We don’t always remember that social justice plays a key role in sustainability. One of the underlying assumptions of the modern world is that we can throw something we no longer want “away.” Well, there is no “away.” This planet is designed as an exquisitely intricate, interconnected web of life. And we are as much a part of that web as eagles and mushrooms.
As Van Jones, founder of the green-jobs advocacy group Green for All, has observed, there are no throwaway people, either. Our modern criminal justice system has not exactly gotten this message. One of the unexamined assumptions in this complex system is that some people are just too bad to be in society; they need to be locked up and forgotten. Essentially, thrown away.
Lauren Abramson, founder of the Community Conferencing Center, doesn’t buy it. Their work is based on the simple premise that people have the wisdom and compassion to resolve their own conflicts, given the right setting and subtle guidance. In fact, as you will see from watching this video, Conferences have a very high rate of success and the parties involved have quite low rates of re-offending. Conferences are also profound for the participants, binding them together through shared experience.