What I do here:
OJEN programs bring youth and their adult allies together with members of the justice community to better understand each other’s worlds. The results are always interesting, sometimes transformative. I share the stories of the impacts we’ve had, the lessons we’ve learned and the issues we’ve encountered with the wide range of stakeholders who care about justice education.
Why I work at OJEN:
I came to OJEN with a background in not-for-profit management and no experience in law. What I appreciated right away was the strong commitment everyone in the organization shared to work toward a more just society. Staff, board, network members, volunteers…the same spirit permeates OJEN at every level. This shared value unites staff from quite different backgrounds and has resulted in a dynamic and mostly harmonious work environment. Although justice education was not something I had expected to become involved in, it’s become something I care about very much. Life is full of wonderful surprises!
What I’ve been learning about lately:
Lately I’ve been thinking about how dialogue relates to justice and its importance in OJEN’s work. Daisaku Ikeda, Buddhist philosopher, educator and author had this to say on the subject in his 2003 Peace Proposal to the United Nations:
“…justice cannot function without being understood. Justice consists of explanation. Explanation and understanding are made possible through the power of words.” And further, “If indeed we are Homo loquens- man made human by the capacity for speech – we must not give up the effort of dialogue regardless of the magnitude of the crisis.”