8                         SPEECH OF 
12                    DUQUESNE UNIVERSITY 
13                       PITTSBURGH, PA 
14                        MAY 24, 1997 
 1              ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO:  Thank you for 
 2    that warm welcome.  But more importantly, thank you 
 3    for what you have done and what you continue to do 
 4    throughout this country and around the world, in 
 5    teaching people how to resolve their conflicts 
 6    without angry words and knives and guns and fists. 
 7    For teaching people how to solve problems rather 
 8    than to create problems with divisiveness, teaching 
 9    people how to talk to each other and how to listen 
10    to each other. 
11              When I went to law school, I had Roger 
12    Fisher for Civil Procedure.  I never heard anything 
13    about negotiations.  It is wonderful to see what 
14    you and your colleagues have done to teach us how 
15    to negotiate, how to mediate, how to communicate, 
16    how to problem solve.  You have taught me so much 
17    and I simply want to thank you so very, very much 
18    and say to each of you, keep at it, it is such 
19    important work. 
20              I'd like to focus on the issue of social 
21    justice and the problem of race in this country. 
22    These issues are some of the most extraordinarily 
23    important issues that we face.  Serious concerns 
24    and tensions exist in many places here in 
25    Pittsburgh and around the country.  We simply must 
 1    find ways both to bridge the differences that still 
 2    seem to divide us and focus on the things that we 
 3    share.  Our challenge is to remind ourselves that 
 4    we do have common interest, common grounds and 
 5    common dreams.  At bottom, the needs of all those 
 6    in all communities, no matter what race or culture 
 7    or ethnic background, are the same.  We all want a 
 8    healthy start for our children, a stable and 
 9    crime-free neighborhood, quality education, 
10    supporting families and decent work opportunities. 
11              One of the most moving moments that I 
12    will remember from these four years as Attorney 
13    General is the opportunity to speak at the 16th 
14    Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, on 
15    the occasion of Doctor King's birthday.  I remember 
16    walking in the early morning across the park where 
17    the police had responded in that way.  All the 
18    monuments to those children were there, not just in 
19    stone, but in memory for this nation.  And then to 
20    walk across to the church and to think of Doctor 
21    King standing there and to think how far we've come 
22    but to still realize that we have so much to do to 
23    match the reality to the dream. 
24              We must continue to move forward towards 
25    Doctor King's vision, towards his dream.  We need 
 1    to examine ourselves and our world with a critical 
 2    eye and with an open mind.  We not only need to ask 
 3    the difficult questions, but we need to try to 
 4    answer them.  We must talk openly about race 
 5    relations in this country.  We must talk with 
 6    respect, we must listen to each other.  We must get 
 7    rid of the angry rhetoric that has so marked this 
 8    issue on so many occasions of late.  But we must do 
 9    more than talk. 
10              We must focus on our communities and 
11    build from our foundations which are not Washington 
12    programs or laws, but people who make the programs, 
13    people who build communities, people who bring 
14    things together.  We must reach across the racial 
15    divide.  We must heal the divisions caused by 
16    intolerance and bigotry.  And how do we do this? 
17    How do we rebuild a community?  How do we weave 
18    fabric of spirit and hope and trust around the 
19    communities that have sometimes too often unraveled 
20    in this day and time? 
21              One of our first efforts must be to 
22    promote and to try diversity, diversity in race, in 
23    native land and religion, diversity in our schools, 
24    in our communities, in our workplaces.  But too 
25    often we live in our insular worlds with each of us 
 1    enforcing our own voluntary racial separation.  We 
 2    pass each other on the street or in the shopping 
 3    mall but we don't connect as individuals.  With 
 4    this separation, we risk the lack of understanding 
 5    of the views and the perspectives of others.  We 
 6    risk not learning of the wonderful, wonderful 
 7    racial, ethnic and cultural divisions that make 
 8    this nation so strong and so wonderful. 
 9              In order to help bridge racial divisions 
10    visible in too many of our towns and cities, we 
11    need to apply our best thinking and our experience 
12    in conflict resolution.  We know how racial 
13    conflicts in schools, playgrounds, neighborhoods, 
14    city halls and work sites can too often rip a 
15    community apart and destroy a sense of community 
16    spirit and a sense of well being. 
