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  • Mediator Interview Topic - Did representation questions ever become a problem? How did you decide who would be allowed to speak for a group?
    Did you try to get equal numbers of each race or did you try to do something proportionately Answer I think proportionate to the organizations who actually signed to be members of the coalition Question And this was open to anybody who wanted to be included Answer Correct Julian Klugman Full Interview Topic Top Answer Basically I explained the process and what was going on That was important because I had other people there I said nobody can talk We had observers you see but nobody can talk because this is between these two groups I introduced the state person and the U S Attorney s person and I said if anybody had something to add you can send a note up but you can t talk No one s going to interrupt we ve got certain ground rules and so on I said the Indians are the complainants and the other people have these list of issues and so why don t we start with issue number one Issue number one is the procedure for dealing with young people who are drunk and so on Manuel Salinas Full Interview Topic Top But after the meeting the chief said that he wanted to talk to the smaller group and to proceed accordingly and to rapidly try to lessen the hostility that was occurring So we let the smaller group to begin to talk and the larger community group accepted the smaller group as their representative they let the small group go ahead and speak for them In the meantime the families tried to file a lawsuit and go that route so they weren t involved in this dialogue with the police chief the city manager and the small group which called itself el Comite Angel Alderete Full Interview Topic Top

    Original URL path: http://www.civilrightsmediation.org/topics/1308.shtml (2016-02-13)
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  • Mediator Interview Topic - How did you decide when to meet separately with the parties and when to bring them together?
    have that common thing we can do something Angel Alderete Full Interview Topic Top Question Do you always operate by trying to get the parties to come together face to face Answer Yes But sometimes that doesn t happen Question What do you do if you can t do that Answer Then I shuttle It isn t really a good process because I don t have the goodies that Kissinger had Kissinger didn t really do mediation he just went over there and said I ll give you this if you agree But it is more difficult The easiest thing to do is to get two people together You can read them better that way But if somebody says I want you to go tell these people this it s really hard to trust their intentions Especially when the city or so called group A is talking to group B through you and you really don t know what the response is going to be over there Or how it is that they intend to talk to these folks They can offer them the moon and these folks are going to say That ain t right It ain t going to happen And when you go back and tell them that they don t want it they say Well we tried everything and they wouldn t go for it And that s sort of an oversimplification of things but I really prefer to sit down and talk to both parties Angel Alderete Full Interview Topic Top Question Were you moving from group to group Answer No I dealt with the city of Signal Hill which is in the Long Beach area east Los Angeles I worked with the various areas in Signal Hill the harbor area various areas in the Latino community The African Americans did their thing with the African American community and the Asian group did their thing with some of the Asian folks and the Anglo types did something with the Anglo community Also we had to get involved with the law enforcement types because meeting with the chiefs and the sheriff is one thing but meeting with members of the department is certainly another thing Although the chief may say This is the way it is you talk to the law enforcement guy out in the street and he ll give you a whole different picture Question So you talked with each racial group separately Answer Yes Then in the end we met together with Latinos blacks and Asians each representing their own group I think that sort of approach is good for two reasons One reason is that it speeds up what it is you re looking for and it lessens the likelihood that someone will say That s not right because if that happens then the process becomes unwieldy But if you have the African American input the Latino input and the Asian input and you bring it to the table then you can deal with that So that s the way it went 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 Leo Cardenas Full Interview Topic Top When you were able to bring the parties together how did you decide where to convene the meetings How important was choosing the right place Answer You re asking someone that believes very highly that the place of negotiations has to be conducive for negotiations first I will go out of my way to seek funding sometimes including our own for a hotel room a hotel conference room as an example It has to be comfortable in terms of lighting and seating Certainly heating and or air conditioning and drinks and a meal ought to be served to set the stage for negotiations Sometimes with the type of work and in the communities that we work in this is not possible You re talking to someone who will give anything for a good setting in order to get the negotiations going I think it s very important We at CRS of course look for a lot of so called neutral places We found a hotel that has a conference room in it to be neutral and particularly today community centers have those types of facilities We also found at least through 1995 that