Before terminating a case, did you help the parties develop a contingency plan to help prevent a recurrence of the conflict?


Dick Salem


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
But once you go into a city and establish some sort of structure, such as the one you were talking about yesterday, does that tend to improve things over the long term?

Answer:
I donít know for sure. I am sure it does in some places. Thatís why I suggest we try to get a grant to look at some of that. I mean I could think of some good things that have happened, where you have a police-community conflict, where you get a significant level of response from the establishment, from the mayorís office basically, and police commissioner, depending on the structure, and the aggrieved community. Then you come together and you set up some mechanisms to address the issues. People exchange phone numbers so that anybody can contact anybody in an emergency, so when thereís a problem you can get to the leadership on the streets. Whether itís the police leadership or the community leadership. You have monthly meetings of the leadership to discuss issues. You have improved training, you review the police firearms policy and you make changes in it. You do human rights training, human relations for whatever thatís worth sometimes itís worth a lot, sometimes less. You build this into the orientation for new police officers. You address personnel complaints about assignments, hiring, and promotions. So these things would be written in. You come up with an agreement with half a dozen components to it, whether it was formal or informal mediation. Youíve involved the business leadership, perhaps, or other socially concerned business leaders, civic leaders, the black community, the white community, whoever the parties are. I donít know how enduring those have been in places over the years. It takes some enlightenment.




Nancy Ferrell


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
Well, once again going back to the University, tell me about the dynamics at the table?

Answer:
I was the facilitator. They each had an opportunity to express their opinions about what we needed to be dealing with, as far as bringing the issues out to the table, and then validating that with everybody, because we couldn't deal with everything. Prioritizing those issues and building a consensus around the table about what issues we were going to deal with, so from the very beginning I was teaching them what I do. The next time an issue came up, they had been through the process and I had basically facilitated, but coached and modeled that behavior as we went along. The main thing is keeping the environment safe for everybody, so that nobody was diminished and that was always one of my ground rules. They were obviously able to create other ground rules that they felt like were important once we validated the issues and began hammering out responses to it. In terms of faculty, one of the responses was that the research division was going to do a statistical analysis of grading practices and that was going to become a matter of record. There was an ongoing task force that established its membership. They identified how the members would be selected each time, and how complaints would be channeled into that. For example one of the biggest concerns the students had was, "I'm the only minority student in that classroom, how can I possibly file a complaint that my teacher has control of my grades?" So they built in some safeguards for them. The same thing went for any kind of complaint in housing. Building in safeguards, we developed a brochure about race relations and anti-discrimination policy and procedure on campus. The fraternal system was looked at and the whole process for evaluating their documents that they have to have on campus, organizing documents or whatever they have. A process was put into place to review and look at that for complaints and charters. There were some specific steps for the student government to bring in minorities into representation under the student government. More multi-ethnic activities were generated out of that.




Nancy Ferrell


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
Did you help other communities generate hate crime response policy?

Answer:
We did that a lot. Hate crime task force. We did it in Oklahoma as a state initiative. They didn't have a hate crime law. There was a task force made up of community and city and legislative leaders, and we put together a policy statement and handbook that went out across the state. It stated that Oklahoma will not tolerate hate crime. That was one of our pro-active things. It's as if the more light you shine on something, the hate can't grow. Hate grows in darkness and the more you put the floodlights out and say, "This is not acceptable," the more they go underground somewhere else. They grow in an environment where it's dark. That was probably one of the greatest impacts, working with that group and helping them put that together.




Silke Hansen


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
Did you ever try to leverage resources, such as using other organizations, to continue some of the work you've done in these communities?

