What were your measures of the success of your intervention?


Martin Walsh


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

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?




Stephen Thom


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

What are your measures of success after an intervention?

Answer:
Referrals. I get resource officers who call me and say, "You were referred to me by so and so, you did a case over here." I get calls from some of the advocacy organizations saying, "I understand you helped this group. Could you possibly come over here?" So, constantly I get that kind of recognition. A lot of my case work comes from other people calling me back because we've had previous contact with a mediation case. Once you get in these circles, for example, Head Start cases come to me, BIA cases come to me, school cases just fly all over the place. To me we're doing something right or we wouldn't be referred. That's a key measure of success in my mind. I get a great deal of satisfaction coming out of certain cases where you just know the parties are very cordial. I've had people say, "We want to take a picture, we want to document this agreement." I've had people come to me and say, "This is the first time we've ever had anything written that we can hold onto that's really spoken to this issue that has been going on for years." That was an ethnic studies department that thought it was being threatened to be abolished. We negotiated a whole series of steps as to what the institution should do to give sustained support to an ethnic studies program and to review it periodically to ensure the institution did what it could to sustain the department rather then feel that it's being demised. LULAC was the party and they just said, "We've never had anything written down that we could monitor our work with the institution." People in CRS get this type of feed back all the time. In those cases where they go, "Oh, I didn't realize that?" You get the satisfaction in the process as the lights go on as they say, "Oh, I didn't know that?" "Oh, I like that idea. We should have done this a long time ago. Why didn't we do this before?" You get positive feedback in the dialogue in the process too. There are a number of ways. Also, policy changes, which you see periodically, where they'll say they are going to change a policy on something and you know you've institutionalized something. That's a sense of satisfaction.






Angel Alderete


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

How do you measure success?

Answer:
By people telling me that it's worked, or, "We think it's going to work and we're going to give it a try." I don't think I was ever involved in something where, at the end of my involvement, from then on, heaven was going to throw Golden rings down on the people I'd worked with. It was always, "Yeah, we're going to try it." Even with corrections. Look how long it took us just to get the department people to say, "Okay, we'll go with it." It took us a whole year. So it does take time and a boss needs to be able to understand that. That means that the boss has to have had street experience, mediation experience, and experience in the field that you're involved in. This way, he or she can understand what the dynamics are. They know you can't go in and say, "I'm going to mediate," and then a week later, "I have a mediation case and I've got to decide everything." That just doesn't happen. Perhaps on occasion, but in reality, not often. Then just because you said, "Eureka! Success!" That doesn't mean -- and I'm repeating myself -- that you don't have to have follow-up. If you want to find out what's happening, you've got to have the R&D that you've mentioned. If you don't have research, it isn't going to happen. And if you're afraid to try things out in the community, it's not going to happen. You can go over the same old trite things and all you do is you repeat the same things that you learned ten years ago. You've got to be willing to take a chance. That's where a lot of people stub their toes. They take a chance, it doesn't go right, and they tell themselves, "I told you so."




Leo Cardenas


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
So in that particular case, how do you measure success?

Answer:
Satisfaction on the part of the disputants. And in that case it'll take us a little while, but we come to the conclusion that they're satisfied. We were there and we saw the anger and we saw the history and it's common to many other communities. We almost know what the resolution, or the possible solution is. But they're not ready to put any resources into it at all.




Julian Klugman


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Answer:
You come to an agreement and the agreement does something to rectify what's wrong. And how do you perceive it? The only test would be that you ask people and they tell you. For example with Stockton High School, the fights stopped. I can show you a year later there were no racial fights there, and the student group was still functioning. Sometimes there are specific ways you can show it, e.g. the Indian agreement at Klammath Falls. The county hired an Indian ombudsman, they set up a complaint procedure with certain guidelines. There was a monitoring mechanism that had power. They were monitoring the agreement to make sure it was lived up to, and if the thing fell apart, I'd come back in.




Efrain Martinez


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
How did you measure success of your intervention?

