David is co-founder and former co-director of the Truth Telling Project of Ferguson, and he also serves as visiting professor at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Community Liberation and Eco-Psychology. His areas of activism and research focus on: moral injuries and the possibilities of transforming violence and intergenerational trauma against vulnerable populations in the U.S.; envisioning and working for a world with reduced violence on all levels; and the intersections of critical race issues, decoloniality, restorative justice, peace education, and Africana and Existentialist philosophies.
As an activist, educator, and scholar, David’s work has been rooted in his home community near Ferguson, Missouri. His analysis is drawn from the radical teachings of Martin Luther King, Jr., particularly King’s description of the “triplet evils of racism, militarism, and materialism” as an ever present part of American life. Dr. Ragland focuses specifically on how our society conceives justice as retributive and proposes a shift toward restorative justice to transform communities and criminal justice systems.
David weaves his personal experience of growing up in segregated St. Louis with the history of that city and nearby Ferguson, explaining how Ferguson became the new center of American racism and Black resistance. In the early days of the Ferguson Uprising, David cofounded the Truth Telling Project so that marginalized voices could be heard and move society to lay a groundwork for healing, reconciliation and social transformation.
David is a regular contributor for the Huffington Post and PeaceVoice, and has been recently published in other sources such as YES! Magazine and Waging Nonviolence. His work will be published in the forthcoming Peace Studies Between Tradition and Innovation and he is currently working on a volume entitled The Intellectual and Political History of Peacemakers of Color.
David has served on the board of the directors for the Peace and Justice Studies Association, the Fellowship of Reconciliation’s National Council, and as an U.N. Representatives for the International Peace Research Association. Find David on Twitter @theraglandpage