*This is the last of two writings identifying vision and purpose. Change is exploring and embracing new territory. Time to harness and organize skills for meaningful action!
In the Chinese zodiac, 2020 is the year the rat representing fortune and personality! Energy will be refocused beyond unnecessary busywork and structures. Quality over quantity will be the theme. Time is precious and so is Richmond!
Last November, I read a COLOSSAL article describing a successful New York City program. In exchange of traditional court for low-level crime, Project Reset offers participants a course at the New Museum and Brooklyn Museum. According to COLOSSAL: “Since 2015, more than 1,750 people have participated in the program, and avoided a criminal record. The program has a 98% completion rate, with 96% of participants recommending it to others and a significant decrease in recidivism one year later. Project Reset also offers expediency: the 3-hour program helps cases, on average, be resolved 186 days sooner than traditional prosecution.”
From Project Reset’s website: “Every year, tens of thousands of people in New York City are arrested for low-level offenses. In the past, police and prosecutors have had only two responses to choose from: prosecution—and, in some cases, jail—or releasing people without a meaningful response from the justice system. Project Reset offers a third option: a community based program that is restorative for participants and communities and avoids the potential harms of standard case processing.”
The city of Richmond is home to the Richmond Art Center, NIAD Art Center, Richmond Museum of History, and the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front Visitor Education Center. Each venue contains stellar programming highlighting the community. Can a similar program like Project Reset be implemented here? Yes!
The first step is research and outreach to community partners. What programs currently exist that can be expanded? Does the will exist to make this a reality? What is a realistic timeline from start to implementation? Questions will lead to answers and an action plan. I believe in Richmond and so should you!
Carnegie Foundation President Earnest Boyer: “Art helps us see connections and brings a more coherent meaning to our world.”