Raphah is a Hebrew verb that mean to heal.
It literally means to mend by stitching, very much like you would repair a torn garment.
This is the vision and work of Raphah Institute.
Structural and systemic defects in a community can leave many people tattered and torn - ripped - with very few healthy options to cope. Without opportunities for healing or transformation, the result is generational cycles of harm.
What if we could confront those defects and interrupt those complicated, layered cycles?
We believe we can, if we work together and focus on restoration, repair, and healing.
When people have the opportunity and resources to thrive, they will.
Our motto tells a two-way story.
First, our concept of justice is healing. We are moving from an economy of oppression to an economy of healing.
Second, where there is justice, there is healing. We reject any framework of justice that causes more harm.
As a police officer, Raphah Institute founder and CEO Travis Claybrooks saw firsthand the limitations of government systems alone to solve the complicated challenges facing people experiencing harm. As a pastor, he also saw how distant he and many other people and organizations of faith were from the people and communities broken by harm and trauma. These observations led him to join the many other community leaders working to make Nashville a city of healing.
Claybrooks founded Raphah Institute to engage a larger work around addressing harm and trauma. Through this initiative, led by the vision of juvenile court judge Sheila Calloway and in partnership with District Attorney General Glenn Funk; then-public defender Dawn Deaner; police chief, Steve Anderson; and with the support of then-mayor Megan Berry; Raphah Institute launched its flagship program, the Restorative Justice Diversion Program, focused on using restorative practices as an alternative for resolving felony cases in juvenile court. The program has since supported over 150 people in their journey towards healing and positive transformation and serves as a testament to Raphah’s belief that #justiceishealing.