ICMA Training Incorporates DCP’s “Midland Simulation”

On Thursday June 7, 2016, DCP Associate Director Bill Froehlich traveled to Charlottesville, Virginia, with Elon Simms (Columbus (Ohio) Director of Community Affairs) and Jackie Fisher (a recent Moritz College of Law graduate), to facilitate the Midland Simulation for thirty-three city managers from across the country.  The training session was part of the International City / County Management Association’s Senior Executive Institute – a week-long training for experienced city and county managers at the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service.

The Midland Simulation exposes community leaders to ongoing civil unrest.  When used in conjunction with the Divided Community Project’s Community Assessment and Preparedness Test (CPAT is funded by the AAA-ICDR Foundation), the simulation is an engaging catalyst for conversations about community division, and planning in advance of civil unrest.

City managers from California, Texas, Virginia, Idaho, Utah, and a handful of other states played the role of elected big-city and suburban leaders, appointed civil servants, and community leaders, as their fictitious community faced a series of divisive events.  Immediately after the three-hour simulation DCP staff used the CPAT as a tool to discuss ideas for planning in advance of civil unrest.  City managers discussed

  • The value of building relationships, trust, and resilience before a crisis.  Many city managers noted that it is too late to build relationships during a crisis.
  • The importance of developing a plan for delivering a unified community message – one which unites the community in the face of a crisis.
  • Ideas for finding common community values.
  • Challenges community leaders face with respect to fake news and social media, as well as opportunities for using social media as a tool to transparently communicate with residents.
  • How to leverage relationships to spread accurate information.

Sincere thanks to ICMA for inviting DCP to run the Midland Simulation.  We are particularly grateful to ICMA Director of Leadership Development, Felicia Logan, for organizing the program and for live tweeting (her tweets are posted above) during the simulation.  If your community is interested in the Community Assessment and Preparedness Test (at no cost) or running the Midland Simulation, contact DCP Associate Director Bill Froehlich at 614.688.4192 or froehlich.28@osu.edu.



Pilot Project to facilitate Orlando Speaks June 4

Valencia College’s Peace and Justice Institute is part of the Divided Community Project’s Community Resilience Initiative.  The text of this message is pulled from the City of Orlando’s Orlando Speaks website.

Join us at Orlando Speaks
June 4 – Lake Nona High School
Register Now

•Increase awareness and understanding of police practices
•Strengthen interpersonal relationships through the sharing of personal stories and experiences
•Develop trust and sensitivity to support interactions with one another
•Expand citizen engagement

Orlando Speaks is a series of interactive workshops, facilitated by the Valencia College Peace and Justice Institute, which utilizes innovative communication strategies to foster citizen engagement and dialogue between Orlando residents, the City and the Orlando Police Department to help the city better serve all residents.

Orlando Speaks establishes a safe space for dialogue where citizens, police officers and community leaders come together to share stories, concerns, and perspectives with a goal of maintaining a safe city by finding common ground among police and citizens. These conversations are critical to bringing the community closer together, strengthening Orlando’s diversity and ensuring that the City remains safe, inclusive and accepting of all. Orlando Speaks community conversations are held across the city.  To date, three facilitated, interactive Orlando Speaks workshops have been held bringing hundreds of citizens and dozens of police personnel together. Future workshops will be announced on this page.

“All People. All Voices. All Matter.” is the vision for the work of the Valencia College Peace and Justice Institute (PJI). This unique partnership between city government, including the Mayor, City Commissioners, the Chief of Police, leadership from the Orlando Police Department and PJI has fostered a meaningful program with positive outcomes.

What our citizens are saying about Orlando Speaks:

One facilitator commented that “For me, this is evidence of how much this conversation matters to our community. The most moving part of the night was listening to the citizen and officer stories. It takes courage to stand up and say ‘this is what happened to me’ or ‘this is what I need’ and so many did just that.”

One resident spoke about the event saying: “All of us were incredibly impressed with the presentation and left feeling inspired and ready to take even more action in our community. Thank you for the work that you do in helping to empower our community.”

