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California Civil Rights Department to Brief Pasadena Human Relations Commission on Conflict Resolution

Published on Monday, November 6, 2023 | 4:32 pm

The California Civil Rights Department will provide a briefing on Tuesday, Nov. 7, for the Pasadena Human Relations Commission, and explain the workings of its Community Conflict Resolution Unit (CCRU), an office designed to facilitate peaceful relations in communities experiencing fear, conflict, or tensions related to discriminatory practices, hate incidents, or hate crimes that have a community-wide impact.

The presentation will be delivered by Gregory Mann, Senior Attorney Mediator at the Civil Rights Department, who brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the table. This briefing promises to shed light on the CCRU’s mission, history, jurisdiction, and its vital role in bringing communities together during times of strife.

The California Civil Rights Department (CRD) plays a vital role in safeguarding the rights and equality of its residents. Its overarching mission is to protect the people of California from unlawful discrimination in the realms of employment, housing, and public accommodations. Moreover, it is committed to addressing issues related to hate violence and human trafficking, ensuring a safer and more equitable environment for all. Within this department lies the Community Conflict Resolution Unit (CCRU), which focuses on fostering harmony and addressing conflicts related to discriminatory practices and hate incidents that impact communities.

Its broad range of functions includes investigating discrimination complaints, enforcing laws and ensuring those responsible for violations are held accountable, facilitating mediation and resolution, and engaging in public outreach and training. 

Within the CRD, the Community Conflict Resolution Unit has a distinct mission focused on promoting peaceful relations by assisting communities that are grappling with fear, conflict, or tensions arising from discriminatory practices, hate incidents, or hate crimes that have a significant impact on the community as a whole. The CCRU has roots that stretch back to 1980 when California law empowered CRD to serve as a “peacemaker” in situations where communities experienced conflict due to discriminatory practices. The CCRU was formally established in July 2022 and is funded through June 2025.

CCRU’s services are requested or initiated by communities, as well as state or local bodies. These services primarily focus on community disputes, disagreements, or difficulties stemming from discriminatory practices that threaten peaceful community relations.

The unit collaborates with a wide array of organizations and entities, including community groups, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, schools, religious organizations, law enforcement, and many others who have a stake in resolving community conflicts.

The CCRU operates under a set of guiding principles: it maintains neutrality, facilitating discussions without any enforcement activities or authority; all proceedings are held in strict confidence, creating a safe space for open dialogue; and it actively engages with communities to address their unique challenges and needs.

To promote peace and harmony, the CCRU designs Conflict Resolution processes, facilitates community engagement, conducts education and training as well as technical consultations, and mediates community disputes. 

Tuesday’s meeting of the Human Relations Commission begins at 6:30 p.m. and is open to the public. 

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