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reClaimed: Dialogues on Justice and Kinship

Charles Rotramel, Matt Russell, and Gregg Taylor carry on a wide ranging discussion each week on restorative justice, current events, and faith.
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Charles Rotramel, Matt Russell, and Gregg Taylor lead a discussion on restorative justice, current events, and faith. New episodes post each Friday.

Apr 1, 2016
Charles, Matt and Gregg are joined by Rick Torres to learn his story of life as a teen gang member, his descent into drugs and despair, and his transformation into a role model and intervention specialist. Rick Torres is an Outreach Worker for Houston: reVision, and has previously worked as a youth worker for Youth Advocates and Neighborhood Centers.  More information about Houston: reVision is available here:  https://houstonrevision.org/
Mar 25, 2016
Charles, Matt and Gregg discuss the powerful meaning of Good Friday, the road to the cross, the suffering of God, and the emergence of light.
Mar 18, 2016
Charles and Gregg are joined again by Adriana Garcia to discuss mass incarceration, its consequences for families and neighborhoods, and specific ways we can help. Adriana Garcia, M.A. is a sociologist and researcher with expertise in gangs and street culture.  Resources mentioned in this episode: The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, by Michele Alexander The Superpredator Scare:  http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/07/us/politics/killing-on-bus-recalls-superpredator-threat-of-90s.html?_r=0  
Mar 11, 2016
Charles and Gregg are joined by Adriana Garcia to discuss the Code of the Street,  stereotypes of people living in poverty, and signs of hope in the Hood. Adriana Garcia, M.A. is a sociologist and researcher with expertise in gangs and street culture.  Resources mentioned on this episode: The Code of the Street: Decency, Violence, and the Moral Life of the Inner City, by Elijah Anderson. Hail Mary, song by Tupac Shakur Love Yourz, song by J Cole
Mar 4, 2016
Charles, Matt and Gregg talk about grief and how we connect to others, and how we can cross boundaries and find kinship through our deepest emotions. 
Feb 26, 2016
Charles, Matt, and Gregg are joined by Shariq Ghani for a fascinating discussion about growing up Muslim in America, overcoming obstacles, and ways Christians and Muslims can connect. Shariq is active in the Islamic Society of Greater Houston, preaches in mosques throughout the region, and leads an innovative youth leadership group. He is an activist and helps to lead the Minaret Foundation, an organization dedicated to improving the image of Islam in the West. Their website is here: http://www.minaretfoundation.com/  
Feb 19, 2016
Charles, Matt and Gregg are joined by Canon John Newton, Chief of Staff for the Episcopal Diocese of Texas to discuss how he and his colleagues have worked to keep the focus on mission while working through difficult conflict, and how God helps guide us toward kinship. John is an Episcopal priest who has degrees from the University of Texas at Austin and from Virginia Theological Seminary. He is the author of New Clothes: Putting on Christ and Finding Ourselves, and of the upcoming book Falling into Grace: Exploring Our Inner Life with God, available in April. John's great blog is here: http://www.cruci-formation.com/
Feb 12, 2016
Charles, Matt and Gregg are joined again by Ron Williams, MSW, Outreach Worker for Houston: reVision, for the conclusion of his inspiring story of moving from the street life to helping kids leave the streets. Ron has worked in correctional facilities in Detroit, worked as a street intervention worker with some of the most hard to reach individuals, and is now working with youth in the juvenile justice system on the streets of Houston. His one of a kind story of transformation is astonishing and full of hope. Ron is writing a book about his life which will be released in the coming months.  More information about Houston: reVision is available here: http://houstonrevision.org
Feb 5, 2016
Charles, Matt and Gregg are joined by Ron Williams, MSW, Outreach Worker for Houston: reVision, who shares his incredible story of the street life, the despair of 80's Detroit, and the inspiring transformation that has led him to help kids leave the street life behind. Ron has worked in correctional facilities in Detroit, worked as a street intervention worker with some of the most hard to reach individuals, and is now working with youth in the juvenile justice system on the streets of Houston. His one of a kind story of transformation is astonishing and full of hope. "Once in a Great City: A Detroit Story" by David Maraniss is mentioned in this podcast, and provides additional context for the history of Detroit. Ron is writing a book about his life which will be released in the coming months.  More information about Houston: reVision is available here: http://houstonrevision.org/
Jan 29, 2016
