How can we build a collective movement toward community justice?
— Lille A. Estes

Video produced by the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute.

This network is people-powered. We are de-institutionalized, meaning we are not a corporation, non-profit, or policy entity. We are instead a network of individuals and organizations who are committed to advancing #CommunityJustice in our individual and collective work.

Don’t get confused though, we are organized. You can get involved either as a core organizing partner or a #CommunityJusticeNetwork member. Send us a message if you are interested in joining the network.


The answer is in the name. Community justice is a democratic process where those most affected by the policies and laws governing our bodies, our families, and our communities are at the decision-making center. We see community justice through the lens of six themes: Whole Body Well-Being, Education, Public Safety, Housing, Transportation, and Job Creation Wealth-Building.

Community Justice is about involving the community in what makes a just system. It's about meeting the needs of the people with their input. It's about pushing down racism, classism, and sexism and elevating our common humanity toward collective liberation. 


·  Mid-2003 // Lillie A. Estes meets Professor Charles J. Ogletree, Jr. while working on a documentary about the life of Oliver W. Hill, Sr. (Board Member of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute).

·  Fall of 2005 // Professor Ogletree opens the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute.  

·  Throughout 2005 until 2013 // Several communications occurred between Lillie A. Estes, Professor Ogletree and the institute's staff focusing on developing future community working opportunities.  

·  Mid-2013 // David Harris, The Managing Director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute shares with Lillie A. Estes the more specific working narrative of "Community Justice" for which the institute will begin more focused community work across the country.

·   2013 through 2014 // Our country is reeling out of control due to the massive amount of murders of unarmed Black and Brown community members across the country.

·   Mid-2014 // Trey Hartt and Lillie A. Estes come together conceptually with the determination that producing a film screening series will address a great deal of our community concerns around police brutality. The community engagement would serve as a tool of hoped for healing and solutions. (the idea came from an event produced by Ava DuVernay in Los Angeles); We began expanding the idea to address the six themes of community justice.

· Mid-2015 // Lillie and Trey approach Enjoli Moon, artistic director and founder of the Afrikana Independent Film Festival, to join the core team—the Community Justice Film Series was born.

·    Fall 2015 // Trey, Lillie, and Enjoli convene a group of potential partners and collaborators to organize buy-in for the film series.

·   First half of 2016 // Organizing continues, meetings are held, and the core planning team for the Community Justice Film Series (CJFS) grows.

·   August 18, 2016 // Kickoff Reception Held at Friends Association for Children

·   October 29, 2016 // The first CJFS screening on Education occurs at Virginia Union University.

·  February 19, 2017 // CJFS screening on the Whole Body + Well-Being occurs at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens.

·  May 17, 2017 // CJFS screening on Public Safety occurs at the Calhoun Center in Gilpin Court, Richmond’s largest public housing community.

·  June 29, 2017 // The first #CommunityJustice Kick Back (spin off event) screening of 13th by Ava DuVernay was presented by Boaz & Ruth and Richmond Peace Education Center.

·  August 17, 2017 // CJFS screening on Housing occurs at the University of Richmond Downtown, produced in partnership with Housing Opportunities Made Equal.

·  November 12, 2017 // CJFS screening on Transportation occurs at a local union house.

·  February 17, 2018 // CJFS screening on Job Creation + Wealth Building occurs at the Robinson Theater.

·  February 24, 2018 // The First #CommunityJustice Resource Fair launches at the main branch of the Richmond Public Library (the predecessor of the #CommunityJustice Teach-In).

·  October 7, 2018 // Richmond Times Dispatch publishes a Guest Op-Ed on the #CommunityJusticeNetwork, officially launching this new initiative.

Header photo credit: Christopher Smith,