17              How do you build community?  How do you 
18    put pieces together?  You start at the beginning 
19    with our children.  Our children are not going to 
20    understand conflict resolution unless they are 
21    given a foundation upon which to build that 
22    understanding.  You recognized it in your program 
23    yesterday.  To see the areas that you covered is 
24    again to recognize just what you have done in 
25    understanding how the tools of conflict resolution 
 1    can aid us all. 
 2              The first thing we've got to do is, every 
 3    one of us, whether we be experts in conflict 
 4    resolution or a housewife or a mayor or a lawyer or 
 5    a teacher, all of us have got to make a commitment 
 6    to seeing that the children of America in those 
 7    early formative years of zero to five have the 
 8    health care necessary to grow as strong children, 
 9    have the child care or educare in those first 
10    formative years that can help them understand the 
11    difference between right and wrong and help them 
12    develop a conscience.  Have the educational 
13    opportunities to match the challenges of the 21st 
14    century, have the supervision in the afternoon and 
15    evening hours after school that can help them stay 
16    out of trouble and grow as strong, constructive 
17    human beings.  And then with all of that, let us 
18    start teaching them how to resolve conflicts 
19    peacefully.  You know it better in the subject 
20    matter that you covered yesterday.  But if we can 
21    focus on educare for those very young who are now 
22    in child care because both parents are working or a 
23    single parent is struggling to make ends meet, and 
24    we can make sure that educare specialists 
25    throughout this country are all trained in conflict 
 1    resolution and how to nurture children and teach 
 2    them to do it the right way, we will have taken a 
 3    giant step forward in the foundations upon which 
 4    this nation can build peace and not dissension. 
 5              But then we must focus on our school 
 6    system.  And teaching our young people the skills 
 7    to resolve their own conflicts in schools, in after 
 8    school programs, in community centers, this is one 
 9    of the very important things we can offer them 
10    because kids start facing conflicts day after day. 
11    The earlier they can start to understand that there 
12    are positive ways to approach the disputes and the 
13    conflicts that are a natural part of life, the 
14    earlier they can begin to see that violence is not 
15    necessary and the more likely they will be to lead 
16    good and productive lives. 
17              The skills of really listening, of really 
18    communicating, of trying to understand what the 
19    other person's concerns are, of negotiating, of 
20    looking for alternative solutions, of finding ways 
21    to address the situation that serve everyone, these 
22    skills are skills that will serve them well for the 
23    rest of their lives. 
24              I have had the privilege of visiting a 
25    number of student mediation programs throughout the 
 1    country, but particularly in the Washington, D.C., 
 2    area.  I have visited with student mediators in 
 3    over a dozen D.C. public schools in this past 
 4    year.  And it has been a wonderful experience. 
 5    These were elementary school students, middle 
 6    school students and high school students.  They 
 7    were all so excited to be part of the program in 
 8    their schools.  They were young people of all races 
 9    and backgrounds working together to make their 
10    programs work.  In some instances, they provided 
11    diversity training and they were proud of what they 
12    had done to develop the program.  In several cases, 
13    they showed me how their mediation process worked. 
14    And it was great to watch them use the skills that 
15    they had learned.  It was so wonderful to hear them 
16    talk about something that gave them control over 
17    their lives.  And it was so much fun to see them 
18    take pride in being able to take their skills home 
19    to their families and to their neighborhood. 
20              I remember the satisfaction in their eyes 
21    as they described how to use their mediation tools 
22    to help their brothers and sisters settle fights 
23    and even to help their parents.  But then it was 
24    wonderful to see them talk about mediating with the 
25    teacher over a conflict with the teacher and to see 
 1    the teacher become so accepting of the process. 
 2              Last summer I went to mediation programs 
 3    that were put on for D.C. public school teachers. 
 4    Here were veteran teachers learning tools that were 
 5    so important for them for the first time.  They sat 
 6    around and suddenly began to smile and said, oh, I 
 7    could have used this.  I know just the way I could 
 8    have handled that problem if only I had known.  And 
 9    I suddenly had a dream.  If you can take the energy 
10    in this room and take the know-how that your 
11    colleagues and you have, can't we make sure that as 
12    a part of the core curriculum for any teacher 
13    graduating from a teachers college or with a 
14    teaching degree, that they have coursework in 
15    conflict resolution and mediation. 