Answer:
Was the problem resolved? Are the parties still working together? Have they solved other problems? Have they progressed? I guess there's immediate success and there's long range success. At the beginning of the issues with the Vietnamese, nobody else got killed. That was our main goal, not to get anybody killed or hurt. So that was successful. But then in time they had got to know each other, but there were a lot of steps along the way, and each year there were slightly different things we had to do.




Efrain Martinez


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

What are the long term measures of success?

Answer:
The Vietnamese in Seadrift, Texas, are prospering, their kids are very successful in the schools. In another town, a Vietnamese is the municipal judge. For example, is the community overcoming what they had? Are they working together? And years later do the problems come up again? If the problems do come up, were they able to deal with them? In a sense, we tried to have a more lasting impact but because of our limited resources and time it's like a quick fix, but that quick fix hopefully helps them create a process where they can work through their immediate situation. Then they'll be able to handle other issues, or the same ones if they come up in a different mode or with different players later on. In a town I was in a year ago, I met some people that had been protesting the killing of a black guy about eight years ago. I had worked with some of the community leaders. One of the, a black man, came to me a year ago and said, "Hey, I'm now a county commissioner, you helped us work with the power structure and all that, and at some point they thought I was a good candidate." Another one of the black leaders that was being called a troublemaker owns a restaurant now in the downtown square.




Nancy Ferrell


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
I think you've already answered this question, but I haven't asked it overtly. How do you measure your success?

Answer:
For me, the biggest success was that awareness was raised around that table about people's feelings; what it feels like to be black, what it feels like to be white, what it feels like to be a faculty member. That awareness was genuinely raised for everybody there and there was some empathy created across those lines. That was a personal success and that's something that I'm glad to be a part of. The professional success is in the changes that occur for the system. I don't know if any faculty member was ever sanctioned for grades. I don't know that, but I know there was a study in place to consider that. And that was the first step, but that's not acceptable. Maybe the faculty simply knowing that the study was going on could have some long term impact. So I felt professional success most often when we could create institutional change. Personally, it was when I saw individuals raise their awareness. Once I had a banker in a community, a little tiny community, make some offhand comment about, "There's no reason for us to have another park. We have a nice park, this city's not that big. Why do we need another park in the minority part of town?" I said "Well, these kids would have to walk across town. It's about a mile away. Would you let your children do that?" "It's not that far." But then he had the courage to go drive to the other part of town, which he hadn't been to lately, and he thought about his children walking that distance. He said later, "You're right. It's not fair." He gave the land for the park in the other part of town. Those are the personal successes because that was the beginning of several leaders in the community, black and white. I don't know that there was any other ethnic group involved. After a hundred years of knowing each other, they began to really talk to each other and value each other and honor each other. In that instance, a situation occurred about 6 months later that would've been disastrous had that process not occurred 6 months before. Do you want to hear this?




Renaldo Rivera


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
When you have concluded a mediation, what are the indicators you look for to determine if you've been successful?

Answer:
You know what I look for, for me agreements aside because not everything is organized or oriented towards that. I'm looking at the communication and the relationships. A long time ago when I started this part of my training was with Governor Louis from Pueblo Zuni, who was working on Black Mountain with the Hopi and the Navajo when I was back there in the early 70's, and he took me along with his sons. What I learned there was something that I've taken with me forever, which is my expectation in any community conflict where we intervene either between parties or working with individual parties like we're doing now in WTC, is the expectation that I have and where I put my premium is that the next time we meet we'll understand each other better and we'll each be in a different place. So I have very modest expectations around any particular controversy. What it helps me with is not to get too wedded to anything, although I'm completely committed. It lets me take my walks and have a viewpoint that can help other people. It helps me from having a heart attack or getting too burned out. The idea that we each understand each other better as an outcome and that we each will be in a different place as an outcome as primary objectives is extremely important. It goes to an operational definition of improved relationships and improved communication. So, that's what I'm working for and that's what I see as a success measure. If two people who previously couldn't talk with each other are now able to sit together, even if they don't agree, that's a big difference from where they were before. If two people who don't agree with each other can come to understand why the other person has the point of view that they have, that's a success measure. If people who previously were not in any relationship to each other can now have formal and informal ways of interacting with each other on a regular basis that's an outcome measure. Because I know fundamentally that the whole framework for mediation is because basic respect has broken down, communication has stopped, confidence is no longer there, there can be no unity and there can be no community.

