This report identifies for local leaders – both public officials and other community leaders — some considerations for planning in advance of civil unrest. We encourage those serving individual audiences – mayors, law enforcement, advocacy groups, bar leaders, for example – to tailor this report to their constituencies. With that goal in mind, we have authorized adaptation under The Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike International License, seeking only attribution as other groups publish this or an adapted text for nonprofit and nonexclusive purposes.
This document grows out of an April 9, 2015 meeting of leaders and mediators from throughout the United States who had experience dealing with civil unrest in communities. The meeting was so productive in terms of coming up with “lessons learned” that participants urged the organizers to compile, organize, and transmit those lessons to leaders in government, business and the legal profession, the faith community, and others with an opportunity to contribute.
The Divided Community Project, the sponsor of the April 9 meeting, has published a companion document for local leaders in the midst of civil unrest, Key Considerations for Community Leaders Facing Civil Unrest (2016). The Project’s goal is to continue to develop and distill materials for public officials and other community leaders in
communities facing volatile conflict that reflect advice from those who have worked with or studied divided communities. It is an iterative project; as the Project learns of new information, it will add to and modify this document and other project materials to reflect new insights
The Divided Community Project is housed at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. The steering committee for the Project includes: Nancy Rogers, Professor Emeritus, The Ohio State
University Moritz College of Law, and former Ohio Attorney General; Josh Stulberg, Moritz Chair in Alternative Dispute Resolution, The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, and mediator in community conflicts; Susan Carpenter, public policy and community mediator, trainer and co-author of Mediating Public Disputes; Andrew Thomas, mediator in community conflicts and Community Relations and Neighborhood Engagement Director, City of Sanford, Florida; Chris Carlson, public policy mediator and Chief Advisor, Policy Consensus Initiative; Sarah Rubin, Program Manager, Public Engagement, California Institute for Local Government; and Craig McEwen, Professor Emeritus, Bowdoin College, and social scientist evaluating mediation and dispute resolution. Grande Lum, Director, Community Relations Service in the U.S. Department of Justice, generously shared his counsel as the project was shaped and joined the meeting on April 9, 2015 at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. William Froehlich, Langdon Fellow in the Program on Dispute Resolution at the Moritz College of Law, later joined the project and has helped to shape the report.
We are grateful as well to the others who, in addition to steering group members, attended the April 9, 2015 meeting, many of whom also contributed to editing this document.
- Community Relations Service conciliators: Derryck Dean and Thomas Battles;
- Sanford, Florida leaders: City Manager Norton Bonaparte, Jr., former Sanford Police Chief Richard Myers (now Chief of Police,
Newport News, Virginia); Valarie Houston, Chair of the Sanford inter-faith coalition; and city mediator Andrew Thomas, mentioned above;
- Public officials from other state or local communities: Kimberly Jacobs, Chief of Police, Columbus, Ohio; Derrick Diggs, former Chief of Police, Toledo, Ohio; Jennifer Thornton, Outreach Coordinator for the U.S. Attorney’s Office (S.D. Ohio); and Lou
Gieszl, Assistant Administrator for Programs, Administrative Office of the Courts, Maryland;
- Advocacy group leaders: Mickie Luna, Immediate Past National Vice President, League of United Latin American Citizens, and Hilary O. Shelton, Senior Vice President for Advocacy, NAACP;
- Representative of an institute devoted to educating local officials: Terry Amsler (emeritus), California’s Institute for Local
- Experienced divided community mediators from outside CRS: Michael Lewis, JAMS and Gwendolyn P. Whiting, Everyday Democracy;
- Bar leaders: Reuben Shelton, President, Missouri Bar Association, and Carl Smallwood, Immediate Past President, National Association of Bar Presidents;
- Researchers in the field: Maxine Thomas, Vice President and General Counsel, Kettering Foundation, and April Young, New
We are indebted to the Kettering Foundation for its collaboration on the project and The Ohio State University Democracy Studies Program for their resources, and to The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and particularly its Dispute Resolution Program for hosting the meeting and the Project, Dean Alan Michaels for his enthusiastic support, the Moritz Law Library for superb technical assistance to the Project, the Moritz Law Communications Department for their design and technical assistance, and the National League of Cities’ REAL (Race, Equity And Leadership) Initiative and staff.
We thank many others who made helpful suggestions to earlier drafts, including Rachel Allen, Peace and Justice Institute Coordinator, Valencia College; Napoleon A. Bell II, Executive Director, Community Relations Commission, Columbus, Ohio; Mike Kasperzak, Councilmember, Mountain View, California; Julie Nelson, Director, Government Alliance on Race and Equity, University of California, Berkeley; Scott Paine, Florida League of Cities University Director of Leadership and Education, Florida League of Cities; Gloria Reyes, Deputy Mayor to Public Safety, Civil Rights and Community Services, Madison, Wisconsin; C.J. Robbins, Program Coordinator, Black Male Achievement, Portland, Oregon; Cindy Schmidt, Director, Center for Law and Policy, Department of Legal Studies, University of Central Florida; Karl Skala, Council Member, Columbia, Missouri; Jonas Subaar, Data
Analyst, Savannah, Georgia; Harold Thompson, Mayor, Union, South Carolina; Jeff Weisensel, Council member, Rosemount, Minnesota; Mike Wojcik, Councilman, Rochester, Minnesota; Victoria Woodards, Council Member, Tacoma, Washington; and Lana Zaghmout, Policy Analyst, Detroit, Michigan.
We express appreciation as well to the dedicated work by the students in the 2015 Ohio State University Moritz College of Law Dispute System Design Workshop, particularly Shanell Bowden, Baylee Butler, Lauren Madonia, Elisabeth McClear, Curt Priest, Robin Reichenberger, and Sara Scheinbach, who used their dispute
resolution background to provide research for the April 9 meeting, act as co-facilitators, and distill results. Baylee Butler, Lauren Madonia, Robin Reichenberger, and Sara Scheinbach stayed on the project after the Workshop and interviewed April 9 participants as well as using their talents and expertise in many other ways to further the Project.