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  • Mediator Interview Topic - Did you give advance notice of your arrival? To whom? Was there anyone who you did not inform? Why?
    there any party that was uninformed that you were becoming involved Answer No not really Not that I am aware of Martin Walsh Full Interview Topic Top Since we had not yet met nor spoken with the students they did not know that we were coming to the meeting with the President of the university system We were there but we weren t identified at the meeting Angel Alderete Full Interview Topic Top I contacted the city council and the school board and went down to find out what was happening Leo Cardenas Full Interview Topic Top So there was never an occasion where you would go on site without giving any notice Answer There might be an exception if violence is occurring and we think that we can get to the scene and help out that s the exception Question Can you think of an instance or an example that we could talk about a little bit Answer A lot of it was in Indian country where the disputes were occurring and we would in some cases get requests from law enforcement or from the US Attorney s office Efrain Martinez Full Interview Topic Top Question Was each party aware you were coming on site Answer Yes Only because I had told them but a lot of them didn t know Efrain Martinez Full Interview Topic Top Question So did you call him before you went Answer Yes I called him Let s say in that situation since there was a black victim involved I wanted to see the concerns of the black community so besides calling the mayor I tried to reach the NAACP and the ministers I tried to reach the First Baptist church also As I left town I called the F B I to see what had been happening The F B I district director special agent in charge talked to me and said they held a press conference at noon and he was on his way back to Houston He just filled me in a little bit on what happened I had also tried to reach the mayor and the mayor finally called me back and arranged to meet with him We arranged to meet about 7 00 or 8 00 that evening so on the way up there about thirty minutes from Jasper I called the mayor because I thought maybe I should meet with other people and he could notify them He said sure come on over we ll talk about that He was going to see what he could do Later I was up at his house and he had a whole lot of black men there all dressed up in suits and all that I thought it was a monthly meeting of some group I realized after a while that he had called them to meet with me There must have been about fifteen or twenty people maybe more They told me about what they felt about the current situation

    Original URL path: http://www.civilrightsmediation.org/topics/0830.shtml (2016-02-13)
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  • Mediator Interview Topic - How did you prepare for your intervention?
    going to take place Since we know the leadership of the Korean community and felt we had a fairly good handle on them we decided to meet with city hall Question That s what you did in this case Answer Yes we met with city hall and the police to let them know what the Korean demonstrators intentions are what they re going to do that we re going to be on site that we have the leadership and we want to know who s going to be your leadership and how we can continue to communicate at all times because we just don t know where this is going to go After we met with the city hall police and let them know this demonstration was going to take place we had to let the LAPD know because there are multiple jurisdictions The other law enforcement agency that we didn t contact or develop a working relationship with was the parking enforcement police We later had a problem with them So we learned that we had to look at all the law enforcement agencies that were going to be involved Angel Alderete Full Interview Topic Top Question Had you met with other people Answer No we just met with our own staff Then we began to determine what was happening and how we might be able to help Question How did you assess what was happening in that case Answer We had already had some people down there I think a couple of people who were probably stationed in L A at that time So they knew what was taking place and there was contact with the police department When we got there it was a matter of them briefing us on what was happening and then working out potential assignments for further assessment of the situation and making assignments for people to deal with the police department and the sheriff s department and city folk in general Then some of us would have to go out into the community and sort of get a feeling of what was happening We stayed on the periphery We really didn t move into the area of the problem itself because they had the National Guard there and there was a lot of checking and rechecking and concern that we might get fired upon by some of the people involved in the riot or maybe some trigger happy guy from law enforcement So we sort of stayed on the periphery and talked to adjacent communities about what was happening what they saw as happening These people even though they were not actually in the problem area had a pretty good handle on what was happening We also spoke to police departments in those adjacent areas Question How did you decide what was the appropriate time to actually go into the problem area Answer That is a good question because I can remember being told about things that were happening but I can t really remember being told This is what we re going to do We were mostly left on our own and since we worked in small teams that s exactly what we did So we decided when we would go into the problem area and we decided when to deploy ourselves in these situations We were just told You re out there in that area and you ve got a new job to do Now here s the book go out there and do it But we had our experience and we had contacts and that kind of thing and we had a general plan about what it was that should happen In those kinds of cases you follow your own instincts You hear about things occurring at a given area so you move over there to see if it really is happening and to talk to the police in that area and then decide what you ought to do Bob Ensley Full Interview Topic Top Would you walk us through how you assessed What were you looking for Did you call people in advance Just tell me all the steps that you can think of Answer When I first went into Washington NC following SCLC s request I had never been to Washington NC in my life It is a beautiful revolutionary town There were houses built during that time It has a beautiful river front I was simply amazed at the beauty of it Then I start inquiring The first thing you do you go to the black mortician They re independent of the system The barber shop the beauty parlors Then after talking to them I tended to ask Who s the pastor in this town You know the one pastor I think that could give me an overview of really what s going on this town Then I would go