The work of restorative justice leads one to understand that poverty and the human insecurities that come as a consequence of poverty, affect all aspects of human interaction. It also comes as a natural consequence of restorative justice that KCRJ's mission includes efforts to help build our communities through collaboration. KCRJ supports the SOAR initiatives and will find ways to serve.
SOAR (Shaping Our Appalachian Region) is an initiative begun in 2013 by Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear and Kentucky 5th District Congressman Hal Rogers when they began collaborating, across political party lines, to address the challenges of poverty facing Eastern Kentucky. They wanted the region to "reassess its current challenges, and discuss ideas or innovations already underway which could be leveraged or aligned to capture emergent regional development opportunities. But above all else, they hoped to create a neutral venue for the region’s organizations, institutions, businesses, leaders, and citizens to discuss a new beginning, hope, vision, and collaboration."
The Appalachian Region was at a "tipping point" and people were ready, willing, and able to begin an honest dialogue regarding the future they faced. Would they simply accept what was handed to them or do what was necessary to envision a new path, working together to create a more hopeful alternative? All developed nations now understand what must be done... that both urban and rural regions are drivers of domestic GDP. Kentucky is stepping forward with unique vision and courage to work together to create the framework for such development.
SOAR's mission is to expand job creation, enhance regional opportunity, innovation, and identity, improve the quality of life, and support all those working to achieve these goals in Appalachian Kentucky.
An Appalachian Kentucky engaged in a landscape-changing enterprise: shaped by a shared and envisioned future, driven by innovation, entrepreneurship, and a commitment to common purpose, with improved education, health, and economic outcomes, and expanding opportunities, for all our region's citizens.
SOAR is a widely-shared enterprise. Our commitment to build greater prosperity, resilience, and equity in the region is posited upon a belief that support for, and strengthened partnerships among, those already working to achieve these goals is the wisest course. Our trust rests in the region's greatest assets, upon which this future will be built: its people, places, and heritage, and in these mountains we call home.
The goals/strategies will be determined by the Executive Board, from priorities submitted by the SOAR Working Groups for 2015 Program of Work consideration.
"When these initiatives succeed, all Kentuckians will be the benefactors. United We Stand, Divided We Fall."
Join us as we move forward for a brighter, more prosperous future for all Kentuckians.
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