Question:
You're talking about improved relations.

Answer:
Yes. If you build back the community, it starts with respect, communication and trust that then people can see the different points of view and work together towards a community. I really focus on that as outcome measures. Each step of the way I'm trying to model that kind of behavior and how I talk to people, even people whose values I disagree with fundamentally. I have to model the behaviors that I'm hoping they will be able to get to my example. They can be their own example of it later. They don't have to be like me, but at least I model one way of doing it. So there is an internal consistency to my approach with individuals and with groups that then in turn influences the ways in which they might deal with each other. So, that's what I look for. If that's happening I know we are knitting something and that stuff stays knit amongst them. A lot of times really aggrieved parties will watch me handle a particularly obnoxious person in a particular way and then think, "I never thought of doing it that way." You know, cut them some slack. Sometimes the most nasty community individuals, because they do exist, mau mauing people like crazy, how you handle them can be very helpful to people in officialdom because they get frightened or intimidated by people like that. That's really where I look and it's always a core part of my work. I think it's happened with you. I've been doing the talking here, but it's what I try to do. So, I can understand what your needs are, where we're going, where it could be differently framed than elsewhere, where you would like to go and how my conversation contributes to the research efforts that you are making. So when we meet next time maybe we'll understand each other a little better and we'll be in a different place. That's really what I try to do. It's the relationship. Once you put that back in place with respect and dignity, once you can get those things in place then you've helped the local situation as much as you can really expect.




Martin Walsh


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

I think that the most important rewards that come out of CRS work is the type of feedback that comes to us from these cases. There is a challenge in the matter of what can take place from the conflict or the horrible incident. Seeing these changes, especially what the community feels has changed as the result of our involvement, I don't think you can beat that personal satisfaction. The parties attribute so much to us. It is they who have done it, but it's our process. They really wouldn't have been able to accomplish many of these things without our involvement. It was our process that helped to bring about these types of changes as noted in the agreements and in the changed relationships.





Angel Alderete


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

So in your opinion, was that case a success?

Answer:
Yes. You take every little success one-at-a-time, and if it takes something like transferring certain guys out of the community to reach a peaceful agreement, that's fine. They learn that if you can sit down and talk your problem out, maybe something good comes of it and you won't get killed, jailed, or anything else. I'm not naive enough to believe that they internalized everything we said, and that they're still living by what they learned. At least we provided the institution with an alternative to forcing control, then that's a gain for them; that's what we had hoped for, and it worked.




Angel Alderete


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
How did you measure success? Is there ever a sense that a good meal indicated a measure of more general success?

Answer:
Meals created good feelings, but very little discussion on the philosophy of good community relations. It's just a good feeling about people getting together, and noticing that we don't have that many differences afterall. Of course, a lot of those differences are sort things that are sort of harbored by people that want -- for whatever reason -- to keep the turmoil going. But I got a really good feeling out of that whole situation. The community folks were the ones who really came up with that idea, by the way. It wasn't a suggestion by CRS or the cops; it was the community people who said, "Let's get together and sit down and talk to these guys in a more relaxed atmosphere." So although we never got anything down on paper except the report that came from us, I think the result from that was this kind of good feeling and comradery. They were in agreement that we ought to do this pretty often, and we did it about three or four times.




Bob Ensley


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
How do you measure success?

Answer:
Well, success is measured by: poverty level being raised, more students going to college, better SAT scores, better blacks employed, more visibility of blacks and better positions, better homes, and lack of -- as Ozell was saying -- conflict. No, peace is not the absence of conflict but the ability to cope with it. And these people are being able to cope with their own problems and resolving them without any need for anybody from the outside coming in. And you see blacks in the police and fire departments. When I went to Washington they had one black in the police department and they eventually got rid of him and they got with the sheriff. He started training programs because the blacks started going to the state patrol. So that shows there was some progress being made. And then people staying in a community, a lot of these children were graduating from high school with a percentage who wanted to go to Raleigh-Durham, or Chapel Hill, to get away from there. But now they are beginning to graduate, go to school, and come back and stay. So that in itself is an indication that things are better instead of them wanting to leave as soon as they get a secondary education.




