Justice Knox Follows Micah’s Directive To Be Community Organizer

November 22, 2017. Patch.com

KNOXVILLE, TN — They call themselves Justice Knox. They live by Micah’s words: “Do justice, love mercy, walk humbly.” They are the parishioners of 20 Knoxville churches–black and white, rich and poor–who have come together to speak directly to local government officials about how they believe problems in the community should be addressed.

The issues they speak about are selected by asking each other to identify the most important problems and then doing in-depth research as to what solutions should be recommended. Working on an academic year calendar, last April they asked law enforcement to look at how they dealt with the mentally ill and the school system to commit to how it dealt with students who had behavioral problems.

Spiritual Shenanigans: When Christians (and people of other faiths) actually act the way Jesus suggested, here’s what happens

August 6, 2017. CLTampa.com

The desire to bring about change is perhaps greater this year than it has been in decades in this country.  But finding ways to make a positive difference can be difficult. For some religious residents of Pinellas County, banding together has been a key to getting their voices heard to meet the needs of the community through the organization FAST (Faith and Action for Strength Together). 3,000 diverse members of FAST came together most recently on April 24 in Tropicana Field to meet with local politicians, including St. Pete’s mayor, Rick Kriseman, and ask for action on three chosen issues in an annual event they call the Nehemiah Action Assembly.  

Group renews push for peer-based conflict resolution vs. traditional discipline in schools

June 26, 2017. The Lawrence Journal-World.

Renewing their earlier calls for transparency and accountability, members of Justice Matters are again urging the school board to consider implementing restorative justice in Lawrence schools.

Gary Schmidt, co-chair of the group’s racial justice steering committee, used Monday’s school board meeting to re-engage the board in a conversation that board president Marcel Harmon said began last spring surrounding racial justice. Restorative justice hinges on empowering students to resolve conflicts on their own through peer-mediated small groups, as opposed to more traditional disciplinary methods.

Parents, faith leaders confront Henrico School Board over ‘reading crisis’

May 25, 2017. WRIC.

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Faith leaders and parents in Henrico confronted school board members about the county’s lagging literacy rates on Thursday, and the board got an earful.

Parents are calling it a ‘reading crisis’ after thousands of students failed to pass their state reading test last year.

Local organization calls for solution to Henrico’s ‘reading crisis’

May 25, 2017. WRIC.

HENRICO Co., Va. (WRIC) — A local organization is set to attend the Henrico County School Board meeting on Thursday to address concerns that the school-wide literacy efforts are not meeting the needs of students.

Representing Richmonders Involved to Strengthen our Communities (RISC) says they are demanding a solution after nearly 8,000 children failed their state reading tests in 2016. According to RISC, this is an increase of nearly 500 students failing since the 2014-15 school year.