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Wednesday, April 3rd 5pmPST/8pEST--
SPECIAL EDITION: TOWN HALL FOR HB 13-1254, The Restorative Justice Pilot Project (Colorado)
PUBLIC DISCUSSION Open to All
With Featured Guest Speakers: Rep. Pete Lee (CO), Officer Greg Ruprecht (Longmont Police Department), Deb Witzel (E.D. of the Longmont Community Justice Partnership)
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HB 13-1254: The Restorative Justice Pilot Project-Colorado
The Peace Alliance is mobilizing its statewide networks to support the passage of HB 13-1254, a bill championed by Rep. Pete Lee that will open the channels for the “Restorative Justice Pilot Project”, to be focused on two new RJ programs in the 10th and 19th Judicial Districts in CO, and that will further along the efforts to model a juvenile system in Colorado after the highly successful model in motion for over a decade in New Zealand. Your support and networking of this bill is critical to its passage, as it is up for vote in mid-April. Major support for the bill comes from the State Restorative Justice Council and working programs such as the Longmont Community Justice Partnership, one of Colorado’s leading RJ programs offering Law Enforcement, Schools, and Community systems that have a proven track record in significantly reducing recidivism and saving the State a massive amount of money by diverting incarceration. The bill is also supported by a network of Law Enforcement officials who actively speak as advocates for Restorative practices, such as Officer Greg Ruprecht of the Longmont Police Department.
The bill is up for vote mid-April, and its passage depends on mobilizing the power of our local and state networks to take actions
Thursday, April 4th 5pmPST/8pEST--
Diane Pendola of the LITUPP Prison Project (CA)
Diane Pendola has been a contemplative presence in county jails and prisons since 1986 when she completed her Masters degree in theology. She was deeply influenced by feminist and liberation theologies, with their emphasis on giving voice to the voiceless and bringing the disenfranchised in from the margins to the very center of authentic spiritual life. She also had the great good fortune of being the student of the pre-eminent inter-cultural philosopher, Raimon Panikkar. Through Panikkar she became grounded in a deep respect for dialogue as an open and engaged listening to the perceived “other” as a path to spiritual growth and conversion, not of the other, but of oneself.
Currently, Diane is the Director and Co-founder of Skyline Harvest. Skyline’s projects include retreats and workshops at their Eco-contemplative Center, and out-reach through The Lioness Tale Prison Project, called LiT-uPP From the Inside Out. LiT-uPP awakens the inner freedom of women serving long term prison sentences, giving purpose to their lives, and lighting up the prison where they live from the inside out.
This spring Skyline is launching The Compassionate Leaders Program, designed to prepare leaders from across the planet to carry the in-prison program into their countries’ jails, prisons and juvenile facilities.
Diane knows all things are possible through the Love that resides at the center of our expanding universe and at the center of our human hearts.
Thursday, April 11th 5pmPST/8pEST--
Sunny Schwartz, Author of Dreams from the Monster Factory: A Tale of Prison, Redemption and One Woman's Fight to Restore Justice to All
A nationally recognized expert in criminal justice reform with 30 years of frontline experience as a lawyer, advocate and consultant, Sunny Schwartz has spent her career navigating all levels of the system and pioneering new policy initiatives for prisoner’s programs, as well as alternatives to incarceration. She is the author of Dreams from the Monster Factory, Hard cover Published 2009, Paperback version published 2010, which gives a comprehensive insider’s perspective on America’s failing prison system and recounts her own real-world implementation of a targeted strategy that both saves taxpayers’ money and dramatically reduces recidivism.
Sunny directs the design and operation of prisoner programs in six county jails. During her tenure, she has made significant changes to traditional incarceration operations, transitioning from an ineffectual system rooted in idling and “downtime” to one that requires inmates to participate in educational, vocational and therapeutic programs 10 hours a day, five days a week. The specific goals of these programs are to facilitate successful reentry into society in a way that addresses the gaps and shortcomings of the old system (and to decrease further victimization on individuals and our community as a whole.)
Sunny also designed and established the Resolve To Stop the Violence Project (RSVP). A nationally renowned, award-winning restorative justice program, RSVP unites diverse community organizations and individuals to collaborate on the first–in–the nation correctional program offering services to everyone harmed by violence: victims, offenders, and communities, alike. As part of the program, Schwartz chartered a citywide Survivor Restoration Advisory Committee, comprised of representatives from local government agencies, non-profit organizations and the interfaith community. Committee members demonstrated support by adopting alternative and proactive responses to crime and violence, such as mentorship, victim-offender mediation and the development of sentencing options.
Sunny’s presentations and programmatic expertise are bold and diverse, and have proven to be highly effective. Her efforts to reform the criminal justice system and minimize crime through RSVP have been featured on national television, with appearances on the Discovery Channel, PBS, Larry King Live and the Oprah Winfrey Show. Her program is currently being examined for replication in various cities throughout the United States, as well as in New Zealand, Poland and Singapore. In July of 2004, RSVP was the recipient of the prestigious “Oscar’s in Government” Innovations in Government Award, sponsored by the Kennedy School of Government of Harvard University and the Ash Institute.
Thursday, April 18th 5pmPST/8pEST--
Kathy Kelly, Coordinator Voices for Creative NonViolence
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Kathy Kelly co-coordinates Voices for Creative Nonviolence, (www.vcnv.org) a campaign to end U.S. military and economic warfare.
During each of nine recent trips to Afghanistan, Kathy Kelly, as an invited guest of the Afghan Peace Volunteers, has lived alongside ordinary Afghan people in a working class neighborhood in Kabul. She and her companions in Voices for Creative Nonviolence believe that “where you stand determines what you see.”
They are resolved not to let war sever the bonds of friendship between them and Afghan people whom they’ve grown to know through successive delegations. Kelly and her companions insist that the U.S. is not waging a “humanitarian war” in Afghanistan.
Kelly has also joined with activists in various regions of the country to protest drone warfare by holding demonstrations outside of U.S. military bases in Nevada, upstate New York, and, most recently, at Whiteman Air Force base in Missouri.
From 1996 – 2003, Voices activists formed 70 delegations that openly defied economic sanctions by bringing medicines to children and families in Iraq. Kathy and her companions lived in Baghdad throughout the 2003 “Shock and Awe” bombing. They have also lived alongside people during warfare in Gaza, Lebanon, Bosnia and Nicaragua.
She was sentenced to one year in federal prison for planting corn on nuclear missile silo sites (1988-89) and spent three months in prison, in 2004, for crossing the line at Fort Benning’s military training school. As a war tax refuser, she has refused payment of all forms of federal income tax since 1980.
For more information visit: http://vcnv.org/speaker-bio/kathy-kelly
Thursday, April 25th 5pmPST/8pEST
Alan Huffman, Author of Here I Am a biography of the profound life and tragic death of Humanitarian and Co Director of RESTREPO, Tim Hetherington
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Alan Huffman is the author of Here I Am, a biography of humanitarian, artist, war photographer, and world citizen as well as Co-Director of the Oscar-nominated Restrepo (with author and journalist Sebastian Junger), Tim Hetherington. Huffman's powerful recounting of Hetherington's profound life and tragic death is the topic of this evening's special edition of Restorative Justice on The Rise and we'll explore this extraordinary man's philosophies, the book's journey, Huffman's insights and unpack some of the difficult questions about our world amidst seemingly endless war and multiple and distinctly coinciding cultural realities. It is an honor to host Mr. Huffman and we have webcast space for those wishing to join in via the WWW. Inquiries and questions to your host, Molly Rowan Leach Check out Ms. Leach's Huffington Post review of Here I Am: At Close Proximity with War and Truth