the community groups do not hesitate to go to a corporate or school setting that has a nice conference room like this Bob Ensley Full Interview Topic Top I met with each group separately and just asked them What is it that you think SCLC is not doing How do you think it should be done Would you be willing to make a commitment to work harmoniously with any of the other groups One by one I got the two of them to meet It was about three weeks before I could get all three groups to sit down and talk about it When they sat down to talk about it they found out their differences weren t that great so they were all focused on JoAnn Little as they should have been Efrain Martinez Full Interview Topic Top Do you have this discussion with each group individually Answer Sometimes in groups or with individual members A lot of times individuals can give me more information than when in a group setting I talk to them individually and as a group to get a consensus Always I ask what do they think has to be done to resolve what s going on and what role do they want to play From this I try to get a community committee made up of all these elements Once this committee decides to go somewhere and do something it will most likely be successful because they have the okay of all these elements That applies everywhere Wherever you go there s different sectors of clubs or churches and they re all interrelated The politicians may also be business persons they have kids in school they go to church they belong to some clubs their relatives might be in law enforcement It s the same with everybody in law enforcement the cops go to church and they have businesses so it s all interrelated You must have representation of the entire town and if this committee decides to do one two and three it likely will happen Efrain Martinez Full Interview Topic Top When did you know that it was the right time to bring them together Answer I brought them together once I have all these ground rules written out and everybody understands what s going to happen Usually when I call a meeting I would have met with each one to see where they re coming from How do they see this issue what do they want and are they going to be part of the process Are they going to follow some of the rules that are going to be set I don t like surprises so before the meeting I would find out the game plan for each person so I know where the pitfalls may be A lot of times emotions are so high that things may get violent If you bring them together too soon it s going to make matters worse Efrain Martinez Full Interview Topic Top I remember it s ironic but they had issues back in 80 81 We had set up an understanding between them and the Vietnamese fishermen and it kind of wasn t going the way it was planned I had to come up with plan B which was I ll asked the leader of the Vietnamese shrimpers and the Grand Dragon if they wanted to meet one on one With just me present and my colleague I had at the time Each side said Yeah we re not afraid of them So I said Let s meet We met in my hotel room During the meeting the Dragon asked that I not take any notes The Vietnamese brought two or three of his people but they stayed in the lobby and the Grand Dragon had somebody calling him like every fifteen minutes But I did take notes Question Was his fear that you were going to report what he said Answer I don t know But I guess he wanted to level with the guy and he didn t want any notes Yeah I guess he was a little heavy handed maybe or it could be seen he was trying to exert concessions from the Vietnamese about selling their boats or limiting the number or boats there but anyway it was a good meeting My purpose of bringing them together was if nothing else they should know each other in person and also exchange phone numbers If nothing else they should at least be able to talk to each other This had to be a private meeting It went well But later I m in my office in Houston the next day and the Grand Dragon calls me saying that his people didn t think he was doing enough on their behalf Would I give him my notes so he could show he was doing something that he had this meeting So it was to his benefit that this happened and he wanted to show he had been meeting with the top Vietnamese guy So I told him to go to the police station and I would phone my notes into the recorder at the police station and he could transcribe them It happened but I worded my notes in a certain way that it was very positive It still got to what the issues had been but also what the resolutions had been and the spirit of cooperation Werner Petterson Full Interview Topic Top Question In this case did you ever decide to meet with the parties separately Answer Yeah Off and on This probably went off and on over at least six months so there were times when I would have separate meetings If there was an issue that we were still arguing over and it didn t seem to be moving anywhere I would caucus Sometimes I did it over breakfast to just look at other possibilities Some of the other things I would do would be to use our resources in Washington and see what other school districts were doing around this particular problem Or I was talking to other people or organizations that I knew and this is where I said what if we were to try this That s where this fellow later on said he never knew about these ideas we would just talk through the possibility That would be the only time we met separately was when we were trying to find a solution Question And you felt that they could not say what they needed to say in the presence of the other party or you felt that you needed to give them some additional information privately Answer I guess it was a way to just test ideas without the other side being there They didn t have to second guess their