Edward Howden


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
How did you judge when a case was successful, or what did you consider success?

Answer:
I guess the main criteria would be that both parties seemed reasonably pleased with it, hopefully enthusiastic. And it being a written agreement.

Question:
If you didn't get a written agreement, was it a failure?

Answer:
Um...not necessarily. But it wasn't a complete success either. I can think of two examples. In the case involving the big spring and the enclave community, as I remember, there was not a full formal agreement. I think there was some memo exchange or something, but it didn't have quite the full status that I would have preferred. Nevertheless, I think it was meaningful, as it was a substantial advance over the previous messy non-communicative situation. We had a few other cases that were not formal also. We tried to get into formal mediation, if we could, because we think that the potential results are much better, but even if we couldn't, it was nice to try to come out with something. So there was a fair degree of success sometimes.

Question:
Did CRS measure success any differently than you would've measured it?

Answer:
I'm not sure that I ultimately know. There might have been a few times when my superiors thought that I had spent enough time on a case and suggested that I leave before I was ready but that didn't happen often.




Bob Hughes


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
Would that be how you measured your success while you were at CRS, that human relationship being developed between parties?

Answer:
Well, I think that was an important aspect that I discovered.

Question:
What other gauges do you use to measure whether or not you were successful?

Answer:
I'd say the length of time that the agreement holds up. That's one thing, and secondly, whether the group that I worked with carries on and addresses other similar questions and expands the scope that I think is important, beyond the negotiating table.




Ernest Jones


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
I want you to think back to when we started to interview and I asked you to choose one case, and we talked about your involvement with the Olympic committee. We talked about the contingency plan and how it was well laid-out. How did you measure your success in that particular case? Or how was success measured?

Answer:
In terms of that particular case and in terms of most other cases, I measure success as having accomplished what I had wanted to accomplish. Now that may not mean that the situation was resolved. What it means is what I started out to do, I did. Situations still may exist-- sometimes you just can't resolve issues. Some issues are not going to be resolved. But CRS can do things that make that situation more palatable or easier to live with. It makes it a step closer to getting it to what it's got to be. All of these are successes you know, and they're points of measurement. My goal might not to be to resolve the issue, it might be to do "x". To move them closer to the end result themselves. Because I don't have the time, you know that's one of the things that is a hindrance to this agency and the people that work for it is that there's this expectation that you would do excellent at cases for a year. It has an influence on how you're rated. That expectation coupled with the fact that we've got far less than an adequate number of people we need to work with what we've got. That means you don't have the luxury to spend a lot of time on any one case. You just don't have the time, so you set your goals differently than you would if you had months and months and months to work on this particular case.




Efrain Martinez


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
How did you measure success of your intervention?

Answer:
Was the problem resolved? Are the parties still working together? Have they solved other problems? Have they progressed? I guess there's immediate success and there's long range success. At the beginning of the issues with the Vietnamese, nobody else got killed. That was our main goal, not to get anybody killed or hurt. So that was successful. But then in time they had got to know each other, but there were a lot of steps along the way, and each year there were slightly different things we had to do.




Manuel Salinas


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
How would you measure success in that particular intervention?

Answer:
I guess primarily the success was that in fact they did recruit more Hispanics, the community calmed down, El Comite was formed ,and the chief did abide by those items within the assessment. I think that was all positive that was all good.

Question:
How would CRS measure your success?

Answer:
I'd have to talk to the director at the time. I think he would measure it by the fact that El Comite was formed and they were aggressive enough to get something done. And I think that he would look at that and the assessment was complete and to the satisfaction of everybody.




Ozell Sutton


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
How did you measure success in an intervention? Let's talk specifically about Memphis and then we can talk in general.