to the schools And I am going to say this with caution and I hope you fully understand what I m going to say but in the nature of this work I d try to find a Jewish business person Because they have in some time suffered the effects of discrimination the same as we have And they would be very honest in telling me who the people were that I needed to deal with And another thing that I would use I always would ask the black people Who are the white people you think I need to see They would tell me Then I would ask the white people that I would meet with the white business leaders and the elected officials Who are the blacks I need to talk with And nine times out of ten they are the ones you didn t talk with Question You didn t Answer I wouldn t or they d be the very last They would not be at the top of my list because they are the so called hand picked blacks that the white community has always used So I made it a point for them not to be the first blacks that I would contact Then I would go to the schools because at that time most of the schools were predominantly black I d meet with the principal and some of the teachers and then try to find a teacher who s had the most difficulty actually the one that s very outspoken I try to bring little groups together and let them talk and I listen I mean you don t just sit there you gotta listen to what people are saying Then sometimes it s important to realize what s not being said You just go on from that point Once you get them together that jump starts the process They ll suggest to you what steps you need to take And then we all start moving as one in that direction Not the Justice Department not Bob Ensley but all of us And we begin to pick up people along the way you know who are supportive But keeping in mind that you only go as far as a community s going to permit you to go You cannot go any further than they re going to permit you because many times you ll get way out there in advance of what they think or where they think they need to go and they re going to leave you and you re out there all alone So you just go along And when you feel as though it s time to stop and re strategize you do that Many times you strategically stop so you can re strategize and set some additional goals or priorities Or if this is not working you move to another objective Bob Ensley Full Interview Topic Top Question Going back to the beginning when you needed to personally contact people did you call them on the phone or did you write or what Answer No you never write when you can call you never call when you can visit on site assessments are essential in this business Ernest Jones Full Interview Topic Top The assessment that I did took place over probably 5 or 6 months We made sure that we had all the points of contact that were necessary What separates this from a regular case is that instead of going into Birmingham AL and dealing with the mayor of Birmingham or the police in Birmingham here you ve got the Olympics coming to the city of Atlanta and you ve got literally every level of law enforcement involved every level of governmental entity So there was a massive group of people we needed to touch base with to be able to move around to be able to get things done Part of the assessment required an extensive amount of identifying who the key leaders were in different areas and then making contact with them That way they would know who I was and vice versa In the Olympics you ve got all these people coming from all over the world You ve got an extremely diverse cultural atmosphere and because of that you ve got the potential for all kinds of conflict particularly between law enforcement and people The police aren t running the show but they are making sure that it flowed smoothly The tension for conflict between police the majority of who would be white and people from all kinds of parts of the world was exceptionally high and so we were trying to identify how that would work and where we would plug into this The assessment and that leads me up to the key factor in the assessment process was to make sure that we knew where we fit and where we could best provide the kind of service that we were supposed to Julian Klugman Full Interview Topic Top First they want to start mediating right away I said I don t think we re ready but go ahead They fumbled along for about an hour and they said well maybe we should do some preparation So then I met separately with each group There were five law enforcement officials including the sheriff They had a room called the tepee where they used to put the Indian kids who got drunk on Saturday nights So we had the sheriff we had the city police chief who was pretty good the state police with their lieutenant the DA who was also pretty good and the Park Service on one side Then you had the Indians on the other side There was an AIM group so there was a lot going on there There was an Indian woman who was the matriarch She seemed to be the one holding it together But it had to be done publicly because nobody completely trusted anybody CRS had a rule you couldn t do mediation publicly but I did it real fast I did it in two days and by the time Ben Holman got wind of it and called me up and said what are you doing it was done Success The Indians initially didn t know what they were doing so we spent time working on preparing for mediation and that was very important You had to train the minority group if they didn t know what they were doing or how to do mediation Julian Klugman Full Interview Topic Top Answer We had a procedure First you do an alert and the alert says this is something that s within our mandate You get the basic facts and you determine that this is something within our mandate Then you do an assessment Over the years we ve streamlined this We used to say you had to go on site but it became too expensive and too time consuming So we really learned to do phone assessments Question How d you do that Answer You just call up the key people you don t do a full assessment but you do a phone assessment We have techniques for how you talk to people you get the facts We have forms and everything became computerized at one point Question So you have standard set of questions you go through Answer Yes We did There we had forms and we had a system Question So what does it include Answer It s like a newspaper article When did this happen What happened Basic stuff Just like a newspaper reporter you get it fast You focus in Question Who what when why where sort of thing Answer Exactly What s it all about who s involved who are they Sometimes you don t understand what they re telling you Such and such a group uses an acronym What s the acronym You write it down what s it mean You get it all down in one page You write it fast Then see if there s expenses involved I m the Regional Director and anytime there s money involved I have to approve every step Nobody traveled unless they had my authorization You had to tell me what was going on before hand and if I had any questions I would ask them Then you go on site and you do an assessment