DAY-LONG ART OF JUSTICE HELD IN SANTA MARIA MARCH 12
More than 100 people attended the Art of Justice forum, featuring Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Rogelio Flores, Santa Barbara District Attorney Joyce Dudley, artist Guillermo Willie, and City Corps founder Efren Gorre. The forum was moderated by recently retired Santa Barbara County Public Defender Greg Paraskou. The panel members were articulate, passionate and inspiring, speaking about ways to help people before they get incarcerated, the importance of recovery and re-entry programs and why collaboration is more important now than ever before. The audience was clearly engaged and stopped commenting and asking questions only to move to the next part of the day, lunch catered by La Picosita of Santa Maria.
More than 150 came to the luncheon and had an opportunity to chat with community leaders at heading each table. Round table leaders were: Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian; Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown; Mike Cordero, Santa Maria City Council Member; community leader Hilda Zacarias; Robert Burrs, Restorative Justice Program Developer; Bull and Marie Chaney, Gryphon Society; Katie Ward, Program Director of Community Solutions, Inc.’s Santa Barbara Day Reporting Center; Beverly Taylor, Santa Barbara County Deputy Chief Probation Officer; Jeff Ford, Acting Assistant Unit Supervisor with the Santa Maria Parole Department; Sister Theresa Harpin, member of Central Coast Clergy and Laity for Justice; Billi Jo Starr, of Toastmasters Soldiers; Regina Castillo, with Families United Searching for Hope; and Roberto Flores, motivational speaker and advocate for at-risk youth. Also in attendance were SLO County Sheriff Ian Parkinson and Erin Weber, representing Congresswoman Lois Capps’s office.
The matinee performance of Off The Hook drew more than 200 people. While the cast was performing, Matthew Evans was accepting the award for Best SLO County Film in the high school division of the Filmmakers of Tomorrow Showcase at the SLO Film Festival for his short documentary, Poetic Justice Project.
Poetic Justice Project is grateful to The Fund for Santa Barbara and the Recreation and Parks Department of Santa Maria for support for Art of Justice at the beautiful Veterans’ Memorial Community Center. Poetic Justice Project also received in-kind support from Marian Medical Center, Valley Fencing, Starbucks, Sam’s Giant Manhattan Pizza, Roberto Flores, Regina Castillo and Rob Burrs with the Restorative Justice & Inclusion Work Group.