By Valerie Shaw, M.PR
It was great that the two day, Loyola Marymount University Bellarmine Forum 2013, “Restoring Justice” film festival, with keynote speaker, best-selling author, Michelle Alexander, drew a sold-out crowd.
For some it was an introduction to the inequities in the criminal justice system and the realities of the school to prison pipeline. For most, though, it was reinforcement and an introduction to a new movement sweeping the country, Restorative Justice.
In case you missed the building of Occupy, the Tea Party or Gay Pride into actual movements within the past decade or so, LMU Professors Scott Wood and Jonathan Rothchild, co-directors of this year’s Bellamine Forum have organized the 21-day “Restoring Justice” Forum which highlights a myriad of perspectives on Restorative Justice, a compassionate alternative to today’s punitive justice system and a new movement on the rise throughout the country.
Week one presented a wide array of compelling documentaries, celebrated speakers, expert panels and interactive experiences dealing with Restorative Justice in schools, the courts and in the community. Weeks two and three promise an even greater explosion of ideas and expansion of disparate parties [hosts, panelists and audience] coming together to build on ideas and information. That is, after all, what movements do.