Williams describes the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) process that was put into place in Greensboro NC. That process was set up to address community hostilities that had been festering for more than twenty years, since the 1979 killings of black protesters by Ku Klux Klansmen and American Nazis. In that case a grassroots-initiated TRC was formed to address the community problems, but it was not backed by the local government and it lacked the ability to grant amnesty or to subpoena witnesses. Community members had very different views regarding the necessity and likely helpfulness of the TRC. She concludes that in that case, in which local community leaders did not play a central supporting and empowering role for the TRC process, truth was enhanced but reconciliation was not furthered. Without local government buy-in, institutional reform was not taken seriously and trust between racial groups was not enhanced.
Jill E. Williams,
Legitimacy and Effectiveness of a Grassroots Truth and Reconciliation Commission,
72 Law and Contemporary Problems
Available at: http://scholarship.law.duke.edu/lcp/vol72/iss2/13