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  • Mediator Interview Topic -
    that they re going to be less racist or more accessible but the agreement must say how they are going to do that It must set out some very concrete steps Now in many cases the parties will want to have some long term goals as well and that s fine But you want some very specific steps of what each is going to do You also need to include some provisions for what they re going to do when the agreement either isn t working or when one party believes that their counterpart is not living up to the agreement So if is there is a glitch and or a problem with implementation there should be some built in procedure for dealing with that They must know how they can address that Question And what would that procedure likely be Answer Well sometimes it is better on paper than it is in reality but we try Usually the first step is for the parties to talk to each other If there is a commonly respected resource in the community they might go to that resource to try to help work it out Or they might ask CRS to come back and meet with them again I can think of one case in which we had a wonderful agreement but eventually one of the parties just basically said We don t want to do this anymore The other party was very frustrated of course and that was an agreement which included a provision that either party could go back to CRS to assist But the first party refused to meet they completely refused to talk about it even after the agreement had worked well for eight years So it does happen But I do try to at least include some

    Original URL path: http://www.civilrightsmediation.org/topics/2040.shtml (2016-02-13)
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  • Mediator Interview Topic -
    case the lawyers had gotten beyond personal hostility issues and were able to advise their parties on what made sense The lawyers devised a solution that met both sides needs and then they sold that idea to their clients There was no way that the clients could have done that on their own because they weren t getting beyond their mutual resentment and hostility and total lack of trust in each other But the lawyers didn t assume each other to be jerks so they were able to work out an agreement Without the attorneys an agreement would never have been reached Question Did the agreement hold Answer For a while for quite a while I don t know what the situation is now Again this is one of those communities where there has been conflict for decades if not centuries But it certainly held on those particular issues at least for quite a while I haven t been there for a number of years now I suspect if I go back now the same parties will still exist and some of that same hostility and distrust will still be there But there is at least a significant core of

    Original URL path: http://www.civilrightsmediation.org/topics/2355.shtml (2016-02-13)
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  • Mediator Interview Topic -
    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 Silke Hansen Full Interview Topic Top Question When we were off the tape you started to tell us about the two taproot theory Tell us about that Answer I heard this from Gil Pompa so I refer to it as Gil Pompa s theory Gil Pompa was a former director of CRS In essence what he says is that in racial conflicts there are two taproots growing simultaneously One is a perception or belief of unfair treatment or discrimination The other is a lack of confidence in any redress system There is the belief that Even if I complain it is not going to make a difference And those two beliefs or taproots are growing in force side by side Then there is a triggering incident Rodney King was a classic example And that triggering incident then results in these roots really exploding Now the reason that I said I have changed it slightly is because I can t really see roots exploding So I have changed it to say that there are two fuses leading to a bomb and those two fuses are constantly strengthening and growing in intensity But even though these two fuses leading to the bomb are there and are becoming more dangerous it s not until that triggering incident that the bomb explodes and you have violence If you could have disconnected or defused either of those fuses the triggering incident wouldn t have done anything If

    Original URL path: http://www.civilrightsmediation.org/topics/5195.shtml (2016-02-13)
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  • Mediator Interview Topic -
    only winds up witness to a conflict or a confrontation then that means that things probably won t get worse So it s really the capacity for caring and the capacity for the compassion around the human suffering that s taking place and an understanding of those who may be creating the suffering that their own dehumanization is happening in that process My ability to try to help them stem themselves from their own fate from their own action by introducing a degree of kindness and listening to my respect and dignified treatment that can make a difference Now if you get pure evil and they want to do it the way they want to do it well that s what they do and that s because they like it and that s what they re about Well in that case at least we ll be able to circumscribe how much damage they can do or delimit or in some way fence it off and help others not to become like them That s where if you fight a strategy which is pernicious with a pernicious strategy of your own all you do is become more pernicious for whatever reason than you think you re doing it Your behaviors and your methods of operation will be counted toward your long term interest So trying to find people with more principled ways of action and to embody those in my behavior and in my treatment without a lot of pontification just in my day to day interaction and in the course of working through a crisis from the time I receive it and listen to a person who indicates it to the time I assess it on sight and work through it is a constant interaction to try to remember that fundamental human relationship and that fundamental humanity so that people can work through it I think that goes to belief it s technique it s beyond technique It s belief and it s a manner of being in a code of conduct Question You didn t use the word empathy Answer Well I used compassion but it is empathy You know sympathy will get you killed in this business I mean you ll die from burnout and so will extraordinary degrees of compassion as much as you feel it But your ability to empathize will let you work with all the parties longer and to communicate with them better Without waxing too much about this it is just the belief It comes from the indigenous belief which was part of my training with Gov Louis People learn how to love by being loved Well people learn how to empathize by experiencing it There isn t a whole lot of it going around especially in conflict situations Being able to at least be able to put yourself in the other person s point of view and for them to feel you there is helpful to you and helpful to them On

