Our ability to build connections through sharing our stories creates a pathway to understanding. We can create healthy communities when we center one another's humanity, even though we may not always agree. Listening from a foundation of reverence for each person's story, we build trust and co-journey toward mutual liberation.
Building the foundation for a strong identity in young people is one aspect of creating a community where everyone can thrive.
Building a community of writers and artists creates the conditions for relationships that can become supports as young people grow into adulthood.
These opportunities offer an innovative approach, and are especially meaningful to young people who have not been traditionally centered in youth writing or youth development programs.
13th Justice Series
Roderick Bankston facilitates a series of viewings and discussions of 13th, reflecting on the legacy of slavery, the politics of mass incarceration, our racialized identities and how it all fits within our current context. As an educator and restorative justice practitioner, Rudy also shares aspects of his personal story, work in education, and the criminal justice system.
Healing Justice, explores the causes and consequences of the current American justice system and its effect on marginalized communities. The film walks back through the history of violence that has led to our current system, bringing into focus the histories of trauma – on personal, interpersonal, community, and generational levels.
Building Restorative Communities of Care
School districts and community organizations with wellness grants are funding community building conversations on equity and restorative practices. Each community identifies their priorities, we listen, provide resources, and hold space for and help guide the conversation and emergent action steps that follow.
Rudy Bankston has a presence and energy that is uplifting, empowering and grounding, all at the same time. Working with him has been a transformative experience and I find myself often reflecting back on key concepts and values that he has shared. Rudy has helped me to see my worth and value as a leader, knowing that I am a continual work in progress, and that is a beautiful thing.
Rudy is able to see the beauty and authenticity in all of us. He helps to uplift the community and creates a sense of true belonging, to ourselves and each other. After every session with Rudy, I feel empowered and hopeful and ready to continue this critical work.
~Katrina Krych, Social Worker for the Sun Prairie School District and former principal of West Middleton Elementary