By Marco "Mu" Maldonado
June 21, 2016
We have come a long way since Charles and Phill invited me to help design the Advanced RJ Workshop. It has been almost eight years since that cold and dreary day in the auditorium of Graterford State Prison. We were participating in a training for another program (Inside Out) we are members of when they approached me during a break. Their pitch was simple: Would you like to be part of something that would be created, designed, facilitated, and directed by us? The idea of ownership was appealing, so I agreed to become an invested contributor to something we could call outs.
TO this day, I am still amazed at the level of our progress. We have reached over 600 participants, collaborated with Haverford College and other universities, facilitated special events, and changed our name from the Restorative Justice Project at Graterford to Let's Circle Up. There are other countless accomplishments and memories; however, the most prominent of those accomplishments and memories is the decision I made that cold and dreary day in the auditorium.