Report from Kat:
[On December 10] I attended the graduation of 2 Solution Focused Restorative Justice classes taught by Lorenn Walker and Dawn Slaten at WCCC. The graduation was scheduled for Sunday and was cancelled at the last minute. Demonstrating resilience when things don’t work out, Lorenn persisted and the graduation was scheduled for yesterday.
The first graduation was with the closed custody women. There were 7 women in this class and each read or spoke from the heart about what they learned about forgiveness. It is always so emotional and enlightening to listen to these women whose raw honesty about themselves is amazing. Since this was in the daytime, there were only a couple of community folks able to attend.
The next graduation was much larger (about 25 medium and minimum custody women). Among the guests were 3 judges (Alm, Wilson, and federal judge Kobayashi) as well as several community folks. All of us were moved by the women who read excerpts written by another incarcerated woman for the class. When we went around the circle to introduce ourselves, many of the women thanked the judges who incarcerated them! This always surprises me; however, the women are clear that the programs offered by WCCC, especially this one, helped them examine their own lives. The women are really incredible and I am continually inspired by their resilience, their humor, and the way they help and comfort each other.
All the women said that the hardest person to forgive was themselves. They are learning that you cannot forgive anyone until you forgive yourself. Great lesson for all of us!
Mahalo to Lorenn and Dawn for their persistence and kindness.