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  • Mediator Interview Topic - Praise of CRS workers
    Some of them had done other things some of them were even in law enforcement But they wanted to see this mean spiritedness reduced seriously So most of those individuals that you re going to talk to are people who went about their work and their business trying not to do harm to other people Will Reed Full Interview Topic Top CRS people were just like I told you Pretty genuine individuals I can t think of too many that you re going to meet with or otherwise that were unethical about anything Very few These people came to this agency with the idea that they were going to try to make things better Dick Salem Full Interview Topic Top Some of us got letters when we were done All kinds of letters started flowing out from the white House the President commending us on this and the Secretary of Interior and the Attorney General It was almost farcical Question But did you get any more money Answer You never know what or how things are regarded I think there was true appreciation in some quarters for us I got a beautiful letter from a lawyer with the Civil Rights Division Dennis Ickes He thanked us for being there saying it s very important that we were there to help keep the peace It was important because we were the only ones who were saying Well maybe there s a better way than to just go in and shoot up the place Others knew it but couldn t say it After the agreement was signed Kent Frizzell got on the radio that reached every federal official said I want to thank everybody who helped bring this to a peaceful conclusion and the FBI and the BIA you were outstanding and

    Original URL path: http://www.civilrightsmediation.org/topics/5070.shtml (2016-02-13)
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  • Mediator Interview Topic - Trust between CRS workers
    black decided I was the best person for that job But you should know that there were four or five people in that office when I was hired who felt that they should ve had a crack at that job One of the prices we pay is having some tension within their own organization So you have to earn your stripes if you will in many ways Some of us

    Original URL path: http://www.civilrightsmediation.org/topics/5080.shtml (2016-02-13)
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  • Mediator Interview Topic - CRS reputation
    We didn t take credit and that s why the CRS organization has such a hard time selling itself to congress You can t sell the fact that we avoided a riot You can t sell the idea that we now have students on this campus who feel like they have redress You get lots of money flooding into Los Angeles when there s a riot But it s hard to get them to appropriate money to avoid a riot Then the commitment of the CRS mandate was that we would do this as low profile and it wouldn t work otherwise If we were showboating and taking credit then the institutions would have to worry Their interests wouldn t be protected and they wouldn t be as forthcoming But if we really are there as an instrument of change with everyone s interests at heart then you have power to make things happen for them If your interest is to get credit then their interest is diminished and the next leader is not going to let you in It s really a catch 22 and I m not sure what the good answer is Martin Walsh Full Interview Topic Top 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

    Original URL path: http://www.civilrightsmediation.org/topics/5100.shtml (2016-02-13)
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  • Mediator Interview Topic - Collaboration between CRS workers
    down to smaller numbers I found when I first arrived Nancy Ferrell Full Interview Topic Top Question Did you ever call up somebody who was a specialist in a particular area Answer Sometimes but sometimes the ego thing didn t let it happen It didn t happen as much as it probably should have Nancy Ferrell Full Interview Topic Top Question You mentioned yesterday that you spent a year on the church burning task force Tell me about that Answer When the public outcry over the church burnings hit its peak toward the end of 1995 the administration had to do something There had to be a public response The group obviously most competent in that field was CRS However the staff had just diminished down to forty five people across the whole country so they didn t have the resources So they started calling some of us back on contract if we were willing If they called me back today and said they had a situation they needed me to help them with I d go in a minute I think most of us have that commitment to the task regardless of any of the problems we talk about There is a commitment to the task I would help in a minute So I was glad to do that They put together teams and I was working out of Birmingham What we did was go to communities where fires had occurred Our role was to coordinate with the other federal agencies the F B I the ATF the local law enforcement the U S Attorney s office We all became a part of a team and it was one of the most effective cooperative efforts I ve been a part of So that became a good model for some

    Original URL path: http://www.civilrightsmediation.org/topics/5110.shtml (2016-02-13)
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  • Mediator Interview Topic - CRS structure
    were more field offices and more people so those education specialists or law enforcement specialists were in smaller areas and they covered their whole area When the agency was reduced and you only had five people in region five then each conciliator had a state and they had to become generalist I had Oklahoma and part of Texas somebody else had New Mexico and part of Texas Arkansas and part

    Original URL path: http://www.civilrightsmediation.org/topics/5120.shtml (2016-02-13)
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  • Mediator Interview Topic - CRS cooperation with other agencies
    us and that was important for the government Question Was there a state level response as well as federal Answer From the state police local police and the fire marshals yes They were involved also as part of the working team Question But beside law enforcement was anyone else involved Answer One of the state agencies that was most involved was the state sheriff s association They were at every one of our team building meetings They helped sponsor them as a matter of fact There was one guy who was the head of that who had incredible personal power as well as position power If he told some of the sheriffs that we were doing something they would come because they trusted him He was a great resource The state police were involved from the law enforcement perspective Of course local police were always brought into the network It was probably the best example of inner agency cooperation that I ve ever seen and a great testament to that effort Nancy Ferrell Full Interview Topic Top Question You mentioned yesterday that you spent a year on the church burning task force Tell me about that Answer When the public outcry over the church burnings hit its peak toward the end of 1995 the administration had to do something There had to be a public response The group obviously most competent in that field was CRS However the staff had just diminished down to forty five people across the whole country so they didn t have the resources So they started calling some of us back on contract if we were willing If they called me back today and said they had a situation they needed me to help them with I d go in a minute I think most

