What were the overall outcomes of the intervention?


Leo Cardenas


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

And so the final agreement was not put on paper?

Answer:
It was, but when the initial conference was held and then some follow-up meetings were held, the media saw the final outcome as having the ability to interview members of the community, and to get their ascertainment in order, and to get their licenses, and that would have been the end of it. The minority community on the other hand, saw the fact that they would get some more airtime and maybe a job here and there, and maybe a scholarship here and there. And that was it. You know, not a formal package. No one saw a package.

Question:
I gather this million dollars bought a lot of scholarships?

Answer:
Yes. It bought a lot of scholarship and programming. The million dollars also included what became the development of a community relations department, within McGraw Hill and eventually all media.

Question:
Within the whole industry?

Answer:
Within the whole industry, yes.

Question:
And does that still exist, do you know?

Answer:
They do, but to a lesser degree, because they've been very successful, in getting minorities to work out in the media.




Bob Ensley


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

You had a school system that was different: a black system and white system. You had blacks that were not employed in any of the banks and a lot of industries there. blacks were in low- paying, menial jobs. Then there were comments that were appearing in national magazines attacking black women's character. So it was beyond the JoAnn Little case. The goals and objectives were not only related to the administration of justice, but economic development and housing. Some of the housing in the Washington area was really bad. If you made the wrong turn you would be in trouble. But then there were other areas where blacks had beautiful homes. By and large, it was economic development. There were employment problems and a whole range of things, so our goal had to be looking at what we could do as a result of the people coming together. Abernathe was there. At the time, he was President of SCLC. He wanted to call attention to economic development, housing, and education. Because of JoAnn Little, suddenly you saw a change in the education system. You saw a change in the industry when they started hiring blacks and putting them in supervisory positions. You started seeing roads being paved in the black communities where there had been just mud holes and pot holes before. So the broader picture resulted from JoAnn Little's case. The type of people who came could be very objective. You talk about 4th Street, well, 4th Street was run-down. I wish you could see it now. All of those houses are gone. Nice homes along there, Section 8 homes built for the first- time home buyers. Had JoAnn Little not been tried, I doubt if any of this would have resulted.



Martin Walsh


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

There was a dynamic that took place shortly after our mediation process. Some of the Jewish students had some problems with obtaining a site on campus. They used the same process that we had used with the administration and they worked it out. So, I think the administration was very pleased in '92 how this process really helped to settle things on campus and get the issues resolved and it was the type of process they should use.



Martin Walsh


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Several things you said suggest that this might have been a good learning experience for all of the participants. Do you think that you helped them develop a capacity for managing conflict in the future?

Answer:
Yes, I think so. When the newest conflict came up, the students were able to resolve it through their own mediation process by sitting down and without any external person. To manage that type of conflict was good for them. When we went in there in '96, they really were talking to one another. There was a lot of trust between the students of color and the administration. There was a new dynamic that came in, the graduate students, but they were sort of grabbing that group and organization and using it for some of their own interests. Undoubtedly in their minds was a real conflict as to what should be done and they wanted to get some progress made in that area.

Question:
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.

Question:
Could you talk a little bit about how you terminated this case?

Answer:
At the last session we went over the written agreements, we had a signing of the agreement by the administration staff and the students. So there was a written public agreement. It's a public document. In the last session we had the final agreement and then we had a press conference in which we spoke, and then the administration and the students. It got a real big play in the campus newspaper.

Question:
You spoke about the media and that you set some ground rules that during mediation you would speak for the teams. Were the representatives with you when you met with the media? Was there any resistance to them not being able to communicate with the media or did they anyway?

Answer:
No, the only time we had everyone together was at the last session. Other then that they let me be the spokesperson. It was more a perfunctory type of thing. We worked out a progress report at the table. We wouldn't share with the media any of the specifics that we had agreed to during the interim period. It was more pablum in many ways, just to reinforce that we were meeting and that progress was being made. We really wanted to get out the message that the groups were very serious about these issues. The media spokesperson for the university worked closely with us. She referred all the media people to us and the students abided by it as well.

Question:
Do you have a recollection of the approximate percentage of students of color at that time at the university?

Answer:
I think the total number of minority students of color was about twelve per cent.

Question:
Is there anything more about this case you want to say at this point?

Answer:
I just thought the interesting part of this case was that it was a higher education issue related to issues that keep coming up on college campuses and the process of dealing with it, which we constantly try to urge campus administrators to do, is that if they are going to work through these problems they really should have some type of ongoing dialogue, a communication process around the concerns of students of color. We just saw those problems this year down at Penn State. Right now we are organizing a region-wide conference on race and higher education, two days dealing with a cross section of these issues.

Question:
In this case did the agreement call for continued communication between the parties?

Answer:
No, I don't think we had to put it in there other then that ALANA was a recognized group and I think the understanding was that if there were problems the reports would come back. Their relationship had developed to such an extent that the student leader could pick up the phone and talk to the chancellor. There was a real good relationship that had developed.

Question:
In the UMASS case, you had easy access and felt comfortable enough moving onto campus. In a more typical case, would you make a phone assessment before going on site?

Answer:
Yes.

Question:
Will you talk about that process and how you decide whom to speak to and in what order?

Answer:
A number of our cases come from the media and basically the process we try to use is that unless there is already a major conflict taking place that involves violence, there is usually time to get the information. Even when there is major violence, say a civil disorder is taking place, our process is to alert the people that we are coming and get as much information as we can from the community on the background of the incident or conflict. I would say the critical aspect when we meet with any of the authorities is to have more information than what is in the media or the press. It is critical at those first meetings with the police chief or the mayor. They often say, "It was an isolated incident," or "It's something that we are in control of," and there is either a deliberate or a non-deliberate attempt to block and head off any further deliberations from outside. They often say, "We're handling it, we can handle it, it's really nothing major."In my mind, that's the usual mindset of authorities. If you have no more information than they do, there is nothing you can really go on. That's why before we go forward to have a meeting is to get as much information as possible about the totality of the picture. Often we are dealing with police-type cases. I remember one shooting and there were two dynamics working. In going to the community and talking to them about the issues we were trying to find out not only their concern about the officer who shot the person, but to explain to them the process that was going to happen, the chances of prosecution, the trial and the like. That was their immediate need. We can't satisfy that need other than explaining what process they can use and what their options are for getting redress for what they think is an unjustified shooting. We also need to meet with them to find out what else is taking place. That is, what lends itself to our process, that is, to mediation and conciliation processes other than the prosecution of that officer. That is the second dynamic.

Question:
Can you talk about this case? How you proceeded.

Answer:
A police officer in Herndon, Virginia shot and killed an African American. The newspaper headlines had "Community protests shooting by officer at the 7-11 Store," or something like that. Our first thing was to look at the newspaper article. We didn't know any of the players at all. There were a couple of names in there, so the phone calls started as to who was dealing with this issue. There were some ministers and there was a community group that had taken the leadership role. We talked to them about what was happening and what they knew about the matter. I said, "We want to see if we can be of assistance. I would like to sit down with your group to explore this thing." It was a matter of then trying to identify who are the players. I think regarding the community groups, it is who is moving this issue along? Often it takes awhile to do it, but that's our first process. I remember then calling the police chief saying I would like to sit down with him and we set up a time for that. Then it was the county supervisors who were in charge of the police department and calling them and saying, " I would like to sit down with you and talk about what is happening here and what happened there and the problems." Now because of being with Justice, I think we can get to first base. Very few if any people, I can't recall anyone, outright say, "No, I am not going to meet with you." In those types of cases the most difficult process issue is the reaction in the community. There is no one reaction in the community to a shooting death. There is no one leader. How the community will process the death is the critical issue. The first thing in meeting with the community was to assure myself that they were the leaders dealing with the shooting issue. After checking out the matter in a few phone calls, those identified in the media agreed to bring several of the leaders together who were meeting about this issue. It seemed that they were some of the people who were moving this matter. And so I sat down with them. Of course, they are talking about being angry; they want a prosecution; and "What can the Justice Department do about this?" and "What are you doing?" The first thing you do is to go through the spiel about here is the process. There are several avenues. "There is the internal review process by the police to do the investigation; you have the county attorney; you have the state attorney general who has jurisdiction; and you have the possible investigation by the FBI and Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice." So at least they know what their options are, what can take place and what the process is. After that, the other option is a civil case that can take place. "While that is ongoing," I tell them, "it is going to take some time. You can be recommending that and asking for this investigation or that investigation and things like that. In the meantime, I want to talk about other things that are taking place here. What is the relationship with the police department, how is it?" That starts the ball rolling as I try to elicit from them issues, concerns that now, with the attention given to the shooting, lend themselves to the dynamic of dealing with the problems and concerns in the relationship between the police and the community.