But that s a commitment for us it s money and time You go on site and that s really a commitment for us but it s not a complete commitment Question Did you ever try to help without going on site Answer Oh sure you could offer help through telephone conversations We had at one point as an example an agreement with the Coast Guard About twelve years ago the coast guard had very few blacks or women in it They decided they had to do something So one of the things they did was an agreement with CRS I went to see the admiral in Long Beach and I gave them some training They set up each unit with a trained human rights officer The background was that there was a coast guard station way up north in California and there were a few blacks there There was a black family that was really discriminated against When they would go into stores people were really nasty to them And what the Coast Guard had done in the past in this town is they d move the family Very compassionate so if there were problems they would move the family I told them not to move anybody Call a meeting at the chamber of commerce and say either you guys stop that behavior or we re not going to buy anything here we re going to buy from a town twenty miles down the road get it You re going to lose fifty thousand dollars a year About two weeks later I get a call You know it worked That ain t mediation there are times you don t mediate Will Reed Full Interview Topic Top I called the chief of police and I got in touch with key community leaders As you re identifying issues at first you also want to identify key players and their roles Going into any situation like that one without having some idea of who the leadership is is kinda putting your life at risk very much at risk because you re walking around like a zombie or something because you don t know who s who and what s what But you know for sure that the police chief is the Police Chief In any city you know for sure that the mayor s office is the mayor s office But before you know that you have to understand and learn what form of government a municipality is operating under For example you may go in there and say I m going to talk to the mayor and see what s going on with him The mayor may just be a symbolic individual so you have to find out if the mayor or the City Manager is in charge Dick Salem Full Interview Topic Top Okay number one was potential for violence Assuming it s within our jurisdiction the mandate of the agency Number two is it likely we can have some impact How many people are involved Another is who s asking us Is it a school superintendent is it the head of the NAACP is it a congressman s office is it the director calling from Washington This all had a practical impact on whether we responded or not That had an impact on how effective we could be It had an impact on how important the matter was and the political consequence to the agency of responding or not responding which obviously is a matter that you had to take into consideration That wasn t overriding but it could have some impact How long had the problem been persisting Have we ever been in that matter before What other efforts had been undertaken Was this intractable or was this something that was new and fresh Was this something we had experience in Do we have a higher expectation of success based on our experience Did we have the money to respond Did we have the personnel to respond What were the negatives Was there someone who didn t want us to respond Maybe there was a good reason not to That might not be pretty always but there well may be a reason why we should not respond I think that probably covers all of the things we considered Nancy Ferrell Full Interview Topic Top I made contact with some of the student leadership that I was aware of some of the black student organizations a Hispanic organization and a Native American organization Nancy Ferrell Full Interview Topic Top Question So you re doing this on the phone Answer Yes Letting them know I m on my way if it

    Original URL path: http://www.civilrightsmediation.org/topics/0840.shtml (2016-02-13)
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  • Mediator Interview Topic - Did you phone all parties before your arrived?
    Martinez Full Interview Topic Top Question So did you call him before you went Answer Yes I called him Let s say in that situation since there was a black victim involved I wanted to see the concerns of the black community so besides calling the mayor I tried to reach the NAACP and the ministers I tried to reach the First Baptist church also As I left town I called the F B I to see what had been happening The F B I district director special agent in charge talked to me and said they held a press conference at noon and he was on his way back to Houston He just filled me in a little bit on what happened I had also tried to reach the mayor and the mayor finally called me back and arranged to meet with him We arranged to meet about 7 00 or 8 00 that evening so on the way up there about thirty minutes from Jasper I called the mayor because I thought maybe I should meet with other people and he could notify them He said sure come on over we ll talk about that He was going to see what he could do Later I was up at his house and he had a whole lot of black men there all dressed up in suits and all that I thought it was a monthly meeting of some group I realized after a while that he had called them to meet with me There must have been about fifteen or twenty people maybe more They told me about what they felt about the current situation what they had been doing already and some historical issues involving race in the community We agreed I would help them and we d look into the historical issues at a later date but right now we would look at what s happening currently what was expected and who was doing what already I found they had begun working very closely with the white ministers Silke Hansen Full Interview Topic Top Was most of the contact done by phone or did you meet in person Answer It was a lot of both Initially we had personal meetings with the coalition all meeting together in the same room Then we had meetings with officials from the company Then we had the first joint meeting after some basic explanation of what mediation is and so on Because this was a coalition which consisted of top leaders and executives from around the country we ended up doing a lot of telephoning discussion negotiation and exploration of options in between face to face meetings Leo Cardenas Full Interview Topic Top We have a process that we simply call a call in assessment which consists of contacting the parties asking about the status of the dispute the nature of the issues and more than anything else we simply ask in their mind do they see a resolution to

    Original URL path: http://www.civilrightsmediation.org/topics/0850.shtml (2016-02-13)
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  • Mediator Interview Topic - Did you assist them by phone only? What types of assistance did you provide? Can you provide an example?