16              And when I thought about it, wouldn't it 
17    be wonderful if every one of those teachers or at 
18    least some of those teachers were trained to train 
19    students, so that as part of every classroom 
20    development, there was coursework in conflict 
21    resolution.  Now, you have got to make people 
22    understand because they somehow think you can't 
23    teach them.  You should invite people to come watch 
24    a session and just see how it can be taught and how 
25    these tools and these understandings can be 
 1    conveyed and demonstrated and you can make more and 
 2    more people believers.  I would love to see these 
 3    kinds of programs where our young people are given 
 4    the opportunity to learn. 
 5              I think you've made it clear in this 
 6    conference in the quote from Ghandi, let us begin 
 7    with the children.  You have.  Let's make sure 
 8    America does. 
 9              If you're going to build community, if 
10    we're growing to bring communities together, we 
11    also have to look at the police.  Sometimes you see 
12    tensions and anger.  Sometimes you see trust and 
13    protection.  I've seen them both.  About ten days 
14    ago, I went to a detention facility.  I talked with 
15    13 youngsters in the detention facility because I 
16    always try to talk to them about what could have 
17    been done that could have prevented the problem in 
18    the first place.  They had good ideas, afternoon 
19    and evening programs to keep themselves out of 
20    trouble, mentors who made a difference and police 
21    officers who understood young people and didn't put 
22    them down the first time they arrested them. 
23    Somebody who understood how hard it is to grow up 
24    in this country today, somebody that can give you a 
25    pat on the back when you deserve it and somebody 
 1    that can tell you you have done wrong when you 
 2    deserve it. 
 3              I balanced that picture with the picture 
 4    of young men who came to Washington to tell the 
 5    President of the United States how two community 
 6    police officers had made such a difference in their 
 7    lives.  These police officers had become their 
 8    mentors when they were on the verge of getting into 
 9    gangs.  And because they understood them, they knew 
10    how to talk to them, they knew how to listen to 
11    them, had pulled them back and had them well on the 
12    road to constructive, productive lives. 
13              We have got to make sure, whether it be 
14    here in Pittsburgh or around the world or in 
15    Dorchester, that we are able to train all our 
16    police officers in conflict resolution so that they 
17    become the peacemakers in our streets as well as 
18    the protectors.  Community policing is one of the 
19    most exciting initiatives underway.  There, police 
20    officers reach out to the neighborhood, to the 
21    citizens of the neighborhood.  They build trust. 
22    They consult with them in identifying problems and 
23    establishing priorities and reaching solutions 
24    together, whether it be the drug dealer down the 
25    street, the abandoned car, the vacant lot, the 
 1    graffiti on the wall or the elderly citizen who 
 2    feels too frightened to come out from behind the 
 3    door.  When community police officers build that 
 4    trust, when they become the peacemakers, that 
 5    elderly person comes out from behind the door, goes 
 6    down to the community center, gets involved and 
 7    helps to solve the problems.  We can build step by 
 8    step if we just let America know how important it 
 9    is for all of us, whether it be police officers or 
10    teachers or Attorneys General to learn how to 
11    resolve conflicts in positive, thoughtful ways. 
12              But we have got more to do.  And it is 
13    interesting in the context of Pittsburgh to see 
14    what we can do.  The vast number of police officers 
15    here and across the country have probably one of 
16    the single most difficult jobs of anybody I know. 
17    They have got to make legal decisions and they 
18    haven't gone to law school in most instances.  They 
19    put their life on the line and some get shot and 
20    killed, they don't know which is right.  They are 
21    put on the line again and again.  And they are 
22    asked to solve so many problems.  It is important 
23    that we work together, the Department of Justice 
24    and the City of Pittsburgh can jointly file their 
25    consent decree covering Bureau of Police Operations 
 1    here to address our concerns and the concerns of 
 2    the community about how police and citizens can 
 3    work together.  Working together, the City and the 
 4    Department of Justice have identified problems and 
 5    we have worked together to fix them.  I think that 
 6    this represents an example of how the Federal and 
 7    local governments can accomplish things when we 
 8    work together.  We hope that this will address some 
 9    of the issues that have created the tension.  We 
10    have got to work together to solve problems. 