response If I say this am I going to be saying something that I m later going to regret So by throwing an idea on the table and talking it over and then giving them more time to think about it and I would have done that with the other side by the time we sat down and talked about it together I would know that it was going to go somewhere Question And in this case what where the cues that you looked for to say that it was time to caucus Answer Generally when we were at some sort of impasse and it just didn t seem to be going anywhere around the particular issue We had so many issues that we were trying to resolve Some issues were working okay but then there was always this other piece hanging out there that we were having trouble finding a solution to Usually it was around trying to find ways to find an answer Manuel Salinas Full Interview Topic Top Question I know I m asking picky questions but I want to make sure I understand exactly what you re saying At the beginning how did you decide when and how you should meet with Answer Well really both of the initial meetings were with the Comite Then every once in a while we would touch base with the chief of police He wanted to know how things were coming along and are the people saying anything particular that we ought to look at a little bit closer We never gave him the true answers we wanted to be a little hazy because I don t think he had to know exactly what they were saying I figured that the assessment was going to show him that truth and I didn t want him to believe that the people were ready to lower the boom on him just because he s the chief He doesn t want to be blind sided The people were no way going in that direction at all but he didn t know that So you have to kind of sense is something going to happen are the people dissatisfied and something s going to occur again not deaths but mass demonstrations or something Or are things moving along well enough to avoid any further hostile demonstrations There was always fear that in demonstrations someone would get hurt You always have that So we wanted to avoid those if we could Question Did the two the chief and el Comite ever meet together Answer On occasions they would meet but I think that only happened three times The first time they weren t interested in having a lot of dialogue they just wanted to find out how the assessment was coming along They didn t want to hear it just from us but from the chief directly Question So when you said there were only three meetings does that count the ones that you were talking about earlier Answer No those were at the beginning I mean after El Comite was formed because it took time to form they had about three meetings after that with the chief And of course after the assessment was presented they met at that time too It was presented not only with the city council and the chief and so on but it was presented like an open forum community meeting The assessment was then presented from the team officially and in public so that helped out a lot Manuel Salinas Full Interview Topic Top Question One of the things that strikes me as interesting about this story is that it s similar to ones we ve heard a couple times already from other people but those people were very quick to move the community group and the police chief into ongoing dialogue whereas you did much more work by keeping them apart Why did you choose to do it that way rather than bringing them together Answer I didn t feel that getting them together was necessary given what they were doing and given that the assessment was going on There wasn t a real reason for them to meet with the chief at all And the chief was being cooperative with them I think if anybody from El Comite would call the chief he would answer whatever questions they chose There weren t twenty people there and the chief and his staff here sitting at the table and arguing back and forth and discussing things back and forth We never got to the point That hostility was lessened to such a degree that there was no point for me to bring them together at all There was no hostile attitudes Now had there been something I probably would have had to think this through and say we have to get together because our dialogue or our communication is falling apart so we d better meet so we can clarify this There was nothing to clarify there was nothing falling apart they got along fine If there was a need for them to meet they could ve done it on their own they didn t need me If I recall correctly the chairman of El Comite did say he had talked to the chief one time I think it was about a meeting location It wasn t even about the incident because the incident began to die out and El Comite took on other objectives The incident then became the property of the family to file the suit But El Comite was there to provide assistance to the family if they so desired I don t think they requested help they felt they could proceed on their own Will Reed Full Interview Topic Top Question How did you decide when to hold separate meetings and then when was the right time to bring the majority and the minority communities together Answer The timing was important on that In this situation you just happened to have people who on the majority community side weren t hostile to meeting who didn t object to meeting with the minority community So it was a really easy task to bring them together There was some grumbling from some of the militant Indian individuals but for the most part that was overcome by somebody in

    Original URL path: http://www.civilrightsmediation.org/topics/1310.shtml (2016-02-13)
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  • Mediator Interview Topic - Were there cases where you never brought the parties together or never met with them separately?