    had to get off the plane and we went the other sixty eighty miles by car to the tribe and we got that case taken care of We kept working no thanks to the then political administration Dick Salem Full Interview Topic Top Question How many people then do you contact by phone before you go on site Answer Anywhere from one to a dozen depending on a variety of circumstances You might never get on site or it may take a while to do so You usually don t know whether you are going on site until you have the information and then can place it in the context of your other priorities the budget your schedule and your personal factors will inevitably come into it even though we don t like to talk about it You know if you had a long weekend vacation planned you might try to put it off for a week It depends on how critical the situation is Question Are there certain situations where you prefer to talk to people in person rather then on the phone to do the assessment Answer That was not feasible The assessment by necessity has to start on the phone unless someone walks into your office or you are in their community Typically it starts on the phone and at a certain point it continues on site if the case warrants it After talking to the person or people involved in the matter and making some preliminary judgements you might give them some initial advice I d suggest you talk to the assistant principal and call me back If he is unaware that this is happening in the classroom and this teacher is doing this to your child here are some things you might do to move this forward Here are some people locally you might call someone we know we d refer them to Or depending on the state of the matter I might call the assistant principal or the school superintendent Very often when talking to establishment officials I would start at the top with my Justice Department credentials to get their attention and worry them a bit They seldom want the Justice Department to come into their school police department or community Many people with grievances do but no public official wants anyone from the Justice Department coming in So we don t say this is a Community Relations Service mediator governed by a confidentially clause We say this is the Justice Department So we would have to be careful in determining who to call first and let them know we are coming in We wouldn t start with the assistant principal We might call the principal or the superintendent of schools and say we ve heard there is a problem at the George Washington School and there have been some protests we re wondering if we can be of any help We offer our services and ask if we can be of assistance

    Original URL path: http://www.civilrightsmediation.org/topics/0860.shtml (2016-02-13)
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  • Mediator Interview Topic - What did you do when you couldn't locate anyone with whom to talk?
    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

    Original URL path: http://www.civilrightsmediation.org/topics/0870.shtml (2016-02-13)
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  • Mediator Interview Topic - How did you do your onsite assessment?
    the implementation process that had taken place related to the 1992 agreement Basically they were carrying out what they had promised The numbers were good and a lot of the other agreements were there But there were some other issues and dynamics that we didn t feel comfortable with and we really didn t want on the table because they really were not our issues We said You should deal with them separately Back to the case that we re talking about in 92 the feedback to the student population was ongoing and I think it worked out well Question Were there ever any times when there were differences of opinion within the student group Answer They didn t manifest it at the table In 96 there were some contentiousness because of non racial issues In 92 what they did like with the Columbus Day issue was to let the Native Americans take the leadership and they supported it There was a dynamic that took place shortly after our mediation process Some of the Jewish students had some problems with obtaining a site on campus They used the same process that we had used with the administration and they worked it out So I think the administration was very pleased in 92 how this process really helped to settle things on campus and get the issues resolved and it was the type of process they should use Question Would you speak about your decision to use team mediation in this case Answer What we often try to do is if we can have a team I prefer to have a team especially in high profile cases when there is a lot of contentiousness and racial conflict if for no other reason than to have all the parties feel comfortable with the process and with the team Question Implicit is that it s an inter racial team Answer Yes Inter racial team is usually what I m talking about We tried to use it in a lot of work and high profile cases such as in the Latino community Question Do you think race tends to be a factor in generating trust in terms of the race of the mediator Answer I think so What we try to do is neutralize anything that could adversely affect the process I think it s easier to gain trust when you have a biracial team The history of long competency of the mediator is critical but it s another part of the process Sometimes you don t have the luxury and you have to do it yourself and we do it In the UMass case we felt that because of the high profile and the intensity of the tensions that it would be important to us to start right away with a bi racial team Question Are there any other advantages aside from the biracial dimensions of having a team rather then a single mediator Answer I think so The team is less cost effective and with our limited resources although it s preferable it is often unattainable Having a team helps the process go better In our rides back and forth Larry and I would talk to one another about the dynamics of what took place what we saw happening our different observations and what we could do I think it helped each of us to process the conflict better Question Did you often find that each of you saw different aspects of the process Answer Oh sure You get different observations and feedback Just in strategies of what we should and shouldn t do two minds are better then one especially when they both are on the same type of level on processing information and dealing with problems Question Were there any differences among administrators that were evident in the mediation Answer Not at the meetings but there were differences That was part of our working with them There were some things they needed to work out Part of the problem was that they had cut back programs Outreach to the community training the numbers of faculty and the recruitment of faculty all had been reduced They were unable to carry through a lot of the things that were promised to the students because the legislature had reduced the budget of the university Question In terms of security in student life what kinds of agreements were reached Answer A lot of it related to existing police practices That would include hiring more police officers of color and improving the relations between the police and students The students had resident assistants and one of the things that developed out of this was an action team to respond to racial incidents on campus The action teams would not only be composed of police but also the 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 address the problem that some teachers were insensitive to the racial issues in their work The provost came up with some different ideas of how it could be done Included in this discussion was the free speech issue and the type of workshops they could hold for the faculty Question So they did decide to do some workshops Answer Oh sure They really wanted to change the