Center for Council is partnering with the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and the University of Southern California to host a series of public screenings and panel discussions exploring ways to build bridges between seemingly disparate groups. Bringing together international peace builders, policy makers, formerly incarcerated individuals, and law enforcement officers, these events will focus on rising above the polarizing views of “us and them” to create a healthier and more compassionate society at-large.
The first event in the series, hosted at the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles on March 14, 2019, 6:30pm, at 6505 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048, will begin with a screening of Center for Council’s short documentary: Cops and Communities: Circling Up. The film, an insider’s look at the organization’s most recent project of the same name, documents a gathering of law enforcement officers, community activists, and formerly incarcerated individuals, meeting for the first time, searching to find commonality amidst their diverse backgrounds. As the participants share stories from their lives and listen to the stories of those around them, labels and prejudices yield to a recognition of our shared human journey, former adversaries become allies, and new, deep connections emerge.
After the screening, noted international peace-builder John Paul Lederach, State Senator Holly Mitchell, and Rabbi Yechiel Hoffman will speak on the power of celebrating our common ground and shared humanity. RSVP for this event here.
On March 28, 2019, at 7pm in USC’s Ray Stark Theatre, 998, 900 W 34th St, Los Angeles, CA 90089, Center for Council will again screen Cops and Communities: Circling Up. The panel discussion following the film will feature Father Greg Boyle of Homeboy Industries, along with Samuel Escobar, a leader of Center for Council’s programming during his incarceration in state prisons, and LAPD Lieutenant Gena Brooks, supervisor of a cohort of officers who have been participating in Center for Council’s officer training program. RSVP for this event here.
Each panel will be moderated by Jared Seide, Executive Director of Center for Council.
Bios of panelists:
State Senator Holly Mitchell, was described by the Los Angeles Times as "the legislature's moral compass." Senator Mitchell has proven to be a social justice champion in the state legislature. Her many successes include improving human services, expanding access to healthcare, defending the civil rights of minorities and the undocumented, and reducing the numbers of children growing up in poverty.
John Paul Lederach, Professor Emeritus of International Peacebuilding is an acclaimed author, scholar, and pioneer of Restorative Justice work around the world. Lederach is known for his work in conflict transformation and conciliation work in Colombia, the Philippines, and Nepal, and countries in East and West Africa.
Rabbi Yechiel Hoffman is the Director of Youth Learning and Engagement at Temple Beth Am, providing organizational, educational, and spiritual leadership. As a community activist, he serves as a rabbinic adviser, activist and outreach expert for issues related to LGBT inclusion, Women's issues, and education.
Father Greg Boyle is the founder of Homeboy Industries, the largest gang-intervention, rehabilitation, and re-entry program in the world. He has received the California Peace Prize and been inducted into the California Hall of Fame. In 2014, the White House named Father Boyle a Champion of Change. He received the University of Notre Dame’s 2017 Laetare Medal, the oldest honor given to American Catholics.
Lt. Gena Brooks is Lieutenant in the South Bureau of the Los Angeles Police Department. She was introduced to the practice of Council as part of Center for Council’s Wellness and Resiliency Skills Training for law enforcement officers in 2018.
Sam Escobar was introduced to Council as a member of the inaugural Inmate Council Program at Salinas Valley State Prison. Having witnessed the impact of Council in his own life and in the lives of his fellow inmates, as well as in the lives of his family members, he has become passionate about carrying this work into a world in need of connection.