July 15, 2016

the whole peace: Restorative Justice Poetry from Inside San Bruno Jail

The poems included in this book were written as part of a restorative justice poetry class in San Bruno Jail under Community Works West’s program, the Resolve to Stop the Violence Project (RSVP). The course took place in weekly two-hour sessions over the course of ten weeks. Its emphasis was to expand upon the primary elements of restorative justice, an alternative to a punitive model of criminal justice that emphasizes accountability, healing, and rebuilding relationships.

The poetry in this book was inspired by the discussion themes of harm/trauma, power, belonging, relationships, self-love/self-definition, and forgiveness. The conversations and sharing took place in a restorative justice circle, which provided a platform for support and honest reflection. Poetry was used as a means to help participants find and remain in touch with their authentic selves. Each session centered around themes extracted from poems written by acclaimed women of color writers and included poetry reading, discussion, and reflective writing.

See full PDF: The Whole Peace

February 23, 2016

If They Came For Me Today: Japanese-American Internment Project

The Japanese-American Internment Project is a powerful living history exhibition documenting the experiences of Japanese-American internees. This multimedia exhibition, developed by Community Works with students at George Washington, Balboa, and Horace Mann schools in San Francisco, honors those who were interned or impacted by the internment. Drawing on the oral histories of Japanese-Americans who were themselves interned or whose parents were internees, the students worked to create a unique exhibition that simultaneously chronicles the experiences of one generation and the reactions of another.

February 18, 2016

The Long Walk to Freedom

The Long Walk to Freedom is a multi-generational living history project and exhibit that explores a crucial era of American history when ordinary people did extraordinary things. The project was created by Community Works with funds provided by a California Arts Council’s “Arts in Education Demonstration” grant.  Functioning largely as an educational vehicle by youth and for youth, the exhibit features photographs, archival materials, quotes, an interactive DVD and a 15-minute video that highlight the contributions of 12 civil rights activists who changed the face of our nation through their vision and valiance. The example of their lives provides our youth with a blueprint of activism for decades to come.

January 30, 2016

Where We’re From

Where We’re From is an intergenerational oral history and poetry project conducted by writer Summer Brenner and photographer Ruth Morgan. Personal stories enliven our sense of time and place – and make them our own. We come from somewhere. We belong to someone. Even when our past is lost or abandoned, it follows us.