Before her days working with restorative justice, Lorenn was an Hawai’i state deputy attorney general, as well as general counsel for the state public welfare system (1984-94). In addition, she served as a family court representative for typically underserved cross-sections of the population (1994-99). During this time, she also had a term as president of the Child and Family Advocacy Section of the Hawai’i State Bar Association (1998-99).
Clearly, it’s not as though Lorenn wasn’t fully invested in social justice before her encounter with Compassionate Listening, but it seems that receiving CL training, in conjunction with other contemporaneous and similarly momentous shifts in her life, really did bring her work to a new level.
Beginning around 1996, Lorenn has reoriented her work away from its original legal focus, and now directs her energy toward ways that she can foster social justice as a health educator in the public health sector. Nevertheless, she still draws on her previous experience with law and social service – in addition to core Compassionate Listening principles – to establish evidence-based, measurable, testable programs that aim at achieving reconciliation, preventing violent crime, and promoting restoration of individuals with a criminal past. She works collaboratively with individuals and organizations, wherever there is a need. Impressively, but certainly not surprisingly, her work is international in scope: just recently, she told me, she received an email from someone in Belgium who is interested in integrating her methods into their own social justice programs.
I don’t know when this woman sleeps – she has piloted about a dozen projects in her field, published 25 articles on her work, and trains for triathlons.