Service In Action
Promoting the Importance Of Race Relations In Restorative Justice
The Fourth National Conference on Restorative Justice brought together faith leaders, educators, judges, politicians, policy makers, practitioners and community members from 31 states and three countries to explore racial relations and the use of restorative justice principles and practices in today’s world. Those gathered specifically addressed the topic of race relations as it relates to restorative justice.
Restorative justice is an age-old approach to justice that focuses on the needs of the victims and offenders as well as the involved community, rather than that of legal principles or punishment. “This is the opposite approach that we use in our formal justice system today, which views a crime as being against the state. Often what ends up happening is that the victim and the community are left out of the justice process and therefore they never truly heal,” says Dale Lanigan, Ed.D., Chair of the Department of Sociology & Justice Studies.
Conference Co-Chair Gina Paris (’06, BA, Criminal Justice, Sociology) was instrumental in bringing this internationally known conference to Toledo, Ohio. “The ultimate goal of restorative justice is to restore everyone and make them whole again and to do it in a way that values all individuals and communities. Race relations is a topic that often comes up in the news and our daily lives. The conference encouraged attendees to address the reality of race relations today as it pretains to the criminal justice system and in restorative justice initiatives."
Tigana Cain (’13, BS, Marketing) played an important marketing role for the conference. With his assistance, the conference secured advertising sponsorships with The Blade, Buckeye CableSystem, and The Toledo Journal. “I gained a lot of experience that I will put towards my future career. Working on the Fourth National Conference on Restorative Justice really opened my eyes to the world of marketing and public relations and the concept of restorative justice.”