JOLIET- The Gros Institute of Lewis University is working to create a network of partners to grow the restorative justice community in Will County.
Gros works with interfaith leaders to deepen intercultural empathy. It held a Zoom meeting with the Restorative Justice Committee for the Diocese of Joliet on January 27, 2021, and as many as 105 people joined the meeting.
Restorative justice practitioners from Cook County shared their inspiration and strategy for growing their practices. The organizations represented were Restore Justice of Illinois, Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation, and the Institute on Public Safety & Social Justice at Adler University.
Restorative justice seeks to address conflict and injustice through growing a web of relationships that call those who do harm to accountability and that seek opportunities to heal the harms being done.
"Sometimes those who harm are individuals, but often, harms are wrought by systems and structures that exclude community voices and dehumanize people," said Dr. Christie Billups, director of Gros Institute.
Dr. Billups said that beyond the meeting, Gros will continue to build relationships with schools and community organizations. Some of the partners she is already working with are: Fairmont School District; Valley View School District; Community Lifeline Ministries in Joliet; and Spanish Community Center in Joliet.
Lewis University, a Catholic- and Lasallian-oriented, private institution in Joliet, received a $38,000 Healing Illinois grant to create opportunities to learn about and collaborate on issues of racial equity.
Lewis' next event will feature the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, leader of the advocacy group Repairers Of The Breach, in the virtual discussion "Anti-Racism, Allyship, Action" on Thursday, February 18, 2021, from 3 p.m. - 4 p.m. Central Time. Repairers Of The Breach advocates for equality under law, peace, and the dignity of poor people, women, the LGBTQIA community, children, immigrants, workers, communities of color, and the sick.
Click for registration information for "Anti-Racism, Allyship, Action"