Dignity=To Author One’s Life, Sunday – March 31 at 10:20 am

“Dignity=To Author One’s Life.” For eight years the First Unitarian Church of Oakland has been the church partner of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights (EBC). This partnership has allowed the church community to examine the myriad of ways that jails and prisons deny and erase the dignity of human beings. Please join Jose Bernal, Senior Organizer and Advocate at EBC and Prof. Jonathan Simon, the Lance Robbins Professor of Criminal Justice Law at UC Berkeley as we explore the Unitarian Universalist first principle, the inherent worth and dignity of every person. For more information about our guest speakers see the bios below. This is a Children’s Chapel. The UU Oakland Pop-Up Choir will create a music container for our spiritual explorations. All are worthy and All are Welcome to join us for worship.    

Jose Bernal
Jose is a Senior Organizer and Advocate at the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. Jose comes from a family of first-generation immigrants. He grew up in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood. In late 2016, Jose was unanimously appointed by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to serve on the San Francisco Reentry Council. While on the council, Jose has been a very active force in advocating for local restorative justice policies. Currently, he serves as Co-chair of the Reentry Council’s Policy & Operational Practices Subcommittee. Through grass-roots community work, Jose has previously spearheaded initiatives and campaigns to de-privatize reentry services, and to call for an end to gang injunctions. Prior to joining EBC, Jose was charged with overseeing a shelter program for men of various diverse backgrounds who were experiencing homelessness. Jose is a graduate of Stanford University’s Project ReMade program, an extensive business and entrepreneurship course aimed at empowering formerly incarcerated men and women.

Jonathan Simon
– Jonathan is the Lance Robbins Professor of Criminal Justice Law at UC Berkeley where he also directs the Center for the Study of Law and Society. Having received three degrees from Berkeley, Jonathan returned in 2003 as a professor of law and now teaches classes on punishment, prisons, mass incarceration, criminal procedure, criminal law, and legal studies. Jonathan’s scholarship focuses on the role of crime and risk in the governance of contemporary societies. His books include Governing through Crime: How the War on Crime Transformed American Society and Created a Culture of Fear (2009) and Mass Incarceration on Trial: A Remarkable Court Decision and the Future of Prisons in America (2014).