This event is the brainchild of Kempis "Ghani" Songster, a juvenile lifer at Graterford Prison who wanted to organize a community forum in the wake of court decisions clearing the way for the eventual release of many juvenile lifers.

Kempis is keenly aware that while the release of juvenile lifers is a cause of celebration to them, their friends and family, not everyone shares in this joy - particularly the families of victims. He wanted to create a welcoming space where the lifelong pain and anguish associated with homicide could be openly discussed.

Ubuntu Philadelphia is open to the public and no registration is required.

The event will feature a restorative justice peace circle that brings victims and their families together with the families of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated men and women for a dialogue under the direction of professional circle keepers. The wider community is invited as observers. If you or someone you know would be interested in participating in the circle dialogue, please e-mail Don Haldeman at

Ubuntu Philadelphia will also feature a panel called Familes Enduring, where we'll hear the pain, struggles and triumphs of mothers from both sides of homicide. If you or anyone you know would be interested in participating on the panel, please write Mike Lyons at

We are encouraging folks from the inside to participate as well. That could be through a letter or poem read by a loved one or a recorded message to be played during the event.


Sponsored by:  The Saint Joseph's University Office of the Provost • The Office of Diversity and Inclusion •The College of Arts and Sciences • Justice Ethics and the Law Minor • Beautiful Social • Department of Political Science • Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice • The Office of Mission • The Redemption Project