Urban Rangers Join the Peace Party!

CMC's Judy Heath talks with an Urban Ranger

CMC’s Judy Heath talks with an Urban Ranger

What does the term ‘Restorative Justice’ mean to 60 young men in the Kansas City, Missouri urban core whose lives have been affected by crime, violence, arrests and prison?  That was one of the questions discussed last Friday, July 5, 2013, at the Wayne Minor Community Center.  Annette Lantz-Simmons and other staff and volunteers from the Community Mediation Center (CMC), with the help of guest facilitator, Airick Leonard West, from Community 360, met with high school aged Urban Rangers for exploration and interaction.

Restorative Justice is a process where all parties, including the victim, the offender and the community, engage in a facilitated dialogue with goals to listen, talk, and co-create a plan to make as right as possible the harm that was done.  Restorative Justice focuses on relationships and needs, unlike a criminal justice process that focuses on punishment.

For the second half of the session, the young men broke into small groups to explore personal values.  Introducing a circle process, using a talking piece and a guideline that one person talk at a time, adult facilitators helped create an atmosphere of open and honest sharing. The young men were engaged and often insightful as they talked about their lives, expectations and goals.

This is the 4th year that CMC has been a part of the Urban Rangers summer program.  The conflict resolution component, graciously paid for by PeaceWorks KC, is an important element that we are privileged to provide. One CMC staff member wrote, “Being with the group for the morning was the highlight of my week.  I was impressed with the organization and with the young men.”  Growing burgeoning leaders and improving lives, theirs and ours.  Welcome to the Peace Party!

You can join!

Leave a comment.  Sign up to follow this blog. Donate to CMC.  Contact CMC 816-461-8255  www.communitymediationkc.org

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