Lee County group holding action meeting in hopes to keep kids out of jail

March 20, 2018. ABC 7.

Up to 1,000 people are expected to pack the pews at St. Columbkille Catholic Church Tuesday night for the Seventh Annual Nehemiah Action meeting.

The goal of the meeting is for citizens to confront the county commission and police chiefs from Cape Coral and Fort Myers about keeping children who make minor mistakes out of the criminal justice system.

One local man will share his son’s story. The boy could have been arrested for bringing a toy gun to school, but instead had the opportunity to take part in a diversionary program. Because of that, he was able to go on to play football and graduate.

Here’s a movement to stop gun violence in our own backyard

March 16, 2018. The Miami Herald.

The issue of guns has filled our thoughts, prayers, conversations, and debates.

With over 680 people shot in Miami-Dade in 2016 and the unwavering average of 200 people shot and killed each year since 2011 in our community, there is a crisis that begs for intervention.

A year ago, members from People Acting for Community Together (PACT) asked the Miami-Dade, Miami and Miami Gardens police to seriously research three gun violence intervention program and choose one for implementation.

We are proud of our police departments for doing just that. They chose: John Jay College’s Group Violence Intervention program (GVI).

Lakeland Mayor Bill Mutz pledges support for social justice group’s homeless-family initiative

March 14, 2018. The Lakeland Ledger.

LAKELAND – Fourteen hundred church congregants cheered when Lakeland Mayor Bill Mutz said he would meet their demands to develop housing for homeless children and families in Polk County.

Mutz was the only government official who attended the Polk Ecumenical Action Council for Empowerment’s 18th annual event Monday night. The social justice group was seeking commitments from eight officials on three goals: housing for homeless children, funding for two mental health teams to serve seriously ill children and adults, and continued diversion of children from the court system.

The Nehemiah Action night was held at Resurrection Catholic Church and involved members of 18 churches from Lakeland, Winter Haven, Bartow and Lake Wales.

Activist groups kick off their campaign against jail expansion

March 3, 2018. The Lawrence Journal-World.

Representatives of four activist groups crowded the steps of the Douglas County Courthouse Saturday to kick off their joint campaign against a proposed expansion of the county jail and a referendum on a sales tax that would fund it.

“We are planning a comprehensive campaign with many partners right up to that mail-in ballot,” said Ted Mosher, co-chairman of the Lawrence faith-based activist group Justice Matters.

Justice Matters is one of the four groups behind the campaign, which the activists are calling “Jail No.” The other partners — the Lawrence chapter of the NAACP, the social justice advocacy group Kansas Appleseed and the taxpayer watchdog group Lawrence Sunset Alliance — also turned out Saturday to speak against the jail expansion and the half-cent sales tax.

CAJM Moving Past Its Successes Onto Affordable Housing In 2018

February 16, 2018. The Charleston Chronicle. 

Charleston Area Justice Ministry President Rev. Charles Heyward thinks the network of faith-based congregations ended 2017 on a high note, though there were some disappointments. Currently some 28 congregations are members of the organization formed in 2011 to address social justice issues. Its first initiative in 2012 was to address Schools/Education and Crime/Violence.  Each year since CAJM successfully has challenged issues that include wage inequity and police bias. Last November members voted to address affordable housing and gentrification in 2018.