campus environment You could see it They did not come up with as comprehensive a program as nearby Smith College did We worked with Smith College I think it was two years later and they come up with a whole program on diversity on their campus One of our guys Ed McClure worked in developing a really comprehensive and excellent program on diversity and how to make it work Question Would you talk about the emotions of this conflict and how you addressed them Was there anger or frustration In terms of easing emotions Answer The important thing was that meeting with the president and students We had met previously with the president and chancellor to discuss what they were going to say That was important for them to help allay some of those tensions in the sense of what he was going to say or not say Question Did the president ask for your advice Answer Yes we talked to him about how that meeting should go He was sensitive to our work and his work in racial problems at the previous university and he knew the dynamic there And the chancellor knew that he should not have walked out on the students the previous time And that some of the language youth used in angry situations are part of the venting process and it s needed to occur We talked about that The most important thing was his willingness to convey that things were going to change and that he knew the issues that the students did not have trust that the university was really going to carry forward and live up to whatever they would say He also had to say something about the legitimacy of their demands and that the university was going to deal with them So he set that tone He did not increase the anger The venting process takes place and I think that no matter what the person says it s going to be an angry type of confrontation that can leave people very upset about what the university didn t do about that incident about that person being beaten up and nobody doing anything and letting this guy come back on campus and nobody ever paying attention to the students and other incidents That was the whole process and I think it s important for those things to take place But they were able to go from there as they had planned to the next step We ve seen so many of these things If they aren t prepared to go to the next step then where do they go That anger just percolates out there It may recede over time as people do things but it s there beneath the surface If anything else that takes place another triggering incident that relationship is bad and then something else builds up and Boom Question Did you do anything that you haven t mentioned to help prepare the students to be ready for that next step or were they pretty much ready You said that they had an agenda Answer They had an agenda but we talked with them and assured them how it was going to proceed and the most important thing was our view of the administration s good faith That this was going to lead to something What they really wanted to do here s how they wanted to do it Give them the demands and you feed back to us what they re going to do They told us We gave them our demands and we want to hear from them It s an exchange of papers I said I don t think that s the way to really do it We d like to make sure that we sit down together and talk about these issues You explain what you want and they explain but there is some information that has to be exchanged Otherwise it s not going to work In the past there have just been promises Let s go through these issues and work out what an agreement is What is the administration going to say about your demands So we talked about the complexity the demands and the mediation process and how you reach an agreement so that people can live up to it It s a good faith agreement and each party needs to know what s entailed in carrying this thing forward and arriving at a solution The students sense of it was give it come back and that s the end of it Question Several things you said suggest that this might have been a good learning experience for all of the participants Do you think that you helped them develop a capacity for managing conflict in the future Answer Yes I think so When the newest conflict came up the students were able to resolve it through their own mediation process by sitting down and without any external person To manage that type of conflict was good for them When we went in there in 96 they really were talking to one another There was a lot of trust between the students of color and the administration There was a new dynamic that came in the graduate students but they were sort of grabbing that group and organization and using it for some of their own interests Undoubtedly in their minds was a real conflict as to what should be done and they wanted to get some progress made in that area Question As part of your agreement did you develop a contingency plan to deal with future conflicts or some kind of conflict management system Answer The most important one I thought was the monthly reports by the chancellor in the campus newspaper to detail what was taking place Question Whose idea was that Answer I think in our preliminary discussions there was always a question of good faith Question Preliminary between the parties or meeting alone with the parties Answer Meeting alone because the concern was this whole lack of confidence They continued to say We don t trust you you ve promised these things in the past We talked with them about it and the students met separately because I think it would have inhibited any good faith negotiations and discussions I don t know who put it on the table but it became the way of satisfying everyone that there would be progress reports We didn t want to build ourselves into something that we would have problems complying with Question You mean you didn t want a long term involvement Answer Yes we didn t want to have it that we would meet with them every 6 months or every 3 months to have a review but it would be built into the process It was something that we like to do in our terminology a se1f enforcement mechanism a process that we try to develop in the agreements so that there is some accountability system Question Could you talk a little bit about how you terminated this case Answer At the last session we went over the written agreements we had a signing of the agreement by the administration staff and the students So there was a written public agreement It s a public document In the last session we had the final agreement and then we had a press conference in which we spoke and then the administration and the students It got a real big play in the campus newspaper Question You spoke about the media and that you set some ground rules that during mediation you would speak for the teams Were the representatives with you when you met with the media Was there any resistance to them not being able to communicate with the media or did they anyway Answer No the only time we had everyone together was at the last session Other then that they let me be the spokesperson It was more a perfunctory type of thing We worked out a progress report at the table We wouldn t share with the media any of the specifics that we had agreed to during the interim period It was more pablum in many ways just to reinforce that we were meeting and that progress was being made We really wanted to get out the message that the groups were very serious about these issues The media spokesperson for the university worked closely with us She referred all the media people to us and the students abided by it as well Question Do you have a recollection of the approximate percentage of students of color at that time at the university Answer I think the total number of minority students of color was about twelve per cent Question Is there anything more about this case you want to say at this point Answer I just thought the interesting part of this case was that it was a higher