How is it that women with dark pasts, serving time for murder and manslaughter, can be honored as Peacemakers? Their story is one of personal commitment to a community in which most are destined to live out their lives.
Susan Russo, a lifer at Valley State Prison for Women in Chowchilla, CA wrote over 50 handwritten letters to California Mediators, requesting training for inmates.
One of these letters made its way to Laurel Kaufer who phoned colleague, and frequent SCMA event speaker, Doug Noll. The two of them took action and twelve weeks later, 15 inmates were fully trained
Peacemakers, conducting dozens of mediations and peace circles within the prison. “Instead of running from conflict, I now run to it,” says Peacemaker, Anna Humiston. SCMA’s Board of Directors has also taken action in approving the decision to award the Peacemaker of the Year award to the prison inmates participating in Laurel’s and Doug’s Conflict Resolution Program. SCMA is proud of their achievement and its association with these distinguished mediators. To read more, visit www.forbes.com at this link.
Also, see an open letter about this amazing event from Phyllis Pollack, SCMA President, here.