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The Civil Rights History Project: Survey of Collections and Repositories

Civil rights mediation oral history project

Repository: University of Colorado. Conflict Information Consortium

Collection Description (CRHP): Bob Ensley speaks at length about the trial of Joan (Joann) Little in North Carolina; Edward Howden and Ernest Jones describe working with black firefighters and police officers on job discrimination issues; Bob Hughes talks about race discrimination in Anchorage, Alaska, and the desegregation Portland, Oregon schools; Julian Klugman discusses discrimination in California schools; Efrain Martinez comments on dealing with charges of police brutality in Texas. In addition, Ozell Sutton talks in detail about the Sanitation Workers' Strike in Memphis, Martin Walsh describes racial tensions at U-Mass Amherst, and Wally Warfield talks about desegregation in Atlanta. A number of interviewees, including Dick Salem, describe mediation efforts that took place within police forces or correctional facilities, and several discuss ways they handled the prejudice they themselves encountered in their work. Interviewees reflect on the politics and motivations of all individuals involved in these moments of conflict.

Collection Description (Extant): In 1999, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation gave Conflict Management Initiatives, Evanston, IL, in partnership with the Conflict Research Consortium, University of Colorado, Boulder, a grant to obtain oral histories from seventeen mediators from the U.S. Community Relations Service (CRS) in order to document, and make available on the Internet, what they did and how they did it when they responded to volatile civil rights conflicts. The mediators selected for these interviews all have reputations among their peers as accomplished practitioners. They include retired mediators who were with the agency in its early years and others who are active at CRS today. They gained their experience in nine different field offices and the national headquarters in Washington, D.C. They represent the racial and gender diversity that typifies CRS. All have a vast amount of experience working with communities enmeshed in racial conflict. In interviews that ranged from three to nine hours, they described their thinking and the techniques and strategies they used in their efforts to bring parties to agreement in the most racially polarized community conflicts. Respondents were asked to be as specific as possible in describing their case work, although names and places often were omitted or fictitious names were used to protect confidentiality.

[ . . . ] Those interviewed in this pilot project include:

* Angel Alderette 1970 - 1986: San Francisco Office
* Leo Cardenas 1971 - 1995: Denver Office
* Bob Ensley 1970 - 1988: Atlanta Office
* Nancy Ferrell 1985 - 1996: Dallas Office
* Silke Hansen 1972 - present: Boston, Washington, and Denver Offices*
* Ed Howden 1967 - 1986: San Francisco Office
* Bob Hughes 1967 - 1974: Atlanta and Seattle Offices
* Ernest Jones 1972, 1975 - present: Atlanta Office
* Julian Klugman 1970 - 1997: San Francisco Office*
* Efrain Martinez 1972 - 1999: Chicago and Houston Offices
* Werner Petterson 1969 - 1973, 1975 - 1997: Chicago Office
* Wilbur Reed 1971 - 1998: Denver Office
* Rinaldo Rivera 1999 - present: New York Office
* Richard Salem 1968 - 1982: Chicago Office
* Manuel Salinas 1968 - 1988: Denver Office
* Ozell Sutton 1966 - present: Atlanta Office
* Stephen Thom 1987 - present: Los Angeles Office
* Martin Walsh 1968 - 1974: Washington; 1974 - present: Boston Office
* Wallace Warfield 1968 - 1979: New York Office*

*Also served in the headquarters office in Washington, D.C.

Access Copy Note: The edited transcripts of these interviews are available at the collection URL. They may be read in their entirety, or searched by topic. The original recordings are not accessible to researchers or the general public.

Collection URL: http://www.civilrightsmediation.org External Link

Date(s): 1999

Digital Status: Partial

Extent: 19 interviews (audio cassettes, transcripts)

Language: English

Interviewees: Angel Alderette, Leo Cardenas, Bob Ensley, Nancy Ferrell, Silke Hansen, Ed Howden, Bob Hughes, Ernest Jones, Julian Klugman, Efrain Martinez, Werner Petterson, Wilbur Reed, Rinaldo Rivera, Richard Salem, Manuel Salinas, Ozell Sutton, Stephen Thom, Martin Walsh, Wallace Warfield

Rights (CRHP): Contact the repository which holds the collection for information on rights

Subjects:

African American civil rights workers
African Americans--Civil rights
Black Panther Party
Busing for school integration
Civil rights workers
Correctional institutions
Discrimination in employment
Discrimination in housing
Little, Joan
Mediation
Memphis (Tenn.)
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
National Black United Front
Nonviolence
Police brutality
Police--Community relations
Prison reformers
Sanitation Workers Strike, Memphis, Tenn., 1968
School integration
United States. Community Relations Service

Genres:

Interviews
Transcripts

 

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   January 5, 2015
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