education issue related to issues that keep coming up on college campuses and the process of dealing with it which we constantly try to urge campus administrators to do is that if they are going to work through these problems they really should have some type of ongoing dialogue a communication process around the concerns of students of color We just saw those problems this year down at Penn State Right now we are organizing a region wide conference on race and higher education two days dealing with a cross section of these issues Question In this case did the agreement call for continued communication between the parties Answer No I don t think we had to put it in there other then that ALANA was a recognized group and I think the understanding was that if there were problems the reports would come back Their relationship had developed to such an extent that the student leader could pick up the phone and talk to the chancellor There was a real good relationship that had developed Question In the UMASS case you had easy access and felt comfortable enough moving onto campus In a more typical case would you make a phone assessment before going on site Answer Yes Question Will you talk about that process and how you decide whom to speak to and in what order Answer A number of our cases come from the media and basically the process we try to use is that unless there is already a major conflict taking place that involves violence there is usually time to get the information Even when there is major violence say a civil disorder is taking place our process is to alert the people that we are coming and get as much information as we can from the community on the background of the incident or conflict I would say the critical aspect when we meet with any of the authorities is to have more information than what is in the media or the press It is critical at those first meetings with the police chief or the mayor They often say It was an isolated incident or It s something that we are in control of and there is either a deliberate or a non deliberate attempt to block and head off any further deliberations from outside They often say We re handling it we can handle it it s really nothing major In my mind that s the usual mindset of authorities If you have no more information than they do there is nothing you can really go on That s why before we go forward to have a meeting is to get as much information as possible about the totality of the picture Often we are dealing with police type cases I remember one shooting and there were two dynamics working In going to the community and talking to them about the issues we were trying to find out not only their concern about the officer who shot the person but to explain to them the process that was going to happen the chances of prosecution the trial and the like That was their immediate need We can t satisfy that need other than explaining what process they can use and what their options are for getting redress for what they think is an unjustified shooting We also need to meet with them to find out what else is taking place That is what lends itself to our process that is to mediation and conciliation processes other than the prosecution of that officer That is the second dynamic Question Can you talk about this case How you proceeded Answer A police officer in Herndon Virginia shot and killed an African American The newspaper headlines had Community protests shooting by officer at the 7 11 Store or something like that Our first thing was to look at the newspaper article We didn t know any of the players at all There were a couple of names in there so the phone calls started as to who was dealing with this issue There were some ministers and there was a community group that had taken the leadership role We talked to them about what was happening and what they knew about the matter I said We want to see if we can be of assistance I would like to sit down with your group to explore this thing It was a matter of then trying to identify who are the players I think regarding the community groups it is who is moving this issue along Often it takes awhile to do it but that s our first process I remember then calling the police chief saying I would like to sit down with him and we set up a time for that Then it was the county supervisors who were in charge of the police department and calling them and saying I would like to sit down with you and talk about what is happening here and what happened there and the problems Now because of being with Justice I think we can get to first base Very few if any people I can t recall anyone outright say No I am not going to meet with you In those types of cases the most difficult process issue is the reaction in the community There is no one reaction in the community to a shooting death There is no one leader How the community will process the death is the critical issue The first thing in meeting with the community was to assure myself that they were the leaders dealing with the shooting issue After checking out the matter in a few phone calls those identified in the media agreed to bring several of the leaders together who were meeting about this issue It seemed that they were some of the people who were moving this matter And so I sat down with them Of course they are talking about being angry they want a prosecution and What can the Justice Department do about this and What are you doing The first thing you do is to go through the spiel about here is the process There are several avenues There is the internal review process by the police to do the investigation you have the county attorney you have the state attorney general who has jurisdiction and you have the possible investigation by the FBI and Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice So at least they know what their options are what can take place and what the process is After that the other option is a civil case that can take place While that is ongoing I tell them it is going to take some time You can be recommending that and asking for this investigation or that investigation and things like that In the meantime I want to talk about other things that are taking place here What is the relationship with the police department how is it That starts the ball rolling as I try to elicit from them issues concerns that now with the attention given to the shooting lend themselves to the dynamic of dealing with the problems and concerns in the relationship between the police and the community Question You are making an assumption about what is going on in the community Answer Yes it s based on experience but it is also important for CRS to try to determine whether it s part of the assessment process there is a hook for us What is the dynamic there If in those meetings the community leaders said No we re great the police are doing this we have no problems etc than we would not proceed further But we know from our background and all the data about communities of color especially in the African American community that the general relationship between police departments and minority communities is not good There is a lack of trust a lack of response access and it s even worse between the youth and police So protest activity by itself can lead to a lot of frustration and anger and that can lead to nothing But if directed it might lead to getting at some of the issues and problems that are affecting the relationship between the police and community It can be a springboard to doing something positive The two things that have to be taken care of from our perspective as I see it is first we need to know what can be done about the specific shooting itself and the redress systems for the shooting So that was the first thing We ve got to clarify that and put it into perspective It gives them a sense of direction to follow if they want to and it puts that aside because we really can t do anything about the