Dispute Resolution Lessons Gleaned from the Arrest of Professor Gates and ‘The Beer Summit’
St. John's Journal of Civil Rights and Economic Development, Vol. 25, No. 1, Fall 2010
16 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2011 Last revised: 12 Aug 2011
Date Written: 2010
On July 30, 2009, President Obama convened the “beer summit,” a metaphorical mediation. President Obama invited Professor Henry Louis Gates, a well-respected African American Academic, and Police Sergeant James Crowley, a Caucasian, to the White House Rose Garden to resolve the issues surrounding the arrest of Professor Gates in his own home by Sergeant Crowley. Using the beer summit as a springboard, this article challenges the long held taboo proscribing the mediation of civil rights violations as racial profiling. The author raises the limitation of litigation, highlights existing effective mediation models, and suggests protocols to be considered when designing mediation programs to address to racism.
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