David Ragland

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Truth Telling Project Co-Directors David Ragland (left) and Cori Bush held a discussion on police brutality and institutional racism as part of their nationwide initiative to spark dialogue after the Ferguson protests in the Healey Family Student Center.


David Ragland is from North St. Louis, Missouri and is Assistant Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at Juniata College/ Co-Director of the Truth Telling Project.[1]

Truth Telling Project

The Truth Telling Project was started by David Ragland in November 2014 in the wake of the Ferguson riots. Pastor Cori Bush is reportedly a "co-director."[2] The Truth Telling Project was "inspired by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa," which was headed by Archbishop Desmond Tutu.[3], [4]

Founding of the Truth Telling Project

In October 2015, an article at TheHoya addressed the founding of the Truth Telling Project,

"The Truth Telling Project is an initiative that promotes discussion of structural racism and injustice as a response to the fatal shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by a white police officer in August 2014 and the subsequent civil unrest in Ferguson.
"...Co-Directors Cori Bush and David Ragland spoke about their experiences on the frontlines of the police brutality protests in Ferguson, Mo. Friday morning in the Healey Family Student Center.
According to both Bush and Ragland, their participation in the movement came at a personal price. Bush said that she has received violent threats, such as death threats from the Ku Klux Klan, but she said that she refuses to back down in the face of adversity.
“We keep protesting because they keep killing us,” Bush said. “It’s not OK that I have to fight to be free the way a white woman is free. What makes my son different that I have to fight for him to be able to walk out of my home and walk to the corner store and come back safely? Why do I have to fear? That is a reality in my community every day. My son may not come home.”
"Ragland called on members of the audience to join the resistance against police brutality.
"Police violence is contingent upon what America approves, and my hope is that the rest of America will begin to understand what happens in some communities and withdraw their consent so that democracy is possible, because police violence wouldn’t happen if white America said we don’t want it to happen,” Ragland said."
"Ragland said that it is important to expose the truth even if it is bitter.
“How do you not be complicit in a society where you breathe and drink in racism?” Ragland said. “We are all complicit to a certain extent in this structure, as victims, in different intersectionalities and in different identities, but we are all complicit in a racist, patriarchal system that is homophobic and prizes money over bodies and persons.”[5]

Restorative Justice on the Rise

From a biography at the Restorative Justice on the Rise website:

"Dr. David Ragland grew up in North St. Louis, a few miles from Ferguson, Mo. Dr. Ragland is the co-founder for the Truth-Telling Project in St. Louis, Mo and a Assistant Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies. The Truth Telling Project is focused on developing a truth and reconciliation process to address structural violence and racism for Ferguson and Beyond.
"David serves on the board of the Peace and Justice Studies Association. Additionally he is the United Nations Representative for the International Peace Research Association. Over the past 13 years Dr. Ragland has taught at Bucknell University, Vassar College, Hofstra University, University of Toledo, Eastern Michigan University, Teachers College Columbia University Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville and Washington University in St.Louis, Mo.
"Dr. Ragland’s research focuses on Restorative Justice, School & Social Violence, the School to Prison Pipeline, Peace Education, Philosophy of Education, Coloniality and Critical Race Theory. His most recent publication is a chapter titled 'Peace Education as an Ethical Framework to Situate Restorative Justice: Locating the Concerns of Communities of Color in Peace and Justice Discourse' in Peace Studies between Tradition and Innovation. David writes frequently for PeaceVoice and is currently working on a volume entitled 'The Intellectual and Political History of Peacemakers of Color.'"[6]

Opal Tometi at the UN

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Matt Meyer, July 13 2016;

Black Lives Matter co-founder Opal Tometi addressing the United Nations at the High Level UN@70 discussion on Human Rights at the Centre of the Global Agenda. She eloquently spoke for reparations, justice, an end to mass incarceration - and a connected analysis which includes struggle against white supremacy, capitalism, imperialism, and militarism. — with David Ragland, Signe Harriday, Nesrin Kenar, Meg Starr, Amilcar Shabazz, Johanna Fernandez, Ibrahim Shaw, Opal Tometi, Melina Abdullah, Cris Toffolo, Osagyefo Sekou, Emily Welty, Alicia Garza, Carlito Rovira, Cyril Obi, Mark Norris Lance, Stellan Vinthagen, Dequi Kioni-sadiki, Peace and Justice Studies Association (PJSA) and International Peace Research Association - IPRA.

Tragic Times, Five Times Two

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Matt Meyer July 21, 2016: Tragic Times, Five Times Two;

Some thoughts on Policing, Black Lives Matter, and July 21st — with Claude Marks, Lumumba Bandele, Kazi Toure, Basir Mchawi, Judith Mirkinson, Amilcar Shabazz, Spiritchild XspiritMental, Jay-Marie Hill, Kali Akuno, Herman Bell, Monifa Bandele, Signe Harriday, Nate John Buckley, Osagyefo Sekou, Melina Abdullah, Asha Bandele, Jalil Muntaqim, Bob Lederer, Rosa Clemente, Anne Lamb, Paulette D'auteuil, David Ragland, Leslie Mac, Jared Ball, Rosa Bettina, Susan Rosenberg, Dequi Kioni-sadiki, Sundiata Acoli, Meg Starr, Brittany L. Williams, Robert Seth Hayes and Mutulu Shakur.

References