Police Officials use “CPAT” and Simulation at Leadership Academy

On April 20, 2018, the Divided Community Project engaged forty police executives in the Midland Simulation at the Public Safety Leadership Academy.  Immediately following the simulation, DCP facilitators used the Project’s Community Preparedness and Assessment Test (CPAT) to discuss how police organizations can collaborate in their communities and address community division in their own communities.

Discussion included ideas for community outreach and community engagement.  One participant described in detail how the City of Cleveland worked with community leaders and residents to plan in advance the 2016 Republican National Convention protests, protests related to Tamir Rice’s tragic death, and protests related to the Michael Brelo verdict.

Police officials gained a new perspective on the value of collaboration–both within governmental structure and the community.  One police official explained that the simulation gave her a new perspective: “involvement within the community is critical.”

Thanks to PSLA’s Tim Bailey inviting DCP to be a part of the PSLA curriculum, the John Glenn College  for supporting the program, the Ohio State Highway Patrol for providing logistical and other support, and to the police officials for their engagement in the Midland Simulation and debrief.  If your community or organization is interested in using CPAT or the Midland Simulation, please contact DCP Associate Director Bill Froehlich, froehlich.28@osu.edu.

Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association uses Live “CPAT” Polling to Discuss Civil Unrest

Thanks to Heather Zirke, CMBA’s Bar Counsel for drafting this blog post.  If your community or organization is interested in using the Community Preparedness and Assessment Test to begin a conversation in your community, contact Bill Froehlich at froehlich.28@osu.edu or 614.688.4192.  

On April 10, 2018, The Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association hosted a dynamic panel discussion on the role of lawyers in preparing for civil unrest as part of its monthly Hot Talks series.  Sitting on the panel were Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams and Columbus Community Trust members Carl Smallwood and Jill Snitcher McQuain.  The audience—primarily attorneys—heard the different ways Cleveland and Columbus are bringing together diverse groups of people to build trust and resilience within their communities.

Part of the April 10th program included live polling of audience members.  Attendees responded to a series of questions on their smart phones using the Divided Community Project’s “Community Preparedness and Assessment Test” (CPAT).  The questions sought to take the pulse of the audience on whether they believe Cleveland is prepared to deal with civil unrest.

Overall, the audience of about 20 people, seemed to have a favorable opinion about Cleveland’s ability to deal with civil unrest.  More than half of audience members believe police are collaboratively involved within the community and that Cleveland is ready to deal with volatile situations stemming from community division.  On the other hand, more than half of those polled do not believe Cleveland deals constructively with division when compared to other communities and 75% suggested the community should be more focused on addressing divisive issues that may lead to civil unrest.

Chief Williams shared specific examples of how Cleveland Police have effectively prepared for and dealt with situations that could have become violent.  In recent years, Cleveland has made national headlines for both momentous and tragic events.  In the summer of 2016, the Cleveland Cavaliers celebrated their NBA Championship with a parade that broke attendance records and weeks later Cleveland was the host city for the Republican National Convention.  But Cleveland also made headlines because of the shooting deaths of unarmed citizens by police.

Although Cleveland has successfully avoided violent unrest amidst these exciting and heartbreaking occurrences, Chief Williams expressed interest in the Columbus Community Trust model.  Hopefully the members of the CMBA will be able to play a role in building trust and resilience in Cleveland and to develop a plan to deal with future unrest.

Click here to review the complete recording of these event.  The following is the complete list of the CPAT questions and responses from the April 10th Hot Talk:

Does the Cleveland are have an identity that cuts across any community divisions (conflict between various groups within the community) and deals constructively with differences?
Yes, the identity is clear 0%
I think so 37%
No, this needs more focus 63%
Does the Cleveland area deal constructively with division when compared to other communities?
This needs more focus and attention 56%
This operates well in the community 38%
This is one of our community’s strengths 6%
How does the Cleveland area constructively deal with division?  Specifically, are police collaboratively involved within the community?
This needs more focus and attention 31%
This operates well in the community 44%
This is one of our community’s strengths 25%
How does the Cleveland area deal constructively with division?  Specifically, do public agencies have processes and information practices in place to address divisive issues that may lead to civil unrest?
This needs more focus and attention 75%
This operates well in the community 19%
This is one of our community’s strengths 6%
Is the Cleveland area ready to deal with volatile situations stemming from community division?
This needs more focus and attention 44%
This operates well in the community 38%
This is one of our community’s strengths 19%