Answer:
Not really. However, if there are local resources or leaders, we try to help give them some skills and abilities on how to follow up on their agreement. I don't do community organizing training, per se, but we do explore options and alternatives with the parties and identify other resources they can use. But if there isn't already something there, even getting a Vista volunteer would take time and resources that you just don't usually have. I think once there's been some basic agreement, and the communication is there, then you get a change in the relationship between the two parties. There are certainly communities where that was built-onto, and better relationships developed throughout the community, but it doesn't happen in as many communities as we would like especially those of us who have a community organizing background prior to being mediators. I know there have been times that I've gone into a community and sort of wished, "Gee, could I take off my mediator hat for a year and just do some community organizing here, and then come back as a mediator again?" That's because it's much easier to arrange for mediation if there's an organized community and institution, than if there is just a frustrated community with no organizational structure. They can't deal with the institution, and it becomes very easy for the institution to either divide and conquer or just ignore the situation, because the community isn't cohesive enough to really be able to make a difference. Of course, I'm sure that part of the community's frustration in many cases is that they think, "You're from the Justice Department. Why can't you make it better? Why can't you go and tell them what they must do? Why can't you make a difference?" And then when I say, "Well, my job is to try to help you to make that difference," I think they sometimes see that as a cop-out. They think, "If we could do it by ourselves, we wouldn't need you. But we can't, so what are you going to do?" I know that there have been communities which have been frustrated because I have come and nothing's changed. But the reason nothing changed is because there isn't even a core organizational structure to work with. It doesn't need to be hundreds of people, it doesn't even need to be a dozen, but there does need to be a community core that picks this up as an issue and stays with it and works with it. I know it's a lot of work, and it's slow and tedious, but the only way I can really make a difference is if they have that. I explain that, and then I work with that group to help them deal with the institution. That's one of the things we are trying to do now. We're trying to help communities form human relations commissions. Right now that's still at a very grassroots level. John Dulles who is the regional director for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights for this region and I have worked cooperatively on a number of cases, particularly in Indian country. But unless there's some support from the tribal structure or the tribal government, it's very difficult to get that off the ground. Even though I personally think that in some ways it would be more effective if it were an even more grassroots initiative, there isn't enough of a grassroots core there willing to do the work, so here we are talking community organizing. "What are the entities that you would want to be a part of that?" I ask. We've conducted workshops on how to establish a core team how to decide who should be included . We have some brochures on how to form human relations commissions and I've developed that into a workbook too. But, we can't do that for the community. They have to do that for themselves. For example, there was one community that formed a small group that just started documenting every case of police abuse. It was a "who, what, when, where, why" kind of thing. They developed a chronicle of what was there. So when they then went to the city council or county commissioner, they had some documentation of what was going on, and not just anecdotal evidence. So we try to encourage at least starting with that piece. But it's difficult to make that happen if they don't see some immediate results. So that's an ongoing struggle.




Stephen Thom


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Do you have an example of setting up a mechanism that's still functioning when you're gone?

Answer:
Well I think Inglewood is a good example because what CRS did there was to look at this school district which is predominantly African American and Latino. The superintendent was very concerned that as demographic changes were taking place in other cities like Compton and Lynnwood and so forth, there were these patterns of bickering that's taking place between the two large minority groups, and Inglewood was going to face those same kinds of confrontations if it didn't do something early in the process. He asked me to recommend something. I recommended that they get into Study Circles dialogues. That they bring people together to talk about race before anything happens. He instructed all his parent liaisons to conduct study circles dialogues, ten of them in each of their schools. That was the goal for the year. So the schools brought in parents in groups of 10 or 20 to participate in these racial dialogues, and they had to do 10 in the year. The District ended up having something like 300 to 500 people at the culmination event with experience in problem solving and completing school projects at each school.

Question:
All adults?

