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For eight years, the San Francisco neighborhood of Bernal Heights was
mired in controversy. Traditionally a working-class neighborhood known
for political activism and attention to community concern, Bernal house a
diverse population of Latino, Filipino, and European heritage. The branch
library, beloved in the community, was being renovated, raising the issue
of whether to restore or paint over a thirty-year-old mural on its exyerior
wall. To some of the residents the artwork represented their culture and
their entitlement to live on the hill. To others, the mural blighted a beautiful
building. To resolve this seemingly intractable conflict, area officials
convened a mediation led by Roy, an experienced mediator and Bernal
resident. The group, which reflected the wide range of ethnic and socioeconomic
backgrounds in the community, ultimately came to a strong consensus,
resulting in the reinterpretation of the artwork to reflect changing
times and to honor the full population of the neighborhood.
The Bernal Story recounts in detail how the process was designed, who
took part, how the group of twelve community representatives came to a
consensus, and how that agreement was carried into the larger community
and implemented. Roy's firsthand account offers an essential tool for training
community leaders and professional mediators, a valuable case history for
use in sociology and conflict resolution courses, and a compelling narrative.

  • ISBN13: 9780815633464
  • Publisher: Syracuse University Press
  • Pubilcation Year: 2014
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Pages: 00200
SeriesSyracuse Studies on Peace and Conflict Resolution (Hardcover)
Publication DateJuly 2, 2014

The Bernal Story: Mediating Class and Race in a Multicultural Community (Syracuse Studies on Peace and Conflict Resolution)

Beth Roy

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