In Remembrance

Archbishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu (1931-2021)

Archbishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu - A Life of Faith, Service, and Social Justice Activism

Oct. 7, 1931 - Dec. 26, 2021

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We mourn with South Africa and the world with the passing of Anglican Archbishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu on Dec. 26, 2021.  Archbishop Tutu was a recipient of the Noble Peace Prize (1984) for his leadership of the non-violent campaign to end apartheid in South Africa.  He was a powerful moral voice globally for social justice, tolerance, and reparation of harm through dialogue and personal accountability. 

He was one of the architects, with President Nelson Mandela, and others of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). The Commission was designed to provide a safe and structured process for personal expression, on the record, of the harm experienced by those subjected to apatheid oppression and the personal role and responsibility of those who enforced the government's racist apartheid policies.  Archibishop Tutu was appointed as the Commission's Chairperson. 

The TRC process also demonstrated the efficacy and power of restorative justice practices to address deep historical and social harm through dialogue in which those harmed and those responsible for harm shared their stories in each other's presence.  It is not hyperbole to suggest that the South African TRC may have averted a violent civil war of revenge.

We are ALL indepted to Archbishop Tutu's life of faith, service, and social justice activism.

A Restorative Life Well Lived

In Memoriam Agnes Furey

Agnes Furey

By Dr. Sandra Pavelka

Agnes Furey, a soft spoken and mighty advocate for restorative justice, peace and forgiveness, passed away on Sunday, August 22, 2021, at the age of 84. Agnes led a purpose-driven life guided by faith and grace. As a friend, colleague and fellow restorative justice advocate, Agnes will be truly missed. Her legacy will live on with her impactful work in her Tallahassee community, the State of Florida, and nationally.

In 1998, her daughter and grandson were murdered by her daughter’s boyfriend, who was later sentenced to life in prison for their deaths. As a survivor,  Agnes became involved with The Balanced and Restorative Justice (BARJ) Project, a national demonstration project funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, US Department of Justice, at Florida Atlantic University in her home state.  Agnes wanted to turn her tragedy into a path of forgiveness and healing based on restorative justice. Through a series of letters, discussions, reflections and poems, Agnes and her daughter’s boyfriend, co-authored Wildfires in the Median.

She founded Achieve Higher Ground, a national network, including victim offender dialogue, victims’ meetings, and a comprehensive reentry program for formerly incarcerated persons reintegrating into the community.  Recently she dedicated AHGnes House, a transitional residence for those reentering the community, in Tallahassee, Florida.

Rest easy, dear Agnes.

Remembering Gordon Bazemore (1952-2021)

Gordon Bazemore, Ph. D.
A Restorative Justice Pioneer

August 14, 1952 – June 6, 2021

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In Memoriam

By Mara Schiff, Ph. D., NACRJ VP in collaboration with Cynthia Wright-Bazemore

Many of you know the name Dr. Gordon Bazemore, and some of you had the honor and privilege of knowing him. Many others won’t know his name or have ever met him, but whether you know it or not, your work exists in part because of him.  His vision and legacy have touched all of us who are committed to expanding restorative justice in the world.

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Remembering RJ Leader Dr. Burt Galaway (1937-2020)

Restorative justice leader Dr. Burt Galaway passed away May 14, 2020. Dr. Galaway is remembered as a devoted colleague, mentor and friend. He was an early key member of the restorative justice movement responsible for bringing his research and vast knowledge of community and restorative justice to countries all over the world.

Dr. Galaway started his research in community justice in the 1970s, which set the stage for the growing restorative justice movement. He organized the first known RJ conference in 1990 near Pisa, Italy. Since then, RJ programs have been implemented and conferences have bloomed across the globe, continuing to bring RJ researchers and advocates together.

Dr. Galaway was a pioneer in community and restorative justice. His work paved the way for today’s offender and victim mediation programs. For many in the leadership of NACRJ he has served as a role model and mentor. We recognize and appreciate his deep contributions to the field, and his lasting global impact is an inspiration to all of us.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933-2020)

The Roberts Court, June 1, 2017. Seated, from left to right: Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Anthony M. Kennedy, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., and Justices Clarence Thomas and Stephen G. Breyer. Standing, from left to right: Justices Eleana Kagan, Samuel A. Alito, Sonia Sotomayor, and Neil M. Gorsuch. Photograph by Franz Jantzen, Supreme Court Curator's Office.

Photo by Franz Jantzen, U. S. Supreme Court

U. S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away on Sept. 18, 2020 after a legendary legal career.  She was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1993 by President Clinton after 13 years of service as a Justice on the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Washington, DC Circuit.

