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Kushinda Court: To Overcome

Updated: Oct 26, 2023

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).

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