David Ragland is Co-Founder and Co-director for the Truth Telling project of Ferguson and is a Visiting Professor at Pacifica Graduate Institute. In the early days of the Ferguson Uprising, David helped to found the Truth Telling Project so that marginalized voices could be heard and part of moving society toward recognition of this experience to lay the groundwork for healing, reconciliation and social transformation. He researches and thinks about the moral dimensions of violence and trauma against vulnerable populations in the U.S as well as envisioning a world with reduced violence on all levels. As an activist, educator and scholar, his recent and past work is on the ground level- in his home community near Ferguson, Mo. David’s analysis is drawn from the radical teaching and scholarship of MLK, particularly in his description of the Triple evils of Militarism, Racism and Materialism, as an ever present part of American life.
David has recently written a chapter titled “Peace Education as an Ethical Framework to Situate Restorative Justice: Locating the Concerns of Communities of Color in Peace and Justice Discourse” in Peace Studies between Tradition and Innovation. David is a blogger for the Huffington Post and writes frequently for PeaceVoice. He is currently working on a volume entitled “The Intellectual and Political History of Peacemakers of Color”. He is on the board of the directors for the Peace and Justice Studies Association and he is a member of the National Council for the Fellowship of Reconciliation.
David studied critical race issues, peace education, philosophy and philosophy of education at University of Toledo, Teachers College Columbia University, The New School for Social Research, and Washington University of St.Louis.
David weaves his personal experience growing up in segregated St.Louis, a few miles away from Ferguson Mo., with the history of both cities. He explains how Ferguson became the new center of American racism and Black resistance. He shares how his personal story is connected to the crack epidemic, the mental health system, criminal justice and restorative practices. Calling us to a shift in values, Dr. Ragland focuses specifically on how our society conceives justice as retributive and proposes a shift toward restorative justice to transform communities and the criminal justice system to take America’s turbulent history and life experiences into account for policies at all levels.