    an incentive for continuing the discussions I can think of another case in which there was huge mistrust and even hostility between the parties Some of the issues were complicated enough that it would require or certainly benefit from some outside expertise So in that case what we did was have each of the parties recommend a consultant who could provide expertise and then we picked a third person within that field of expertise So we had those three consultants or experts meet and come up with some proposed approaches to dealing with the issues in contention They did that successfully and then they were able to sell those ideas to the parties because they had credibility So that enabled us to get them to agree to some approaches and that would have been very difficult had we brought in only one consultant If we d had only one expert both parties would have said Is that consultant on their side or is she on our side So having a panel of three worked very well in that particular instance It was expensive for CRS because CRS doesn t have those kinds of resources But we did it in that particular case and they did ultimately reach an agreement So that s another approach to get past an impasse Silke Hansen Full Interview Topic Top So if I don t think that there s at least some area where they re going to be able to reach some agreement or some understanding I typically keep them apart If anything I do shuttle diplomacy because I don t want this first experience of actually eyeballing each other to be one of further conflict and disappointment and failure Efrain Martinez Full Interview Topic Top were there ever cases where you didn t bring the parties together you just engaged in shuttle diplomacy back and forth Answer I think I mentioned in this little town in Texas where remember the lead protestor called me on the phone and left a message Question Yes you did right Answer And the police chief also called me and they wouldn t meet with each other Sometimes it s not necessarily that people don t want to meet with each other but it s inconvenient Either I take the response in writing and share with the other group or when I was doing the mediation of the lawsuit we had attorney s in Washington San Antonio and Houston so I just did it on conference calls it was mediation by telephone Ozell Sutton Full Interview Topic Top Question Did you always meet separately with the groups or did you ever run them together at the same location Answer No This was not table mediation this was street mediation Street mediation is when you move between the parties because to bring them together would reap no benefits at all Their situation was too volatile they were too far apart There were times when the ministers did meet with

    Original URL path: http://www.civilrightsmediation.org/topics/1320.shtml (2016-02-13)
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  • Mediator Interview Topic - Did the parties ever refuse to meet together? How did you handle it?
    with you one on one because they think it would look bad You say You know Mr Hill you re protected by a confidentiality clause That means I cannot repeat or reveal anything that s said without your permission So therefore anything that you say to me is confidential That has had a powerful effect upon meeting with people Bob Ensley Full Interview Topic Top I ll meet with them and say You know never s a long time but can you imagine what s going to happen if you refuse to meet and what could result if you do meet How much is doing nothing going to benefit those little boys and girls out here in the street today He said You know you don t plant a tree today to enjoy the shade You plant a tree where someone else will enjoy the shade You are going to have to understand that I said Can you really afford to be that selfish or that concerned about something that you didn t have any control over I said I m not defending that person you may be absolutely right But I m going to be here with you as long as that person is going to do what we all agreed to do I m not going to leave you Efrain Martinez Full Interview Topic Top A lot of times the police say I m not gonna meet those people They came to my office last week and the leaders were screaming and hollering calling me racist and a pig and I m not gonna stand for that I would say Why don t I go back to that community group propose to them they come meet you with a list of what they want They want answers but I ll have them prepare their questions beforehand So before the meeting you ll have all their questions and maybe something that they want you to do You can analyze that and see how you feel but I m going to run the meeting Before the meeting starts everybody is going to agree to some ground rules No screaming no hollering no insults no nothing I m going to introduce the topic I m going to run the meeting I m going to manage the process With those assurances they re more willing to meet Efrain Martinez Full Interview Topic Top Did you ever have an experience where two parties couldn t meet with the other parties Answer Yes The only time it happened was in another town in Texas near Houston There was a lot of activity over the freeing of an African American that had a death sentence for committing a crime The black protestors and organizers out of Houston had been doing a lot of activity in support of freeing him I d been in this other town and I was coming back and the leader of the black organizers asked me to go with them Saturday

    Original URL path: http://www.civilrightsmediation.org/topics/1330.shtml (2016-02-13)
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  • Mediator Interview Topic - Was timing of the discussions critical? Did you ever need to wait or hurry up in order to get people to come together?