investigation or prosecution Then it gets into analyzing and assessing what else is taking place in that community that with the attention given to this that maybe we can help both the police and the community to deal with it Anger is there So what we are trying to do is get that tension directed into some effective type of response That s the process of talking with community leaders In that information gathering they start talking about some of the problems issues and concerns After that meeting I had a meeting with the chief coming up and the superintendent and country supervisor So I got enough information there and said to the community leaders Well in general would you like to pursue this and deal with some of these problems if we can get the chief and the county authorities to address some of these issues And they said Yes So I went back and met with the chief Stephen Thom Full Interview Topic Top So we met with the tribes and it was really difficult just to get consensus among the tribes there was a lot of distrust We knew that we had the basic common ground of reburial I think that whenever I conduct mediation I m always asking myself Is there enough in common interest to balance it off the differences on the issues Common ground was the sacredness of the remains and the need for the ancestors to return to Mother Earth So we kind of leveraged that idea throughout the mediation process If you guys don t come to consensus then what s going to happen to the remains They re going to stay there We need to figure out what you ve got to do Something s got to give here We constantly leveraged the common ground against the different tribal interests Question The alert came to you originally from this woman or one of the Native American Commission Answer I knew the woman I knew the issue but I think she had also been contacted by the Native American Heritage Commission Question How did you know the issue Answer I had worked with her on some other cases and she had alerted me that she was in touch with the institution and that she was going to see what she could do to get those remains returned So I knew of the issue but I had not initially opened a case At the same time the institution had contacted the Native American Heritage Commission and requested its assistance And in our discussions we had learned that the two parties had contacted different people Question By our discussions you mean your discussions with whom Answer My discussions with one of the tribal members and then Larry s discussions with the institution Since we had worked closely together anyway we shared information and found that they were talking to different people about the same issue That s when I decided to do this jointly with the Native American Heritage Commission mainly Larry Myers the executive director So we met with the institution to confirm where they were coming from and what their bottom line was We subsequently met with the tribelets of the tribe to begin to identify their representatives of spokespersons Question How did you identify the parties Answer We went to each of the families over a period of months Question You define a family as Answer All the stakeholders that we could find The Native American Heritage Commission keeps a list of most likely descendents to any geographic area Through a list of people that Larry had provided we went down that list and worked with those families who likely had relationships to the remains Later we met with leaders of those families and eventually brought the leaders of those families to one large gathering of the tribe Question Over what period of time Answer I would say that it took at least a two and one half months We had at least 10 meetings You always have a lot of hits and misses people don t show up for meetings so you have to go back we were driving all the way out to these rural areas and meeting with people only to find that the right leaders weren t there So we d have to come back and meet again It was an exhausting pre mediation process Question I m curious about the assessment Answer When you say assessment I think we knew where we were going pretty early because we had the basic contacts between the leader of one of the tribelets and the institution and the willingness of the institution to mediate So we knew where we were going we almost immediately turned the assessment into the pre mediation because we knew that we already had consensus that they re going to be mediation Stephen Thom Full Interview Topic Top I m curious about the assessment Answer When you say assessment I think we knew where we were going pretty early because we had the basic contacts between the leader of one of the tribelets and the institution and the willingness of the institution to mediate So we knew where we were going we almost immediately turned the assessment into the pre mediation because we knew that we already had consensus that they re going to be mediation Question You were confident you knew the player the parties Answer We were confident that we knew how to get to the players We knew that we had a list of most likely descendents and that always leads to more descendents but we had enough of the contacts to track down the key leaders And they would come because of the common ground and the interest in the number of remains We knew this case would be spiritual to Native Americans and that there was a lot of interest in what would happen with the remains Question You could set your goals pretty early in this case Answer Yes we were pretty confident Question What were those goals 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 We had a list of issues that we anticipated the Native Americans would ask and a couple of things that had already come up One they wanted all of the remains They wanted them to be buried in a certain location and they wanted that location to be concealed Two they wanted to identify any of the artifacts that were related to what they called funerary objects to be returned with those remains and to be tracked and to go through and contact the professors to see whether anybody had unintentionally or intentionally borrowed any of the artifacts So those were some of the types of demands or requests that would be brought to the table for discussions So what I normally do is we get a list of those issues that the complainant has and in this case we would consider the Ohlone People the complainant We shared that list with the institution and said Is they re anything that is not negotiable on their list of issues and do you have any additions to make There was an additional issue that the institution made because some 200 remains were not available because they were on loan to another institution They had loaned them for study by another school which they didn t remember until later At some point later we got consensus and agreement on a list which served as the agenda when we came to the table We structured this so that we had five to six representatives for the Ohlone and three from the Institution All of the families had a representative at the table But they wanted their elders there because they have to consult with their elders on spiritual matters This is a typical situation in a lot of Native American cases the elders make the calls but they don t come to the table they send the young people to represent them So we had to negotiate some of the logistics in terms of the Institution understanding why the representatives would be going to their elders to have caucuses to allow for clearance of some of the issues as we go through the mediation process That was all concurred in by the parties before we came to the table Question Was there anything specific that you did to build your credibility with the parties Answer I always insist on meeting the parties face to face When I make my initial contacts I try to minimize the amount of talking I do on the phone and I try to explain what