Kalamazoo, MI- Hundreds of socially activated citizens from around the state descending to Lansing for, “The People’s Lobby, known in recent past as, “Capital Day”. 2018 makes the 7th year residents meet with their local legislators on issues ranging from Criminal Justice Reform, the Long Term Care Study Bill, Universal Family Care, Medicare for All, Water for Flint and Immigration.
S.E.E (Social. Economic. Educational) Change, group of families, students, educators, and community members working together to break the School to Prison Pipeline and dismantle barriers to success through advocacy, education, empowerment, and action. S.E.E Change took a group of teen members from Kalamazoo’s area Girl Scouts and Kalammazoo Public Students and parents to meet with 60th House District Rep. Jon Hoadely and State Senator Margeret O’Brien.
Students were able to participate in a Direct Action Rally demanding a resolution for Flint residents and the water crisis that continues to this day.
S.E.E Change youth invited Representative Jon Hoadley to the 2nd Annual E.R.A.S.E Celebration on June 13, 2018 to celebrate all youth and the end of 2017/2018 academic school year at 1009 E. Stockbridge Street in Kalamazoo, MI.
On Wednesday evening, S.E.E. Change, local advocates for Social, Economic and Educational Change in Kalamazoo, partnered with the Arcus Center for Social Justice to present a documentary film exploring our criminal justice system’s current response to, and perpetuation of, personal and intergenerational trauma, racism, and poverty in our society.
Produced and directed by Dr. Shakti Butler, Healing Justice relies on interviews with ex-offenders, victims, artists, criminal justice experts and Restorative Justice practitioners to provide stirring personal accounts, historical and cultural context, and data to illustrate the philosophy and effectiveness of utilizing a healing approach in line with Restorative Practices to reduce violent crime and recidivism rates in communities across the country.
During the screening, viewers were invited to participate in small group discussion and share ideas among the larger audience about how we can work together to address the damage caused by a punitive justice system – an ever-expanding prison population, broken family structures, economic disenfranchisement, traumatized children, neglected victims, untreated mental health crises – and move toward a more effective, proactive approach to dealing with crime and delinquency – one that addresses the root causes of harmful behaviors and focuses on the real needs of both offenders and victims.
Wednesday’s event was well attended by community activists, leaders, scholars, and youth, as well as Kalamazoo’s County Prosecutor Jeff Getting, who is reportedly exploring the possibility of implementing Restorative Justice Programming in the local Juvenile court system. S.E.E. Change organizers hope that this is only the beginning of an ongoing dialogue and good faith collaboration between community members, criminal justice officials and elected leaders in Kalamazoo. Those interested in joining the conversation are encouraged to connect with S.E.E. Change via facebook, or email email@example.com
More information on Healing Justice and other World Trust films can be found at www.world-trust.org/films