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Restorative Justice in Schools: Bringing Healing and Breaking the School to Prison Pipeline

Here are two great videos about work being done in schools to break the school to prison pipeline through restorative justice.  Hear from the students and teachers themselves who are implementing it!


Dr. John Perkins: The Father of Christian Community Development

Dr. John Perkins has given his life to issues such as racial reconciliation and Christian community development, the idea that through what he calls the 3 R’s: relocation, reconciliation and redistribution we can change communities together.  His life and ministry have had a transforming impact on my life.  Check out these two videos about his life and read one of his books: With Justice for All: A Strategy for Community Development, Let Justice Roll Down or Restoring At-Risk Communities.

Teens Across Two Cities Create Performances Inspired by Civil War Documents

Today and Saturday in Boston and Cambridge, MA, as part of the National Civil War Project, the Proclamation Project will debut as an original theater piece created by eleven local high school students, inspired by the Emancipation Proclamation and the Gettysburg Address. The group explored themes of freedom, social justice and civil rights, in both historical and modern contexts. Through writing exercises, physical theater improvisations, music, dance and storytelling, the ensemble has transformed research and dialogue into a unique performance piece.

The project’s inclusion in the National Civil War Project has provided the group with an opportunity to collaborate across cities, with a group of teens at the Alliance Theater as part of their Collision Project in Atlanta, GA, engaged in a similar process. Through Skype, the two ensembles have shared Northern and Southern perspectives on the Civil War, while each ensemble has devised its own performance.

Read about the Proclamation Project in this article, go to the National Civil War Project Youth Ensembles facebook page for more information and get tickets if you’re in Boston here.

Here’s a taste of what the teens at the Collision Project in Atlanta did with the Declaration of Independence:



Korean American pastor builds bridges with African American congregation

Evangelical Covenant Church minister Peter Chin was profiled for being the pastor of Peace Fellowship in Washington, D.C., a predominantly African American congregation.  The church and Chin were profiled in this Washington Post article.

Brenda Salter McNeil talks about the Christian call to Racial Reconciliation

Brenda Salter McNeil challenges the Christian community to match our words with actions in the area of racial reconciliation–that people will not listen to us unless our churches regain our credibility in this area.  Whether you’re a Christian or not, I believe her talk will resonate with you.


The Impact of Racism on Health

Check out this video from the Boston Public Health Commission that brought together 8 white teens and 8 teens of color to talk about the impact of racism on health!

Promoting Friendships Within and Across Racial/Ethnic Lines Among Teens

In my job as a middle school teacher, it brings me great joy to see my students forming friendships within their own racial/ethnic group (i.e. feeling comfortable in school speaking their home language) and also forming friendships across racial/ethnic lines that sometimes may seem surprising.

At a stage when adolescents are developing their racial and ethnic identities, it’s important for teens to develop friendships within their own racial or ethnic group and also across racial and ethnic lines.  They need to feel affirmed for who they are and where they come when the pressure is most severe to fit in, but also have the opportunity to find ways to see how they share similarities with those whose skin color is different from them.  Sometimes their experiences are universal while other times they may share similar experiences if they come from a community of color.

Dr. James Moody in an NIH study in 2002 found that in moderately mixed schools, teens gravitated towards friendships within their own racial or ethnic group.  However, in the schools that were the most diverse, they had more diverse friendships.

Dr. Moody’s NIH Study