REEDLEY, Calif. -- West Coast Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) is pleased to announce the recent hire of Jake Harder in the role of Restorative Justice director, as of January 2, 2018. Harder is responsible for fulfilling Reedley Peace Building Initiative’s (RPBI) mandate of restorative justice through juvenile criminal and behavioral offenses received from Reedley Police Department and Kings Canyon Unified School District.
Harder comes to MCC with 15 years of experience serving the Reedley community. Most recently, he served as the Restorative Justice Case Manager with Community Youth Ministries (CYM) and was responsible for the restorative justice cases at four Reedley Jr. High schools. This experience has helped Harder make an easy transition into his current position with MCC.
As part of his years of service in Reedley, Harder served for 8 years at Redeemer’s Church beginning as a Children’s Pastor and finishing as Interim Senior Pastor. Harder and his family also served as missionaries in Mexico and Guatemala for 3 years in church planting and children’s programs. He received his bachelor's degree Criminology and Restorative Justice from Fresno Pacific University.
"I see my work as an extension of loving my neighbor in the ways of Jesus." explains Harder, "He modeled creative and timely ways of entering into conflict so that others might know wholeness. RPBI offers both victim and offender a second chance to know the wholeness they too are looking for and it is an honor to play a part in making this possible."
In addition to fulfilling RPBI's mandate of restorative justice, he will oversee and work with a team of mediators that are committed to serving families and juveniles in a strategy of restorative justice that will help to create a more peaceful, healthy and just community in Reedley and the surrounding communities.
RPBI is dedicated to building relationships, understanding and trust; promoting peace and the importance of community.
"I am excited about joining the West Coast MCC team", says Harder. "I look forward to continuing the work of RPBI and building upon its many years of success."
Harder is married to Renee Harder and they are parents of four children.