Who We Are

Our mission is to advance the rights and well-being of children through restorative justice, advocacy, and youth empowerment.

We Create Restorative Spaces And Responses Grounded In Our
Interconnectedness;

We Root Our Advocacy In
Healing Centered Engagement
And Equity;

We Grow Safety Through
Community-Held Accountability;
And...

We Cultivate A Community Of Belonging And Dignity
For Every Child
& Young Person.

Our Team

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Le Ruffin

Restorative
Practices Coordinator

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Edd Hawkins

Restorative Practices
Specialist

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Dimitri Brewer

Restorative Practices
Specialist

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Abdul-Hai Thomas

Child & Youth
Ombudsperson

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Addison Simms

Youth Action
Coordinator

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Ann Thomas

Resilience Navigator

J. Fennell-min

Joseph Fennell

Resilience Navigator

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Britt Williams

Resilience Navigator

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Dani Kahn

Resilience Navigator

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LQ Barton

Hope Pipeline
Advocacy Director

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Omar Simmons

Employment
Specialist

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Keyon Washington

Peer Specialist

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Ellis Curry

Restorative Justice
Consultant

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Betsy Dobbins

Founder and Executive
Director

Center for Children’s Rights Board Members

  • Cheryl Barnett – Former Senior Vice President, First Tennessee Bank
  • Jeff Goldhagen, M.D. – Professor and Chief Community and Societal Pediatrics, UF College of Medicine- Jacksonville
  • Jennifer Hayes – Regional Executive, Community Banking, Bank OZK
  • Susie Marchese – Vice President, Vendor Onboarding, CIT Bank
    Denise Marzullo, MBA, LMHC – President/CEO, Early Learning Coalition Duval
  •  Lara Nezami, Esq. – Partner, Finnell, McGuinness, Nezami & Andux P.A.
  • Dennis Stone, Esq. – Director, Center for Advocacy and Social Justice and General Counsel at Jacksonville Urban League Inc.
  • Jeanne Ward, MA – Child Advocate; Staff member under four Jacksonville mayor administrations: Jake Godbold, Tommy Hazouri, Ed Austin and John Delaney; Economic Development Consultant; Author
  • Vicki Waytowich, Ed. – Executive Director, Partnership for Child Health

Frequently Asked Questions

  • A set of individual and community practices to be in right relationship with self and others:   to develop holistic well-being, to nurture relationships, to repair harms, to reconcile conflict, to heal hurt, and to embrace our interconnectedness.
  • A fundamental commitment to the safety, belonging, and dignity of every community member, especially our children and young people. 
  • It is about both preventing harm and repairing harm.
  • The ability to come back to ourselves, our connectedness, and positive vision, even when experiences and conditions are difficult.
  • We believe resilience is our baseline and that all children and young people are resilient.
  • Through intentional action and with support, youth can increase their awareness and practice of resilience to strengthen their somatic “bounce or come back” ability.
  • Our community is responsible for creating meaningful and accessible access to sources of collective resilience.
  • Our resilience practices focus both on building individual skills and collective capacity.
  • Being in right relationship means fulfilling rights and responsibilities
  • The emphasis is both on our individual responsibilities and our responsibilities to one another
  • Our community can be in right relationship with our children and young people through fulfillment of their rights and our responsibilities for their well-being
  • Sources of children’s rights include local ordinances, state and federal regulations and administrative rules, state and federal law, Florida and US Constitutions, international treaties

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Supported by

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Kids Hope Alliance