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Helping people was embedded in my spirit.
At a young age I thought of becoming a criminal defense attorney.
I did not realize attorneys did not address policies but rather interpreted the law.
Through a youths lens I wanted to address the issues of my day.
Growing up in Brooklyn New York during the Civil Rights Movement, affirmative action and school bussing era ignited an interest in social justice issues. I never imagine my engagement with the criminal justice system would become deeply personal later in life - my family experienced the challenges of incarceration, addiction and in 2016 the devastating homicide of my son Malcolm.
In 2007 my husband Christopher and I launched out into the deep by faith with two initiatives
which challenged and changed the trajectory of our lives. Both initiatives were conceived and purposed to support individuals impacted by justice issues.
1. C &C Tire Disposal Services. Inc, Currently a WOSB and GDOT Certified Business.
C&C Tire Disposal has served as an business service model for returning citizens interested in incubating and growing a business. C&C has provided work opportunity for many men returning home from incarceration.
2.Rehoboth Family and Community Services A non profit organization conceived as a
restorative justice mission. Rehoboth is the name of a well dug during biblical times.
Water as a resource has always represented sustainability and life.
Genesis 26:22 NLT. "Abandoning that one, Isaac moved on and dug another well. This time there was no dispute over it, so Isaac named the place Rehoboth "(which means “open space),
for he said, “At last the Lord has created enough space for us to prosper in this land".
Rehoboth FCS, Inc. is a resource bridge for justice-impacted individuals, families, and communities. In 2020, having experienced the traumatic homicide of our son Malcolm in 2016, we expanded our borders to encompass survivor families impacted by gun violence. We are a Justice-Impacted Family . There is no resolve for either side. Every aspect of the legal process is difficult for all parties' involved.
Rehoboth believes in Restorative Justice. I define this concept as a system of justice which focuses on the accountability and responsibility of ones actions and the rehabilitation of offenders through reconciliation with victims' and the community as possible.
The young man Matthew who took my son'ss life will spend 30 years in prison if not more. As parentS of Matthew and Malcolm we had cordial conversations. I remember his dad's tears and statement "I didn't raise him like that" The day of Matt's sentencing both families joined in prayer outside the court chambers. I spoke on his behalf at sentencing, although many of my family understandably were not as forgiving. We were all hurting, loving, remembering and missing Malcolm.
Every day Matthew's family and ours live with his decision and its grave consequences.
Matthew's children as well as Malcolm's children both lost the nurturing presence of their fathers .
During my tenure as a GA P.O.S.T Certified JCO,(Juvenile Corrections Officer) I supervised many kids disheartened and disconnected from purpose and potential. I believe there is always hope.
Please Pray for children impacted by ACE (Adverse Child Experience- Traumas) violence, crime, abuse, and all social inequities. Often children are the unfortunate victims of adult decisions, practices, policies.
As Justice Impacted and Survivor Servers Our Objective:
To compel incarcerated and returning citizens to come to a place of
responsibility and restoration for successful reintegration moving forward.
To connect traumatized gun violence survivors to resources and promote weapons safety for youth and adults.
To facilitate safe community conversations between impacted communities and public safety agencies.
To advocate for potential Restorative Justice alternative opportunities case by case if possible.
To facilitate learning experiences for youth. Engaging youth and young adults as peer leaders in their school and community. From Civic learners to leaders.
Y.E.S We CAN.
Advocates, Mentor Volunteers:
We have visited, written letters, accepted calls, distributed essential basic necessities, overed motel bills, answered frantic calls from parents, attended court hearings and trials, we've done it all.
We also have navigated within state institutions on behalf of incarcerated individuals.
Developed credible serving relationships with public safety agencies. Partnered with diverse anchor justice reform agencies i.e., Georgia Appleseed, SCHR, Georgia Justice Project, JoinNIA, F.U.N, inc. securing our voice as a advocate on behalf of justice involved communities.
As Survivor Impacted Servers:
We support gun rights however we recognize the need for gun safety measures
which I believe can adopt measure providing better accountability.
Our 'National Annual Day of Remembrance of Homicide Victim's and Families.' certified by The US Congress to support and recognized survivor families, is A Rehoboth FCS signature event.
As survivor families we seek others within our region impacted by gun violence but unsure of resources and guide them to a resources. Rehoboth Y.E.S. in 2024, will promote youth skilled weapons safety education course.
Since our inception nearly 17 years ago, Rehoboth has acquired a diverse community footprint of professional, state, public safety, legal, social agencies, non-profit, business community partners.
Our story and comments have been recognized in new mediums.
We are humbled and grateful for those who have labored with us and appreciate the friend's we've acquired along the way. Social disorders are not popular subject matters, but they are our reality. Each one is a individual story often with multiple layers.
Former Department of Corrections Commissioner, Major General (R.) James E. Donald, retired framed it best with this statement.
"Some we're mad at and some we are afraid of however there is a difference"
On The Journey,
Cynthia & Christopher
Cynthia is a vested speaker and community servant leader:
* Rehoboth Family and Community Services Inc.-Founder Ex. Dir.
* The National Incarceration Association -Advisory Council Member
Coordinator: 'If Moms Ran Prisons'
* Moms Demand Action-Local City Gun Violence Prevention Volunteer Lead
West Georgia Communities (gun safety in America)
* Cobb County Precent Discussion Group- Cobb County, GA. Pct 2(Public Safety)
* Pastors, Public Safety & Community Alliance Meeting, Paulding County GA
* West Georgia Civic Association, Hiram GA
* Edify* ( todays issues-biblical truths )E-linetv.com
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