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Avoiding Racial Conflict: A Guide for Municipalities

NCJ Number
Date Published
18 pages
This manual is intended to aid municipalities in examining race relations in their communities, protecting the rights of citizens, promoting community tolerance and understanding, avoiding racial conflict, and using conflict resolution procedures to prevent problems from becoming major disturbances.
The guidelines are based on nearly three decades of experience in helping resolve community conflict through noncoercive, third-party intervention. The manual notes that outbreaks of disorder are caused by two volatile community dynamics (perceived inequities and a lack of confidence in systems for redressing grievances) and a triggering incident. To avoid racial conflict, communities should make proactive efforts; use appropriate penalties; enact ordinances in areas such as civil rights, a human relations commission, hate crimes, fair housing, business policies, and voting rights. Municipalities should also ensure fair representation on boards and commissions and adopt appropriate internal and external policies and procedures. The Community Relations Service of the Department of Justice is also available to assist municipalities in implementing these guidelines. Addresses of regional and field offices