CRS is what our intentions are and that I am a mediator and will attempt to resolve whatever conflicts are out there Could I see you or meet with you at any point I ask that right away because I think they can t begin to build trust until they see you they get a sense of what you re about and I ve always found that to be surprisingly easy for me I don t know why Sitting down with people and sometimes being very factual and explaining what we re trying to accomplish as a service to them and of course at no cost to them I think it is always a kind of Why not take the risk I think it is a marketing process but it really takes a face to face marketing opportunity and it s a service that will hopefully accomplish their objectives Question Does it always work Answer Not always but most of the time it works I always try to draw the biggest picture I can when I m talking to people about a complaint or when they are grieving an issue because I want the parties to have a lot of options and I think it s always good to help them to look at what options they have and to see mediation as one of those options They have control of the time and their participation all of those factors that mediation typically allows a party to control When they see mediation juxtaposed to the other options often times they choose to try mediation I m going to change the subject Question Go ahead We can come back to this case Answer Okay when I do a typical excessive use of force case where somebody s been killed and there s some level of shock I always talk to them about Let s look at where we are When the incident occurred you went through shock Then you go through denial certainly you wished it didn t happen and you want it to go away But then you get to the point of anger disappointment And then you begin to get to the point of blame and you start blaming sometimes yourself and others who s at fault You can either stay there some people stay there for a long time that blame period is what I consider the marching period when groups go marching and demonstrating and are venting anger Later you reach a point of acceptance You accept that it took place I know it took place but how do I deal with it Then you can go to resolution and reconciliation So when you explain to people what the process is and they can find themselves and I usually say Look you may want to demonstrate You may want to march and we can do that as long as you want to and we ll work with you on that But until you get to some type of resolution when you re going to stop and really work through the issues you re not going to be able to put this behind you This is how I try to give them a sequence and a picture of a process I do this for other kinds of cases as well as The parties have the option whether to pursue a civil suit or mediation or to continuing to march but here s where you are here s the options that you have and this is what I

    Original URL path: http://www.civilrightsmediation.org/topics/0900.shtml (2016-02-13)
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  • Mediator Interview Topic - Who did you talk to first on site?
    trying to do is get that tension directed into some effective type of response That s the process of talking with community leaders In that information gathering they start talking about some of the problems issues and concerns After that meeting I had a meeting with the chief coming up and the superintendent and country supervisor So I got enough information there and said to the community leaders Well in general would you like to pursue this and deal with some of these problems if we can get the chief and the county authorities to address some of these issues And they said Yes So I went back and met with the chief When he told me the shooting was a justifiable police action I said Well you know there are a lot of other things the community is concerned about and I mentioned several He was defensive saying Oh we are doing this we re doing that Then I used the argument from our experience in other places and said You know we recommend meeting face to face with the community leaders We can facilitate the meeting so you can have discussions with the community right there about these issues We think it would be helpful He agreed and most often I think police chiefs do agree to meet with community leaders on police type conflicts Question You scheduled your first meeting with the community group Answer Yeah Question Is that typical Do you tell the other party that you re going to meet with the others first or that you have met with them Answer It all depends upon the individual circumstances of the conflict In some of these cases when there is no overt conflict I often meet with the community first But when there is overt conflict like the case we had here in Medford I sent our people to the high school where there were the problems and they didn t have a chance to talk to the community first Schools were shut down because of racial problems that occurred the previous day I saw in the paper that the school was closed and the teachers and administrators were meeting I wanted our people there early so that we could be offer our help to school officials and others who maybe didn t know what to do in that situation So in that situation we met with the superintendent principal teachers and other school people to get a sense of what took place and the dynamics We offered some suggestions on what the officials might consider doing and then we set up meetings with the community and students to get a better understanding of the issues and problems But in a police conflict and meetings with the chief or administrators the more information we have about the dynamics of the conflict the greater the possibilities of a worthwhile meeting I always think that in our assessment process when we re meeting face to face authority

    Original URL path: http://www.civilrightsmediation.org/topics/0910.shtml (2016-02-13)
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  • Mediator Interview Topic - Were your initial meetings during your intervention private and confidential?
    to keep Colin out of Skokie I also found out from another legislator that if Colin did not go to Skokie the state legislation would never pass It was very controversial and would likely be stricken down by the courts as a First Amendment violation Meanwhile the Skokie ordinances and the ban from the Chicago Park District were moving through the federal courts and it appeared they would be overruled on appeal Nancy Ferrell Full Interview Topic Top Question Were those meetings or interviews private or did you have all the groups at the same time hearing their grievances How did you do that Answer I did both I interviewed individuals and I also went to group meetings I would go to a faculty meeting and then I would interview individuals by their choice or by being selected by the group to come I did the same thing with the student organizations I met with them at their regular meeting and then I would have a schedule when I met with people individually Leo Cardenas Full Interview Topic Top Were the initial meetings during your intervention always private or did you bring them together to talk at the same time Answer No They were always private and always apart until we got to the point that we started working on a series of issues and in between we were simply going between one group and the other And eventually we got them together if my memory again serves me correctly we had at least three meetings before we finally had a signature Efrain Martinez Full Interview Topic Top So you go into the initial meeting laying everything out explaining your procedure and your process up front with both parties Answer I do it individually or in a group setting Sometimes

    Original URL path: http://www.civilrightsmediation.org/topics/0920.shtml (2016-02-13)
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