Bowdoin College Museum of Art welcomed seven academic-year student assistants this fall. From left are Yvonne Fang, Rebeca Perez Bernal, Horace Wang, Olivia Groell, Brigita Kant, Brooke Wrubel and Niles Singer. Courtesy / Bowdoin College

Restorative Justice Project moving forward with community justice centers

The Restorative Justice Project of Maine has won a grant of just less than $1 million that will galvanize the group’s efforts to bring community-based justice centers to the Midcoast.

“Our vision is to mobilize a base of local resources that, when taken together, have the power to reduce crime, victimization and system involvement,” Executive Director Carrie Sullivan said.

That will be done by implementing a test model of Community Justice Centers across Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Knox and Waldo counties which make up Prosecutorial District 6.

“Once an incident reaches the hands of law enforcement, we’ve often missed opportunities for prevention. Communities have the power to help prevent and reduce crime, so we all need to be involved in repair and solutions,” Sullivan said.

According to the grant, Community Justice Centers will build safety by increasing community engagement and networking around the root causes of crime, especially in rural areas and for young adults. Increased collaboration among partners and service providers will improve access to resources, and interventions for treatment and care will offer alternatives to the offerings now in place.

The goal of the project is to repair the impact of crime while building the protective factors and social cohesion that benefit everyone.

Genesis board announces leadership transition

Bill Floyd is stepping down from his position as executive director of the Genesis Fund at the end of December and will be replaced by Deputy Director Liza Fleming-Ives, effective Jan. 1.

As a mission-driven lender, the Genesis Fund supports the development of affordable housing and community facilities throughout the state, but is based in Midcoast.

Fleming-Ives

According to a prepared release, Floyd, who led the organization for a dozen years, oversaw “a notable period of growth for the Genesis Fund” as capital assets increased from $4 million to $25 million, and also transformed the agency into “a truly statewide organization.”

“During this time, he has built many new partnerships, expanded the reach of lending and programs, and cultivated a team that’s ready to lead the organization in its next stage of development,” Board Chairman Bill Shanahan said.

Floyd will remain on staff as a senior strategic advisor through the end of March, and will then retire after a 40-year career.

Fleming-Ives has over 20 years of community development experience, 14 of which have been with Genesis. At Genesis, she has developed strategic program initiatives, overseen lending and led policy advocacy. She is the current chairwoman of the Maine Affordable Housing Coalition.

Shanahan said “Liza was an obvious choice … at this juncture to expand the organization’s strategic work and impact in communities throughout the region,” calling her “a leader with the strategic vision, demonstrated management skills and strong connections with funding partners, investors and borrowers to lead this growing and dynamic organization.”

“I am passionate about the opportunity we have to make a difference in the lives of people and communities that are struggling to meet their most basic needs for housing stability, food security and supportive services,” Fleming-Ives said. “I am deeply committed to working with our staff and board to invest our resources where they are needed most.”