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  • Mediator Interview Topic - Did you have any continuing personal relationships with community people after a case was "closed?"
    the 19th young black he s kicked out had railroaded out of the Marines rather than promote them He called me my daddy they call me Daddy Another one over in Germany he wants to come back is deciding whether to come play for the Celtics or stay over there So I have all these young people and I just listen advise them and keep them focused Never tell them

    Original URL path: http://www.civilrightsmediation.org/topics/2580.shtml (2016-02-13)
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  • Mediator Interview Topic - Were other enforcement mechanisms put in place?
    at tremendous disadvantages for legal and other resources But that does not mean we were not perceived as having some clout We might call a U S Attorney s office and say we ve had a complaint and we think somebody from the F B I ought to go in and investigate it Or we might encourage somebody in the community to call the U S Attorney That was appropriate We were never supposed to share confidential information Nancy Ferrell Full Interview Topic Top Question Were there any provisions in the document that addressed what would happen if any of the provisions weren t followed any enforcement mechanism Answer Generally I would say yes I can t remember specifically on that document We always had the what if s and our agency was a recourse as far as calling us to come in and help interpret and redefine or help the parties begin to implement The things we did like the task force became recognized groups under the president and reported directly to the president So they had their own legitimacy and recourse Any violation fell in under existing policies and procedures So it wasn t outside the system It was just creating this place where people were focused on ethnic relations and discrimination and helping these people who were pretty much isolated get redress The remedy was available there it just wasn t being exercised because people were afraid to seek remedy 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

    Original URL path: http://www.civilrightsmediation.org/topics/2600.shtml (2016-02-13)
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  • Mediator Interview Topic - What were the overall outcomes of the intervention?
    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

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  • Mediator Interview Topic - Were you able to bring about organizational or structural change?
    enjoyed getting into and being a part of for people Question So were you involved in a more systemic level setting up these policies or did you also deal with specific complaints Answer Generally I was more likely to go the systemic level than some Some others did that too but because of my propensity and my interest I was more likely to go there There was a complaint out of the community The community that had five or six issues and one of them was the banking and access to housing monies and stuff like that So that was one of the issues we dealt with during the year It evolved out of that community raised issue Then out of that I developed a model for other conciliators because I did learn a lot from that I was allowed because of our regional philosophy at the time to move towards a systemic change because our regional director valued that If our regional director had not valued that the evaluation system wouldn t have let me do that because my evaluation eventually came from the regional director If they didn t value that then I would have played to them But this was something I really enjoyed doing and was something that I was good at I do think that way How does the system work and how can it work better 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 Bob Hughes Full Interview Topic Top It occurred to me last night that there s one aspect immediately following the mediation at this island case that I thought was significant It was the way the announcement was made to the community I thought it was unique The parties after the mediation and the pastor of the United Church of Christ suggested that we have an open house at his church and invited everybody from the community This would be the white community and the non Indian community that s where the concerns were They were all supportive that the community go along with this Anyway we had an open church a few days after the agreement was signed and had a very good turnout in terms of attendance The procedure that we went through was that the key persons on both sides had a meeting together had an explanation of what the grievance was and people could ask questions and so on After that it became very informal and they had cake and coffee and that sort of thing and broke up into small groups and there were Indian tribal members chatting with residents and vice versa for the first time really especially those who were most concerned about what had been happening I happened to notice that there was one person shall we say Subject A If you remember he was one of the person s who had more complaints about this person than anyone else that I came across I couldn t help but notice that he was off in a corner with three men standing around him and he was talking with them and showing them something I couldn t see what it was and I had to look over his shoulder This was a copy of the Bolt decision that he had somehow gotten a hold of And it was all underlined with these parts and he was saying you see they have a right to come under our property Now that is just as significant a part of mediation I think as the negotiations at a table What the people at the table do at the wake of it They ve got the job of convincing their constituencies We must never lose sight of that empowering those people and each side needs to be aware of those needs it works both ways Later on this same individual was sitting on his porch and noticed across a neck of the lake a tribal fisherman over there somebody on the dock who looked like they were having some kind of problems he couldn t tell what it was This guy wasn t young and he wasn t in good health but he gets in his rowboat rows as fast as he can

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  • Mediator Interview Topic - What were your measures of the success of your intervention?
    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

    Original URL path: http://www.civilrightsmediation.org/topics/2700.shtml (2016-02-13)
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  • Mediator Interview Topic - How did CRS measure the success of your work?
    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 Edward Howden Full Interview Topic Top 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 Will Reed Full Interview Topic Top 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 Question How does this differ from perhaps how CRS measures success Answer It doesn t Everything I ve told you can fold in line with CRS mandate Nancy

    Original URL path: http://www.civilrightsmediation.org/topics/2720.shtml (2016-02-13)
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  • Mediator Interview Topic - How did you measure long term impacts?
    real commitment there which I thought was good and that we like to see in all the communities we re involved in Martin Walsh Full Interview Topic Top The Latino community became a critical part of a lot of the community building that we were also involved in subsequently in Chelsea Bob Hughes Full Interview Topic Top 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 Dick Salem Full Interview Topic Top About two years later I sat on the panel with one St Cloud resident and two administrators at an international corrections association meeting in Minneapolis We did a panel on the mediation and that s where I found out that they d reorganized the institution Yes the mediation helped but we really think it was our reorganization 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 Dick Salem Full Interview Topic Top Question But once you go into a city and establish some sort of structure such as the one you were talking about yesterday does that tend to improve things over the long term Answer I don t know for sure I am sure it does in some places That s why I suggest we try to get a

    Original URL path: http://www.civilrightsmediation.org/topics/2730.shtml (2016-02-13)
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  • Mediator Interview Topic - Examples of success
    persons from student life and others who were much more pro student There was the whole question of orientation that had to be corrected There was the matter of the training of the support people such as those who were in the bursar s office and financial aid office and others to prevent racially insensitive actions or statements There was also the whole matter of the faculty and how to

    Original URL path: http://www.civilrightsmediation.org/topics/2740.shtml (2016-02-13)
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