    Original URL path: http://www.civilrightsmediation.org/topics/1100.shtml (2016-02-13)
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  • Mediator Interview Topic -
    meetings regarding this agreement Nothing positive came back from city officials related to opening discussions about the agreement The community leaders finally went to court again to make sure that it was reaffirmed and restated The process didn t allow itself to evolve into mediation and we were not able to process the tensions and issues into a mediation process With the police chief resigning there wasn t an appropriate leader to meet with the community Martin Walsh Full Interview Topic Top When CRS offered our assistance the judge s basic concern and our recommendations to him was to deal with the turmoil in the streets try to get the violence and turmoil under control But in the subsequent year the full city would be under desegregation orders So the judge developed a new desegregation plan We were heavily involved with the judge in the process He hired two desegregation experts and appointed four masters Martin Walsh Full Interview Topic Top After the school department refused to voluntarily implement a number of CRS s recommendations based on CRS experience in the South and other communities going through desegregation CRS brought these recommendations to the court During the course of CRS work with the court the judge had to order the school department to implement a number of these measures which had been found to be effective in communities going through desegregation across the country Boston did not voluntarily accept our recommendations even though in all the other communities e g Denver and Prince Georges County the school systems and communities accepted CRS recommendations So that s why I say Boston was an anomaly We basically were working with the court to reconstruct a governing system for the schools That s what we basically were doing Parent councils in the schools and the whole planning process especially the role of the experts and court masters were intended to signify an outreach as much as possible to the reasonable people in the city For example Eddie McCormick from South Boston was the former lieutenant governor and the judge chose him to be one of the masters The people the judge selected as masters and court experts were of the highest caliber It was a partnership process that the judge wanted to do right In CRS s role with the court CRS was basically the helper to keep the desegregation process moving as the judge had all the authority In our other role CRS was concentrating our efforts at first on trying to stem the violence at the schools in South Boston and then Hyde Park We were holding the line and getting ready for the development of a plan where we could put into action some way of healing the city We were tasked by the court to establish the city wide coordinating council a blue ribbon body to help heal the racial strife brought about by the desegregation process Dick Salem Full Interview Topic Top CRS sent a team in to try to serve in the mediational and intermediary role The FBI was there Bureau of Indian Police customs officials they needed all the police types they could get there There were rifles and firing and a few killings CRS responded with a cadre of field representatives conciliators and mediators who were housed in a church in the town of Pine Ridge five to ten miles out of Wounded Knee There were blockades along the road The first road block was maintained by the tribal chief Wilson s people Then the FBI had a road block and the third road block was the American Indians right outside of Wounded Knee We established our base in a church There were beds and phones and a few rooms and we had anywhere up to a dozen people there at a time doing a variety of activities We would transport people in and out in conjunction with the other Feds They knew we were there but they didn t accept us or like us You had a situation where you had FBI agents who are really trained to work behind desks or in urban settings and there they were out there in the plains and the cold You had BIA police and customs police perhaps and Marshals and none of them were very happy there Many of them weren t getting overtime and their families were back home There were bunkers that the AIM members had built There were armed people in them with gunshots going off at night sometimes There were shots fired into the place That was the setting I don t remember when I got a call to get in there but I brought in a fellow from our Philadelphia office Tom Hadfield to do the administrative things just to get it organized keep track of who had what cars and who was where Marty Walsh was there when I arrived and had helped get negotiations started They had just declared a cease fire and there was a demilitarized zone and they were trying to get talks started The Feds were all in the BIA building Kent Frizzell was a solicitor of the Department of Interior which handled American Indian affairs Dick Helstern from the Justice Department was there doing administrative and legal work with him Stan Pottinger the head of the Civil Rights division was there for a while with some of his staff These were others who were assigned there from those agencies in Washington They were in regular phone contact with the Acting Attorney General Snead who was in touch with the white House Question Now who was negotiating with whom Answer Nobody at this point but they were opening negotiations Frizzell was the top federal official Harlington Wood later a federal judge had been there earlier At an earlier time there had been efforts to open talks and they hadn t gone very far Now Frizzell and his people were going to talk to Russell Means and

    Original URL path: http://www.civilrightsmediation.org/topics/1040.shtml (2016-02-13)
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  • Mediator Interview Topic -
    to stop mediation What I d like to do is meet with you and the support team to the inmates I rented a room at the Holiday Inn for the next morning and we met there at eight o clock The BBDCO support group from Minneapolis was there The lawyer for the Hispanics was there about seven of us We met with the commissioner and we told him what had happened He was furious Now I ll tell you what was going on The deputy commissioner was an alcoholic I suspected something when I saw him dancing with a young blonde one night at the tower of the St Paul Hilton where I used to stay when I was in St Paul I foolishly said hello to him and he didn t even acknowledge me I figured something was going on He d been on health leave a few times The Commissioners said I m going to fire him and I m going to remove the superintendent too As we left he said I want mediation to continue so I m going to remove them I m going to appoint Orville Pung acting deputy and his only job is going

    Original URL path: http://www.civilrightsmediation.org/topics/2230.shtml (2016-02-13)
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  • Mediator Interview Topic -
    Copyright 2000 2007 by Conflict Management Initiatives and the Conflict Information Consortium at the University of Colorado

    Original URL path: http://www.civilrightsmediation.org/topics/0280.shtml (2016-02-13)
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  • Mediator Interview Topic -
    Answer Those goals were to sit down with the institution and figure out under what conditions and circumstances the institution and the Ohlone tribe could agree to return and rebury the Native American remains Copyright 2000 2007 by Conflict Management

    Original URL path: http://www.civilrightsmediation.org/topics/1050.shtml (2016-02-13)
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