How does healing happen?
The Restorative Justice movement teaches us that everyone involved in a crime or injustice (victims, perpetrators, and the community of people whose lives are touched and altered) needs healing and must participate in the healing process.
This year, the One Action One Boulder project has pointed to a gaping wound in the Boulder Valley, a wound that goes back 150 years. We do not like to think about it because it makes good people feel bad. Still, it is undeniable: we live on land stolen from the Arapaho and Cheyenne peoples, and we are all unconscious beneficiaries of the swindle. Our community needs healing. In the coming Thanksgiving season we have an important opportunity.
At last, truth and reconciliation for Maine's Indian Adoption Project legacies
from the article on ICTJ.org:
Friday, June 29, was both a "great day and a sad day" for the US state of Maine, in the words of its governor, Paul LePage.
It was a great day because Maine was taking an historic step to address the legacies of the 1950's and 60's Indian Adoption Project, a program which removed hundreds of Native American children from their families and tribes and placed them in the state-run foster care system.
Priest's slaying in Birmingham to be remembered in church service
The 1921 slaying of a Catholic priest in Birmingham by a Methodist minister will be the subject of repentance during a 6:30 p.m. Ash Wednesday service at Highlands United Methodist Church, 1045 20th Street South, led by United Methodist Bishop William Willimon.
"It's going to be a powerful and a historic event," said Jim Pinto, director of the Father James E. Coyle Memorial Project. "We're not going to live in the past, but we want to more fully understand the past."
Crossing the line: Racial healing in a family and community
from the article by Phoebe Kilby on PeaceBuilder:
When I began my quest to determine if my family had owned slaves, I initially focused on slavery alone and my family’s involvement in it. But when I discovered descendants of my family’s slaves, I quickly learned that racial wounds inflicted during the Civil Rights era were much more important to them than any scars left from slavery. They had been denied equal educational opportunities and had been terrorized for demanding change. If I were to do something to nurture healing, I would need to address these more modern wounds.
Mississippi officials agree to settlement in '64 slayings
On May 2nd, 1964 in the tiny town of Meadville, Mississippi, two 19-year-old black men disappeared while walking along a highway on the edge of town. Two months later, the partial remains of a black man washed ashore in a remote stretch of the Mississippi River. Police identified the victim as Charles Moore, based on a college I.D. in a pants pocket.
Another two months passed before FBI investigators got an anonymous tip about the disappearance of Moore and his friend, Henry Dee. That informant described how Dee and Moore were kidnapped by the Ku Klux Klan and driven to a wooded area where they were beaten and then tied to an old engine block before being dumped into the river while they were still alive.
The families of the two young men filed a civil lawsuit against Franklin County, Mississippi, claiming that local law enforcement officials aided and abetted the Klan. And today they reached a settlement.
Margaret Burnham is one of their attorneys. She's the director of the Civil Rights Restorative Justice program at Northeastern University, and she joins us now. Welcome to the program, Professor Burnham.
"Belinda's Petition" a perfect primer on the subject of reparations
Only 65 pages in length, Belinda's Petition is exactly what it describes itself to be: a concise overview of the long history of struggle to repair the damage wrought by the transatlantic slave trade, making it a perfect primer on the subject of reparations. Winbush begins with the story of the first formal record of a petition for reparations made in the US, which was made in Massachusetts in 1783 by an ex-slave known only as "Belinda". Belinda, who was about 70 years old at this time and had been kidnapped from her home in Ghana before her 12th birthday, petitioned the Massachusetts legislature for the years of unpaid labour for her former slave master. Belinda argued that Isaac Royall--who had since escaped to Nova Scotia--profited from her labour, which entitled her to lay claim to his estate. She won and was granted £15,12 shillings per year payable from the Royall family estate.
From there, Belinda's Petition moves through the different epochs of the reparations movement from the early 15th Century to the present. By correcting misconceptions and exposing myths about the reparations movement, Winbush shines a light on what is arguably the greatest crime against humanity to date.
Civil Rights and Restorative Justice project at Northeastern University School of Law
from the project's website:
The Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project (CRRJ) conducts research and supports policy initiatives on anti-civil rights violence in the United States and other miscarriages of justice of that period. Located at Northeastern University School of Law, CRRJ serves as a resource for scholars, policymakers, and organizers involved in various initiatives seeking justice for crimes of the civil rights era.
There is broad consensus in American political culture that the law enforcement system, particularly in the Deep South, failed to protect participants in the 1960s-era Civil Rights Movement from anti-civil rights violence. Communities across the country are grappling with how to make amends decades after these events. Some have turned to the criminal justice system. State and local prosecutors have brought fresh cases against the perpetrators of old hate crimes. Federal legislation has been proposed to enhance state investigations. A sense of urgency hangs over these efforts, for those most affected by the events are aging.
CRRJ focuses on these public policy and criminal justice initiatives. It conducts research into the nature and extent of anti-civil rights violence. CRRJ works with members of a diverse community – prosecutors, lawmakers, victims – that is seeking genuine reconciliation through legal proceedings, law reform, and private investigations. CRRJ assists these groups to assess and develop a range of policy approaches, including criminal prosecutions, truth and reconciliation proceedings, and legislative remedies. On the research front, CRRJ’s work aims to develop reliable data with which to analyze events of anti-civil rights violence and to support research into the history and current significance of anti-civil rights violence.
Apology lite: Truths, doubts, and reconciliations in the Senate’s guarded apology for slavery
The United States Senate formally apologized for slavery on June 18, 2009. This followed an apology made nearly a year earlier, on July 29, 2008, by the House of Representatives. Unlike the House apology, the Senate apology contains additional limiting language, specifically stating that it cannot be used as a ground for monetary compensation. The apology is nearly nine hundred words, with a preamble which goes into some detail about the wrongness of slavery, admitting that slaves were “brutalized, humiliated, [and] dehumanized.” It then states:
(1) APOLOGY FOR THE ENSLAVEMENT AND SEGREGATION OF AFRICAN-AMERICANS.—The Congress . . . apologizes to African-Americans on behalf of the people of the United States, for the wrongs committed against them and their ancestors who suffered under slavery and Jim Crow laws . . . .
(2) DISCLAIMER.—Nothing in this resolution—
(A) authorizes or supports any claim against the United States; or
(B) serves as a settlement of any claim against the United States.
Is there a role for restorative justice in addressing public education issues in Mississippi?
This is in an interdisciplinary seminar, which will be conducted over the course of two semesters, and open to undergraduate honors students, law and graduate students. After a brief introduction into the concept of restorative justice, the first semester will be devoted to the study of existing data and research into other sources in order to gain a full understanding of the history of public education in Mississippi, with emphasis on how the issue of race has informed educational policy and the status of education in Mississippi today.
The second semester will consider potential remedies from a perspective of restorative justice.
South Africa's whites and restorative justice
We hear a lot in the news about racial conflict, and a lot less about racial reconciliation. But from South Africa to South Central Los Angeles, there are communities engaging in what experts call “restorative justice" to resolve the wrongs of the past and present.