Grants expand law school’s fair housing, restorative justice work


The Fair Housing Legal Support Center and the Restorative Justice Program at John Marshall have both been awarded grants to benefit Chicago’s youth.

The John Marshall Fair Housing Legal Support Center has been awarded its fifth consecutive grant from The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development to teach two three-credit hour Fair Housing & Fair Lending Courses at the law school to college and university students from the Chicago Metropolitan area.

Professor Michael Seng and Program Manager Tiffany Hughes will teach a minimum of 25 college and university students during the 2015 and 2016 spring semesters at no cost to the students. Credits from the course may be counted toward the student’s undergraduate degree with the consent of their college or university.

In addition, John Marshall’s Restorative Justice Project was awarded a $64,000 two-year grant from the City of Chicago Department of Public Health to expand its efforts in providing restorative justice practices to the students at the Cesar E. Chávez Multicultural Academic Center. The elementary school in the Back of the Yards neighborhood provides an educational setting for nearly 1,000 students.

“We have been heavily involved in restorative justice issues at the Chávez Elementary school for several years. This grant allows us to continue and to have an even greater impact, not only in the school but also in the broader community,” said Seng, co-director of The Restorative Justice Project. “The grant is making a real difference in the lives of the children who attend Chávez and on their families. It is also having a major impact on the lives and career goals of the law students who participate in the program.”

The goal of the Restorative Justice Project is to enhance restorative justice in Chicago’s public schools and to provide awareness of restorative justice in the broader community. The project aims to:

  • Create a culture that supports a peaceful resolution of disputes where student, faculty and administrators treat each other with dignity;
  • Provide increased community awareness of restorative justice practices;
  • Interrupt the school-to-prison pipeline by providing guidance and hope to students;
  • Ultimately lead to a decrease in violence within the greater Chicago community; and
  • Sensitize law students to restorative justice practices and to the underserved communities of the city of Chicago.





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