Does the Cleveland area have an early earning system to communicate about developing concerns?
This needs more focus and attention 40%
This operates well in the community 47%
This is one of our community’s strengths 13%


DCP Honored with ABA’s “Lawyer as Problem Solver” Award

DCP Associate Director William (Bill) Froehlich, DCP Steering Committee Member Michael Lewis, DCP Director Grande Lum, DCP Executive Committee Member Nancy Rogers, ABA-DR Section President Ben Davis, DCP Executive Committee Member Joseph (Josh) B. Stulberg.

On Thursday April 5, 2018, the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution awarded the Divided Community Project – housed at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law – the 2018 John W. Cooley Institutional Lawyer as Problem Solver Award.   The ABA’s press release is availableOhio State University reported on the award.  The Moritz College of Law reported on the award.

DCP convener and executive committee member, Joseph B. (Josh) Stulberg, the Michael E. Moritz Chair in Alternative Dispute Resolution at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, delivered the following remarks to members of the Dispute Resolution Section:

On behalf of the leadership group of the Divided Community Project and our multiple program pilot project partners, we want to express our deep gratitude and appreciation to the ABA’s Section of Dispute Resolution for honoring us as the recipient of the 2018 John W. Cooley institutional Lawyer as Problem-Solver Award.

What shapes the Divided Community Project?

It is apparent to each of us living in the United States that multiple members of our respective communities are bringing their concerns to the fore.  Their advocacy has produced some change; some has triggered backlash.  Discomfort with division has driven some into their own echo chambers regarding news and politics.

These civic challenges have always been a feature of our national life. We cannot wish them away.  As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. so poignantly and optimistically observed many years ago: “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”  So the challenge we face – in each generation – is how well we deal with such matters. 

This project was born in the hope that in what sometimes seems increasingly to be intractable conflict, we see opportunities for communities to benefit from the lessons that our field has developed regarding collaborative dispute resolution: expertise in designing processes, framing issues, promoting listening, supporting spirited but constructive negotiations, to mention a few examples.  Attorneys can sometimes bring the right people to the table.  We hope that you will let us know if you are going to offer your dispute resolution and lawyerly expertise to your own communities, as we would be glad to share with you our experiences and the materials we have developed and, more importantly, thereafter learn from you about the success or challenges of your initiatives.

There are three groups of persons that we particularly want to recognize and thank.  First, our financial supporters: the JAMS Foundation, which provided us with our leadership grant, and the Kettering, Littlefield and AAA/ICDR Foundations, plus multiple program units at The Ohio State University, who have provided us significant support at critical junctures.

Second, the many community, civic, Bar association, law enforcement and political leaders throughout our country who have shared with us their insights and wisdom regarding how each of us can help strengthen local capacity to plan for or provide direct assistance to fellow citizens involved in incidents that divide us. 

And finally, it goes without saying – but we very much want to say it –our colleagues at the Moritz College of Law, and most especially our Dean, Alan Michaels.  And to our students who inspire us each day.

For more than 20 years, our Moritz colleagues have encouraged, supported and challenged us to do this work at the highest possible standards of excellence.  Each, in their distinctive way, has enriched our efforts.  We collectively share and are energized by the observation that law-trained individuals steeped in traditions for advancing due process, insuring fair treatment, and securing equal dignity for all residents have a distinctive opportunity to put those insights to constructive use in multiple ways in our various communities.  And, even more so, that persons privileged to be so trained – like each of us in this room – have, in the inspiring words of that extraordinary document that shapes our shared traditions, a special and continuing responsibility to help assist “We the People [to] form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility…and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.”

Thank you, again, for this wonderful honor.


For more information about the Spring Conference and the awards events, go to americanbar.org/spring2018.

