent in charge was very interested and she went out. I spoke to her and she became involved and she had some very good ideas and suggestions, a very effective member of this group. So this Anchorage Police Minority Community Relations Task Force, and also the local Human Rights Commission, under a new director, became involved. It's still going on, ten years later. It took on a life of its own and it is the primary channel for police grievances as it relates to any of the minority communities, and has taken on a wide range of projects over these years. But that came out of a mediation agreement. And at first, I would start out and remind them, "This is the agreement, let's see how the implementation is going after about a year of this." They say, "Why do we have to start way back there?" And the mediation agreement was laid aside.




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.




Efrain Martinez


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

I used other resources in that case, officers from Houston that I know work with the community quite well. In fact, I asked the community services division to help that police department learn how to deal with communities, especially the black community. So I took the Houston officers to meet with the community first and they got acquainted with the community and had a meeting with the police officials. We can only do that if the police officials and the community agree to them coming in. Because we're not going to impose it on them. So we had these pre-meetings and they saw the benefit of having them in. So then we brought them all together. One of the police officers from Houston had been a gang member. He'd really reformed, so he was sharing his past experiences with that side of the law.

Question:
And he did this with both groups together?

Answer:
Yes. See after I cleared it with both sides, and they said yes to the officers that were coming over. So both sides met with them. And they discussed what they were going to talk about and how they're going to be helpful, and everybody agreed to it and it just went so well.

Question:
And then the officers' first meeting, what was the role of the Houston officers?

Answer:
They related their experiences as police officers and growing up as members of a minority group, and the need to work together. In fact, they were asked to come back by the community. And I think by the chief too, once it was over, like several months later. But it was on their own. The community and the chief thought they could contribute on some other things.




Efrain Martinez


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

In fact I'm doing a training of a police department out of Houston, another county. But I'm using one of the trainers a Houston police officer. There's an excellent trainer at the academy on cross-cultural communications processes. Although we have different backgrounds, how do we, as a human being's receive information and process it fairly? We use screens that let in what we want to let in, and then we react that. What you sent this way was not necessarily what I received. He's really good at describing this and through role playing and discussion he's very good at imparting that, so we used him in community problems between the African American community and Vietnamese store owners. And, it goes beyond cultural training, and cultural awareness, it's the next level I guess. Just us as human beings. How can we better relate to each other? No matter where we came from and no matter what path we took because it's basics that we all relate to. We all have arms, heads, and faces that's common for all of us. But there's a lot of other things that aren't common too.

Question:
How does this come about?

Answer:
Oh, because we wanted to teach this course they do at the academy to rookies and others. But we wanted to do it in a community setting to help the community, the residents, and the store owners be better able to understand each other, and hopefully by understanding each other they would be more cooperative. This was to lessen the opportunities for violence, for thefts, and for problems. Of the seven stores that we targeted through this program we brought this training in because it empowered the strategic plans that we helped put together, the training's part of it. There have been no incidents, no robberies, no thefts, no vandalism, and no shootings in those seven targeted stores.




Dick Salem


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

So we had a plan that tried to find intermediaries in these communities where perhaps someone who was trusted in that community, could help serve a warrant, so that a routine legal matter could be taken care of without police being blasted away. And in discussing this with the police chief of Richmond, California it seemed to work fine. The chief listened to us and he thanked us. He then wrote a scathing letter to Attorney General John Mitchell expressing surprise that "You would have people like this working for the Justice Department who would not have police do their required work in a required manner.Ē So we got complaints that way when they disagreed with what we were doing.



Dick Salem


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
Changing gears completely again, weíve talked on and off about giving technical assistance to parties. Youíve talked quite a bit about what you would do with the minority parties, but did you bring technical assistance for the majority parties, the authority figures?