Question:
You are making an assumption about what is going on in the community?

Answer:
Yes, it's based on experience, but it is also important for CRS to try to determine whether -- it's part of the assessment process - there is a hook for us? What is the dynamic there? If in those meetings, the community leaders said, "No, we're great; the police are doing this; we have no problems, etc." than we would not proceed further. But we know from our background and all the data about communities of color, especially in the African-American community, that the general relationship between police departments and minority communities is not good. There is a lack of trust, a lack of response, access, and it's even worse between the youth and police. So protest activity by itself can lead to a lot of frustration and anger and that can lead to nothing. But, if directed, it might lead to getting at some of the issues and problems that are affecting the relationship between the police and community. It can be a springboard to doing something positive. The two things that have to be taken care of from our perspective, as I see it is, first, we need to know what can be done about the specific shooting itself and the redress systems for the shooting. So that was the first thing. We've got to clarify that and put it into perspective. It gives them a sense of direction to follow if they want to and it puts that aside because we really can't do anything about the investigation or prosecution. Then it gets into analyzing and assessing what else is taking place in that community that, with the attention given to this, that maybe we can help both the police and the community to deal with it. Anger is there. So what we are trying to do is get that tension directed into some effective type of response. That's the process of talking with community leaders. In that information gathering they start talking about some of the problems, issues and concerns. After that meeting I had a meeting with the chief coming up and the superintendent and country supervisor. So I got enough information there and said to the community leaders, "Well, in general would you like to pursue this and deal with some of these problems if we can get the chief and the county authorities to address some of these issues?" And they said, "Yes." So I went back and met with the chief. When he told me the shooting was a justifiable police action, I said, "Well you know, there are a lot of other things the community is concerned about," and I mentioned several. He was defensive saying, "Oh, we are doing this, we're doing that." Then I used the argument from our experience in other places and said, "You know, we recommend meeting face-to-face with the community leaders. We can facilitate the meeting, so you can have discussions with the community right there about these issues. We think it would be helpful." He agreed, and most often, I think, police chiefs do agree to meet with community leaders on police-type conflicts.

Question:
You scheduled your first meeting with the community group.

Answer:
Yeah.

Question:
Is that typical? Do you tell the other party that you're going to meet with the others first or that you have met with them?

Answer:
It all depends upon the individual circumstances of the conflict. In some of these cases, when there is no overt conflict, I often meet with the community first. But when there is overt conflict, like the case we had here in Medford, I sent our people to the high school where there were the problems and they didn't have a chance to talk to the community first. Schools were shut down because of racial problems that occurred the previous day. I saw in the paper that the school was closed and the teachers and administrators were meeting. I wanted our people there early so that we could be offer our help to school officials and others who maybe didn't know what to do in that situation. So in that situation we met with the superintendent, principal, teachers and other school people to get a sense of what took place and the dynamics. We offered some suggestions on what the officials might consider doing and then we set up meetings with the community and students to get a better understanding of the issues and problems. But in a police conflict and meetings with the chief or administrators, the more information we have about the dynamics of the conflict, the greater the possibilities of a worthwhile meeting. I always think that in our assessment process when we're meeting face-to-face, authority figures give us little information voluntarily. It's that face-to- face meeting or negotiations that we want to have, if possible, between the authorities and the community. We're selling ourselves. We're making an assessment, getting his or her information, but we're selling a process, and uppermost in my mind is what do we really want? What process works out here the best? If there are organized groups in the community and they have issues, we want face-to-face meetings. That is the optimum. Getting people face-to-face with the issues so that they can work out agreements. The next best thing are the other alternatives where there's sometimes a fractured community. You don't even have a group out there. What are other possibilities? Sometimes we provide training or technical assistance where, basically, one group is taking the lead role in creating change.

Question:
What does training and technical assistance involve?

Answer:
We do a lot of training with police departments related to issues that are affecting their relations with the community. It can be from hate crimes to police-community relations to multi-cultural training. The training will sometimes be our response to an incident. This can be part of or independent of their meeting with the community. For example, we had a racial profiling complaint, but we could not get the people who filed the complaint to meet with the police to work it out. We wanted them and the NAACP in a meeting. The chief was willing to meet with people who felt they were victimized, but they did not want to meet. They just wanted to file the complaint and get a response to it. I think they may have wanted to file a suit. So we met with the chief and he was willing to take the next step. He said, "It would be good for us, good for the community to know that we are going to have a training program with you guys on how to avoid these types of problems in the future." It was a response to the situation or problem, but it didn't entail mediation or even the involvement of the community in the resolution process.

Question:
You were talking about the importance of developing relationships and building trust.

Answer:
I think this kind of work in race relations, especially with mediation and conciliation, relates to the trust and confidence of all of the parties. In most situations these problems come about on account of discrimination and there's a lot of history related to it, a lot of distrust especially of officials and police. We do most of our work with police. So getting everyone dealing with these problems requires that the mediator or conciliator be a person of trust. That's the first thing, to get the confidence of the parties. The interpersonal relations depend upon the mediator's respect for the individuals who often haven't been treated with respect by authorities. The mediator needs to get their support and confidence that this intervention, this problem solving, is going to lead to something. In the end, all of our work is moving toward ending the discriminatory practices or perceived discrimination and in building relations between and among people. I think the mediator has to be that person who already has built or is building these types of relationships of trust between persons. In fact, I see some of our least effective conciliators and mediators as being low in the interpersonal relationship category. Something about their personality, how they relate to people, how they carry themselves in that relationship is so critical. Some of the negatives of bad relations are a distance built up with the parties and you see it in the aftermath. They're not called back by those who were involved in the problem. They're not seen as a resource. Some of the persons who were involved in their work complain about them. Very often they don't complain overtly, but afterwards they try to avoid them. Good interpersonal relationships have not been formed.

Question:
They try to avoid?

Answer:
Community groups and/or the authorities. It can be both, or just one of the groups. I especially notice it with two of the groups that I think that are very critical of outsiders and I think pick up relationships more quickly than others do. Police is one. Often it's the hardest group other than maybe college presidents to break through. And the other is youth, young people.

Question:
What do you do specifically to build that trust when you come on the scene or begin to interact?

Answer:
I think a lot of it is how you come across to the person. The respect you give them, how you treat them, the importance of it. I've seen some of our people, while doing the assessment, they are not building the trust but almost building a negative relationship by the questions they ask, how they ask them. It is almost interpreted, as I perceive it, as interrogation, investigation.

Question:
Could you give me an example of an ineffective question and then an effective way at getting at the same kind of information?

Answer:
Well, one of the big concerns in one of our conflicts was the lack of minorities in city government. The mediator came into the meeting and said, "I want to ask you some questions about your minority recruitment. How many minorities do you have in your agency?" and start writing it down. "What did you say? Ten percent? Twelve percent?" So the mediator starts conveying not a mediation-conciliation role but conveying an interrogation-investigative manner and already starting to build a different type of relationship with the person. Right from the beginning the mediator's role is being interpreted wrongly. The other is just conveying respect for the person you're talking to. We refer to it as the informal, non-verbal communication process -- how you're relating to persons, what you're saying, what they're saying, are you listening to them, are you hearing them, are you relating to them? That's the thing and if the persons don't feel you're listening to them, basically you don't care about them, then you are not building that type of interpersonal relations with them that builds the trust, confidence and the amount of respect and feeling that while you're a professional, you're also understanding.

Question:
If you were going to initiate the discussion about minorities and the particular government example you gave, how would you address that issue?

Answer:
To the mayor, after the "who we are" and whatever, "You know one of the concerns that we've been hearing about from the community is that there's a lack of African Americans, Asians, other minorities in city government. What can you say about that? What's been happening and what's your perspective on that?" Then they can start talking about what they see, what they've been trying to do. I think their initial response is to be defensive anyway and they're going to talk about all the things they've done and the obstacles. I lead them on, too. "Have you had problems recruiting and what are they?" After they go through it, they'll probably say, "We have this we've been trying to." What they have done in the past. What has worked and what hasn't worked from their perspective and their willingness to go to other lengths when the issue gets into a mediation process.

