Healing and Restoration with Hope City Redding
By Emily Miranda
By Emily J. Miranda
Photo Courtesy of HOPE City Redding
WHERE MOST communities see crime and wrongdoing as burdens left for the justice system to tackle alone, one North State organization views such burdens as opportunities. HOPE City Redding imagines communities that approach conflict as an opportunity for healing and restoration rather than a burden. By interweaving a mindset of reconciliation through restorative justice practices, the Redding nonprofit believes communities will begin to experience a positive shift.
The team puts its vision into practice with passionate volunteer efforts. Volunteers are helping to shape a community of people who are equipped to work with others in bringing healing and restoration, and are giving people who have committed wrong the chance to make things right. These efforts use constructive, creative problem solving to reach agreements in order to repair broken relationships and rebuild community. HOPE City Redding’s efforts surface in volunteers through those who mentor at the Juvenile Rehabilitation Facility; act as program developers for schools, families and the criminal justice system; and implement the restorative justice process as a whole.
The nonprofit has also paired with local schools to offer classes that provide students with a culture of honor while teaching effective communication and conflict resolution tactics. By implementing said values, students develop mediation skills that carry into all aspects of life, such as family, career and community. Since pairing with local schools in Shasta Lake City and Anderson, HOPE City Redding has expanded these restorative practices by offering multiple classes whose goals are to give youth the means to excel. Students have shown a positive reception to the curriculum, finding their newfound knowledge to be both helpful and beneficial to their own emotional wellbeing.
One class is Respect Integrity Service Excellence (RISE), where students are required to take part in a service to their city as part of the curriculum. A RISE class from Anderson has chosen to redevelop their school’s unused garden space into a functioning food garden that doubles as a space for fellowship. Another group of students from Mountain Lakes High School collaborated with Shasta Lake City to create a new mural on the outer wall of Sunshine Market, which can be seen from Shasta Dam Boulevard.
HOPE City Redding’s other class, titled “My Justice Journey,” focuses on identifying childhood trauma and how to overcome it. This inspires children to build resilience, promotes healing and helps solidify a view of self-worth.
Change starts as an idea, but to become tangible it needs actions, and HOPE City Redding is taking the actions necessary for local communities to experience a better tomorrow. •
Emily J. Miranda is a freelance writer, designer, and self taught artist. She is a graduate of Simpson University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in communication with an emphasis on business and marketing. In her free time she enjoys writing, painting, sewing, and any projects involving creative insight.