Paul Monteiro previously served as director of AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) at the Corporation for National and Community Service. From 2009 to 2014, Mr. Monteiro was an advisor in the White House Office of Public Engagement and led outreach to faith-based organizations, Arab-American communities, and anti-poverty groups. He also coordinated the President's mentorship program for young men attending local high schools. Mr. Monteiro received a B.A. from the University of Maryland and a J.D. from the Howard University School of Law.
Acting Director's Message
The Community Relations Service 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 consultation. 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's 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's greatest success lies in helping them accomplish exactly that.
When I reflect on the agency's casework over the past 50 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's 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's long history in dealing with community tensions, I feel privileged to be at the helm of the country's premier community conflict resolution organization.