Question:
How do you let people know that you're hearing what they say?

Answer:
I think the body movement is important with people. They can see that when you're listening, talking to the person, what they're saying. I've seen people who basically are not listening to what is being said and that behavior is being conveyed back to the other person very quickly by interrupting what they're saying; by no reaction, verbal or non verbal, to what they're saying; no empathy. It' s all these factors fitted together. This is a special matter with police, because sometimes the natural inclination of the individual mediator-conciliator is that this chief hasn't been doing his job and has created all kinds of problems. He's starting to get defensive. Whether or not there's an understanding of what he's doing or conveying, already there's a turnoff by just the looks. I think it's that relationship, that from their perspective they are testing us out, especially when meeting a CRS person for the first time. They really want to know who this person is, where he or she is coming from. We say we're impartial, that we're here for a process. That has to come through. With also the empathy that you know what they're doing, what they're going through. I think that's the problem with, I hate to say age, but it's a certain maturity type of thing, that the person you're dealing with and talking to knows that you understand what they're going through. Maybe you don't agree with them, but you're not outwardly showing that one way or the other. You understand it and you know what they're talking about. You're communicating.

Question:
Talk about building trust when you have an exceptionally emotional or tense situation. Do you behave any differently and how do you deal with those tensions during that time?

Answer:
I think that how you deal with those are probably going to be the same way you deal with them in a non-tense time, but with an acceleration; perhaps the problem solving has to go more quickly. I remember one time when there was a major civil disorder in Lawrence, MA and our people were in the day before. There were two nights of civil disorder. After the first night -- and CRS staff came in the next day -- CRS recommend several things that the city should be doing. The city didn't accept the recommendations and there was another evening of civil disorder. So I came in the next day and met with the mayor and police chief and said to them, "These type of issues and problems don't have to continue. There are ways of trying to deal with this that have been effective in other places." All I did was really repeat some of the recommendations our conciliator made to them with the heightened sense of, "This has worked elsewhere and can work here." I don't know whether they rejected the advice when the other CRS staff person told them the same thing the day before because he was an African American. They finally did all the things that we recommended. The day before they had not. Two things I think happened. The problems continued and there was a sense that their rejection of our recommendations did not work for them. Maybe the fact that I was a white person stating it to them helped them accept our recommendations. I was more directive because we had already made a number of suggestions of how the authorities could bring in the community as a partner, from the issue of the curfew, bringing in community patrols, the matter of an information and rumor control center, and other things that worked in these type of situations. It was a matter of someone being directive and telling them, "If we want to avoid any more nights of violence, let's get these things moving now and get them started or otherwise we can continue this cycle of violence."

Question:
How about communication with the protesters, were there any strategies for reducing the volatility?

Answer:
We have a protocol and policy on what to do when violence is occurring. Basically, it is to reach out to the community. We want to get our major course of action there. Our goal is to reduce the violence on the street and get the issues into some other type of venue where the people are talking and are planning meetings with one another to reduce the violence or eliminate it and get it off the street. One of the strategies we employ for that is getting the community leaders patrolling their own streets. We talked to the community and they were willing to do this the night before. The first part of our response to civil disorder, before we sit down and start dealing with the problems, is that we've got to eliminate the violence in the streets and people getting hurt. So the community was willing to do its part. In some places they wear yellow hats. We had them wearing shirts to identify themselves as they went out into the streets to end the disorder and violence. The authorities accepted it and the rumor control the second night.

Question:
Could you talk about Rumor Control Centers?

Answer:
That is where there have been civil disorders. One of the ingredients of civil disorders always is that misinformation is going around. There's a lot of fear; there's a lot of people picking up bits and pieces of information and spreading it. Rumors come out and most of the time they're very destructive. The police pick up things like, "Carloads of Hispanics are coming up from Boston." This was in Lawrence. There are all these type of rumors. How do you control that and get the correct information out both to the authorities and to the community? What we recommend very strongly is setting up a rumor control and information center so that information can be filtered and rumors can be investigated and properly handled. People are told to call the police or whoever is doing the verification process. There's a whole protocol of how to set it up and how to do it and to assure that there is a centralized type of information center that basically is there to end the rumors and to dispense proper information to the public and the media.

Question:
Who generally manages that?

Answer:
Our recommendation has been that they get a person from the city, usually from the Mayor's communication center, to be in charge of the center and the people who answer the calls can be a cross section of persons from the community. A centralized number is issued so that persons hearing rumors or wanting reliable information are urged to call the rumor control and information center. The team at the center checks out each rumor with the proper authorities and provides the accurate information both to those calling and to the public through the media.

Question:
How do the people know that this kind of thing is set up and created?

Answer:
Through the media, especially the electronic media, television, radio and the press.

Question:
You talked about being seen as a resource when you were talking about building trust. You talked about communications and you talked about being seen as a resource. Do you want to elaborate on that a little bit - what you do to be seen as a resource?

Answer:
I think, especially with the authorities, we don't go in with one strategy and one canned plan that can work. Looking at the issues, the CRS person has more information from the community that usually wants to get access, get these problems resolved and they have all these issues with the authorities. What you're really doing is processing information. You're starting to get that response back on how far the authorities are willing to go and what they're willing to do. CRS is able to cite how we were able, in similar situations, to provide various types of services. "We had this case we mediated where they had a similar type of conflict, people sat down, they came up with this." Or, "In the next city we trained the police officers, we had a community forum, we had the police and the community working together on it, or the police changed their protocols on use of force. They got to an accreditation process so they started building community trust." In each one of those cited experiences, we're describing CRS' efforts and the type of services we provided in that type of conflict. That was why right from the beginning when we set up the conflict resolution program back in 1970-1971, we pulled together all the types of experiences we had as an agency and codified them so that we had a more uniform and proven process. Then we buttressed that by referencing in writing, "We did this in X city or Y city." Even though the individual mediator or conciliator has not had all that experience or gone through that particular conflict, he or she can cite what the agency has done or what we're doing. The more current the experiences or examples of CRS effectiveness, the better impact they have on both authorities and the community. We're basically saying that to authority figures who often, especially when they are in the midst of a civil disorder --we often call this a paralysis of inaction --don't know what to do. Here, someone comes in and says, "In this civil disorder, here's what they did in X city or Y city and it works. Here's the thing on the curfew, here's some of the pros and cons?" It's all codified in our thinking, and that's what we try to do, pull it together so that the mediator is not totally relying upon his or her experiences but those of colleagues and predecessors.

Question:
Is that an available document or just an internal document, the codifying of those experiences?

Answer:
I think it's an internal document; it's the Management of Civil Disorders.

Question:
Do you ever use as a resource, for example, a police chief from another community who has had successful experiences?

Answer:
Not usually at the time of a civil disorder. Maybe in the mediation stage afterwards, but not in the height of the problem. Usually it's our people in there trying to get to first base, getting the process going. Often, we will refer them to another chief or a superintendent of schools or someone who has gone through that experience. To have them in there immediately, no, but as part of the resolution, yes. We've used police chiefs as consultants in such issues as civilian oversight, complaint processes, hate crimes policies and procedures; and, in addition, we have used other citizens as resources. But I don't think any of that will work until we get the people accepting our services and then we can do a lot.

Question:
What do you do when you can't break that barrier and someone says they don't want you in this case, or one of the parties says we just don't want to deal with you." Have you had that experience?

Answer:
I think the hardest thing is less that they are verbalizing that they don't want you in and more the other battle where you can see that they don't want you in and they want to put you off. I think that's the more frequent thing. They will say, "We can handle this," or, "It was an isolated incident." The techniques that I always use are that I don't like to allow them to make a decision for us. I don't want to give them the opportunity of "Yes, you can come in," or "No, you can't come in." I try to put it in a way, "Related to this incident, I'm going to be in your community talking to some people and I'd like to meet with you." So basically, it's not, "Well I can refuse you," as much as you don't give them an opportunity to say "No." But then in the meetings with them, often their reluctance level goes up and down the scale. We try to get as much movement as we can from them and that's why I say in some situations we'll get a conciliation approach rather than a mediation approach.

Question:
What's the difference between a conciliation approach and a mediation approach?