Charles and Matt are joined by Jay Jenkins, Staff Attorney with the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition, to look at how criminal justice reform occurs by looking at how individuals end up in jail, how the bail system works, and what options exist to divert them back to their communities. Jay has served as an attorney in Chicago, Washington D.C., and New York City, and has a wealth of experience working on major reform efforts. He is on the planning committee working with Harris County for the major MacArthur Foundation reform effort.  More information about the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition is here: http://www.texascjc.org/ More information about LEAD, the Seattle prebooking diversion program that Jay mentions is here: http://leadkingcounty.org/ An editorial on how this Seattle program relates to Harris County is here: http://www.chron.com/opinion/outlook/article/Jenkins-Neill-Harris-County-should-stop-jailing-6538426.php Pulitzer Prize winning Houston Chronicle columnist Lisa Falkenberg has written about bail reform in a series of columns here: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/columnists/falkenberg/article/Falkenberg-Bread-and-jails-A-deadline-a-promise-6733285.php and here: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/columnists/falkenberg/article/For-those-accused-in-Harris-County-it-s-time-to-6748263.php Houston Press writer Megan Flynn has written about bail reform here: http://www.houstonpress.com/news/bail-hearings-where-prosecutors-and-magistrates-ensure-defenseless-people-stay-in-jail-8058308
Jan 22, 2016
Charles, Matt and Gregg are joined by poet Marlon Lizama to hear his story, learn the inspirations for his poetry, and hear about the ways he is inspiring young people everywhere. Marlon is a published poet, internationally famous break dancer, creative writing teacher, and an activist. He leads Iconoclast Sessions, a program that teaches poetry and creative writing to youth in inner city schools and correctional facilities. He has been a longtime participant in the Youth Advocates and reVision communities. Marlon's first book is called Cue the Writer: Cheers to the Notion of Love, Hate, God, & Revolution. It is available on his website here: http://www.marlonlizamapoetry.org/book-info.html Marlon and Matt have curated an anthology of poetry produced by the students of Iconoclast Sessions. It will be available on Amazon soon. The Facebook page for Iconoclast Sessions is here: https://www.facebook.com/Iconoclastsessions    
Jan 15, 2016
Charles and Gregg are joined by Phuc Luu, Director of Education for Project Curate and Lecturer in New Testament at Houston Baptist University, to learn his story as a refugee and an outsider, and to discuss what we can learn from the cross. Phuc is a longtime educator who has taught philosophy and theology at Houston Baptist University. He is also the theological writer for the iconic website The Work of the People. Phuc is now working with Matt Russell on Project Curate. His compelling personal story has informed his work throughout his life.    
Jan 8, 2016
Charles, Matt and Gregg are joined again by Mustafa Tameez, Managing Director of Outreach Strategists, for an illuminating discussion about ISIL, ways to combat terrorism in the US, and how our faith communities provide the key to combating it. Mustafa has had a distinguished career in public affairs and communications, and has also advised successful candidates for mayor of Houston, state legislature, and Congress, as well as non profits. He has consulted on national security with the Department of Homeland Security. Mustafa is a regular contributor to the Houston Chronicle and the Texas Tribune.  More information about Mustafa is available here: http://www.outreachstrategists.com/who-we-are/leadership/ His regular writing in the Houston Chronicle is available here: http://blog.chron.com/intheloop/author/mustafatameez/    
Dec 31, 2015
Charles, Matt and Gregg are joined by Mustafa Tameez, Managing Director of Outreach Strategists, to discuss the American criminal justice system, how we got to the present era of mass incarceration, and where we go from here. Mustafa has had a distinguished career in public affairs and communications, and has also advised successful candidates for mayor of Houston, state legislature, and Congress, as well as non profits. He has consulted on national security with the Department of Homeland Security. Mustafa is a regular contributor to the Houston Chronicle and the Texas Tribune.  More information about Mustafa is available here: http://www.outreachstrategists.com/who-we-are/leadership/ His regular writing in the Houston Chronicle is available here: http://blog.chron.com/intheloop/author/mustafatameez/    
Dec 25, 2015
Charles, Matt and Gregg are joined by Larry James, CEO of CitySquare, to discuss the effects of poverty, and creating meaningful friendships with those experiencing it. CitySquare is a faith based non profit working in the inner city of Dallas to fight the causes and effects of poverty through service, advocacy, and friendship. Larry is a United Methodist Pastor with a varied faith background and a strong commitment to social justice. More information about CitySquare is available here: http://www.citysquare.org Larry's blog is here: http://larryjamesurbandaily.blogspot.com Larry's book, The Wealth of the Poor, is available here: http://www.amazon.com/Wealth-Poor-Valuing-Neighbor-Restores/dp/0891123806/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1367949491&sr=1-1&keywords=the+wealth+of+the+poor     