    I had That goal was for them to begin to talk to each other I realized that when mediation and conflict resolution is really working well the mediator can go in with the skills he or she has but listen to the parties and move with them on their level of info frustration indignation whatever that is empathizing with and understanding them whatever their mood or tune or dance is at that time If you re not willing to dance with them they re not going to trust you They ll play my tune later if I ve danced with them But if I haven t been willing to dance with them they re not willing to play my tune they re not going to go with me when I want to take them somewhere I think that kind of movement is what captures me when I m thinking about mediation It s exciting You go in and some people are just doing the tango and you ve gotta go with that You re trying to get them to some harmony maybe a waltz I don t know music that well which is kind of interesting that I use that imagery but it just fits so well for me When I teach mediation I use that imagery with new students you have to be willing to understand where the parties are Think about it in terms of being willing to dance with them You may not enjoy the rumba but if that s where they are you re going to have to start there and then move with them and get them to where they trust you enough to take the rhythm that you ve got going for the mediation Angel Alderete Full Interview Topic Top The police chief was the mainstay in that involvement and it was a very very slow process From the time that the riots occurred to the time that we got together with the community folk up to the time that the community folks said Let s eat up to the time that the community said Let s do something with Compton it took months As a matter of fact it took maybe a year and a half Question How did you work through those slow times Answer Contacts Contacting them Also going in there for other reasons There were other reasons Like visiting old friends For example one of the co chairpersons taught at a community college I would visit with her at the school go to lunch with her I d meet with the chief Do the same thing go to lunch drink coffee meet with one of the insurance brokers who was part of that discussion group You ve just got to keep contact Otherwise it just isn t going to happen They ve got to see your face around That s the key thing to a lot of involvements If I see a strange face as a community person you re

    Original URL path: http://www.civilrightsmediation.org/topics/1335.shtml (2016-02-13)
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  • Mediator Interview Topic - When you brought the parties together, how did you decide where to convene the meeting?
    get this issue settled because he didn t know how to handle it himself He didn t know what the law was and if we could work things out so that he s not being called with expectations it would be all for the better In fact his legal counsel was even made available to me Dick Salem Full Interview Topic Top It was agreed that at noon on a certain date the American Indian Movement leaders would set up a teepee in the demilitarized zone in that no man s land near the federal road block and that the feds would come in and we would begin to have negotiations in this big teepee It was very ceremonial and very public The press wouldn t be in there but they d be outside Indian time was typically late The AIM leaders would be up late at night They would have a spiritual ceremony They would be late starting the next day s activities by any clock that was set outside their own needs Stephen Thom Full Interview Topic Top And I remember at the table one of the things I did on that particular case knowing that both Koreans and African Americans value religion and have very strong Christian ethic in both communities I naturally picked a neutral church in the community to be the place for our mediation It really took the thunder out of a great deal of the animosity Stephen Thom Full Interview Topic Top Now we had 300 people right in the middle of city hall blocking the whole main floor demanding to see the mayor I told the sergeant they re coming in And he says Wait wait hold them off I go I can t They ve asked for this meeting So now they are panicking and willing to do more all of a sudden The message came out from the mayor s office that he would meet with a delegation Figure out who they want how many people He will meet with you this afternoon but you have to clear out So we convey the message and we negotiate all this I don t think they trusted the mayor I think we stayed there The mayor said Okay let s move the meeting up get your people So now we re helping them So who are you going to get You only get so many people No no we want more people And it was all right there on the floor of City Hall all this chaos Angel Alderete Full Interview Topic Top There were law enforcement people that I worked with that were tremendously helpful because they invited everybody that was involved with me to meet at their department which is really an ideal place because they had all the equipment to help us do this stuff Efrain Martinez Full Interview Topic Top Question So how did you get this group together in the Vietnamese s place Answer I asked the

    Original URL path: http://www.civilrightsmediation.org/topics/1340.shtml (2016-02-13)
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  • Mediator Interview Topic - Who set the agenda? Who defined the ground rules and meeting structure?