Answer:
There was less of a need, but yes, we would put them in touch with counterparts and other communities who had experienced the same things. Sometimes you would do that for your own credibility, but sometimes they would have useful advice for their colleagues. Sometimes you would provide a police chief with firearms policies from other cities, sometimes you would bring a consultant to a police department from another cityís police department. That was very popular. I mentioned that I did that at the Minnesota reformatory. I brought in a corrections commissioner from another state. Sometimes we provide training for either party. Youíd work with police or youíd help people put training programs together that would bring the minority community into the training process with police.

Question:
And what about technical assistance for the minority community?

Answer:
Sometimes it was advice based on your experience elsewhere, sometimes it was paper based on things they could be doing or things other communities generated elsewhere. Sometimes it was people, bring in a consultant to work with them. Sometimes it was putting them in touch with people from other communities. That was typically what the technical assistance was comprised of. And sometimes training. I guess you could call the types of things you just do in your day-to-day work technical assistance, even though it wouldnít be labeled that. Itís helping them sort out their organizational matters when youíve developed a relationship that enables you to do that.






Angel Alderete


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Nobody questioned who you brought in?

Answer:
No. I brought in solely correctional people, I didn't use community people. I wasn't in law enforcement, I was in corrections. I wasn't a cop. Some correctional workers are working for the people, others are working for law enforcement, and others are working for themselves. So you bring in the guys that you think are good, and some of them inevitably see for themselves that maybe the case is not the thing for them. Others are willing to work through this thing, saying, "Hey, I'm not really trusted by a lot of these people because of what I've said, but I'm willing to see if we can work this out." So that's the way it went.




Bob Ensley


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Through the North Carolina Human Relations Commission, because North Carolina has a statewide Human Relations Commission with the commissioner in Raleigh. With their assistance, we were able to get into the communities and assist them. Then, luckily, North Carolina has a number of major learning institutions like Fayetteville State, North Carolina State, Bennett A and T, and all these institutions. You're able to identify people who are quite resourceful and very knowledgeable. Then you always had HUD that could provide some financing. You had reconstruction -- what was it -- RF reconstruction financing? Whatever. The banks are required to spend X number of dollars for the purpose of helping minority development. Then there was the Department of Agriculture. But the thing is that the blacks in that area of North Carolina start coming together county-by-county over multi-county areas, pooling together their resources and they have grown stronger and stronger. Now you have a number of black principals that are gathering in that area. You have black businesses that are thriving, you have one black minister in Washington now. He's done so many things. He has a computer program for children, he has a senior citizens home, he even has houses for victims of AIDS. So it's really come as a total community involvement spreading over several counties.



Edward Howden


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
So they were there to give factual information?

Answer:
Correct, technical and factual, not to do anything else, and they didn't try to do anything else.

Question:
Were the experts from the welfare department seen as being on one side or the other?

Answer:
No, I don't think so, because we had agreement in advance that said we needed some people who would call the shots as they were and who were not themselves involved or seen as involved with the county welfare department.




Bob Hughes


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

How were you able to identify which various community resources to use?

Answer:
Most the time the parties themselves think of it in the context of our mediation because we need some of these things done or certain areas addressed. They create some approaches to it and identify resources that I wouldn't be familiar with at all. Like the one I mentioned this morning about the attorney justice professional.

Question:
So were you always receptive to those community resources that they highlighted or emphasized, or who had the final say?

Answer:
Oh it's their agreement, it's not mine. For example, they may want to write into the agreement this office, this program will be established or developed utilizing such and such a resource by all means. If both sides agree to it doesn't matter what I think or what I might prefer, if I see some danger in it, I might mention it, had you thought of this, but essentially I would not feel that I had any veto power.




