Lakeland 2
The city’s Restorative Justice Commission will host a series of lectures and events in the Lakeland community.
Photo credit: Lillian Glaros

College Park’s Restorative Justice Commission has joined with a consulting and training organization to host a dozen events in Lakeland about the community’s history and restorative justice.

The events, which begin on March 19, include book club conversations, a musical performance, lectures and panel discussions. Some of the events will be open to the public, while others will welcome only residents of the  Lakelanders.

“You know, there are a bunch of quotes out there by famous people that talk about the importance of history, and one of the things they talk about is that if you don’t learn your history, you’re destined to repeat it,” Maxine Gross, chairwoman of the Restorative Justice Commission, said.

More than 100 homes in Lakeland were demolished from the 1960s to the 80s as part of an urban renewal project, displacing many families in the mostly Black community.

“It’s important to not just recognize that thing happened, but also to take positive action on assisting that community and heal it,” Gross said. “And part of that process is understanding what happened.”

The first event is a webinar from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. on March 19 on the book Root Shock, by Dr. Mindy Fullilove, about urban renewal and its impact on people of color. The Rev. Joanne Braxton, CEO and president of the Braxton Institute, will lead the discussion. The institute partnered with the city to organize the events.

Gross said the events will help raise awareness about urban renewal in Lakeland and how restorative justice can be accomplished.

College Park City Councilmember Susan Whitney (District 2) said the program will help city residents understand the impact of urban renewal on Lakeland.

“I think a lot of people by now have heard the story,” Whitney said. “But it’s different to hear the facts of what happened and to really go into the impact of them and how other other communities have felt about that and how it has impacted people psychologically.”

For Love of Lakeland: Reparations Education Project

Schedule of Events

March 19, 7:30 to 9 p.m.

RJ Book Club Introduction to Root Shock, by Dr. Mindy Fullilove

April 2, 7:30 to 9 p.m.

Men of Lakeland and their Stories

April 16, 7:30 to 9 p.m.

Workshop with Dr. Mindy Fullilove, “Lakeland and Root Shock

April 17, 7:30 to 9 p.m.

Town Hall: Lakeland and Root Shock with Dr. Mindy Fullilove

April 30, 7:30 to 9 p.m.

RJ Book Club with Nkechi Taifa

May 14, 7:3 to 9 p.m.

Narrative House, The Case for Reparations


May 18, 4 to 6 p.m.

Town Hall: Restorative Action, What and How

July 27, 7:30 to 9 p.m.

Town Hall: Legacy Percussion, “Shadows of Lakeland”