Answer:
All adults, multi-racial. Filipino, Pacific Islander, Latino, African American, and some European American. It was just a variety of people coming together who had participated in these dialogues. What he did was he used the process and said, "I have a big challenge for all of us." Everybody wanted to know what it was. He said, "I'm going to ask you, and I know you're all problem solvers and you've all done the different things in your own school communities, but I'm wondering if you would support a bond issue to improve our school buildings?" That Study Circles group helped to pass the bond issue by 88%. I think it's the seventh highest rated school bond issue passed in the state. That was because CRS and others got people talking and understanding and looking at school issues, but caring for students, not about the bickering between them. They collectively worked on the broader issues of the community, and the best for their children. So that's an example of doing something to really give the institution a mechanism. And they continued to do those Study Circles each year. CRS helped to develop a collaborative that gave that school district a peer mediation capability, developed a curriculum and gave the District a community organization to work with to sustain ongoing training. To try to institutionalize all of this, the collaborative was awarded a grant to have the school assign two liaisons to what it calls peace project. We were able to do this because every school district in California was given money after Columbine. The governor released something like $100 million dollars to all the schools in California and it was based on the number of students you had from 8th to 12th grade. You had a formula. It was something like $44 dollars per student at that grade level. Englewood came into something like $240,000 dollars. The superintendent knew this was going to happen. He said, "Steve, I want you to develop a comprehensive conflict resolution program for me; I think money is coming down." This is right after Columbine. And I said, "Why do you think that?" He said, "Steve, white folks are getting hurt now." I didn't ever think about that, but sure enough the state came down with this money, we had $240,000 dollars and so I gave him a proposal of a program where we did peer mediation, peace builders, anger management, we instituted problem solving in every classroom, and we did Spirit at the high schools and we did community dialogues and we made that as a package program for this whole school district ).




Stephen Thom


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

When you are coming down the home stretch in a mediation case, do you make it a point to build in an enforcement mechanism of some type? A contingency plan in case the agreement breaks down?

Answer:
Sometimes. I usually try to put in a mechanism somewhere. In our cases, when we get an agreement there is a commitment to do training and follow-up. Most of the training that I do is associated with the outcome of a mediation or a remedy to a conflict. That's the reason why I'm doing so much mediation training, Student Problem Identifying and Resolving Issues Together (SPIRIT) training, and consumer relations training -- I did a lot with the Korean swap meets -- good business practices training, anything that is a follow-up to the mediation that gives it more sustaining strength. In most of my mediations I try to aim at what will we end up with that really gives them a long term vehicle, skill or capability to avoid this problem again. Very rarely, in some cases I'll say, "If this arises again call me. I'm certainly available to assist you more." I don't know if I write it into the agreements.






Martin Walsh


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

As part of your agreement did you develop a contingency plan to deal with future conflicts or some kind of conflict management system?

Answer:
The most important one, I thought, was the monthly reports by the chancellor in the campus newspaper to detail what was taking place.

Question:
Whose idea was that?

Answer:
I think in our preliminary discussions there was always a question of good faith.

Question:
Preliminary between the parties, or meeting alone with the parties?

Answer:
Meeting alone because the concern was this whole lack of confidence. They continued to say, "We don't trust you, you've promised these things in the past." We talked with them about it and the students met separately because I think it would have inhibited any good faith negotiations and discussions. I don't know who put it on the table, but it became the way of satisfying everyone that there would be progress reports. We didn't want to build ourselves into something that we would have problems complying with.

Question:
You mean you didn't want a long term involvement?

Answer:
Yes, we didn't want to have it that we would meet with them every 6 months or every 3 months to have a review, but it would be built into the process. It was something that we like to do, in our terminology, a se1f-enforcement mechanism, a process that we try to develop in the agreements so that there is some accountability system.




Stephen Thom


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Go back to that school situation where they had been having riots for seven years. Was that an active case for you for a while?

Answer:
It still is. I've been in that particular school district for several years. The school disturbance took place in 1998 and the Human Relations Commission and I got together and decided that we wanted to see what the senior of 2002 thought about the riot of 1998 when they were freshmen. One of the strategies we use after civil disturbances on campuses is to do an assessment of the juniors and the seniors, and we do that for particular reasons. For one, we want to know what they think was the cause. What did they do while the disturbance was taking place? What should they have done? How could they help? So we do a combination of an assessment and plant seeds to make them partners in restoring calm to the school. That's why we do it with juniors and seniors because we want the older students to be partners with us, to try and put some pressure on some of the younger students to see whether we can defuse tensions. We do that in classrooms. We bring in a team of people so we hit all the juniors and all the seniors to try to see if we can line them up and be partners in trying to quell a school crisis. That's what we did in '98, meaning we didn't really talk to the freshman and sophomores. So we said, we'd better go back and talk to them as seniors and see what their points of view were, because we were so busy trying to squash any element of violence, we really didn't take time to meet with the freshmen. Usually the seniors will blame the freshman anyway, and what we learned from the review was that the seniors were actually challenging the freshman to take to first step, to cause it. And all those kinds of things we learned subsequently. So that's another approach we've used. In Inglewood, we promised the superintendent that we would go back there for the next 5 years to make sure there weren't any more civil disturbances. So we've been on that campus for the last 4 years, and it's gone smoothly.