    purposes of clarification Sometimes it s needed to clarify and even Is this what you re saying Question Did that seem to help or were there times when the party who was speaking said No that s not what we mean Answer Oh I m sure that happened Heck I m a non Indian and have no background I didn t even know what they were talking about when I first got the complaint in this You know what the title to the case is that I wrote on the file Beach standing Indian s complaint Later on that didn t mean a thing What s a beach standing Indian But they were talking about Indians who were standing on the waterfront fishing So I had to learn what a meander line was and that sort of thing They had to explain it to me before I could really go anywhere with it Question Did you do anything to try to diminish tensions between parties Answer As I had mentioned earlier at times it s all you can do to keep them in the same room I want them to be frank I want to be in communication and then frank communication I m not nearly as worried at that stage about the feelings of each other I think it s more important to be frank Question Once you get past the sharing stage if that s what you want to call it what s the next phase of the process Answer I wouldn t call it sharing but explanation of our concerns our issues our complaints That holds a little different connotation than my sharing these concerns with you Question Okay So what s the next phase of the process Answer After the complaints have all been laid on the table and there has been clarification about the complaint and the background when we all agree that we ve disclosed everything that s significant then okay we close this off We begin the process of developing solutions What are the answers What are the approaches that need to be made to these questions Here the mediator plays the role of selecting what should be dealt with first The question always arises should we deal with the hard ones first or the easy ones If we can get agreement on the easy ones maybe we can develop an approach to the hard ones But not the reverse Some people say if you answer the hard ones everything else will fall into place I think that s completely erroneous Bob Hughes Full Interview Topic Top How did you get the parties to come up with solutions Did you have them brainstorm ideas Answer I would arrange the order that we bring things up What can be done about this issue and then this one that sort of thing We d go down some of the list When difficult issues are encountered there would be an impasse I had a strong belief

    Original URL path: http://www.civilrightsmediation.org/topics/1345.shtml (2016-02-13)
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  • Mediator Interview Topic - How did you assist in opening communications between the parties, to get them talking and listening to one another?
    community s perspective then that s a big step in the right direction The importance of really listening is sometimes underrated Maybe I mentioned this before but in one really major conflict I was involved in I really wasn t sure how much of a difference I had made in the overall scheme of things But one of the things I was told near the end of that case was Silke you at least listened Generally people don t do that I have heard that many times since Even in cases where there really wasn t a whole lot I could do and it was hard to say where mediation might be useful if a community actually felt listened to and not just ignored swept aside or totally disregarded that has made a huge difference That is part of what I try to get across to each of the parties If in fact it might go toward mediation or some similar method of resolving some of those local tensions I ask both sides to just listen to what the other is saying I am not asking you to agree or cave in but just hear what they are saying and what their concerns are You might even have some solution for them that they didn t even think of But first just listen It s amazing how important that is to people in conflict Part of what intensifies the conflict and violence potential in many cases is that people think that they are not being heard The reason they are shouting is because they think if they shout someone will finally hear them Of course it doesn t work that way But I think part of the reason for the volume is that they haven t felt listened to so they think Maybe if I get louder they will actually hear me Stephen Thom Full Interview Topic Top You had an impasse at one point in this mediation Tell us about how you respond to impasses Answer Well when they come up and we are not expecting it we all look at each other and everybody s face is saying This is not working We re not making any progress here Why is this issue so difficult We keep attempting to see what other options we can come up with Typically when you reach an impasse and there s no give and take by either party we like to call a caucus and see if we can get any more information as to what are the particulars and what are the positions and concerns of either party with regards to the issue we are stuck on In the caucus I try to clarify where people are on the issues and why For the institution we knew that they had made a commitment and they made every effort to alter that commitment but they could not It was just something they didn t have control of At least that was their sense of it From the Ohlone s position there was no way that those remains should stay in the Institutions and unburied They are disrespecting our people and our people are yearning to be turned to the soil They ve had them long enough Question This was told to you in caucus Answer Yes Question Was it told to them at the table Answer I think it was shared somewhat But those are the kinds of things they were saying Will you relay that to them They need to understand why you feel this way Will you relate it to them Actually trying to bridge what they would share with us in caucus