Grande H. Lum was confirmed as the Director of the Community Relations Service (CRS) on June 29, 2012.
Mr. Lum brings extensive expertise in dispute resolution, including providing mediation, facilitation and training. He has worked with students, educators, diplomats, community leaders, law enforcement, government officials, attorneys, scientists and business executives.
Before joining CRS, Mr. Lum was a clinical professor at the University of California Hastings School of the Law, where he directed its Center for Negotiation and Dispute Resolution. Prior to his tenure at Hastings School of Law, Mr. Lum was the founder of Accordence, a dispute resolution training firm; a principal of ThoughtBridge, a mediation firm; and a partner with the consulting firm Conflict Management Incorporated.
He has also been an adjunct professor at the University of California at Berkeley School of Law and co-manager of the Alternative Dispute Resolution externship program at Stanford Law School, where he had also been a fellow at the Gould Center for Conflict Resolution. His published works include The Negotiation Fieldbook, which is currently in its second edition. Additionally, Mr. Lum served as the Director of the Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) Program at the Small Business Administration, and currently serves on the Board of Overseers of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, a U.S. Department of Commerce initiative.
Mr. Lum received his B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley, and his J.D. from Harvard Law School.
The Community Relations Service (CRS) is often called "America's Peacemaker." Over the years, CRS has worked with thousands of communities, many of whom came together in crisis and emerged stronger and more unified.
CRS delivers four services: mediation of disputes, facilitation of dialogue, training, and consulting. Created by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, CRS works to address tension associated with allegations of discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin. Under the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, CRS works with communities to prevent and respond more effectively to violent hate crimes committed on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, or disability. CRS' services are confidential and offered without cost to communities.
As a conflict resolution agency, CRS does not take sides in a dispute, and it does not investigate, prosecute, impose solutions, assign blame, or assess fault. CRS services are delivered with care, commitment, and compassion by our professional staff of conflict resolution specialists, who help the communities they serve create lasting and positive outcomes under the most trying of circumstances. Ultimately, individuals and communities must engage and take ownership of resolving long-standing conflicts. CRS' greatest success lies in helping them accomplish exactly that.
When I reflect on the agency's casework over the past 49 years, the communities we have served underscore the diversity and multiculturalism of this nation. CRS works with all communities who want to reduce local tension and create sustainable partnerships with others in their community.
As a federal entity, CRS has the singular ability to convene the full range of service-providers and community stakeholders necessary for solving problems within communities in distress. Given the continuing demographic and societal changes involving race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, and disability, CRS' services are needed more today than ever. CRS uniquely occupies a critical niche in which to serve America's need for peace.
Because I believe that conciliation is more critical today than at any point of CRS' long history in dealing with community tensions, I feel privileged to be at the helm of the country's premier community conflict resolution organization.
The Department of Justice's (DOJ) Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage event, May 16, 2013
The Department of Justice's Pan Asia Employee Organization works closely with DOJ's Justice Management Division to create a dynamic program each May that celebrates the contributions of DOJ's Asian American Pacific Islander workforce.
The Department of Education's (DOE) Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage event, May 28, 2013
Later in May, I gave the keynote at DOE's AAPI Heritage event as well.