PISLAP's David Lerman Fund Makes $10K Grant to Mika Dashman in Pursuit of Restorative Justice

PISLAP is pleased to announce that Mika Dashman has been awarded a grant of $10,000 from the organization's David Lerman Memorial Fund in furtherance of her Restorative Justice Initiative project (RJI)  in New York City.   

The David Lerman Memorial Fund was established in fall 2014 at the PISLAP national conference at CUNY Law School in memory of David Lerman, a pioneer in the restorative justice movement and early member of and distinguished contributor to PISLAP.  Grants are made to an individual and/or organization in furtherance of the principles of restorative justice.

RJI was recently formed by Mika and meets all of the criteria established by the PISLAP Executive Committee.  RJI’s objective is to raise the profile of restorative justice in New York City, by inter alia establishing a visible web presence containing information about local restorative justice programs, the latest innovations in the field, and the most current data supporting the efficacy of restorative justice.  Mika’s organization will also distribute information about upcoming trainings, events and job opportunities, and will profile local programs and practitioners through a monthly e-newsletter.  

Congratulations to Mika!  We all look forward to hearing of the progress and programs of the Restorative Justice Initiative.

Those who wish to contribute to the Lerman Fund please click here.  Donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law.  PISLAP is a 501(c)(3) organization.

With PISLAP and RJ Leaders, Restorative Practices Initiative Works in Schools in Washington, DC

This new organization has been formed as an outgrowth of the DC Alliance for Restorative Practices  (DCARP), led by local RJ activist Tarek Maassarani.  

In announcing the formation of DCRPI, Tarek said:  

“We believe the time is ripe to focus our energies on transforming a handful of DC schools, with the aim of expanding this District-wide, and into juvenile justice and other systems through local leadership and ownership.  Demand for and visibility of restorative practices is on the rise.”  

A number of local RJ activist having local familiarity, capacity, expertise, and availability have been invited to join the implementation team.  Key stakeholders in and outside of DC government and school-related agencies are on board.  

DCRPI is in the process of consolidating partnerships with and/or funding from DC Department of Public Schools, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education, and individual schools.  SchoolTalk, a DC-based organization with extensive experience and networks in DC schools, will serve as the organizational incubator.  There is also the support of flexible private foundation funding.

The immediate work of DCRPI will be program development, implementation, and evaluation.  In addition, an Advisory Council is being established that will ensure longer-term vision, guidance, and support, including:

- Strategic planning for impact, sustainability, and local ownership
- Building and maintaining awareness around social systems of power and marginalization so as to strive towards authentic inclusion and shared power
- Accountability, credibility, and visibility
- Advocacy and institutionalization within DC school and government systems
- Connection and coordination with other DC initiatives and organizations around related issues

Perry Saidman, a DC native and long time PISLAP member, has been invited to join the Advisory Council.

The Politics of Love and Justice Global Summit, May 19-24

Join an emerging movement of “spiritual progressives” who are committed to bridging divides and infusing more Spirit into social change – and help co-create new global standards based on loving kindness, ethical behavior and reverence for all.

With guidance from the most remarkable and visionary pioneers in spirituality and activism in the world, The Politics of Love & Justice Summit is a deeply inspired, transformed, informed discussion occurring over six days on a global scale.  You’ll be exposed to a vision of a world based on love and justice and have the opportunity to connect with other folks who are infusing those values in their work for social change and transformation.

If you consider yourself a global citizen and are concerned by the many crises that face us, this is an essential – even imperative – conference for you to attend. The event is free, and registration and more information can be found here.

Looking for Contributors for PISLAP E-Newsletter

Photo Source:   Unsplash  via  Blake Verdoorn

Photo Source: Unsplash via Blake Verdoorn

This year, PISLAP is undergoing many new endeavors with the intention of creating a more open space for members to collaborate, learn, and participate in PISLAP's movement. Starting in June 2015, PISLAP will launch its first email newsletter which will highlight the work of its members.  The newsletter will include areas of interest among members, as well as members' work and achievements; blogging opportunities, announcements for local and national events, and much more. 

Between now and May, materials will be collected and published in the first ever PISLAP e-newsletter, which is expected to circulate four times a year.  We invite all PISLAP members to submit some of their work, which can include anything from a previous blog post, an article, information or news about current work, or details about local meetings and events. 
Artwork and photos are also welcome.

If you have any materials you would like to contribute, please email contactpislap@gmail.com.

PISLAP Represented at Law and Social Change Jam in San Francisco, April 29-May 3, 2015 Ngoc Nguyen

"Morning City" by John August Swanson ,  www.johnaugustswanson.com

"Morning City" by John August Swanson, www.johnaugustswanson.com

It was a humbling and uplifting experience for me in San Francisco this past week, where a group of thirty law changemakers came together to discuss the challenges and opportunities in the legal system.  The event, the Law and Social Change Jam, was hosted by Yes!, a nonprofit organization that connects, inspires and collaborates with changemakers to join forces for thriving, just and sustainable ways of life for all.  During the five day convening at the Green Gulch Farm, just north of San Francisco, facilitators asked participants to engage in difficult discussions about the current challenges and condition of the legal system, the obstacles in building a more humanistic and compassionate legal profession, and how to reconnect to the values of peace, healing, and love in the pursuit of justice as defined by Martin Luther King, Jr.  Many PISLAP members were present for the discussions, including Perry Saidman and Susan Brooks; as well as legal professionals from legal aid, restorative justice outfits, nonprofits, and legal eduction across the U.S. and Canada.

It was a challenging time together for me, mainly because of the difficulty in discussing the burning questions surrounding large and amorphous concepts such as "justice," "advocate," and "holistic," and feeling as though there was not enough time to solve anything even when urgency to find a solution (or solutions) grows.  One thing was certain, however, and that was the ability for people to connect emotionally to the struggles, pain, and passion each person felt for social change in the law.  In the end, participants built a community of shared values, vision, and drive for their work, and many were rejuvenated and reinspired to continue working in their communities in an effort to create a more spiritual and healing justice system.

To learn more about the Yes! Jam, check out Yes