Case Study #3: Strengthening Communities Project

The Divided Community Project Community Resiliency Initiative’s third case study tracks the evolution of the non-profit Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center’s Strengthening Communities Project.  Beginning in 2016, PCRC’s efforts to train, conflict coach, and convene difficult dialogue culminated in January 2018, with an Action Summit where community partners identified ideas for addressing divisive community issues.

Drafted by J. R. Bae, with support from Zehra Vahanvaty and Michelle Vilchez, this case study illustrates how PCRC’s work connect’s with the Divided Community Project’s core guidance, Planning in Advance of Civil Unrest:

  • Grounded in collaboration, PCRC took initiative to promote a broad-based community planning process.
  • PCRC assembled a planning group
  • PCRC’s work culminated in a community forum to identify and address divisions in San Mateo County

Case Study #3: Strengthening Communities Project, is now available.

 The Divided Community Project’s Community Resiliency Initiative is a coalition of organizations and volunteers who support communities seeking to transform community division into forward-looking action. As of July 2018, the Divided Community Project anticipates publishing case studies from five partner communities: Rochester, New York; Orlando, Florida, San Mateo County, California; Columbus, Ohio; and, San Leandro, California.  Case studies are funded by the AAA-ICDR Foundation.  

Case Study #2: Orlando Speaks

The Divided Community Project Community Resiliency Initiative’s second case study tracks the evolution of Orlando Speaks, a collaborative partnership between the City of Orlando, the Orlando Police Department and the Valencia College Peace and Justice
Institute (PJI). The effort, which began in 2015, provides a new model for police-community dialogue and relationship building.

Drafted by Kristin (Kiki) Grossman, PJI’s Legal Education Action Coordinator, this case study illustrates how Orlando Speaks connects with the Divided Community Project’s core guidance, Planning in Advance of Civil Unrest:

  • Responding to divisive national events, Valencia’s Peace and Justice Institute initiated conversations on race.
  • Collaborating with the City of Orlando and the Orlando Police Department, PJI designed Orlando Speaks.
  • PJI convened a series of police-community forums under the banner of Orlando Speaks.
  • Orlando institutions are seeking to expand and enhance practices.

Case Study #2: Orlando Speaks is now available.

 The Divided Community Project’s Community Resiliency Initiative is a coalition of organizations and volunteers who support communities seeking to transform community division into forward-looking action. As of July 2018, the Divided Community Project anticipates publishing case studies from five partner communities: Rochester, New York; Orlando, Florida, San Mateo County, California; Columbus, Ohio; and, San Leandro, California.  Case studies are funded by the AAA-ICDR Foundation.  

Case Study #1: Rochester’s Community Response Team

The Divided Community Project Community Resiliency Initiative’s first case study tracks the evolution of Rochester’s Community Response Team (CRT).  CRT grew out of “Unite Rochester,” a collaborative initiative focused on addressing racism in the Rochester area.  CRT is a volunteer initiative where community leaders worked to promote communication, trust, and community education, while developing a positive, non-violent plan to respond to divisive community events or issues of race and racism.

Drafted by Sherry Walker-Cowart, past President and CEO of Rochester’s Center for Dispute Settlement, this case study illustrates how CRT’s work connected with the Divided Community Project’s core guidance, Planning in Advance of Civil Unrest:

Case Study #1: Rochester’s Community Response Team is now available.

 The Divided Community Project’s Community Resiliency Initiative is a coalition of organizations and volunteers who support communities seeking to transform community division into forward-looking action. As of July 2018, the Divided Community Project anticipates publishing case studies from five partner communities: Rochester, New York; Orlando, Florida, San Mateo County, California; Columbus, Ohio; and, San Leandro, California.  Case studies are funded by the AAA-ICDR Foundation.  

DCP Launches Academy Training Initiative

Strengthening Democratic Engagement to Address Local Civil Unrest and Community Division

Complete your community’s application today!

Informational Webinar August 14, 2018 at 12:30 Eastern:

  • To join from a PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone or Android device please click this URL: https://zoom.us/j/949768906
  • To join by phone:
    • Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location): US: +1 669 900 6833  or +1 929 436 2866
    • Webinar ID: 949 768 906

Academy Details

In Chicago, on March 3, 4, and 5, 2019, the Divided Community Project (DCP) at the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, in partnership with the American Bar Association’s Section of Dispute Resolution (Collectively the Hosts) host a national Academy, We, the People: Strengthening Democratic Engagement to Address Civil Unrest for Community Leaders.  The program’s goals are three-fold:

  1. Strengthen conflict resolution-related planning, capacity building, and the specific skill-sets of each participant and participating communities to better identify and  implement constructive strategies to prepare for, address, and/or respond to local policies, practices, and/or actions of residents or local officials, that undermine community trust and may divide and polarize communities.
  2. Support and strengthen the development of a local ‘core’ leadership convener group that can serve as a reliable source of independent information, and cross-sector collaborative planning and engagement, for its community’s public sector leadership.
  3. Provide planning opportunities for each leadership team to build on  Academy programming through further initiatives within each respective, participating community.

DCP Steering Committee members will facilitate the Academy with support from the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution.  Collectively, Academy leaders bring significant experience in serving as mediators, interveners, and process designers, in conflicts of national significance and are recognized not only as nationally pre-eminent trainers of mediators and facilitators but also  as authors of leading books, articles, and pedagogical materials examining effective third-party intervention principles and strategies in divisive community conflicts.

The Academy program will include conversation with civic leaders versed in the challenges of addressing community division and facing potential or imminent civil unrest.  Using the Divided Community Project’s tools as a guide—including strategies used in other DCP communities—participants will develop constructive and collaborative strategies to prepare for, address, or respond to resident or official actions that polarize community members. Core leaders from each community attending the Academy will develop strategies so that the group can serve as a reliable source of independent planning and engagement to its community’s public political leadership.

Application Timeline*

August 14, 2018 at 12:30 Eastern: Participate on a forty-five minute informational webinar.  The webinar will be available as a recording if prospective applicants cannot attend.  Sign up for the webinar using this link.

DEADLINE: September 14, 2018: Submit this preliminary application.

September 15 to November 1, 2018: Work with the Hosts to further illustrate commitment to the project.

November 15, 2018: Academy participants announced.

* depending on the number of applications received, the Hosts may extend one or more of the above-referenced dates or deadlines.  

Application Criteria

The Hosts intend to communities based on three criteria: diversity, commitment, and need.

Diversity

Diversity is fundamental to the program.  The hosts anticipate selecting participant communities that collectively reflect diversity of geography, size, and community demographics.  The hosts urge core leadership groups to consider how they reflect the diversity of their own community.

Commitment

Applicants should identify the four to seven core leaders who are committed to attending the national academy on March 3, 4, and 5.

Applicants should tentatively articulate how the core leadership group will begin convening broad-based community planning efforts to identify and address issues that polarize the community and whether and how the core leadership group has (or will) meet prior to the Academy.

Applicants should commit to working with the Divided Community Project—following the Academy—to implement initiatives aimed at addressing community polarization.

Need

Applicants should articulate their perception of issues polarizing their home community as well as their perception of the next issues that may be facing their home community.

Commonly Asked Questions

What is the cost?

Due to generous support from the AAA-ICDR Foundation, the Academy is free for core community leaders.  The Hosts will provide coach airfare, lodging, and meals for Academy participants.

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

THE GOALS ARE TO:
•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.