Springs woman receives 2012 Martin Luther King Leadership Award

Kerri Schmitt is the 2012 recipient of the Martin Luther King Leadership Award bestowed by Creighton University. The award was given for  Schmitt’s work to inspire a community of social justice, peace, religious tolerance, and racial and ethnic equality and harmony.

The award was presented at a city-wide ceremony held at the University in Omaha on Jan. 16 presided by Mayor Jim Suttle, Creighton University President Timothy Lannon, S.J, and John Pierce, associate vice president of affirmative action and diversity outreach.

Schmitt, a Colorado Springs mediator and restorative justice facilitator and trainer, teaches people how to move from conflict to cooperation to co-creating resolutions for a peaceful existence.

She works with schools to create restorative justice cultures that promote a peaceful means to resolve conflict, one student at a time. She helped pass legislation in Colorado that encourages the use of restorative justice in criminal cases as a sentencing option. 

In 2010, Schmitt was recognized by the 2010 Colorado Bar Association with the Molly Walker award for mentoring at-risk youth by co-developing and training the restorative justice programs for shoplifting and drug possession and use charges, as well as the victim offender mediation program for Teen Court. 

In addition to her work with troubled teens, Schmitt specializes in employer/employee, eldercare and family related issues.  She mediates for the Fourth Judicial Court Neighborhood Justice Center, and she is a volunteer mediator for the BBB and the Fourth Judicial Small Claims Court.

Schmitt serves on the board of the Pikes Peak Restorative Justice Council and the Manitou Springs Restorative Justice Council, organizations that promote restoring relationships and repairing harm in personal, civil, and criminal conflicts. 

Schmitt is a master’s candidate negotiation and dispute resolution at the Creighton Univeristy School of Law. 

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