Monroe Elementary Principal Edwin Rivera was excited to learn in fall 2008 that his school would receive grant money to start a restorative justice program. As a former counselor, Rivera is a strong believer in strategies that give schools an alternative to solve conflict and avoid suspensions.
Monroe got off to a promising start. Rebecca Davis, a social worker from SGA Youth & Family Services, helped facilitate peace circles in several classrooms and trained about 15 to 20 students to serve on a peer jury, which presided over a handful of mock cases before the end of the school year. School administrators were optimistic about the program’s potential. Read more »
(Reposted from Catalyst Chicago) With a backdrop of light streaming through the spotless windows of the library of a brand-new school, Jose Hernandez said what everyone else in the room may well have been thinking: That the building would be part of Mayor Richard M. Daley’s legacy.
Indeed, as much as for anything else, Chicagoans will remember Daley as the mayor who was handed control of the city’s 600-plus public schools and invested his emotional and political capital in improving them. At press conferences heralding educational accomplishments throughout his years in office, Daley often became red-faced when challenged,passionately defending his efforts. Read more »
On Wednesday, April 28, 150 leaders from Civic Action Network and Senior Network congregations converged on Springfield! The leaders rallied at the State Capitol, where they were joined by State Rep. Greg Harris, then entered the Capitol and met individually with dozens of elected officials, bringing them the message that people of faith from across the state are fighting for meaningful nursing home reform, the rights of children of the incarcerated, and a responsible budget.
The House of Representatives’ historic vote on healthcare reform is a significant milestone in legislative inclusion, not unlike other significant milestones in our nation’s history, such as social security, minimum-wage legislation, Medicare, and the 40 hour work week.
This bill will expand health care for more than 30 million Americans who, heretofore, were without it. The most vulnerable in our society, such as those who have been denied coverage for pre-existing health conditions or youths and young adults up to the age of 26 who have not been able to remain on their parent’s policies, will no longer be denied coverage. It will also expand financial assistance to young people seeking higher education. This legislation, in many ways, expands the nation’s commitment to all of its people, no matter their socio-economic conditions, and narrows the gap between those who can and those who cannot afford adequate health coverage.
Through the lens of Community Renewal Society, a faith-based justice advocacy organization in Chicago for 128 years, this is a moral victory, undergirded by the prophetic call to be concerned about and in solidarity with “the least of God’s people.” This bill’s passage is part of an unfolding and ongoing effort to realize the American dream.