Answer:
I guess in our conversation here, even though we are changing the languages within CRS to include mediation across the board, when I try to differentiate between conciliation and mediation; mediation is the formal or informal process of people dealing with one another across the table. It's a negotiation and problem-solving process involving the parties communicating with one another. Most of the time directly, sometimes indirectly. Conciliation is everything else. It can be the training that did not go through both parties; it could be technical assistance that is provided in a situation. Much of our prevention work is conciliation because we don't necessarily bring the parties together.

Question:
Are you saying it's anything happening before the parties began to sit down to talk?

Answer:
Well, we try to differentiate the assessment process from conciliation or mediation even though they run together very often. I distinguish the assessment as all activity that leads up to our making a decision as to what we are going to do. That usually entails acceptance by at least one of the parties. Everything after the assessment is the conciliation process or the face-to-face or problem solving process which we call mediation.

Question:
Let's go back to the assessment. When does it actually start?

Answer:
I think it starts right away with the first phone call that you're making. You have the alert. In fact you can start with the alert if a person calls it into us. If a person calls into us, a community group or superintendent of schools and says this is what's happening and I would like your help, then the incident is the alert itself. Obtaining the details and the cooperation of the parties is the assessment process.

Question:
You talked about working with a community group that was cohesive and you said there are other situations where you work with them in another way because they are not as cohesive. How do you make that assessment as to the community's state of readiness to move ahead in different ways and address the problem?

Answer:
I think a lot of it is trying to see if there is a community group. There is a problem of a shooting death of a Salvadoran that I am in the process of doing an assessment on right now. I'm trying to find out who is the community? Who's the leadership? Is this an issue to the community?

Question:
Is there always a community?

Answer:
When we can't find one, we're really not going to do much other than conciliation, probably with the police or other authorities. That's when we may be getting into some training or technical assistance. We're probably not going to be able to go further than that because we can't bring anyone else to the table. You get bits and pieces, but there is no group.There was an article in the paper of an African-American reporter who was stopped by the police while interviewing a person along side the road. The article written by the reporter stated that the police stopped him and it was racial profiling. The policeman said, and this was in the article, that he stopped them because a motorist passing by reported that the reporter had a gun. That was in the paper. It took place in a small community, but I didn't know if there was any type of community organization there. So I called the NAACP, which we had worked with and asked, "What do you think of this? Do you have any problems? They said, "Oh, yeah, that's a problem!" "What can we do about it?" I asked. "Are there any community organizations or groups that you're working with down there?" He said he would check it out. It ended up there was really nobody, other than the reporter, in that community who was interested in dealing with that issue. We did not have a local community group dealing with this issue. In the subsequent meetings on this issue, the community was just the NAACP and the reporter. So, it's who is taking the leadership; who are the real players in these incidents. Sometimes we go by who comes forward and is willing to address the problem. I remember one of the problems with which I was involved in my hometown of Wellesley, MA. One of the cases there was with Dee Brown, a basketball player with the Boston Celtics. He was stopped as the alleged bank robber who robbed a bank in Wellesley the day before. It led to a celebrated case in the paper. There was a lot of publicity. Into that process came a public meeting which the selectmen held in Wellesley at which the issue of the police treatment of him was discussed. The police were defending their procedures. But the major issue that came out of the meeting was that other members of the African-American community came forward and said that they had been stopped driving through Wellesley. The issue was racial profiling even though we didn't call it that then. There was a real problem. From that meeting, one leader reached out and helped convene a group of African Americans, some who testified. They became the community group. Was everyone reached out to? No, not necessarily. But, I always think you want someone who might be on the negotiating team. If you want to make some progress, I think the best way is through the mediation process and getting the community involved. But sometimes you don't know whether that group is representative of the community. There was no election and there was no formal group formed. I suggested that they call themselves something, so they called themselves the Wellesley African-American Committee (WAAC). They dealt with a number of problems, not only with the police but a number of other issues like schools in Wellesley.

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

Answer:
Helping them to address the issues. The issues were out there. There was a meeting; there were problems between the police and the community; but before you could get into an agenda to deal with it, there had to be someone who would be representing the community's concerns. That was a suggestion on my part. "Why don't you call a meeting of some of the leaders and persons who are concerned with this issue and I'll talk to them about the process that we can provide." They had a meeting and I came and talked about our process. If they wanted to deal with these issues, here are some of the things that have developed that are related to it. We were not going to deal with the specifics of Dee Brown and whether he was going to be compensated or not, but all these other issues that emerged in our discussions. It was a part of a process, just like when there is a group in the paper that is protesting and you meet with them. The question often is: are they a representative group or do they need to involve other people, especially if we have already talked to other persons. We can make suggestions like the NAACP is concerned about this and so forth.

Question:
When the minority community is organized around perceived injustices and they make demands do you do anything to reach out to majority groups that might feel they would be adversely affected by the demands of the minority community?

Answer:
Probably in most of our cases the ones that are most directly affected would be police unions in some of the police-community type conflicts. Sometimes they have come back and raised questions about what has not occurred. In fact, that's one of our initiatives right now. Related to police-community relations, we are trying to bring about a partnership between police chiefs, the union and the community. We really believe that the union should be at the table. In a lot of places the unions and the chiefs are still in such a state of conflict that they don't want to get together. But for real progress to take place we strongly believe that the unions and the chiefs have to be working together, especially related to race relations. They can have differences about some other types of things, but we've done several of these types of programs where we are urging the partnership through the proactive process. I can't say that we ever had a mediation case -- this region hasn't had one -- in which the unions are a party along with the chief in the mediation process. Hopefully in the future there will be.

Question:
How do you know when the parties are ready to come to the table for formal mediation?

Answer:
The most important thing, I think, is that they have a listing of issues and demands that can be the meat and potatoes for the mediation. An unproductive process, and maybe that's part of the conciliation approach, occurs in some communities when we get together a cross section of leaders, both officials and the community, to have some open forums. We've conducted open forums, but we wanted to have the forums lead to setting up more continuous and on going type of meetings. The problem of a general meeting -- it's good in some ways, it can ventilate, get the issues out in the open --- but most of the time it doesn't lead to anything concrete. The next stage is getting them into, "What do you want? What are the major issues and what do you want from that? What are your recommended remedies? What's going to be put on the table?"

Question:
Do you influence what goes on the agendas? You mentioned one example where people forgot to put an overriding issue on an agenda. Do you help them shape the agenda?

Answer:
Well, most cases I'd say, you might use the terminology of coaching, but I think it's more a sense of feeding back to them what you heard in the assessment process. Sometimes they haven't done this before, so it's a matter of clarifying the issues.

Question:
Do the parties ever ask you to do anything that you are unable to do?

Answer:
Yes, often what the community wants is prosecution. In a police case, they want someone fired, they want someone prosecuted, things like that. Often that starts the process. This development often occurs whenever there is a highly publicized incident such as a police shooting of a minority youth under disputed circumstances and people have already made a conclusion that they want something done. It fits a pattern. There was another case CRS was involved in where there was a whole series of problems of racial/ethnic harassment and forms of discrimination by the police department and the community was low keyed. I forget the exact incident that finally precipitated our being called, but the community leaders invited us and the state attorney general's office to come to a meeting. We went and sat down with the community leaders. What they wanted was the prosecution of these officers. They started talking about all these incidents that had taken place. Some of them had been referred to the state attorneys office or the district attorney and nothing had been done. What they wanted was prosecution. In listening to them, I noted that there were many other issues: no Spanish-speaking officers, kids having to come out and interpret for them, and other matters. So, I said, "Why don't we have the attorney general's representative work with you on all these incidents about misconduct, harassment, and violation of your civil rights, and I will work with you on some of the other issues." That's how I broke it down and basically we really had to guide them from prosecution to seeing the possibilities of other things being done. In that way you as a conciliator/mediator are interpreting some of the things you are hearing. You are saying, "There appear to be other issues than just the prosecution that can be addressed in another forum in which maybe we can assist you with the police department if you're willing to sit down and deal with these things." It's like I said before, people want that prosecution, but what CRS has to offer is addressing other issues in a different way, that is, by mediation.

Question:
Have you ever found yourself in a position where it was difficult to maintain a neutral stance?