Answer:
Well, success is an ever-evasive thing. Success for the day does not mean success for next week. If you're able on this day to prevent the level of brutality, the problem hasn't been solved. Or anyway enabled that group of people or empowered that group of people that had been without power. You have gained a level of success that will continue into infinity really, anytime you're in power, a people or a group of people, they become the empowered forever. Anytime you teach them that they have power, and how to use it, it becomes an ongoing thing. So, you measure your success by the level of concern and involvement that you can create in people in resolving their own problems. And you try to convey to them that they don't want to rely on others in the long run, that they are the responsible ones for the answers to these things, not me.




Will Reed


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Once you have the ones who can influence change, community leaders who are aware of the problem, sitting down and meeting and working on a regular basis, you will be successful. I have one committee that is still in existence and has been for 22 years. That's the one I told you about where the guy was hanged. You can go up there right now and find the Action Committee and the police chief, who was a friend of mine and still is. We've been friends for a long time. We developed a real, lasting friendship because he was a decent person and that's what you want to measure....not whether he was an adept police chief. He must have thought I was a decent person for some reason. And that's what happened. We communicated, so we continued communicating. You're looking at trying to come up with real, lasting solutions. I got the agency's award for being able to mediate long-lasting systemic changes in civil rights cases and it was simply because with most of the places and cities I went into, I didn't go in with the idea of just resolving the situation. I sought and I tried to teach others, the ones that I had to work with and supervise, to look for systemic change. If you want to look at a mediation and say that you're a mediator, and want to point back to some of your work years later, well the idea is to shoot for systemic change that's going to be lasting, that's going to have some carry-over value in it. One should be able to point to a number of cases -- or quite a few, for that matter, where he or she tried to effectuate change, brought about change, and where there are some remnants of it still going on.



Wallace Warfield


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Answer:
Success is one thing. If you’re looking at it from the standpoint of a proactive or more proactive response, where you’re using a more longitudinal form of conciliation or perhaps even mediation, the success is defined differently. Let me give you an example -- this is kind of a composite example, and I’ve used this often-times in talks. So you have Amarillo, Texas....CRS gets -- this is in the old days, but CRS gets what was called an "alert” that there was a conflict between Mexican Americans and police outside a high school in Amarillo, Texas; there were some injuries, some arrests, but no deaths. CRS gets called in to intervene. In the old, fire-fighting conciliation days, what CRS would do is to try to work out some kind of an agreement -- a contingency-based agreement between law enforcement and the demonstration leaders or community leaders over the demonstration. So, CRS would say, "Okay, police department, would you accept self-enforcing marshals?” and they go, "Sure, okay.” "Okay, you don’t want demonstrations to take place right on the school grounds; could you agree to demonstrate three blocks away?” If you get a response of consent, then you leave. If you got that agreement, that was a successful outcome. Then you find out that tensions resumed a short time later. You go back in, and you say, "What happened? We thought we worked out an agreement.” Well, that wasn’t the issue. What was the issue? The reason why they were demonstrating? It’s because a school principle expelled two Latino students for speaking Spanish on school grounds, which up until -- in some states, in some locales – the mid ‘80s, you couldn’t do. It was against the law to speak Spanish on school grounds. So, you go back in and you discover, well, the cause of the conflict was the expelling of these two Latino students, so now this is a different kind of issue. So is success simply reaching an agreement on how people can demonstrate? No, it’s no longer sufficient as a measurement of success. So now success looks like something else. So success looks like, maybe getting the two students readmitted. Could you stop there? You could, but let’s dig a little deeper. If you were doing this on a fuller basis of mediation -- on a much more proactive basis -- then your going through stages of reaction to more proactive stances. And so the more you move along that continuum, your measurements of success change along with that movement. And now you’re saying, "Okay, can we get school boards and Latino leadership in a negotiation around school policy, and get an agreement on the outcome about school policy?” Now that’s a different measurement of success. That little story, in many ways, speaks to the evolution that CRS went through. Except for there wasn’t a perfect evolution, because there were people in CRS who wanted to make the change and the transition to a much more deeply-rooted, longitudinal kind of intervention, and there were other people who were very much wedded to the reactive model and wouldn’t change. So you had this kind of schism within CRS, largely and to a certain extent abetted by the demands from Congress that we show numbers -- well you can show numbers better reactively than you can proactively......




Dick Salem


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
How did you measure the success of an intervention?