11              It has been wonderful for me to see our 
12    very distinguished United States Attorney here in 
13    the Western District of Pennsylvania, Frederick 
14    Keyman who has coordinated community policing and 
15    cultural diversity training teams made up of both 
16    non-law enforcement representatives and officers 
17    from numerous police departments in the Pittsburgh 
18    area.  They provide training to community groups 
19    and to police departments across Western 
20    Pennsylvania.  These training teams provide for 
21    increased understanding of the roles of both police 
22    and community and preventing and solving crime. 
23    They also reflect that conflict resolution is a 
24    two-way street.  Police need more training on 
25    working with community and the community needs to 
 1    better understand how it can work with the law 
 2    enforcement sector. 
 3              But if we work together, if we ensure 
 4    that in every basic law enforcement course in this 
 5    country there is work on conflict resolution, we 
 6    will spread the message even further.  We will 
 7    spread the message to the workplace.  We watch so 
 8    many issues arise in dissension of the workplace 
 9    because people haven't learned how to communicate 
10    expectations.  They haven't learned to communicate 
11    on what should be anticipated.  They haven't 
12    learned to communicate so that there is sometimes 
13    the appearance as well as the reality of fairness. 
14    Through conflict resolution, we are learning to 
15    resolve some of the issues of the workplace. 
16              We will carry it over to the legal 
17    profession.  Lawyers like to litigate all the 
18    time.  But there are an awful lot of lawyers now, 
19    including a lot of the Department of Justice who 
20    are learning that you can better represent your 
21    client by resolving the case upfront rather than 
22    drawing it out for four years, spending an awful 
23    lot of money on trial costs that could have better 
24    been put to positive developments. 
25              At the Department of Justice we are 
 1    working to develop alternative dispute resolution 
 2    programs throughout U.S. Attorneys' offices in the 
 3    country.  We are working to do everything we can 
 4    with client agencies to make sure that they try to 
 5    resolve the case before it's even referred to us to 
 6    litigate.  We can do so much if we make lawyers 
 7    peacemakers and problem solvers rather than just 
 8    gladiators in the courtroom. 
 9              And so when we talk about social justice, 
10    let us think about community justice.  We have 
11    developed quite an adversary system in our common 
12    law traditions.  But we can draw from people who 
13    were here before us, native Americans who have had 
14    the goal of peacemaking rather than blame finding, 
15    who use sentencing circles rather than other 
16    processes of sentencing, to solve the problem that 
17    caused the crime in the first place.  It makes no 
18    sense for the prosecutor to claim triumph when he 
19    convicts an abuser of drugs who has a terrible drug 
20    problem and yet doesn't get any treatment.  It is 
21    of little use for the public defender to get off on 
22    a motion to dismiss or a motion to suppress a young 
23    man who has a terrible crack addiction and do 
24    nothing to solve the problem. 
25              Let us all work together through 
 1    community initiatives that bring the courts, the 
 2    schools, the police, probation officers, citizens 
 3    of the community, activists, parks and recreation 
 4    specialists, businessmen together to say, what can 
 5    we do to prevent this problem from occurring 
 6    again?  A little bit of punishment may be 
 7    appropriate, but there must be after care, there 
 8    must be follow up.  If it is a dispute between 
 9    youngsters, let us bring public health specialists 
10    and conflict resolution specialists in when the 
11    fight first starts so that it doesn't repeat and 
12    recycle itself through the hospital emergency rooms 
13    and through the jails again and again and again. 
14              We can do so much if we recognize the 
15    wonderful dignity and magnificence in every human 
16    being, if only we listen and look and search hard 
17    enough to find it.  You have taught so many, 
18    including myself, so much about how to listen 
19    better, about how to talk carefully, about how to 
20    solve problems, about how to bring people 
21    together.  I can't urge you enough to keep on 
22    talking, to keep on trying to bring peace to this 
23    nation and peace to the world.  God bless you.