Answer:
I've never had a problem with impartiality. I don't believe we're neutral because I think we have a responsibility related to the civil rights that people have. We don't get into any problem with what we're basically attempting to do, to use our process so people's civil rights are being protected. We never really take any position. The law has been allegedly violated. Discrimination has taken place or is alleged but it's not up to us to make a finding of discrimination. So it frees us from making those type of judgments. The process we provide is neutral. What we provide is neutral in that sense, but it's within a framework of civil rights laws.

Question:
Have you ever found yourself serving as a scapegoat or doing things to help the parties save face?

Answer:
We talk about that, about being able to go in there and, I'm trying to think of specific incidents where the authorities will basically say, "The Department of Justice has asked us to do this, they came in, and in effect, they suggested or told us to do this." So yeah, it comes out. We tell them "There is no problem with that. You can say, the Justice Department thinks you should do this." I think sometimes it comes about, especially when you're talking about the Sunshine laws where you can't sit down with the deliberating body without all the people being there. But we get around it one way or the other.

Question:
Does the confidentiality requirement create a problem for you? Have you ever found a situation where you found it necessary to violate the confidentiality in a case or matter?

Answer:
I never had a criminal matter come up in my sessions or anything like that. I think confidentiality has been part of the process of gaining the acceptance and confidence of people.

Question:
Do they accept it when you tell them you will hold what they say in confidence?

Answer:
I think so. Part of it is they're accepting you and the ground rules. Sometimes it's part of the selling or marketing process. I must say that it usually is not a big issue. I have not seen that as a problem. I think there is a greater acceptance in the latter part of my career for the whole process of community mediation than there was in the beginning. There were many more barriers to what we were trying to do and how we were doing it. It's more the environment really.

Question:
How about situations where a party is proposing an agenda that includes something that you view as a possibly intractable issue. How do you address a party relating to that?

Answer:
Often times it comes up in the initial discussion. "We want to fire the police chief." "We want the superintendent fired."

Question:
How do you deal with that?

Answer:
I try to finesse it in different ways by saying, for example, "If we are going to be dealing with the police chief," or the mayor or supervisor, or whoever it is, "let's deal with these issues and the issue of whether the police chief is going to stay or not will be up to the administrator. In the meantime, he is the chief. Do you want to deal with these problems or do you want to wait until someone makes a decision?" Other times I say, "What's the reality of this? There appears to be a lot of support for the chief from the city council. How feasible is this?" I think most of the time community leaders are astute enough. It will be on the agenda, but after that it is the mediator's job to get to the next step. The message is out there. The mayor might say, "Chief John has done a good job over the years?" There is a conversation about it and they get it. It's not one of those things that is usually going to end up as something that is going to be negotiated.

Question:
And on the other hand if one party says "That's non-negotiable, I refuse to discuss it?

Answer:
What I try to do is to get it where it doesn't become an intractable issue. "You can get your message across. You have already said this. You can use a different forum for it, but in the meantime if we are going to go forward and make any progress on these issues, are you willing to let that impair us?" Usually they make decisions to pull back or get the message out. I think everything can be discussed. They want it out there, but I must say that I have yet to have any mediation situation where it just stopped everything. Clarifying it, getting people to talk about it beforehand, realizing the environment, giving a reality check and doing all the things related to it help to finesse it one way or the other.

Question:
Are there situations where parties come to the table and do not bargain in good faith?

Answer:
We had a couple. There was a major one here in Boston in which we could not get to a final resolution. The biggest problem was HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development). It was a federal case and we gave it back to the court. They kept running around in circles. It was a great mediation case, but they were a critical party to the resolution.

Question:
So, when you get to that kind of an impasse...

Answer:
If the parties are not willing, can't get permission from Washington and are just wasting our time, you really don't want to mediate these things.

Question:
In organizing an agenda do you have any criteria that determines what should come first, last, and come in the middle?

Answer:
Well, like in the UMass case that we talked about, matters of immediate importance had to be addressed first. They basically agreed to what was important and what steps could take place. They were on the same page on security and safety and it was a matter of fine tuning and getting some of these training programs through. The mediator has a major influence on the progress or management of the mediation process. It's what you see in a thing and what can help move the process forward. It's people getting to this confidence level where they're making progress on issues, where they aren't so far apart, where the communication process and problem solving are working.

Question:
Will you comment on building trust between the parties?

Answer:
I think that's one of the critical things that the mediator has to do and I think getting the parties to be willing to sit down is the first step. Once you get people to sit down, with the proper facilitation people get to realize that the others are not that bad. Even in some of the worst situations of chiefs of police and community distrust, where some very negative things were said about the chiefs, once they start meeting with the people, hearing their complaints, hearing their stories and hearing them out, they change and progress can be made.

Question:
Do you have an example?

Answer:
The one in Chelsea. The chief had all kinds of problems. At first he didn't want to go into this process. But the type of relationship that he built with the community group was very positive, with the Hispanic leadership and some of their allies. It was a major change of his perspective. Also in the example that I gave at UMass in Amherst. An excellent relationship developed there. The chancellor and the students ended up talking to one another and phoning one another. The student leader could call and talk to the chancellor without having to go through the secretary. It's in building relations. I think that's what we've always said. If our effort is really to be successful, the parties have to be willing to sit down and work through things and to use you as the mediator. If they aren't satisfied with one another, with their relationship at the end, I don't think we've really been successful. They may do things under duress, but if that relationship hasn't been developed, and communication and trust between the parties isn't good -- and I know of some cases we've had a sign off, but it was just getting through the process?then the mediation process has, in my mind, been a failure. I'm thankful that I haven't been in a case where we really didn't do the job. The whole idea of sitting down, I think, is an excellent process. It works out. I've seen it time after time. If they're not acting in good faith and keep stalling, then we have to break it off. In the communities where authorities and community leaders are going to be dealing with one another in the future, the mayors, superintendents of schools and police chiefs often just never had the opportunity to do that kind of communication that develops in the mediation process.

Question:
You said that the two most difficult groups were police and university presidents. Do you have ideas on how to deal with them effectively?

Answer:
I think the hardest ones are the university presidents. Some really believe that they are a resource to the country and to the world. How dare anyone else provide assistance and be the resource. Some of them are like that. I don't know of any strategy of getting through to them other than trying to convince them that we can help them and using some of our past successes with other university presidents. With police, I think it's more the lack of an entry skill. With police, there is a reluctance to get involved. There is a defensiveness, especially when it's related to an incident of alleged misconduct. When you are on the phone following a shooting, for example, they will justify it. If you don't use proper entry, they want to cut you off. So it's a matter of being able to develop an entry strategy. The bottom line of the strategy is if there's an incident, you at least want to have a face-to-face meeting with the chief, unless it's something where we're just doing a cursory check and only want to touch base with the chief. But if we want to be involved, we want to be able to set up that meeting with the chief. The important thing on that is not to let them have an opportunity to deny the meeting. That's the first thing you want to be able to do. Entry is to get that meeting, and to get it there are several things you might do. If you already have a relationship with the chief, you're going to get it. As we get older at CRS, we're experiencing better relations with police. The support is coming from the IACP (International Association of Chiefs of Police), and other national police organizations.

Question:
What do you attribute that to?

Answer:
I think what we did was reach out to police chiefs and their organizations and more and more brought them into the process where they did not see us as a civil rights enforcement arm. They have a lot of problems at the Civil Rights Division, the patterns and practice section and the like. So it was a matter of education, outreach, communication with them. I think recruiting people on our staff who came from a police background helped. And then I think it's also a matter of what message about CRS goes around the police community. The image of CRS has changed with police over the years. In the early times of major civil disorders and very negative feelings about the police in minority communities, a number of our field people were very abrupt in dealing with police. There wasn't the comfort level. There was really a distance between us and law enforcement and I think law enforcement was very responsive to what was happening in civil rights and race relations. They did not feel comfortable in dealing with communities and problem-solving. It was a 'we against them' attitude and mind-set. So there's an historical sequence about the relationship between law enforcement and CRS over the years. But basically, the entry process of making sure that we can meet face-to-face with the chief is important or we cannot proceed further. If you have a relationship, good. If you don't, you say, "Chief, I want to sit down with you about this incident. I am going to be in the city tomorrow. How's your schedule?" It's harder for them to say, "No, I don't want to meet with you." Often the chief will say, "What do you want to talk about?" You indicate you want to talk about "how you feel about what's happening, to get your point of view." So you put him at ease and you make it more difficult for the chief not to want to set up a meeting. So that's getting to first base, or half way to first. You're not out of the ball game. The important thing in meeting with the chief is to have more information and a plan of action. The conciliation/mediation process can terminate there at the first meeting if you don't have further information and a plan of action as to what we think we can do related to the problem. The chief will very seldom come forward with a recommendation, especially if it's not someone who has called us for assistance. He'll seldom come forward with a suggestion, "Well here's how you can help." The mediator needs to have more information because you've already met with the community, so it's going to be more than just the shooting that took place and his justification for it, or whatever the incident is, or "we're still investigating" type of response. We want to get beyond that as to what are some of the issues, what are some of the problems there, and how can we be of help.

