Updated: Oct 26
Kushinda means to overcome in Swahili. This specialty court helps 18-29 year old African American men overcome their past and reclaim their future.
watch this inspiring 4-minute snapshot of this revolutionary court
Judge Gerald Parker created Kushinda Court modeled off a similar court in Columbia, MO.
Kushinda Court is only the second of it's kind in the United States.
What, When & Where:
Every other Thursday, Judge Parker holds court from 1-2 pm for 30ish young men in the program. If they don't attend, there are consequences.
On opposite Thursdays, a trained HEAT facilitator guides the young men through the community-building HEAT curriculum. HEAT stands for Habilitation Empowerment Accountability Therapy.
For a variety of reasons (generational, systemic, socio-economic, familial, and cultural), young black men often have a disproportionately more difficult time navigating life in the transitional years into adulthood.
Kushinda Court intervenes through an evidence-based therapeutic model to reroute these young men into healthy pathways and relationships that refocuses their strengths and opportunities towards higher self-efficacy, self-esteem, and self-monitoring.
3-Phase Strategy (my hope):
(1) Increase Quality of Services to increase life transformation and reduce recidivism.
Network together professional and volunteer support services (around the 8 dimensions of wellness) that aid this population in navigating life:
workforce, housing, fathering, dating, friendship, transportation, mental health, education/intellect, creative outlet, peer mentors, spiritual guides, etc.
Triage resources and support structures per individual needs, history, and strengths.
Develop authentic community through HEAT and other community-building leaders.
Utilize court-mandated consequences to allow for restorative course-correction.
As lives transform in community, young men will testify and advocate for the next cohorts of young men involved in Kushinda Court, building out a Kushinda Network.
(2) Increase Quantity of participants (while maintaining quality) to transform more lives.
There is a current waitlist to be a part of this court.
Growing an impact quantitatively requires tight systems of high-relational capacity.
Increasing quantity of participants is dependent on support staff, strength of the Kushinda Network of providers, and strong streamlined systems in tact.
(3) Scale the spirit of the court to other cities and regions throughout the US.
Eventually, we hope other judges rise up and take on the life-giving invitation to create a similar court for the young men in their region, multiplying the impact for societal transformation.
Opportunity in Montgomery County:
There are 10,000 black male students between 5-18 years old.
There are 9,500 young black men between 18-29 years old. (US Census Bureau).