Littlefield Foundation Awards DCP $100K

The Jacques M. Littlefield Foundation approved a $100,000 grant over two years to the Divided Community Project (DCP), housed at The Ohio State University, Moritz College of Law. DCP supports public officials and community leaders with useful tools and resources to deal effectively with community unrest before it occurs and constructively address violent social conflicts that do arise.

“The Divided Community Project does outstanding work based on deep experience in communities throughout the United States,” said Scott Littlefield, Treasurer and Vice President of the Jacques M. Littlefield Foundation. “Their cross-sector approach is informed by best practices and it is led by highly skilled practitioners. This grant is an important complement to our local work in California and Colorado.”  The Jacques M. Littlefield Foundation supports educational opportunities in California and Colorado and seeks sustainable improvements in the society, economy, and environment. The Foundation believes that great communities are built by empowering dynamic people and organizations. Therefore, the Foundation awards grants that, among other things, build community engagement and grow the capacity of local leaders.

Grande Lum has served as the DCP’s director for the last two years. “We thank the Littlefield Foundation for believing and supporting this project,” said Mr. Lum. “As communities across the country face increasing division, we want to equip leaders with tools to prevent division from devolving into polarization.” Prior to his role with DCP,  Mr. Lum  was director of the U.S. Department of Justice Community Relations Service, where he oversaw response teams following high-profile incidents in Ferguson, Mo., Sanford, Fl., Staten Island, N.Y., Baltimore, Md. and elsewhere.  Nancy Rogers, Josh Stulberg, Sarah Cole, and Bill Froehlich of The Ohio State University, Moritz College of Law, currently serve on the DCP executive team.  A national steering committee of community mediators, current and former public officials, and scholars guides the project.

DCP has published three reports: Planning in Advance of Civil Unrest (2016), Key Considerations for Community Leaders Facing Civil Unrest (2016), Divided Communities and Social Media (2017).  A forthcoming 2018 report is Facing Hate, which will focus on how community leaders can prepare and respond to hate incidents. This year, the project will launch the American Spirit Initiative. Components of the project focus on dissemination and implementation of resources through pilot programs nationwide, and currently include Columbus, OH; San Mateo, CA; Rochester, NY; and Orlando, FL. DCP has developed tools including a table top simulation and a community stress assessment test that successfully support planning in advance of civil unrest.

For more information contact Associate Director Bill Froehlich at (614) 688-4192.

Lum Discusses “Compromise in Times of Division” on Here & Now

On Monday March 26, 2018, Robin Young (from WBUR’s Here & Now) spoke with Divided Community Project Director Grande Lum regarding the Divided Community Project, Director Lum’s time as Director of DOJ’s Community Relations Service, and  ideas for compromise in times of division.  Here’s a short description from WBUR:

In a time of deep divisions, changes are being proposed at one federal agency that aims to heal those divisions and broker compromise: the Community Relations Service, an agency within the Department of Justice.

President Trump’s latest budget proposal calls for it to be transferred within the DOJ, and its former director under President Obama, Grande Lum, says that would gut the agency.

Here & Now’s Robin Young speaks with Lum (@GrandeLum) about his concerns about the agency’s future, and what it takes to reach compromise and heal divisions.

The complete story and recording are available on WBUR’s website.

DOJ Proposes to Eliminate CRS Funding

In its federal 2019 fiscal year budget the Department of Justice (DOJ) proposes to eliminate funding for the Community Relations Service (see the details of the CRS cut).

CRS was originally established as part of the 1964 Civil Rights Act to assist communities with issues related to racial and ethnic conflict and hate crimes.   The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 expanded CRS’s mission to help communities respond to hate crimes based on actual or perceived race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, or disability.

CRS has supported hundreds of communities facing divisive issues from Selma to Sanford.  The DCP Director Grande Lum is a former CRS Director and is widely quoted regarding DOJ’s proposal to eliminate funding for CRS.

From BuzzFeedNEWS:

Grande Lum, who led the Community Relations Service from 2012 to 2016, told BuzzFeed News that eliminating the office in its current form would “be an absolute tragedy.”

“We are at a time when there’s increased division in communities throughout this country, so this is a time to increase [funding], not to eliminate it,” said Lum, who leads the Divided Community Project at the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. “They worked closely with Martin Luther King and other civil rights leaders to help create positive, constructive outcomes and it would be really frustrating if that were shuttered forever.”