Question:
What do you do in situations where community protests serve several functions for the community organizations, and they don't want to stop the protests?

Answer:
I haven't run into any of that myself. I know out in California, in the Taisha Miller case where police shot her through the car window, the community wanted to continue protest activities because, I think, they were dissatisfied with the internal investigation, or dissatisfied with the Justice Department's decision not to intervene. I don't know the full extent of what our approach to them was, but there were continuous protests. Our job, what they did out there was to facilitate the protests, was to keep the protests from being violent. So it was working with the police and the community to assure peaceful protests. I don't know what the end result was.

Question:
Have you run into any cases where you felt you should withdraw from moving toward the table because the community felt its interests were better served by staying in the streets or doing other things?

Answer:
Two high profile situations in our region were the shooting death of this off duty African-American sergeant by a police officer in Providence, and there was a shooting death in Hartford, Connecticut, related to a young African American who was 13 years old, by the police. Both of these places had protest activities. In neither case did we get to the table. In Providence -- Larry Turner handled it -- our basic response was related to the violence in the streets. There were demonstrations at City Hall, there were people talking to one another, there were open discussions related to what could take place. One of the community demands was that during these other investigations the state attorney general hire an independent prosecutor to look into this shooting. Larry Turner talked to the attorney general and there were meetings with the community. The attorney general was determined that he would keep it in his office and have one of his assistants do the investigation. There was unrest. The governor set up a blue ribbon commission. We kept the lines open, but we never ended up in mediation. The mayor ended up convening a blue ribbon commission also. The police chief eventually retired, and there are lawsuits pending. Much of the tension was directed toward waiting for the investigation to take place and the results to be announced. We were not able to process that into mediation. There were other activities which involved CRS that took place. We helped the governor's blue ribbon commission looking at community relations around the state. We lowered our goals and objectives into keeping the peace, keeping communications open, making sure people understood the reason for the U.S. Attorney not taking the case for investigation. That was a conciliation approach. I didn't handle it. The conciliation approach is often not conducted at the highest level. It doesn't lead to development of relationships between the authorities and community leaders. The continuing conflict and unresolved differences are probably going to have to be revisited some other time. In Hartford, there was a shooting death of an African-American youth by a Hartford police officer. As a result, we were heavily involved in a number of activities. The chief asked for our help in addressing some of the internal issues in the department because the chief said we do have racial problems in this department. He directed his attention to issues within the department and community forums outside the department. The police came to the open forums. The chief then resigned. The dynamics of the conflict really never lent themselves to a mediation process. There were other issues that came up. There was a court agreement that had not been carried out. CRS participated in a number of meetings regarding this agreement. Nothing positive came back from city officials related to opening discussions about the agreement. The community leaders finally went to court again to make sure that it was reaffirmed and restated. The process didn't allow itself to evolve into mediation and we were not able to process the tensions and issues into a mediation process. With the police chief resigning, there wasn't an appropriate leader to meet with the community.

Question:
Do you see media coverage of your work as an asset or a liability?

Answer:
I think the media has been a major asset in the work we do.

Question:
How so?

Answer:
The first thing they do is uncover the problems. By uncovering the problems, CRS has an opportunity to deal with them. If they are not publicized, we may not know about them. Secondly, it puts a lot of pressure on the actors, the players, the parties, to at least respond to what the media say.

Question:
How about the coverage of CRS?

Answer:
I think it's helped us. First they uncover the problem, then their attention is directed to the problems. When the media say the Justice Department is coming in, everyone is on notice that we are there dealing with the matter. Most of the time they have been very responsive. They call. In my dealings with them, they have been very active and positive. They get the message out. Sometimes it's up to us how we want to steer that information.

Question:
Do you ever try to use the media as an ally?

Answer:
Oh sure, absolutely. They call us to find out what's happening. Here in Boston for example, from '74 to the '80s we developed excellent relations with the media.

Question:
Your life in those years was built around the Boston school desegregation case. Maybe you want to comment on that.

Answer:
I think the Boston case was an anomaly in many ways. Most of the cities going through desegregation bought into the concept of avoiding violence as good and valid. CRS put out a publication, "Desegregation Without Turmoil" in the mid '70s. That was our approach. In the South we developed "Project 81." CRS did that in 1969 when we sent teams to communities throughout the South to assist them with the desegregation process when the Supreme Court said in 1969, "Desegregate now." We recruited a number of new staff members and sent a number of teams to the South. This infusion of new staff helped build our agency while CRS helped the desegregation process to take place with a minimum of resistance and violence. In the North, before I came up here to Boston, CRS had assisted Prince Georges County to implement the court-ordered desegregation of their schools without problems. There was a lot of political opposition, but we reached out to the opposition, reasoned with them, and said, "You may be against school desegregation; but if you resist, someone's going to get hurt. You don't want to have that." We helped build the environment around that common thread-avoid violence. The ideology might not have been there in that they didn't think it was the proper process. But most of the communities, like Prince Georges County, accepted CRS's approach of avoiding violence. They accepted CRS assistance and we helped them implement the desegregation process, by and large, without violence or turmoil. There were a number of school desegregation cases, similar to Prince Georges County that CRS worked on. Then Boston comes up and it was really anarchy here in Boston because the authorities walked away from carrying out the desegregation order.

Question:
You were working at the elbow of Judge Garrity, right?

Answer:
Yeah. When I was in Washington, we used the methodology that we had done in Prince Georges County, in the South, and elsewhere. Get the people involved, work it out, avoid violence. But in Boston there was a lot of resistance and the authorities, school officials and police, didn't do the proper planning. I remember Ed McClure went to see Judge Garrity in August of '74.

Question:
Ed McClure was on the Boston staff.

Answer:
Yes, he was a conciliation specialist here. He went over to meet with the judge, and talk with him about whether CRS could help him. There was a lot of controversy in the sense that the authorities in Boston weren't taking the desegregation order seriously. So the judge asked CRS to help him work through the desegregation process, similar to what CRS had done in other communities throughout the country. The judge issued his order and instructed the parties to cooperate with CRS. So, throughout the whole desegregation turmoil up here, we had two roles, our mandated conciliation/mediation of racial/ethnic conflicts and assisting the court which was a special type of relationship. In other cities we had some types of relationship with the courts, but it was a special one here on account of the active involvement of the court. Otherwise the whole city would have come apart. The mayor said, "It's not my problem. The federal courts have ordered desegregation, let them enforce it." So the judge had to make the city a party to the desegregation process. The School Committee was adamantly opposed to anything connected with desegregation. They would not put a plan together to desegregate the schools as the judge had ordered. Toward the middle of August when the judge had asked us to assist him and the city to implement the desegregation order, we sent more conciliators to Boston. Ed Cabell came up from our New York office to help with the public safety planning. After reviewing the plans, such as they were, he told the judge, "These guys aren't ready for desegregation." So the judge ordered the city to come up with a contingency plan. There was the lack of preparation, and the reason was that the city, school officials, and others really believed what some of the leaders were saying. In Boston, "Never" was their motto and the politicians were saying that. They honestly believed their motto, because they had confronted the Massachusetts State Department of Education when the state courts had ordered Boston to desegregate before. They said, "We can't do it." And they got away with it. They kept postponing, coming up with reasons, and they thought they could get away with avoiding any desegregation process. When the judge said, "You're going to do it," he imposed a plan on them which was developed by the State Department of Education. It was a bad plan. The judge knew it, but the court had no alternative. Regarding school desegregation after a finding of segregation, the Supreme Court said, "You have to desegregate now. You can't keep putting it off. There is a violation of peoples' rights." When the desegregation order came out, the judge told the school department to come up with a plan if they didn't like the state plan and the school committee refused. So the only plan out there was the State Department of Education plan. It was disaster in the way it transferred students, especially pairing South Boston and Roxbury.