Answer:
Well, you are always trying to project your successes in a bureaucracy. Information is always needed for budget purposes, annual reports, monthly reports, you are always expected to put your best foot forward. People need achievements, you'd always want to go up to a higher level. To a Congressman, a constituent, anything would support the agency's needs because you need to get money, you need to budget, you need to get staff. So at times we didn’t think of how you measured success, we just thought of what our best foot forward was. At times we were trying to show how many dollars were saved in mediated case, rather then a court case.

Question:
How do you do that?

Answer:
With great imagination. You say, "here's how many hours were spent on this case and here is what it would have cost had this case been litigated.” You make some estimates and say hundreds of thousands of dollars were saved because this case was handled this way rather than that way. I think, in reality, the test of success is whether or not the parties involved in the case would invite you back if they have another conflict. That's an issue that I gave some thought to later when I was writing about it, when I did that article for Peace and Change, 'How Do You Measure Success?' My primary answer was, would the parties want you back if there was another case? Then you know you were successful, because not every case will settle or should settle. Every dispute should not be resolved. I told you about the Minneapolis proposed mediation that fell through and the community was stronger because of it. They wouldn't let it go to mediation. They were able to heighten awareness in the community and have better results in the end, better outcomes. Sometimes you run into people afterwards and find out how successful it was because you did something they remembered. It can't simply be a head count of how many cases you won, because that becomes a game too. You do know, though, that in many cases there were very few resources available to the communities and you were there for them. You point to them in directions, you brought in assistance. We used to do a survey each year for the attorney general, an assessment of the potential for violence and for disruption in communities around the country. We would do an assessment of major areas in our region where there was a potential for racial violence. The reality was we could never really predict anything. We could say tensions are high and there is a real danger of violence if this situation is not addressed, but nobody could really predict if violence would happen or not. Also, you can't say that there was no violence because of our presence. I'd like to think that because we were at Wounded Knee there was less violence. But how can we be certain? Failures I often know immediately. Some things didn't work. To measure success, I would stick to the question, "Would the parties want you back to work with them again?” Do they feel you did everything that could be done? That's part of success. There were an extraordinary number of things CRS mediators did that clearly helped people's lives and made important contributions. No matter what spin we put on it, how we perceive it, how we put ourselves in the picture, there can be no doubt that many conflicts were addressed with tensions mitigated, people counseled and progress made.




Nancy Ferrell


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

As far as institutional success, it was generally measured by informal recognition, or respect, rather than what you can do. Occasionally there would be some extraordinary event where you would be nominated for the Attorney General award, and that was a financial recognition. Certainly, through government evaluations, if you got an outstanding, there was some financial reward connected to that. That was good, but again, there was no consistency across the agency, where one person felt like they were competing on level ground with another person for that same outstanding evaluation.



Silke Hansen


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

The parties, even though they had agreed to other issues to be discussed as well, like quality of service, appearance, and training, they were not interested in negotiating any of these other points unless they could also talk about the pricing. So we never entered formal mediation or even informal mediation. We had some meetings with the group to explore whether or not to use mediation, but we never actually entered mediation. I think there was a good result though, and this isn't the only time this has happened. There are times when we get involved and begin to do an assessment to see whether or not we can do mediation in a very heated, potentially violent, situation. Sometimes just our involvement has enough of a calming influence that tempers cool off and the whole thing de-escalates. So even though we didn't help them reach a mediated agreement, it diffused enough so that other forces could then enter into the process and it didn't become violent. In this particular situation, there had been many physical confrontations and it really did look like it might result in serious violence among competitors. But it never reached that level of tension again. The very fact that we did, in fact, have them talking to each other to some extent, they began to hear each other's specific needs and concerns in greater detail than they did when they were trying to push each other out of the way. So we helped to defuse the actual tension that had existed. This was a successful CRS case, even though it certainly wasn't a successful mediation case. I do think that our involvement at that particular time did play a positive role in diffusing that situation.





Leo Cardenas


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
So in that particular case, how do you measure success?

