Celebrate Lillie A. Estes in August with the Community Justice Network

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In celebration of community strategist Lillie A. Estes’ 60th birthday, the Community Justice Network in collaboration with The Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice will host events from August 3 - 6 to honor her work and continue her vision.

Lillie A. Estes passed in January 2019, at 59, following a life spent working toward community justice in Richmond and beyond. These three events reflect her love of the Gilpin Court community, her collaboration with like minded folks across the country, and a desire to build connections across boundaries.

August 3, Richmond Main Public Library, 2 p.m.

Boy With A Knife: A Story of Murder, Remorse, and a Prisoner’s Fight for Justice or Why We Shouldn’t Put Children in Adult Prisons, a book talk and discussion facilitated by author/ activist Jenise Justice Brown with community leader, Tobias Estes, and author of Boy With A Knife, Jean Trounstine. This is the culmination of an idea that Lillie had before she died, after her son, John, Tobias’s brother, was murdered. Boy With a Knife invites a discussion on restorative justice, a discussion Lillie hoped to take place in Richmond and across the country.

August 4, Martin Luther King Jr. Bridge Walk, 3 p.m.

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.

Lillie A. Estes chose the above quote to accompany her photograph memorialized by the Virginia Poverty Law Center’s (“VPLC”) 40 Faces, 40 Years Project. Taking inspiration from her powerful love of community and the Beloved Streets of America project, we will gather on the west side of the bridge (corner of 12th and Leigh Streets) to collectively ponder the role that the Martin Luther King Jr. Bridge plays in our city. We invite you to then walk with us across the bridge to Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School, where we will offer learning opportunities to increase government accountability, promote civic engagement, and empower communities to protect their rights.

August 6, Gilpin Court, 6 p.m.

We will gather in Gilpin Court to hold up the banner of courage and light of peace she left with us. Location TBD.

For more details on these events, media inquiries, or how to host a resource table or become a community partner, please email info@communityjusticenetwork.com

About the Community Justice Network

This network is people-powered. We are de-institutionalized, meaning we are not a corporation, a non-profit, nor a policy entity. We are a network of individuals and organizations committed to advancing community justice 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 Community Justice Network member. Email us here.

Tom Nash