Film Recommendation: “Healing Justice” available through World Trust Films

“As you watch this film you may experience a range of powerful emotions. Please know that you are not alone. May our thoughts and feelings create fires that ignite the gifts of learning, healing, and transformation. May we recognize and honor the depth of our inter-connectedness. May we nourish the flames that burn away hatred and fear. May we utilize these gifts to mend ourselves and our communities.” These words begin the film, “Healing Justice,” which has been recommended to us by a friend familiar with the Justice Conversation project. It is a good film for sharing with educators, law enforcement, judicial professionals, as well as non-profits. After viewing it, I also want to emphasize that it’s a good film for adults in the general public. For anyone who votes. For anyone who may at some point come into contact with our justice system. For you. I will add, though,… Continue reading

Matthew Part I – What is Justice?

Matthew Avery Solomon, my stepson, was shot and killed while walking with friends on a San Francisco Street on September 4, 2008, an innocent victim of some gang related retaliation. His friend Noel Espinoza was also killed. ________ September 4, 2008 to September 4, 2018 – a decade, ten years – September 4th being an anniversary of a murder, the murder of Matthew Avery Solomon as he walked the streets of San Francisco with his two young friends, Noel and December, after work, just hanging out and having a good time. As it turns out, just a few months ago, in the middle of this tenth year, three young Hispanic men were arrested and charged with the murder of Matthew and of Noel, his buddy. December survived to tell the story: December’s eyes Her ears ringing from the shots,         She could not hear herself scream,        “They shot Matt… Continue reading

Book Review: The Mars Room

Rachel Kushner’s The Mars Room tells the story of one woman’s life inside the prison system – Contributed by Jenny Zoe Casey In her novel The Mars Room, Rachel Kushner ( considers our criminal justice system from a rare vantage point – that of a vulnerable young woman who is both subject to it and victimized by it. Kushner’s protagonist, Romy, is just a few years shy of a youth spent in the crevices of working class San Francisco, amongst a cohort trapped in cycles of petty crime, drug use, dysfunction, and poverty. The mother of a young boy whose father is absent, she makes her living as a lap dancer. For reasons that seem rational and easy to understand, Romy finds herself the recipient of two consecutive life sentences, plus a ludicrous additional six years. Thus we are introduced to her experience of life in a women’s prison. According… Continue reading