Our November 2021 gathering was with Grande Lum about his book (in collaboration with Betram Levine) America’s Peacemakers: The Community Relations Service and Civil Rights.
America’s Peacemakers: The Community Relations Service and Civil Rights tells the behind-the-scenes story of a small federal agency that made a big difference in civil rights conflicts over the last half century.
In this second edition of Resolving Racial Conflict: The Community Relations Service and Civil Rights, 1964–1989, Grande Lum continues Bertram Levine’s excellent scholarship, expanding the narrative to consider the history of the Community Relations Service (CRS) of the U.S. Department of Justice over the course of the last three decades. The Trump administration’s repeated efforts to zero out funding for CRS gives this book increased urgency and relevance.
In this era of heightened awareness of structural racism, the book is also an accounting of how a courageous arm of government accompanied and advocated for racial and structural justice through community engagement and the deescalation of disputes.
We believe this book will find various audiences among historians and scholars, conflict resolution practitioners, advocates and federal, state and local officials interested in the role of government in fostering creative approaches to conflict and its resolution.
Colin Rule interviewed Grande and then open the floor for questions, comments, and an exchange of ideas.