we would try to say Okay we understand your point why didn t you say that at the table Let s bring that to the table and see if that will help us so we re able to get more information and get an agreement that more information should be shared as to why you feel the way you do Question They were reluctant originally to share at the table Answer They did not share all that information at the table Question Is that typical in the mediations you do that the parties hold back Answer I think it depends With the Native Americans there is a subtle respect at the table that they show differently in the caucuses And sometimes you need to flush it out or get permission to speak for them at the table to bring out some of those more intimate details because I think there is a pride of their behavior with respect to the other party So for those reasons we had to work a little differently In other cases where you reach impasse Vermont McKinney CRS mediator and I had a real interesting case Do you want to finish this one Cause you can have me jumping all over the place Stephen Thom Full Interview Topic Top Oh yeah I pulled all those ideas together Actually when we got to the table I sat at the head of the table and I framed the mediation process right then and there and opened the door to the key spokesman of the Koreans to start them off Then the mayor responded Question The mayor was comfortable with you at the head of table Answer Yeah he didn t want to be there at all but he didn t want to be in the middle of it either He wanted somebody else to be at the head of it So I could see the politics that he was playing What amazed me at the table was that the Koreans I thought didn t raise all the issues I had to remind them of some of the other issues I had to say Aren t you going to talk about this issue I knew they weren t going to have that many opportunities Stephen Thom Full Interview Topic Top The Koreans has such strong accents I couldn t understand them The African Americans couldn t understand them We had one African American who worked in the swap meet who was our translator It was just amazing Leo Cardenas Full Interview Topic Top How did you assist in opening up communications between the parties initially to get them talking and get them listening to one another Answer CRS uses a lot of the shuttle diplomacy meeting with one group and then going to the other side and beginning to share what we feel we ought to share with them So they begin to feel comfortable that we are helping them in their best interests Question How did you determine what could be shared and what couldn t be shared Answer Generally it was the issues at hand Most of the time on the majority they would say that they were not prepared to share certain things They were prepared to hire someone from the minority community but that the personnel committee needed to finalize as an example that indeed the budget was going to have more money for a bilingual program and would have more teachers but we couldn t share that with them Bob Ensley Full Interview Topic Top 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 Bob Ensley Full Interview Topic Top The most difficult thing is having people sit down and talk and communicate The one thing that the whites have always had is the presence of the police department or law enforcement In different ways they ve used that in order to deter threaten intimidate or coerce other people who come in with different lifestyles or different cultures It s pretty much that way in several of the areas where I helped work But you need to try to get people to sit down and just listen no matter how much they protest against it Whatever objections they raise beg them Please just come on Just sit down Question How did you in either that situation or a recent one get people to the table when there s so much hostility Answer You have to become the target Let them blame you let them blame Bob Ensley I let myself be the target Bob Ensley Full Interview Topic Top Question When you have issues that are so large like racism or class economic issues how do you incorporate that into the mediation or the resolution of the conflict Answer Well the first thing as you know is that you ve got to get people sitting down and talking Getting them to the table is one of the most difficult things and it requires some skill You develop skills by practice and participation and involvement in similar situations You have to get them to realize it s all for the common good You also have to be sure they have time to devote to the problem This is awfully agonizing many times and so frustrating A good deal of inner strength and inner faith is required to continue to work through the processes when they re telling you it s not going to work that they re not going to change their position that you re just going to muddy the water and create some additional problems by getting involved Don t let them deter you You ve just got to keep on begging them and insisting they ve got to meet and sit down and talk And it s the only way You can t force them to do it but you ve got to have them realize that it s not going to go away Question Them means who Answer The groups that are involved particularly the white power structure I know the black people that have been coached and instructed to say certain things to me to make me think things aren t that bad But it s far greater and much more serious They don t know that I ve already done my homework in many areas and know a lot more about them and how they were elected and how they ve been voting on issues and certain things Bob Hughes Full Interview Topic Top You didn t make any assessment of what the most important issues were and which was next Answer No I would set the agenda for the negotiations themselves That s not the first meeting though The first meeting in the sheriff s office conference room was where they would meet each other face to face for the first time There was about a