Linda Harvey, executive director and founder of Transformation House Inc. and a leader in the social work field for more than 40 years, is the 2002 inductee into the University of Kentucky College of Social Work Hall of Fame.
“In the deepest way, Linda Harvey represents the essence of our profession,” said Kay Hoffman, dean of the UK College of Social Work. “She stands for goodness and justice. Her goals are not material, rather, she aims to ensure that people who are the most misunderstood, even the most despised, have the opportunity to find their own humanness. Linda believes that human beings can change, in fact, can be transformed. If we had only a few more people who had the sort of hope in people that Linda possesses, the world would be a far different place.”
Transformation House is a Lexington-based, non-profit community mediation organization established by Harvey in 1995, and has mediated hundreds of civil and criminal cases.
The organization is pioneering an effort in restorative justice for violent crimes, which seeks to put a human face on victims and offenders, and has been instrumental in the formation of the Kentucky Restorative Justice Coalition.
In 1992, she co-founded the Mediation Center of Kentucky and the Mediation Association of Kentucky. She serves on a number of national mediation associations, including the Association for Conflict Resolution, for which she is chairperson of the Criminal Justice Section. She has coordinated the Lexington Reconciliation activities for the Lexington Commission on Race Relations for the past four years.
Harvey is a member of the task force that established the International Reconciliation Networks of the World Conference, first held in England in 1997, then in Louisville in 1998 and Boston in 2000. She is chairperson of workshops for the 2003 conference scheduled for Atlanta.
Harvey’s career in volunteer mediating began in 1969 when she founded the Mothers of Twins organization. Since that time, she has founded or co-founded more 50 organizations in the secular and religious arenas in Lexington and Kentucky. Among those already named are Birthright of Lexington, the Lexington Child Abuse Center (now the Women’s Center), Christians in Community Service and Lex-Care.
She is a weekly columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader and writes for the Cross Roads, the newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Lexington. Harvey graduated from UK in 1963 with a bachelor’s degree in social work.