Answer:
Satisfaction on the part of the disputants. And in that case it'll take us a little while, but we come to the conclusion that they're satisfied. We were there and we saw the anger and we saw the history and it's common to many other communities. We almost know what the resolution, or the possible solution is. But they're not ready to put any resources into it at all.




Werner Petterson


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
How did you judge that you had been successful?

Answer:
As a group, we had been able to come up with a solution. I think when that was used to work through situations that have moments of frustration and failures you see things working out. Sometimes if you're not coming to some solutions then you finally do and people have been able to resolve their differences. I guess that's an obvious measure of success. Sometimes I think you find about your successes later on; I've been surprised at the occasions where I've been involved in a situation and I leave town thinking we've gotten absolutely nowhere. Low and behold two years later you're talking to somebody and they say, "Did you hear about ?" Sometimes even if your successes in the situation might not be at that moment, it might be later on that you discover that some part that you had played eventually bore some fruit. I think it's those times when you've helped people get over their mistrust of one another. I think that the key is to be able to set that aside and talk things through and come up with an answer that they're really committed to. In this case, it was one of those school education cases where things actually worked out. So, when you get people that are really invested and come up with a solution and it's something that they really can agree to and make commitments to it'll work out.




Manuel Salinas


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
Looking back over that twenty-year span, how would you measure success in your work?

Answer:
I think, I hope, anyway, that the community benefited. Not only the protest group, but the total community benefited. Also, when solutions last, and groups form that continue. Some organizations formed through mediation that still exist today. So that's a positive. They're still getting things done for the community, as well as themselves. What better measure, I think.




Ozell Sutton


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
How did CRS measure your success, or how do they?

Answer:
Well, I'm not sure that agencies are in the position to do that well. They measure success in a way that sometimes I wouldn't. They measure your success based upon what they perceive to be your level of response and cooperation with national headquarters. Sometimes, and I'm not joking about this, sometimes it's when they tell you to jump, it's how high you jump that measures your success. And sometimes I have not fared well because it's hard to get me to jump unless you can inspire me to jump, not order me to jump. But sometimes I have been what they have considered to be one of the most experienced and most successful regional directors, and among others I have not fared as well, but with me it doesn't change anything. I remain constantly, knowing that with some people I am top notch, and with others I am not part of their circle. I am not particularly discouraged about that. I don't go around blaming folk. I said Ozell, there are some people you don't come over well to. Or some people you come over to so well that they find a problem with that. So be it, and that's what I say. Don't care where you go, Lady, some people are going to like you and some people are not. And that goes for supervisors. Some don't care how good you are, even the very fact that you're good becomes a problem sometimes. Just count on it, and just move on, and that's what I do.




Will Reed


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
How did you measure the success of your interventions? What was your definition of success?

Answer:
Oh, I was very successful and let me tell you why I say that. If awards, plaques, certificates, letters, and accommodations mean anything, I got them. I can show them to you. Now, measuring success, here's a situation in Colorado. Hispanics were protesting the jail conditions and alleging that they'd been beaten and mistreated. You go in there, work, spend time going back and forth, trying to put strategies together. You look for who can help in this situation, or who has the power, respect, or concern to investigate this situation and see if it's true or false. If it's true, we see if we can straighten it out. If it's false, we get the good word out and let the community know that this is not going on. Okay, you go in, spend time with the sheriff, the mayor, the police chief and sometime the governor, and then you go through the business of seeing if you can get people to come together again. My hope was always if I could get people to sit down and talk and develop some kind of mechanism to address the problem, then we would be successful in reducing the racial tensions. This was not an agency philosophy, this was the one I developed for myself, here, after thirty years. There were some situations where I thought that if I could get committees, if I could get task forces, and if I could get people to want to do that, then I knew I had them. First you've got to get them to want to do it, want to come together, interracially, interethnically, interculturally, what have you, and see if they are willing to talk about this situation. When that happened, I knew there was a chance of something positive coming out of the situation. Then we could move on and go about the work and see if things could get done.




Dick Salem


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
Reading between the lines, it sounds as if you would deem this mediation a success.

Answer:
Oh sure. I said it, if you read between the lines and you come back to 15 years later and you go down there and they are negotiating torn sheets in the laundry...













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