Angel Alderete


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

CRS's interests were that this program had to go beyond today. Let's just say that when you're getting all the training, and we get back and six months go by, the training should still mean something. So, to this date, that group is still going.



Bob Ensley


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Well, as soon as the trial was over, we went back into Washington where the incident took place and worked with the community on a number of occasions. In fact I'm still working there today, dealing with some of the problems related to schools. We had a number of meetings with the superintendent, the board of education, and even helped them undertake a massive voter registration program, getting blacks elected and helping them with some economic development plans and different things like that. Then they put together one of the largest NAACP chapters in the state. They even had billboards erected: "Join the NAACP." And I saw that they were beginning to move on their own and had built enough confidence that they could do it themselves. I told a story many times about how people have enough talent in any given community to deal with their own problem, but it's just recognizing it and being aware of what they have and using what they have.



Bob Hughes


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

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.




Bob Hughes


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
Any key lessons we're missing here?

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




Efrain Martinez


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Can this be done without a crisis to start it?

Answer:
That's a good question and it would be better. In Houston the triggering crisis was a shooting of an African American youth, a student by a Vietnamese. He claimed he shot in the air as a warning because rowdy kids had come to the store. For safety or security reasons they had a limit of no more than three kids in the store at the same time. A bunch of kids came in and somebody broke the window and he thought he was being shot at so he fired and hit a kid in the leg. The kid was far away, and the community couldn't understand how shooting in the air could hit the kid. There's was picketing and all kinds of things. It would be better to do this on an ongoing basis, and communities setting up a process to do this, and a lot of them have done that. We have a booklet that we come out with, and it offers a lot of ways of doing things. Best practices, what communities are doing that others can be doing. So it's not necessary to have an incident. Hopefully communities can do this before they have an incident, so they won't have any. Anyway I'm very proud of what Jasper has done, they work well together, and they came together in a moment of crisis and I think they may have overcome their problems. They are a very religious community and not facetiously, but kind of the way I put things sometimes with where do you want to be a year from now, and as good Christians, there has to be work done on that. In Jasper, we want to be there, but wishing is not going to get us there, so here's what we need to do together. And that is the plan. From the beginning they were working together, so we kind of just fostered that a continuation of that, and there were some critics as usual, the group still wants to be inclusive, they want to have everybody participating. They've done well. We're going to use them in Washington. They've agreed to go to Washington with us. In fact both the Asian-African-American task force in Houston and the Jasper task force. Plus groups throughout the country. What we kind of do is show America that people can work together and are working together to make it a better America for everybody, and here are examples. You'll be able to talk to them and see them, and they're just people. Police officers, if I can brag about the task force in Houston, were selected by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, which is the largest law enforcement agency in the world that deals with bettering policing throughout the world. They got the civil rights award for this year. September first we're going to get an appreciation award from the Houston Police Department. The international meeting is being held in Charlotte and I'll be out there with them. They're great people, police officers going above and beyond the call of duty to work with the communities. These two officers have second jobs, but they still go on and work with the community on their own time. Or on duty or off duty.




Ozell Sutton


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

One of the things we like to do, and I think I've mentioned this elsewhere, is to establish mechanisms to address future kinds of situations. I establish relationships that address that. Sometimes that requires time and sometimes we don't have the time to do all of that. We have to move onto something else.



Dick Salem


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Did you do any other long term planning or any sort of constituency work to try to make sure the changes that were agreed upon really happened?