dozen people there The CRS guidelines for mediation would ve been explained in detail when I made the recommendation for mediation I urged them to discuss things and I gave them a list of about a dozen to fifteen points These were really my version of CRS mediation guidelines or conditions I would answer any questions they might have on that It would ve been the time prior to that first meeting when I would ve pointed out to the home owners There needs to be some kind of entity that the tribe can deal with who do you want to be Can we identify you as a particular group As I recall the minister was chosen They chose their own people although I had probably been responsible for identifying those who were interested and urging I frankly do not recall offhand if I met with them separately prior to the first meeting I would have met with two or three of them to explain the guidelines But at any rate by the time they got to the sheriff s office they would ve known what the guidelines were and then in that first session I would ve explained what can be expected One we d go over the procedures and the guidelines I would repeat what I had said before and hopefully I m still consistent I would answer questions they have Now they know that the others know that they don t talk to the press I ask them Do you agree to these terms The others hear them say yes and vice versa That s sort of the basic the bedrock for the mediation has been laid at that point No discussion of issues background or anything like that Question Are the parties able to give input as to how you re going to run the mediation session or are you telling them Answer Not much room for that If I am to be the mediator here I am bound by my agency to conduct mediation along these lines In that case I don t think I would get a challenge to that Of course there are introductions People were meeting each other for the first time in many cases Usually they re sitting on opposite sides of the tables In those days Henry Kissinger was running around working out the shape of the table and all that I never bothered about any of that Question What did you do to open up the line of communication Answer They ask questions and they get the answers The second session was where we would begin the process of problem identification And at this point no discussion shall be conducted about answers or solutions to any of these That s something else that will happen later What we want now is a free and frank exchange of ideas from both sides Then I would invite Would you like to start off and list your issues They ve given them to me individually They would list the issues one by one A certain amount of clarification would begin to be taking place understanding of not only what but why they re upset The tribal leadership had never heard of these tribal fishermen defecating in somebody s front yard in front of children this was outrageous and that sort of thing A certain amount of clarification and explanation began to take place Question Were all of those things considered factual information or were any of those issues ever challenged Answer Oh yes But I would ve stated in the beginning that these are perceptions by the people on this side of the table and it s important for you to not only know what happened but to hear these perceptions and try to understand them Question Heidi asked you a little while ago about helping the groups prioritize During this initial meeting or the second meeting where parties are expressing themselves do you allow them to express themselves in the language and the tone that they choose or do you try to coach them to express themselves in a certain way Answer You ve asked several questions One the main thing we need to get is a free and frank exchange of ideas This can be brutal at times I ve had a mayor walk out of a meeting and I had to chase him and say This is what we ve got to have get all the problems out here on the table now Whatever way it takes We should be understanding and it may hurt but it s much more important that we be frank and talk about it rather than lay only part of the issues out and still have other issues concerns or problems This is our chance to deal with them There would be some opportunity for going into the background of these issues too For example the disenfranchisement of Indians and violation of treaties there was at least some allusion to that It s important to Native Americans that this be in the background of the record even though it may not be dealt with in detail In any case if there s time that day for the other side to give it s listing of issues and concerns and what and why then we would go into that If at the first session problem identification was not completed by one of the parties then we would pick it up at the next session All of one side identified it s problems in their entirety and then the other one would have it s opportunity to give it s side And to a certain extent of course answers to questions or perceptions would be given Manuel Salinas Full Interview Topic Top Question You said earlier that the relationship between El Comite and the chief were so good that you didn t need to bring them together for communications Before this incident how was communication between the Chicano community and the police Answer To my knowledge there was no communication Question So this incident and your involvement really created that communication Answer Yes to my knowledge there was no communication The reason the chief knew who we should get a hold of because we contacted the chief first and met with him is because a few people had already contacted him about the incident Will Reed Full Interview Topic Top So once you established who this key person was to get them to the table what did you say How would you open up a dialogue Answer It s not a question of opening up anything What happens is that you ve established a relationship That

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