www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=do%20justice%20like%20jesus&epa=SEARCH_BOX afternoon includes six opportunities for discussions with people who are working to make smart changes to improve problems all long the crime to restoration spectrum.
1. Our keynote speakers will share more personally at a break-out discussion about their work in the Indiana prison system as a chaplain and as a coordinator for Bridges to Life, a powerful program that gives voice to folks wounded by crime and helps folks who have committed a crime have a safe place to understand more deeply the effect a crime has on individuals, families and communities. (Remember that convicted folks are discouraged from admitting guilt about anything because they are often punished for any admission both before the fact and during appeals. And families sometimes withdraw support if the find behaviors unacceptable. But this limits their capacity to apologize or make amends or even understand the range of wounds their choices have inflicted!)
2. Greg Winship will discuss Restorative Justice concepts and how they are used in preparing incarcerated individuals to return to free world as people of value to their families and communities.
3. Caroline Giammanco, author of Behind the Death Fences: Memoir of a Whisleblower, speaks with authority as a former teacher inside a Missouri prison who has become a passionate advocate for more accountability and transparency in the Missouri Department of Corrections, and Nancy Lazar, the Director of the Kansas City Municipal Jail known as "the municipal Farm" at the time it was closed in 2009. She continues advocate against warehousing of detainees in ways that reduce community safety. Corrections officers have what may be the hardest job anywhere. It is soul searing in the best of circumstances. Government officials for Missouri and Jackson County face challenges and need informed voters holding them accountable.
4. Americans for Prosperity is a grass roots advocacy group working with diverse partners to advocate for smart and proven changes to make justice more just, more accessible for the poor, make communities safer and families stronger, all of which has been eroding as our rates of incarceration have soared. In this election year you can make a difference by asking good questions of people on the campaign trail and educate our elected officials and other potential voters about these issues. You can make it clear to businesses that you support 2nd Chance hiring for people who are working to make better lives for their families and make amends for past mistakes.
5. Gracious Promise coordinates volunteers working in jails to help detained people make changes that can restore hope, support good choices and be resources to empower them to become more of what God has created them to be. I'm especially excited because they serve as resources for local churches who are ready to listen and love people who often have had little of either in their lives.
6. Children in abusive and negligent homes often find themselves in a foster care home. For some this is a lifeline that restores the stability needed to make the most of educational opportunities. But a recent expose by the Kansas City Star provides a stark and distressing picture of the high number of failures within foster care, especially when these children have been struggling for years in situations that have steadily declined so that by the time they are place in foster care. They have significant health, mental health and academic challenges that are too often not met. They are at-risk for further abuse by sexual predators and sex traffickers. Within 3 years of aging out of foster care 70% have been incarcerated and a similar percent are single parents. Homelessness is common. Join the discussion about how these how some special folks work as volunteers work with CASA to advocate for these children.
It will be a great day with many opportunities to consider how God might be calling you to be a part of important work.