Efrain Martinez


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

They were accused of not paying taxes, so I went to the IRS and got the laws on taxes and loans, and we made all that information public. Through these committees we have a vehicle that allows us to have information. The committees give us information of what they need or what's going on because they know the community. Then they disseminate the information to the rest the population. Through this we set up a plan. One thing we looked at were the friction points of the Vietnamese not obeying the laws and customs. We went to the Parks and Wildlife Department. They control hunting and fishing throughout Texas and I asked them for the ten commandments of fishing and crabbing in Texas. They had eight regulations, so then we needed to teach them to the Vietnamese. Once I got the eight commandments, I had my wife write them on posterboard and then I went to the Vietnamese people I was working with, and they translated them for me. So I had the regulations in English and Vietnamese and we had a training program. The game wardens would say the regulation in English and it would be translated into Vietnamese, and we would give them all these laws in writing in both languages. The other part was the Vietnamese/American custom barrier. That caused more problems. For example, when a shrimper or crabber is out in the bay if they have problems with their boat, such as mechanical problems, anybody at sea is supposed to come and help them. The long-time fisherman were complaining that their boats would have trouble and they would signal, but the Vietnamese would just laugh at them. This would make them more angry. "Not only are they taking our way of life, but they're mocking us." But the Vietnamese said they thought they were waving at them, so they were waving back and smiling at them because they wanted to be very friendly. They couldn't understand what the signal was, because they'd never seen the signal. Through these training programs they taught each other.



Efrain Martinez


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
When they understood how their behavior was influencing the wrong kind of population, were they willing to change?

Answer:
Yes. Through education and law enforcement. Because law enforcement was ticketing them and costing them thousands of dollars in fines, and confiscating whole boatloads of shrimp that were caught illegally. In this community the Klan had announced a huge rally, and we helped the community get together to have their own rally so that they would be protected and not get retaliated on. We had spokespeople for the business community, the clergy, the educators and other sectors. When we had the community rally there was a lot of protection, we had plainclothes police officers and uniformed police officers. It filled the school auditorium and the Klan was there with their sympathizers. After the dialogue, discussion, and presentations, the city council voted to pass a resolution. It got coverage, and the citizens took the town back. I just helped the community to use all of its elements.




Efrain Martinez


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

I borrowed a sergeant from the San Antonio, Texas police department, a Hispanic officer who helped me tremendously in educating the police in Illinois on how Hispanics are different. The policing was really the same policing but you had to kinda do it a little different. It helped a whole lot. Recently, a newsletter had the story of the sheriff in Bear County in San Antonio, and I'm reading more and I saw his story and it's the same guy I used as a sergeant almost twenty-five years ago. He got elected sheriff. I called him up. So we were talking about borrowing experts and that's one time that I borrowed someone. A lot of times, as I said earlier, I borrow people's influence or knowledge.



Efrain Martinez


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

First of all I introduced myself and explained what I'm doing. "Here's what we need to do, and am I dealing with the right people here?" I mentioned about six or seven players, "Are these the relevant people I need to meet with?" He says, "Yep, I think you got them all." I went through the original process but then I double checked myself. I'm going to spend time with these players, I need to know there's going to be productive time. If they're not the ones calling the shots, what am I wasting my time for? Let me go to the ones that are really in charge.



Manuel Salinas


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

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.



Silke Hansen


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

There came a point where we had police in the buildings.... Actually, I think they might have been there before the stabbing, as well, just because they knew in South Boston black students would not be safe, regardless. So they had to have protection for them. One of the first issues that the council addressed was that black students weren't going to feel much safer if all of the cops were white. They decided that, as a council, they needed to go to the police department and talk to the police chief about getting more diversity among the police at South Boston High. The group that went included two white parents, Jim and one other, and two black parents. They met with the chief. Jim was the one who took the lead on this, and the police chief was simply blown away when he had a white parent coming from South Boston to his office saying we need more black officers in that school. So these few parents had a huge impact. A great bonding took place among those black and white parents, as it became very clear very quickly that they all simply wanted their kids to be safe and they wanted their kids to get an education. That was such a strong common bond that there really was very little tension among them. There was apprehension, because neither knew exactly what to expect from the other, but they got very close very quickly as they began to realize that they were all just parents wanting the best for their kids.






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