Answer:
Well part of the commission of ISAC was that it would review, it would serve as the enforcement mechanism if anyone had any complaints. The Ombudsman was also there for that purpose. I don't remember the wording of the agreement, but that was the enforcement mechanism built in.

Question:
And did it work?

Answer:
I don't know if anybody ever took a complaint. I think the real answer to that came 15 years later where the same procedures were still in place and I asked McCray, "Why did you leave them there?" He said, "Well they worked." Everything that came out of that was their design. I might have suggested some things or pushed some things in certain directions, but I believe that all came right from them.




Dick Salem


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
When you were moving to leave a case, what sort of structures, if any, did you try to set up to continue the work that you were doing after you were gone?

Answer:
Depending on the nature of the case, weíd try to set up some structure. For example, one or committees might be set up in the community that would continue in force long after CRS was gone. In the case of a police-community conflict, it might a leadership committee that would meet monthly to keep communications open and to address any alleged violations of agreements that had been reached. CRS was unable to enforce these agreements so we would set up local "enforcement mechanismsĒ to do that. If someone came back to us, we might re-enter, but usually, if you had success in the case, there was some mechanism locally. I don't mean a formal mediated agreement, it just could be a negotiated agreement that the parties were going to do certain things.




Nancy Ferrell


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
Were there any provisions in the document that addressed what would happen if any of the provisions werenít followed, any enforcement mechanism?

Answer:
Generally, I would say yes. I canít remember specifically on that document. We always had the "what ifís," and our agency was a recourse as far as calling us to come in and help interpret and redefine or help the parties begin to implement. The things we did, like the task force, became recognized groups under the president, and reported directly to the president. So they had their own legitimacy and recourse. Any violation fell in under existing policies and procedures. So it wasnít outside the system. It was just creating this place where people were focused on ethnic relations and discrimination and helping these people who were pretty much isolated get redress. The remedy was available there; it just wasnít being exercised, because people were afraid to seek remedy.






Silke Hansen


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

We were mostly looking for what was creating tensions in the building, looking at what kind of training we could do for staff in the school on such things as dealing with a diverse student body. Since integration had just started, they hadn't had to deal with diversity before, so they needed to do some contingency planning. They needed to consider what was the relationship between say, the school and the police. We also talked with staff and students about their concerns within the building regarding diversity issues. We tried to develop ways of responding to the concerns and resolving some of those problems that would diffuse tension and create a healthy educational setting.





Leo Cardenas


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

What were the terms, generally, of the agreement? I'm sure you don't remember this exactly, but what were some of them?

Answer:
Like I said, the one thing that sticks out to me was that it was a five-year program; we also said publicly that it was a one million dollar program.

Question:
What was the money going to be used for?

Answer:
One thing the money would be used for was scholarships.

Question:
Scholarships for minorities?

Answer:
Scholarships at universities, in this case, in the state of Colorado. Not only in the state of Colorado, but in the other four cities where McGraw Hill also had television stations. There were also hiring goals over a five-year period. One of the points of agreement was that each of the stations would hire a minority manager that would work as a liaison with the minority community to manage minority programs and air time. At the time, there was a popular show called "Talking Heads" which was a talk show. This show gave minorities experience in the media. Not only before the camera, or before the microphone, but also behind, working the cameras and doing the writing.




Bob Ensley


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Did you ever help the parties to design a contingency plan?

Answer:
Oh yes, oh yes. We're engaged in that right now, in a study circles project. They are going to re-institute their Human Relations Commission with subpoena power in Washington, North Carolina.




Werner Petterson


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
Did the court cases have contingency plans, or a plan whereby the parties could come back and revisit the agreement?

Answer:
Oh absolutely, all the consent decrees would have a clause in there that either party could. Well, what we set up was that if there was a problem they would come back to me and we would try to work it out and get over whatever hurdle, but if that didn't work they could always take it back to court.

Question:
So you made the contingency plan?

Answer:
Right

Question:
Did you do any follow up after the cases were done?

Answer:
No, I never did that in CRS.




Werner Petterson


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

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







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