Through engaging with youth, Woodlawn Restorative Justice Hub envisions a community where young people and families collaborate to build peace through restorative justice.
WE ARE THE WOODLAWN
RESTORATIVE JUSTICE HUB.
We are more than just a single program. All of our work responds to trauma, violence and conflict through the lens of healing, community and justice. Recognizing that one size does not fit all, we are committed to developing lasting changes in our youth participants and in our community by proactively building healthy relationships through our programming. We are driven by the African philosophy of ubuntu, or I am because we are. By doing this work, we believe we will create a community that is united to prevent and address conflict and wrongdoing.
Historically, the Woodlawn area has experienced high levels of homicides, most of which were youth aged 24 and under. Much of this violence is gang-related and extends to neighboring communities. Woodlawn is among the top ten communities with the highest number of admissions to the juvenile detention center and Cook County Jail.
Stemming from a partnership with the Woodlawn East Community and Neighbors (WECAN), and Southside Together Organizing for Power (STOP), the Woodlawn Restorative Justice Hub (WRJH) leverages relationships with gang-affiliated “high-risk” youth from conflicting gang territories to interrupt their violent behavior and engage them in long-term leadership development, violence prevention, and peacebuilding through the Young Leaders for Peace program.
WRJH IS BORN
Out of these realities and more, STOP created a youth program and in 2015, that program’s effort secured the South Side’s only trauma center at the University of Chicago Medical Center. The organization then developed a program to engage street-involved youth, now known as Young Leaders for Peace (YLP) program which was funded by WECAN. The success of the YLP program led to the formation of a new organization, the Woodlawn Restorative Justice Hub (WRJH).
RESTORING THE COMMUNITY
The Woodlawn Restorative Justice Hub is a unifying force, drawing across the community to engage young leaders in long-term Leadership Development, Mental Health, Violence, Prevention, and Peace Building. Our Young Leaders for Peace program is dedicated to embedding restorative justice practices in Woodlawn and surrounding Chicago communities. With a mission to engage those most impacted by violence and a holistic approach of healing, economic empowerment, and civic engagement, the Woodlawn Restorative Justice Hub strives to create a peaceful community, where young people and families collaborate to build peace.
- Michelle Obama
“There is no magic to achievement. It’s really about hard work, choices and persistence."
MEET OUR TEAM
Catherine is a seasoned nonprofit director and leader within her community. Catherine's experiences include serving as a community advocate for restorative justice, mentoring, community organization and program implementation. She has over 20 years of experience in area program management, mentoring, and administration evaluation of programming of the organization. Catherine has history of advocacy. She has served on a number of state and local community Board of Directors in areas of restorative justice, incarceration, education, housing, domestic violence, violence prevention, and economic sustainability with special emphasis of women issues.
Job Training Coordinator
Marcus believes in working with WRJH because it provides a holistic program that is designed to help those most effected by economic deprivation, social exclusion, systematic oppression, unsafe environments, and non-cultural pedagogy. The WRJHUB gives a realistic voice from all participants involved that may have never received a chance to speak on their circumstances, then begin to bring about change for themselves and their community.
Haroon has dedicated his life to fighting against the social inequalities that impact our communities. He has served his community tirelessly for many decades under the auspices of his grandmother, Gerry Moore, who was Block Club President in the Woodlawn Neighborhood for at least 30 years. He served as a Board member and later as the Housing Organizer with the STOP Organization (Southside Together Organizing for Power), helping to build communities through direct action organizing, and challenging systemic issues of the impact of violence and conflicts in neighborhoods, displacement and gentrification. His life experience and career has a history of dedication and compassion for young people. Haroon's core values shapes his philosophy in responding to needs of Restorative Justice Practices among the youth and community. Haroon takes great pride in his ability to resolve conflict through mediation.
Preston Allison Jr.
Preston Allison Jr. is the CEO of PAJ Associate- Building A Better You. Preston Allison motivated the Speaker, Trainer, and Coach. He is the author of The Prophetic Counseling Setting the Captives Free, The Parent Job Manual book. Mr. Allison is Mental Health Consultant for Woodlawn Restorative Justice Hub.
Recognized as a leader in the mental health field, Preston Allison has over twenty years of
experience in serving children and adolescents within the Chicagoland area. Mr. Alison possesses the unique gifts to address topics of Social Emotional Health, Anger Management Self-Esteem, Learning, and Developmental Disabilities. Mr. Allision's expertise, creativity, and passion have set a positive framework for addressing mental health, trauma youth, parents, stakeholders, and communities.
Zellores Harrison is a business owner; an Executive Administrator that provides high-level administrative support to Solopreneurs; the CEO and other Executive Committee members. Zellores, also provides and lead support to both internal and external parties with a high-level of professionalism and in a manner that reflects positively on the organization.
Ms. Harrison is a DePaul University graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration.
Latanya Cooper It’s an it’s a entrepreneur, a connector of resources, social advocate, community flag influencer and a mentor for the Woodlawn Restorative Justice Hub. I Latanya Cooper has over 30 years of integrated services that ranges from a servant hood hard worker concert and the business with a problem-solving. Her gift that she brings to the program is a listening heart and compassion to do whatever it takes to support and encourage our young leaders. Stephen Grellet stated “ I should pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer it or neglected, for I shall not pass this way again.” Latanya seeks to show kindness to the world daily.
Arnold Butler is a leader, mentor,
innovator and Violence Prevention Expert with the
Woodlawn Restorative Justice Hub. Through hard work
and dedication to both the Woodlawn and Hyde Park
communities, he has dedicated himself to helping young
leaders become successful. His contribution to mentorship
and violence prevention comes from the personal testimony
he faced in his teenage years. His relentless evolution,
dedication, love for people, sports, and problem-solving
motivates all people that come in contact with him. The
creativity he builds in others influences positive results for
our young leaders in our society.
We also could not do this work without our dedicated Board of Directors. Their expertise and guidance are crucial to our mission and community success.