We are a Revisionary Civic Leadership Organization
The Restorative Community Coalition is in the business of Re-Claiming lives. We are an action oriented coalition advocating for restorative, economic, systemic and social change.
Since 2006 we have helped thousands of people heal in the aftermath of crisis, incarceration and trauma in their families. As a result, our vision is to help our community build a network of support to put people to work, rather than into jail. We have been doing or supporting all of the following:
• Case Management
• Substance Abuse
• Mental Health Counseling, and Treatment
• Education, Vocational Opportunities, and Job Search Support
• Functional Literacy Coaching, Life Skills, and Budgeting
• Provide Clothes, Bus Passes, Food, Furniture, Gas, Car Repair,
• Continually Write Support Letter to Inmates
What Holds Us Back from being FULL SERVICE?
In the past, our all volunteer non-profit has been “shunned, shamed and silenced” because we help people who are justice system involved (labelled as criminals) get their feet back under them so they can recover.
This has not been the privileged, prestigious, powerful “polite society” conversation. Today, in the aftermath of the Impeachment, the Constitutional Crisis, the George Floyd death, the civic protests – people are now talking about defunding the police, changing our systems, etc.
This is exactly the work that our Coalition has been doing for 14 years in Whatcom County specifically.
Our Coalition has in fact worked with over 200 Interns, thousands of citizens, and hundreds of volunteers to research how to turn around a mass incarceration driven local economy to become a Local Enterprising People Driven Economy (LEPDE). Yet, most of these people have been afraid to “go public” with their opinions, experiences, knowledge – for fear of retaliation, retribution, or public shaming, silencing or shunning.
Most people do not know that 1/3 of our population in America has been arrested at one time in their lives…and they “don’t want to talk about it”. And a full 50% of the households in our County have someone in their family who is dealing with an arrest or conviction problem right now.
But this is not just a problem in Whatcom County. It is nationwide, and people of all colors, all classes, all professions, all backgrounds are being affected by the SILENCING by SHAMING and SHUNNING.
It is worth noting that:
- 12 Million people are jailed nationwide annually, most for non-violent offenses – funding a multi-billion dollar mass incarceration business model.
- That mass incarceration industry is driving the expansion of the school-to-prison pipelines in small counties across the nation.
- This means that our local law enforcement industry is part of the process of promoting the contrarian predator/prey/parasitic economic system nationwide.
- Our entire local community jurisdictions then become complicit in funding the incarceration business using the “Supply and Demand” marketplace economic model.
- Local leadership people are silenced because they are in a Catch 22 Predicament: We identified how it works in “Noble Cause Corruption” report.
- We have also identified that the local officials are being compelled to hire jail building contractors to plan to expand the multil-billion dollar scavenger industry we have identified as a “privateeering” industry.
- And those privateering industry people promote the passing of taxes, to compel taxpayers to pay more for an unsustainable, tax addicted public safety system.
- By passing taxes, they get local citizens (who are the prey to being arrested) to pay taxes to underwrite the jail system, which then punishes them.
- It is a repetitive trauma based system that is self-perpetuating and self-destructive to the community, and it produces homeless, generational poverty, abuse, addiction and mental illness.
Our Coalition has identified the problem, we have proposed solutions, we have built templates, we have developed a track record. Today we need help funding our solutions to free the people, put them to work, reconstruct our social safety network county-wide.
We need funding. We need executive quality employees to help us manage the community’s enterprising business projects. If you can help be one of our fundraisers, our marketers, our community organizers, please call at 360-354-3653.
Board of Directors
Joy became President of Restorative CommUnity Coalition in 2010.
She is a thoughtful entrepreneur, producer, facilitator, author and educator; born here and raised on a farm in the peaceful Puget Sound. On her families farm, she raised all kinds of animals, and she took great pride in how her animals were treated, and shown. She has always been ‘at one with nature’, and always kept that philosophy in mind with the rearing of her own two sons.
Recognizing that the privatization of prisons has changed the socio-economic-political landscape, she studied and observed and built the models to inspire ‘whole systems thinking’ for all of our futures.
In 2015, Joy co-authored the book, Stop Punishing Taxpayers, Start Rebuilding Community, to show how restorative economics can reduce over-criminalization of people.
Founder & Secretary
“I have dedicated my life to promoting peace through intentional choice, conscious action and the healing of hearts.”
Irene was raised on a farm in Everson, Washington. She and her husband raised their family, and ran their slaughter on the farm business for 20 years.
Following her heart in 2006, she studied the healing arts and became a counselor and therapist. Irene’s personal instincts and wisdom allowed her to reach out and identify where her compassion for humanity could truly be of the most benefit. This led her to founding the Restorative CommUnity Coalition.
In addition to her many achievements, in 2015 she also co-authored the book, Stop Punishing Taxpayers, Start Rebuilding Community.
Debbie joined the Restorative CommUnity Coalition in 2010.
Her background is in corrections, administration; and she has worked with people, who have conviction histories, to become positive, productive citizens and community members.
We value her outstanding efforts and resourcefulness in researching information and documentation for our websites and social media outlets.
New Board Members for 2021:
Atul Deshmane is an engineer by training and practice… but he also has run a business and serves in local government and various non-profit boards. Atul has worked to commercialize clean energy and transportation technologies with large and small companies. Atul is currently focused on local government and is presently a Whatcom PUD commissioner and Whatcom Planning Commissioner.
About working with the Restorative CommUnity Coalition, Atul says, “The RCC matters to me because it takes perhaps the most intractable issue in our society and infuses it with an enlightened AND effective way to guide people away from practices that destroy our potential rather than enhance it.”
Atul is exploring innovations that increases the resilience of communities. Atul has a hobby farm and has been bike commuting for over 6 years logging over 30,000 miles. He enjoys spending time with his two wonderful adult children, hanging at the farm, enjoying the outdoors with friends, and dancing tango.