Dec 18, 2015
Charles, Matt and Gregg are joined by Sarah Narendorf continue their discussion about youth homelessness, focusing on what youth need to succeed and how to prevent homelessness or intervene successfully in the lives of these youth. Dr. Sarah Narendorf is an Assistant Professor of Social Work at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. She was the lead researcher for Youth Count 2.0, an innovative project of the Graduate College to identify homeless youth in the Houston area. Youth Count 2.0 was funded by the Greater Houston Community Foundation. More information about Sarah is available here: http://www.uh.edu/socialwork/about/faculty-directory/s-narendorf/ The Youth Count 2.0 full reports and more information about it are available here: http://www.uh.edu/socialwork/New_research/projects/Youth%20Count%202.0/    
Dec 18, 2015
Charles, Matt and Gregg are joined by Sarah Narendorf continue their discussion about youth homelessness, focusing on what youth need to succeed and how to prevent homelessness or intervene successfully in the lives of these youth. Dr. Sarah Narendorf is an Assistant Professor of Social Work at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. She was the lead researcher for Youth Count 2.0, an innovative project of the Graduate College to identify homeless youth in the Houston area. Youth Count 2.0 was funded by the Greater Houston Community Foundation. More information about Sarah is available here: http://www.uh.edu/socialwork/about/faculty-directory/s-narendorf/ The Youth Count 2.0 full reports and more information about it are available here: http://www.uh.edu/socialwork/New_research/projects/Youth%20Count%202.0/  
Dec 11, 2015
Charles, Matt and Gregg are joined by Sarah Narendorf to discuss homeless youth, the issues that cause them to become homeless, and what we can do to help. Dr. Sarah Narendorf is an Assistant Professor of Social Work at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. She was the lead researcher for Youth Count 2.0, an innovative project of the Graduate College to identify homeless youth in the Houston area. Youth Count 2.0 was funded by the Greater Houston Community Foundation. More information about Sarah is available here: http://www.uh.edu/socialwork/about/faculty-directory/s-narendorf/ The Youth Count 2.0 full reports and more information about it are available here: http://www.uh.edu/socialwork/New_research/projects/Youth%20Count%202.0/    
Dec 4, 2015
Charles, Matt and Gregg discuss this difficult season of Advent, the dichotomy between commercial Christmas and the longing implicit in this season, and envision a welcoming of all people. Due to technical difficulties, the sound quality of this episode is below standard. We will correct this issue in future episodes. 
Nov 27, 2015
Charles, Matt and Gregg continue their discussion of the turning points in their own lives, and how God changes the plan. This episode is the second of two parts.
Nov 20, 2015
Charles, Matt and Gregg discuss the turning points in their own lives, and how God shows up at the most unexpected times in the midst of our personal stories. This episode is the first of two parts.
Nov 13, 2015
Charles and Gregg are joined by Adriana Garcia, a Ph.D. student at Rice University researching gangs and incarceration, along with the social factors contributing to both. Adriana has an inspirational personal journey that has led her from the barrio of Pacoima, California to academia. She shares her uniquely personal view of the issues facing families and kids on the edge. 
Nov 6, 2015
Charles, Matt and Gregg discuss Project CURATE, a groundbreaking theological education program in Houston bringing together groups of adults from different neighborhoods, social positions, and backgrounds to create a new view of the Body of Christ. Matt discusses his ideas around the program, and tell stories of transformation. More information is available here: http://www.projectcurate.org/
Oct 30, 2015
Charles, Matt and Gregg discuss vulnerability, the importance of acknowledging one's own brokenness, and how God is present in the wounds and in the wounded. This podcast is an expansion of our discussion in the previous episode with Father Greg Boyle from Homeboy Industries of Welcoming Our Wound.
Oct 23, 2015
Charles and Gregg are joined by Father Greg Boyle to discuss working with gang members, brokenness and vulnerability, and how God meets us in our wounds.  Father Greg Boyle is the Founder and Executive Director of Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, which is the largest gang intervention program in the world. He is Jesuit Priest and is the former pastor of Delores Mission in Los Angeles. He is the author of Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion. Father Greg is the inspiration for this podcast, a world leader in working with marginalized people, and a personal hero of Charles, Matt and Gregg.  Matt was lecturing and teaching in England, and will rejoin the podcast next week.  
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