Question:
Did Judge Garrity bring a master in the case like some cities did?

Answer:
Not at first. When CRS offered our assistance, the judge's basic concern, and our recommendations to him, was to deal with the turmoil in the streets, try to get the violence and turmoil under control. But in the subsequent year the full city would be under desegregation orders. So the judge developed a new desegregation plan. We were heavily involved with the judge in the process. He hired two desegregation experts and appointed four masters.

Question:
For the second year?

Answer:
Yes. The judge had no time before the first year of desegregation to develop a new plan. His order to desegregate the schools in September came out in June. The plan used in the first year of desegregation was the existing State Department of Education plan I mentioned above. So the planning for the subsequent year was part of a major process that CRS worked with the judge on. It was a good plan, but the opponents never accepted it.

Question:
In preparing for desegregation, did anybody involve the parents of the white kids?

Answer:
Oh yes. Part of CRS efforts in 1974, prior to the court-ordered desegregation process, was to work with the school system to develop a plan for implementing desegregation. But the school system did not really believe that it would ever have to desegregate. They had one guy, the associate superintendent, Charlie Leftwich, and an assistant who were ostensibly in charge of planning for desegregation. But the superintendent and school committee did not agree with them that they should be serious about the planning process. Our people were working with Charlie, but he had no authority. He was wasting his time developing ideas. He talked to CRS about all the important planning elements: information centers, rumor control, all the elements that should be done by the school department and city. The city didn't take it seriously either. He had some meetings with people, outreach to the white community, talking to them. He was met with a lot of hostility. "Never here, we're not going to go through with it." He tried, but the school committee said he didn't have any authority to do it. The school committee did not want to do any realistic planning and the superintendent said his hands were tied.As soon as school desegregation began under the court order, action started taking place. The judge ordered that there be bi-racial parent councils in all the schools that were undergoing desegregation. They would be composed of white, black, and Hispanics. After the school department refused to voluntarily implement a number of CRS's recommendations based on CRS experience in the South and other communities going through desegregation, CRS brought these recommendations to the court. During the course of CRS work with the court, the judge had to order the school department to implement a number of these measures which had been found to be effective in communities going through desegregation across the country. Boston did not voluntarily accept our recommendations even though in all the other communities, e.g., Denver and Prince Georges County, the school systems and communities accepted CRS recommendations. So that's why I say Boston was an anomaly. We basically were working with the court to reconstruct a governing system for the schools. That's what we basically were doing. Parent councils in the schools and the whole planning process, especially the role of the experts and court masters, were intended to signify an outreach, as much as possible, to the reasonable people in the city. For example, Eddie McCormick from South Boston was the former lieutenant governor and the judge chose him to be one of the masters. The people the judge selected as masters and court experts were of the highest caliber. It was a partnership process that the judge wanted to do right. In CRS's role with the court, CRS was basically the helper to keep the desegregation process moving as the judge had all the authority. In our other role, CRS was concentrating our efforts at first on trying to stem the violence at the schools in South Boston and then Hyde Park. We were holding the line and getting ready for the development of a plan where we could put into action some way of healing the city. We were tasked by the court to establish the city-wide coordinating council, a blue-ribbon body to help heal the racial strife brought about by the desegregation process. We reached out to the universities to partner with the schools and to the business community to partner with the schools. We reached out to the media. A number of good changes took place: excellent programs in the schools; magnet schools; partnerships with universities, businesses and cultural institutions; scholarships, etc. The judge was interested in what took place at the end of the bus ride. He didn't just want to move students. He was concerned with the education taking place. He made a number of major changes. For example, he ordered that there would be a principal at every school. Before his order there wasn't. There would be schools with several annexes. One principal supervising several schools. Segregation existed throughout the school system. The system was in chaos as was the city.

Question:
What do you think are the greatest strengths that you brought to this job?

Answer:
I think it's my ability to deal with people. I think it's more people skills. I think behind the people skills is the commitment to the cause of civil rights and the correction of injustices in the country. I think my commitment helps to solidify the relationships I develop. As a mediator, you're building trust with people. I think people can see through things, especially young people, where we're coming from. I think that is part of it. I think the knowledge base is important and my background is in sociology. I have my master's degree in sociology. I think also important are the experiences I had when I was in Miami, setting up systems, dealing with racial/ethnic problems and learning how to work effectively with various institutions. When I went down to Miami, I set up a human rights commission; I was in charge of developing the family counseling center; and I worked with the Office of Community Service there. I was heavily involved in a lot of the problem solving in the Miami area right from the beginning. I had the opportunity to develop new ideas at OEO (Office of Economic Opportunity).

Question:
When you hire, what kinds of skills are you looking for? And when you train people, what kinds of skills are you looking to develop?

Answer:
The most important thing that I look at is what's been their history, what's their experience in dealing with race related-issues. So that's the first thing, to see if they have any experience. I must say I look for a person who is as mature as possible: being able to deal with a cross-section of communities, organizations, groups; that they were effective or successful in their work. Then the second thing is do they have the people skills, do they relate to people, and what are people saying about them. Then I get into the whole concept of their knowledge of civil rights and commitment. I try to get a sense of where they're coming from, their value system. From there, I think we can teach most other things. If they have been able to deal with people of different races and been successful, they have people skills, they have a commitment and their values are pretty much what I think they should be then I think other things can be taught but I don't think some of those prerequisites can be taught.

Question:
At the end of the day how do you judge your success when you consider your casework?

Answer:
I'd say there are three levels. The first level probably is if we have developed a plan of action as we should in our assessment and whether that plan was carried out and was it successful? Basically, the assessment outlines what the limitations are because every incident or every problem in every community is different. A good assessment is going to look into every incident we're dealing with so it gives us a chance to set the parameters of what we're expecting to get done. If we say we're trying to reach for the process that will have the highest impact, which I think we agree is face-to-face negotiations and getting grievances out, then a good plan of action will give us a road map. At the end of it, how did we do? That's the first part. The second question is what is the impact at the end? Was an impact really made? We planned our response. Was our planning right? Did it lead to the impact we were hoping for? There is a third level at the end of this. What changes have taken place and what is going to be the continuation? Are there changes of relationships, changes of institutional elements? What is going to be the future of that community, that organization or that institution?

Question:
Can you think back to what you would consider one of your most successful mediations and was that community different when you left?

Answer:
Take the one I started with at the UMass-Amherst and the community there. The plan of action was related to those demands, but we suggested adding safety and the school racial/ethnic environment to the list of issues to be negotiated. I thought that at the end, the agreement reached related to all those points. It was worked out by both parties, their commitment to it was in good faith and they could carry it out. That was the first stage. The second is, what type of changes. This was the first time they'd ever had something written about the types of issues and problems they'd had in the past. The mechanisms to continue that dialogue and feedback were there in the reports from the Chancellor to the school newspaper. There were some significant things that were on the table that they agreed to. The change of the makeup of the number of students, including the faculty, the role of students of color. One of the changes was in recruiting new faculty. The students became part of the process of hiring new faculty and administrators and how they were recruited. There were a number of very significant things that took place there and I thought the relationship between the parties was great at the end. I really felt very satisfied with that. Even when the university said, last year or two years ago, "We cannot keep our goals, our quotas," -- they thought they were going to be brought in under a court suit -- they said, "We can't keep that, but we're going to continue to reach out to the minority student population." There was a sense of real commitment there which I thought was good and that we like to see in all the communities we're involved in. There was also the one in Chelsea with the chief. One of the major changes was that the Hispanic community became a part of the decision making process in Chelsea. They had never been a party to that. Right after the mediation sessions, Chelsea went into receivership due to lack of money. The Latino community became a critical part of a lot of the community building that we were also involved in subsequently in Chelsea.




Stephen Thom


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

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.





Martin Walsh


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Was this the first time that students and administration worked together on issues like this?

Answer:
The first time on racial issues. I thought that they really developed some good relations. The next time we went out to UMass, about 3 years ago, and in that one some of the same players were there from the administration. One of the concerns there was whether the administration was living up to the agreements from '92. There was another major issue and there were a whole new set of dynamics. It was graduate students and heath care, daycare and other things that did not relate to the racial issue. Yet they built their case around the '92 agreement. They wanted us to be the mediators to get these changes done. But it was a whole different dynamic.

