Empowerment as a Side-Effect

Will Reed

Former CRS Mediator, Denver Office

[Full Interview]

...Well you don't really go in trying to empower a particular group. You may unwittingly go in and say, "Hey, look, this is what's going on and here's a way that you can be better off," if that's perceived as empowering. You want to teach and you want to provide knowledge if you can. So in some instances, that would be empowering...

So when you did empowerment on various levels, how was your work affected by issues of neutrality, impartiality, and objectivity? Were those things that were at the forefront when you did this?

Let me just stop you right there by saying, number one, you use the wrong word. Really, we didn't go around and try to empower anybody. We were out to try to mediate and hopefully come up with strategies that would speak to certain issues that would, in turn, provide the tools for people to become empowered themselves. We might also try to have the officialdom at hand to work with them and work together with the community or the group that was having a problem to the point where there could be some empowerment. As far as us sitting down and saying, "We're going to place this power in you hands," we don't do that.