In Remembrance

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)

john lewis presidential medal large size

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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