    Original URL path: http://www.civilrightsmediation.org/topics/5130.shtml (2016-02-13)
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  • Mediator Interview Topic - Difference between civil rights and other mediation
    people do enter into the field with a much better understanding and there s a lot more discussion going on about the role of mediation I think this is what has been talked about over the last few years This whole thing about transformative mediation within civil rights puts things in a very different light Civil rights mediation is always within a world of politics and it s a rare rare situation where you would have transformation I think you make changes shifts in power I don t know that I understand transformative mediation When I left CRS I did some interpersonal mediation Question Do you mean relationship type mediation Answer Yeah right In those situations it would be clearer what the transformation would be but I think when you move into something with civil rights where you talk about groups of people politics and communities I think in those situations there has been a shift in power or decisions At the best you ve probably helped some group of people maybe you appreciate a little more the views of others but I don t think transformation has happened Question Maybe you re thinking of transformative in a much larger

    Original URL path: http://www.civilrightsmediation.org/topics/5150.shtml (2016-02-13)
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  • Mediator Interview Topic - Mediation of identity conflicts
    Why don t you call when you start these negotiations not when they fall apart But I went up anyway and they showed me what they had done and I said I don t even want to see that I started putting stuff on the white board If you have regulations what are your objectives What is it you are trying to accomplish And they were like this she linked her fingers together they absolutely agreed So once they agreed on that it was just a matter of determining what kind of policies each side needed to bring those objectives about Both sides gave a little and at the end of a very long day the people at the table reached an agreement That s the good news The bad news is that when it went back to the tribe the tribe didn t buy it because they said it was encroaching too much on their sovereignty Another case in the same state ended the same way It involved a similar kind of negotiation The parties reached an agreement at the end of the day but in that case it was the state that blocked the agreement The negotiators went back to their superiors who threw out the agreement again on issues of sovereignty So there was no agreement But to me it proves a point You have to cut through and disregard the identity issues well you can t ignore these issues totally because they are there But the mistake that we usually make in most discussions is that we make racism or sovereignty the issue and that is not the issue The issue is How can we get past that to provide effective law enforcement How can we get past that to provide good stewardship of our natural resources But the history of feeling attacked and encroached upon and the perception that they are just trying to whittle away at what we have piece by piece prevents people from focusing on the real issues On the other hand there is the concern that the state should not give those people special rights and recognition These feelings are so strong that it is very difficult to come from a different perspective But I am absolutely convinced if they could just throw out that orange and deal with the flavoring and the beverage there would be much more common ground Question When you succeed in getting them to do that what is the long term result in terms of identity and symbolic issues and race relations If they can cut through those things to resolve this incident does it have a long term effect on other incidents Answer Well I think it would if it worked at all but as I said in the two examples that I gave you it didn t work The people at the table were able to reframe the problem but their superiors were not willing to do that and the agreements were thrown out for political reasons It was seen as giving too much or losing too much in terms of sovereignty and jurisdiction and control So neither agreement held up I do believe that had it held up it could have provided a good model a good precedent for how we can get cooperative agreements on issues like this In fact there are other states where there is less mistrust between state and tribe and where in fact we do have better cooperative relationships If you could either just not mention sovereignty or acknowledge that each of them has sovereignty and that the two separate governments of two sovereign states are reaching an agreement I think it would be doable But there is so much tension and mistrust in this particular setting that it is difficult to make that happen Question What about other settings though Such as for instance the principal who was accused of being racist where you were able to reframe it in terms of discipline policy and hiring and that type of thing Would that have affected the long term relationship on race relations in the schools Answer It would because the potential triggering incidents are less common so the bomb is less likely to go off Now there is a precedent of communication There is a mechanism and an expectation that people will address and deal with problems before they get to the point of explosion So it is the redress side that s handled more effectively Once there is a precedent for communication it makes a big difference Probably one of the most positive examples of that is the same tax day facilitation There were anywhere from 75 to 100 people in that room and at least as many when I went back for a second meeting But out of those meetings came a sort of community board which included Hispanic and Anglo participants including law enforcement people They formed this board and I trained them in three days I gave them three days of basic mediation training I remember one of the members of the group said Gee you know Silke I think this is the first time somebody has come and said I m from the Federal Government and I m here to help you and then actually done it I thought that was a huge compliment at the time That board still exists today and is still dealing with problems involving the police and community relations But they also began to look at other sources of tension within the community This community started out as very mistrustful There were a lot of accusations about how Hispanics were being treated by the law enforcement system But now the leader of that system is working with that Hispanic community to deal with education issues in the community purely because people are talking to each other now And they pay me to do that It s great Dick Salem Full Interview Topic Top Question There are a

    Original URL path: http://www.civilrightsmediation.org/topics/5160.shtml (2016-02-13)
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