The Florida Restorative Justice Association held its inaugural statewide conference on September 28th and 29th on the campus of USF-Sarasota. This endeavor was largely funded through a generous mini-grant from NACRJ. The 108 attendees included significant numbers of educators and students, law enforcement and judicial system folks, public administrators at state and local levels, community resource providers (in mediation, trauma informed care, etc) and racial/social justice organizers – from many parts of Florida.
The Friday evening reception featured a screening of “Another Justice” with a panel discussion led by people featured in the film. Twelve workshops on Saturday were offered in four different tracks: Education, Community/Criminal Justice, RJP as a Movement, and Communication. Mediterranean vegan food was served for dinner Friday and lunch Saturday. In the closing circle, one attendee offered a song by Ella Baker: “We Who Believe in Freedom Cannot Rest,” and pretty much every voice in the room joined in and sang along with the chorus. It is fair to say, in general, that minds were aligne, and hearts were aglow. A nourishing, informative, and inspiring time was had by all!(For more about FRJA, please visit www.floridarestorativejustice.com, and like our facebook page!)