Question:
Did you go out and work on that?

Answer:
Yes, I was the mediator there.

Question:
How did you justify dealing with issues that were not related to racial conflict?

Answer:
What they did was incorporate it into the ALANA agreement of 1992. That federation was still in existence to see that the agreements were being carried out. The leaders in 1996 reported back and they would sneak in these other issues and say, "In the meantime, this affects students of color." There was a difference though between the students and the administration in 1992 and in 1996. In 1992 the relationship continued to be very positive. It was much easier to deal with the issues. But in '96 it was very contentious because the administration would put on the table the various developments and other agreements that had been reached, or the implementation process that had taken place related to the 1992 agreement. Basically they were carrying out what they had promised. The numbers were good and a lot of the other agreements were there.




Stephen Thom


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

We didn't get a written agreement. It was more of a conciliation. They had to hear from the mayor exactly what powers he had and what his intentions were, and what he could and could not do. The mayor, as politically as he could, said, "We're not the vehicle for relieving you of your problems. The proper vehicle is the federal government. We have the Federal Emergency Management Agency here that will be looking at all those issues, and looking at what your damages are and trying to rectify with you. He didn't say they were loans, he said, "They're the vehicle." I looked at the Korean community and they go, 'You don't do that?" We had told them all along that there were these different ways of doing that, but until they heard it from the mayor, they weren't going to accept it. They thought the city had some obligation too. The city did tell them what they could do and what they were working on, and what kind of business support they were going to give and so forth. They needed to hear all that. So that was a point of clarification.





Bob Hughes


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Do you remember the points of the agreement?

Answer:
One. We recognized the Indian treaty and their usual custom fishing areas, and their right to access waters by passing through other waters for fishing. Some such verbiage. They have a right to pass through and use private property in order to exercise that right. A major, major concession was the recognition of those rights. But that was worked out in a joint committee. The tribal attorney in this case, who's a non-Indian, young man, was probably crucial in the working and persuading. He probably said something like "If you will give this recognition, I think in exchange, we can get to these other concerns that you have addressed."

Question:
What was given in exchange?

Answer:
All of this. There was a listing of procedures. All nets shall be lit at all times, they shall be placed so as to provide clear navigation channels in and out of the bay. There will be no loud playing of radios or excessive noise while fisherman are involved in fishing. There were a number of things like that, which addressed these specific concerns that had been raised. The Tribal Fisheries Patrol was a key part. They had one large boat with a sergeant in charge of it, who was a highly respected man, a Chippewa. He was from another part of the country, and he was highly respected, had a lot of law enforcement experience, and outside of tribal enforcement. During fishing, operations are taking place, during the fishing season, the Fishers Enforcement Patrol will regularly visit these areas and will ensure that all fishermen have copies of this agreement and that they will have authority to lift nets that are improperly placed and so on. So there was an enforcement procedure. And I believe that was it. These agreements are permanent. They'll last forever. It doesn't terminate at a certain point. The last item in the agreement would be that the mediator will arrange for a meeting three months from now for the purpose of reviewing implementation of the agreements. Secondly, for the purpose of addressing new issues related to this general area that may have arisen, that are not addressed specifically in the terms of the agreement. Thirdly, and this is by far the most important, I could renew working relationships. Now, I don't recall if I said all of that on the first case, because that was a growing awareness. But from that point on, every mediation agreement, I would try to persuade them to agree to that. This may have been where I first used that. What came out of this was, the time of the next meeting was after the fishing season had been completed. In the meantime, there was a procedure for a complaint channel, a number at the Fisheries Patrol Office, and this is the name of the person who's in charge of it. Call, and he will respond to calls from property owners. That was a commitment that he had made. He must have been invited into the meeting to be introduced and so on, a very attractive person and a lot of this was successful because of him. He could be depended on to come, and he did. The provision for the follow-up meeting was at the conclusion of the fishing season, which would be over in October or something like that. There's various runs of salmon, I had to learn all this. "When the last run has run then the mediator will reconvene the parties and we'll review the implementation of the agreement." And at that point, we arranged for, prior to the beginning of the next season, which would be about August or September, we'll meet again and be sure that we have the right phone numbers and any changes that have taken up. All these things that the Indians have little knowledge of, but that was provided for. That went on for several years, that kind of meeting.

Question:
With you involved?

Answer:
I was for the first year or so, but we would meet at the sheriff's Marine Patrol Office, the precinct where they operated out of. And I'd work out of the role of mediator and turn it over to the sergeant in charge of the Marine Patrol. He'd have the responsibility for contacting the parties to be convened, and maybe I would attend, maybe I wouldn't. But I was trying to get out of their dependence on me. There were various problems that came up later, but that was the process and dynamics that went into that case. That was my first fishing rights case. But it wasn't the last.




Dick Salem


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
So what was in this agreement?

Answer:
It was that Russell, or that a delegation from AIM, would go to Washington. Theyíd have a meeting with someone at the white House, and there would be consideration given to their demands. There would be a memorial established at Wounded Knee and the Civil Rights Division would investigate complaints on the reservation. I guess they felt that was the best they could do. They had their lawyers working with them. Kunstler from New York. Lane, Axelrod from California and Doug Hall, who stopped coming after awhile. Some of the lawyers wanted to be where the action was. I remember there was disarray at one point, and I took it upon myself to call Doug Hall, who was from Minneapolis and very highly regarded as well as low key. I said, "Doug, youíre needed out here." He said, "Well, they havenít asked me so I wonít come unless they do." And he didnít. And I sure wish he had, because there were antics going on, I mentioned what Mark Lane did to me, for example. That wasnít the reason that I called him, I donít remember what the specific incident was. The last negotiation I took part in took place on a school bus, which was in the DMZ. It was a convenient place, the people fit and it was pitch black. I was in the back of the bus, and they decided what they needed to do was find a way to end. It was agreed they were going to end and what terms would be. There would be no arrests, but those who had felony charges pending were subject to arrest. CRS would be the intermediary for turning in guns. Guns wold be registered and returned to their owners if the could show they owned them. That was our role at that point. Now there may have been more of a role played in other meetings. I left at that point.

Question:
So if guns were legitimately owned by Native Americans, they would give them back?

Answer:
Thatís right. Native Americans or others who were with them. Peopleís property was not lost. Iím not sure how that played out. I think Leo Cardenas would know. He succeeded me.

Question:
So they agreed, essentially, that they would end the standoff if they got this document that said that theyíd be heard in Washington?

Answer:
There was a signed agreement and they went to explore it and thatís when Russell disappeared.

Question:
Now why was it that everything fell apart when he left?

Answer:
I think people were tired. They had accomplished their mission. It was time to stop. They had milked this for the publicity, which was very important. They had heightened awareness throughout America of the plight of the American Indians, of the rape of the Indians by the US Government, of the treaty violations. That was all exposed, highly publicized. The media had it. People were more aware.

Question:
So why didnít it just peacefully disband?

Answer:
Well, how do you end it? That had to be negotiated. I think the thought was that Russell and his group were going to go to Washington and confirm by good intent that people could do certain things and then come back. But I think he hit the talk show road and continued the publicity, and there was conflict inside AIM. We werenít privy to it, but it was there. Russell writes about that. So then, how do you end the standoff? Finally, it was agreed that they would come out. Part of this might have been some of the civil rights lawyers too, who wanted to perpetuate the cause, rather than protect the individuals. At the end of the day, they worked out the agreement on how this would end and it did end peacefully at that point.




Nancy Ferrell


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

If you want, they gave me permission to share the document we came up with. It's beautiful, it's incredible. The kinds of things that became institutional change and long term response. They created a long term process for responding to incidents on campus. That became institutionalized in and of itself.





Ernest Jones


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
Now did the judge give you any time constraints for mediating the case?

Answer:
No, no. As long as it takes. See the judge didn't want to deal with it. Today Louisville still has internal problems. One of the guys that got promoted, a black guy was a real nice guy, but he got promoted way beyond where he needed to be and the pressures of trying to live up to that position was difficult. He went from a sergeant to a major overnight. And he thought that was great until he found out what it was like to be a major. And he didn't have the training. No one taught this guy how to be a command officer. The city didn't really give this guy any training. They said if you want to be it, fine you can be it, but we're not going to help you. I mean that was their position. And he ended up taking an early retirement leave. There was a lot of nastiness that came out of it and everything, but it was successful.







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