Tag Archives: restorative justice

“transforming our neighborhoods” in the news

Last Thursday was a big day for the Quad Cities Interfaith’s Faith Leaders Caucus, which I chair. We held a press conference that received good coverage in local news–newspapers, TV, radio.

Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and Unitarian faith leaders from across the Quad Cities invited a deeper partnership between community, police, and faith leaders–for the sake of greater racial equity.

Participating with Quad Cities Interfaith is one way this congregation does its purpose, “boldly transforming our neighborhoods with hope and love.” I’m excited that All Saints Lutheran Church in Davenport was named in the news across the Quad Cities as making a difference in the community.

Thanks be to God.

Pastor Clark Olson-Smith

P.S. In addition to links to the news coverage, a summary of the statement “Partnership for Vibrant, Equitable, and Safe Communities and Policing” is below.

Here is a summary of the statement, which 33 faith leaders have signed onto, including Bishop Michael Burk of the Southeastern Iowa Synod.

“We are our brothers’ and sisters’ keeper. While one among us is suffering, all suffer. Peace is the presence of harmony, equality, mutuality, safety and space where people can thrive, not simply the absence of violence. These principles are at the core of our diverse faith traditions.”

“Justice and lovingkindness for all—expressed in a renewed and active partnership of civilians and police—is the path to vibrant, equitable, and safe communities and policing. But institutional bias and racism undermine good people and good intentions, harming people and whole neighborhoods. This reality calls us, faith leaders in the Quad Cities, to act together for the sake of a more just and loving community.”

There are five specific things faith leaders are asking for.

  • Prioritizing Community Policing,
  • Ending Racial Profiling
  • Requiring Racial Bias, Crisis Intervention, and Diversity Training
  • Recruiting and retaining officers of color
  • Creating independent civilian oversight boards

restorative justice community meeting

Scott County’s Drug Court is one example of “restorative justice.” Instead of going to prison, drug offenders can enter a long-term, intensive process of recovery, mentoring, and accountability. It is a secular government program. Even so, it enacts Christian faith values.

Every Friday Drug Court convenes. The Friday I visited, Judge Marlita Greve presided. It was intense–a powerful mixture of grace and consequences, honest self-reflection and personal transformation.

On Thursday evening, May 7, Quad Cities Interfaith will host a community meeting on restorative justice and ways people of faith can work together to advance our values in the area of criminal justice.

I will be in attendance, as QCI’s Faith Leaders Caucus chairperson. Email me if you are interested in coming too. -PC