Lum questioned the department’s authority to cut funding and employees, since the office was specifically established by Congress in the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Lum said he could not recall another time when an administration had proposed getting rid of it. Lum was the office’s last Senate-confirmed director. Trump has not nominated a replacement; an acting official has been leading the office in the meantime.

From Huffpost, Stop Hate Project Director and former acting CRS director, Becky Monroe,

“One of the reasons CRS is effective is because it is not an investigative nor prosecutorial component of the DOJ. Instead, it works through regional offices [to] deliver services tailored to a community’s needs. For mayors, chiefs, sheriffs, and community leaders alike, the fact that CRS is not involved in prosecutions or investigations makes it possible for leaders to ask for the assistance without fear of facing a lawsuit,” Monroe wrote. “The historic and important contributions made by CRS are not just a line item to be tossed aside, as Trump’s budget suggests. The civil and human rights of all individuals are too priceless for that.”

More from Becky here on Medium.

ABA Selects DCP for “Lawyer as Problem Solver” Award

The following text is pulled form the ABA’s press release announcing the winner of its annual institutional Lawyer as Problem Solver Award.

The ABA’s Section of Dispute Resolution has named the Divided Community Project (DCP) at the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law the recipient of the 2018 institutional Lawyer as Problem Solver Award, which will be presented at the Section’s Spring Conference in Washington, DC.

The Divided Community Project, which grew out of an April 2015 meeting of leaders and mediators from throughout the United States with experience dealing with civil unrest in communities, is helping communities transform divisive issues into broad-based, forward-thinking community action. The project utilizes a proactive approach to addressing community division: communities are first asked to focus on the roots of deep community divisions, and then project members take a multi-disciplinary approach to generating ideas to help those communities create plans before divisive incidents erupt.

The 2015 meeting and the Divided Community Project were a response to tensions and conflicts from Sanford to Ferguson, intended to strengthen and expand communities’ local capacity and resiliency to meet such challenges. Two reports, “Key Considerations for Community Leaders Facing Civil Unrest” (2016) and “Planning in Advance of Civil Unrest” (2016) have provided support to leaders at a time when such assistance continues to be urgently needed.

The Divided Community Project’s signature work is its collaboration with four community partners engaged in this proactive work, groups working in Columbus, Ohio; San Mateo, California; Rochester, New York; and Orlando, Florida. In Columbus, the majority and minority bar associations worked with the US attorney’s office to lead the initiation of the Columbus Community Trust. The group’s all-volunteer steering committee has tested a pilot project concept with more than 50 stakeholders, including leaders and representatives from mayor’s office, law enforcement, religious groups, civil rights organizations, and civic organizations.

Aiming to examine the impact of social media on dispute resolution intervention and prevention dynamics, the DCP recently brought prominent advocates and interveners in divided community situations together with knowledgeable social media developers and users. The DCP then developed its third report focused on the intersection of community division and social media, titled “Divided Communities and Social Media: Strategies for Community Leaders.” The DCP has created a toolkit for communities that includes the three reports; the Midland Simulation, a multiparty effort to gauge preparedness for community crisis; and the Community Preparation Assessment Test, through which users can access their own community division. All are free of charge to communities whose leaders would like to use them. Grande Lum serves as DCP director. The DCP steering committee is comprised of Nancy Rogers, Joseph (Josh) Stulberg, Sarah Cole, Bill Froehlich, Susan Carpenter, Chris Carlson, Craig McEwen, Andrew Thomas, Sarah Rubin, and Michael Lewis.

The JAMS Foundation provided seed funding for the project, and the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law provided additional in-kind funding that enabled the creation and continuation of the Divided Community Project. Additional funding has been provided by the Kettering Foundation, the AAA-ICDR Foundation, the Jacques M. Littlefield Foundation, Nextdoor, the OSU Emeritus Academy, and the OSU Democracy Studies Program. For more on the Divided Community Project, please go to: go.osu.edu/dividedcommunityproject.

For more information about the Spring Conference and the awards events, go to americanbar.org/spring2018.