HEROES OF FORGIVENESS
Jim Hernandez

 

Jim Hernandez, a Gang-Violence Prevention Specialist with the Concord Police Department once lived the horrors of violence and the gang life between the ages of 15-30 and witnessed the death of his brother in his arms after a gang fight. After a deep internal crisis as a result of divorce and a son’s death, he resurrected his life and forgave his brother’s killer.

 

Despite a lack of formal training or education but anxious to improve his volunteer counseling at an adolescent grief center, he found he easily grasped the works of the great thinkers Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Rollo May and others, and was able to turn their insights into action out in the world where he counseled youth. In May 1992, he left his career as a successful commercial printer and took a job as a gang mediator at a high school with a very violent history. He had no prior experience, but the desire to make a change with using only one tool, Kierkegaard’s Dialectics.

 

On July 29th, the city of Concord will celebrate 10 years of successful gang intervention without any one under 18 killed. For his leadership in this remarkable achievement, Jim Hernandez has been nominated for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize.


HEROES of Forgiveness, Reconciliation and Peace

 

The designation of "Hero of Forgiveness, Reconciliation and Peace" is bestowed upon those who have courageously and dramatically stepped forward to demonstrate and exemplify the concept of forgiveness, reconciliation and peace.

 

These are not necessarily famous people. They are often ordinary people who have chosen to express profound and genuine forgiveness in their personal lives. These people have experienced a transformation as a result of their act or acts of forgiveness and demonstrate how this change continues to manifest over time. Their stories can inspire and motivate ordinary people to act in a similar manner.

 

CHAMPIONS of Forgiveness, Reconciliation and Peace

 

The "Champions of Forgiveness, Reconciliation and Peace" designation is bestowed upon those whose professional work inspires and leads the way by defining, applying and spreading the concept of forgiveness reconciliation and peace.