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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: East Bay | Police State and Prisons
New Oakland-Based Organization to Promote Restorative Justice, Defend Human Rights
Please check out this release to learn about a new formation that will advocate for redistribution of government resources and represent targets of state oppression.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 30, 2010
• Kazu Haga, President, Board of Directors, Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice (CURYJ), (415) 205-6776, emailkazu [at] gmail.com
• George Galvis, Co-Executive Director, CURYJ, (510) 689-7350, sfsapo [at] msn.com
New Oakland-Based Organization to Promote Restorative Justice Programs and Defend Civil and Human Rights
Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice (CURYJ) will Represent Defendants to a Proposed “Gang Injunction” and Seek Support for Education and Job Training
OAKLAND, CA. Several community leaders have joined forces to create a new nonprofit organization—Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice (CURYJ)—that will promote restorative justice programs, offer nonviolence trainings, and provide legal services in defense of civil and human rights. CURYJ (pronounced “courage”) has taken immediate action to intervene in the legal battle regarding the proposed “gang injunction” in the Fruitvale community. The organization will represent defendants in the case of People v. Norteños as part of its larger effort to promote community healing and youth empowerment.
“We recognize that violence is an issue that impacts all Oakland residents,” affirmed Kazu Haga, founding President of the CURYJ Board of Directors. “But we believe that strategies such as the gang injunctions only serve to further marginalize our young people, alienating them from society and from resources that turn their lives around.” Haga serves on the CURYJ Board of Directors with Dennis Cunningham and Jose Luis Fuentes, both of whom are civil rights attorneys. Cunningham, who has represented victims of police abuse and harassment for over forty years, will serve as the CURYJ legal director.
Co-Executive Director George Galvis believes that CURYJ will provide an effective alternative to expensive law enforcement programs that have little or no effect on the safety and health of Oakland. “There is a common saying in the restorative justice community – ‘nothing stops a bullet like a job,’” stated Galvis. “CURYJ believes that, if our goal is to create safer communities and engaged citizens, then we must focus on healing the traumas that have been inflicted on our children and youth.” CURYJ proposes to provide comprehensive community support services, including mental health, leadership development, job training, small business incubation, grassroots organizing, and policy advocacy.
Co-Executive Director Michael Siegel will work with Fuentes and Cunningham to develop the CURYJ legal programs. “I am honored to work with the CURYJ founders to promote a safer Oakland – a city that will respect the rights of its citizens and a city that will offer sustainable, accessible pathways for young people seeking to escape the cycles of poverty and oppression,” Siegel stated. CURYJ will make its first court appearance in the People v. Norteños matter on January 7, 2011, at 10:00 a.m., in Department 20 of the Alameda Superior Court, 1221 Oak Street in Oakland.