In 1959 she graduated from Columbia University Law School after Harvard refused to grant her a degree because of her gender.  In 1972 after earning tenure at Rutgers Law School she founded the ACLU Women's Rights Council with the purpose of overturning historical patterns of gender discrimination in American society, business and employment.  Later she became General Council for the American Civil Liberties Union (ALCU). 

She fought tirelessly to advance civil rights. To many of us she was a hero. She carried a well earned knick name -"The Notorius RBG".  She was widely admired and respected - her passing is a huge loss for the nation.

Rep. John Lewis (1940-2020)

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John Lewis received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Pres. Obama

We mourn with the nation the passing of Rep. John Lewis who was one of the leaders of the 1960's Civil Right Movement working side by side with Dr. Martin Luther King.  At age 23 he spoke at the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington.  He was also one of the leaders of the Civil Rights March from Selma to Montgomery, AL.  During that march he was beaten by police as they crossed the Edmond Pettus Bridge.  He repeatedly put his life at risk and was beaten, bled and jailed as he pursued racial and social justice through non-violence. Among the members of the Congress he was known as the "Conscience of the Congress".  

NACRJ honors Rep. John Lewis, celebrates his life and legacy, and mourns his passing.  He was a living legend and an inspiration to all who continue working toward the realization of a safe, just, and equitable society.

Read the OpEd written by the Honorable John R. Lewis shortly before his death and published on the day of his funeral by the New York Times. 

President Obama's Eulogy for Rep. John R. Lewis (7-30-2020)

Elmira Case Judge Passes On

B88855272Z.1 20190906221018 000 GSINA3R2.3 0 Super PortraitThis last summer saw the death of Judge Gordon McConnell who allowed two drunken teens the chance to have a restorative option long before the word 'restorative' was part of the justice lexicon. This well-documented case from 1974, in the Waterloo region of Ontario, planted seeds for what eventually led to the seminal work of Howard Zehr and others in the EGordon McConnelllkhart region of Indiana. At the request of Mennonite Central Committee probation officers Mark Yantzi and Dave Worth, the two offenders were able to apologize directly to 22 small-town victims who experienced vandalism and property damage. They also offered to pay back restitution which they fully did within the following year. 

McConnell, though having a reputation for being tough, immediately bought into the idea of the offenders taking responsibility for their actions rather than going to jail. Later he joined the board of Community Justice Initiatives that started in the wake of this landmark case. Read more about McConnell's life as well as see a film about the Elmira case.

President George H. W. Bush (1924-2018)

Pres. G. H. W. Bush 2008 Lawrence Jackson Associated Press

Former President George H. W. Bush passed away at age 94 on November 30, 2018.  While people may have disagreed with him politically, most recognize the human decency and integrity with which he lived his life.  We thank him for his service to the nation in WW II and in public office.  We offer our condolences to his family and friends on his passing.   

Honoring Ora Schub from Chicago

imagesOn June 11, 2018, Chicago's retorative justice community lost a beloved ally, colleague, and friend, Ora Schub, who passed away after a long and courageous battle with cancer. Many considered her as a 'grandmother' of Chicago's restorative justice movement. Ora was also a former president for National Lawyers Guild Chicago.

On Saturday, August 25, at 4:30 to 7:30 pm, a memorial service will be held at the South Shore Cultural Center (7059 S. South Shore Drive) in Chicago.

To learn more about Ora's life and contribution to the Chicago area, as well as an award she received from the NACRJ...

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Remembering Alice O. Lynch, A Restorative Justice Pioneer

Alice Lynch: A Remembrance

Alice LynchMinnesota’s restorative justice community lost a pioneer in January. Alice O. Lynch was a circle keeper, trainer, mentor, collaborator, kind councilor, founder and executive director of BIHA: Black Asian Hispanic and Indian Women in Action and friend to the restorative justice community. She worked on all levels of RJ: re-entry, juvenile diversion, school implementation, parenting support circles, crimes of severe violence conferencing, Circle keeping and training.  She and her partner Gwen Jones provided 4 day circle trainings at least two times a year for a decade or more; always the training included supper: “Alice will cook,” the announcements read. Her home was open to ex-offenders and judges. She helped to develop the circles as part of the Minnesota Science Museum’s Race Exhibit, a model for discussion that was taken up by all museums that presented the exhibit. Alice traveled to each location across the nation to train the exhibit’s local circle keepers. Words fail to embody her spirit, mind and heart. 

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