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Moving Restorative Justice from Margins to Center: We're the Ones We've Been Waiting For
- Elevating and affirming intersectionality of historically marginalized voices in the areas of race, class, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, age, ability, and immigration, incarcerated, or formerly incarcerated status
- Promoting radical inclusivity and healing
Calling Forth Our Future
A youth-centered and youth-driven track. Elevating youth voices and lifting up youth innovation, boldness, and creativity in restorative justice practices across the nation. Creating a dynamic and vibrant space for networking, knowledge sharing, collaboration and celebration.
This is a Restorative Justice 101 track primarily designed for participants who are new to restorative justice. It will offer sessions on restorative justice indigenous origins, principles, practices, and challenges in the field. This track encompasses overviews of the state of restorative practices in schools, community and justice systems. To what extent we practice restorative justice today through a racial and social justice lens while honoring its indigenous roots are topics that may be of interest to both the explorer and seasoned practitioner.
This track is intended for seasoned practitioners interested in honing their praxis. Sessions will offer opportunities to critically reflect on the complexities, challenges and bright-spots in present-day restorative justice applications, whether in educational, justice, community, historical harm, or other contexts. Against the backdrop of the rapid expansion of restorative and community justice practices in the last decade, sessions will explore how we build our capacity to practice restorative justice through racial and social justice lenses, and how we maintain the integrity and transformative power of restorative justice as systems go about institutionalizing it. To deepen and strengthen restorative justice praxis, this track will also offer the opportunity to reflect on critical issues arising in the facilitation of Circles, Restorative Conferencing, Victim Offender Dialogue and other restorative justice models.
This track will explore such questions as whether restorative justice is a social movement today. Can it serve as a vehicle of large-scale social transformation? Can we use it to transform historical harm, particularly against African-Americans and other persons of color? How do restorative and community justice practices intersect with other social justice movements; e.g., abolitionism, #BlackLivesMatter, ending the school to prison pipeline and ending sexual violence? What steps might restorative justice activists take to strengthen relationships with other social movements in order to optimize our collective impact? Finally, how do we create a coherent national movement that moves the principles and practices of a relational and healing justice from the margins to the mainstream of North American discourse and life?
Practice to Research
Over the last decade restorative and community justice practices have increased exponentially across the United States. Despite a growing consensus regarding their positive outcomes the field needs a stronger foundation based on well designed and conducted research. This track seeks to present and promote quality research on basic questions. We envision "think and do" breakout sessions allowing researchers and practitioners to discuss potential collaborations, projects, and research questions. All modes of inquiry are of interest, whether traditional quantitative/qualitative social science or newer ones rooted in critical, interactive, and inclusive mechanisms of assessment such as participatory action research.
This conference is not just about “sitting and listening”; it is grounded in active participation, knowledge sharing, problem-solving, collaboration, critical reflection, mindfulness, body-mind awareness and practice.
We wish to explore different delivery formatsin addition to plenary and panel sessions. Alternative formats include:
- circles (ongoing circle opportunities at all times)
- skills workshops
- open space/world cafe
- networking spaces
- healing spaces
- field trips
- Art exhibits and tour celebrating 50th Anniversary of founding of Black Panther Party in Oakland
- Oakland has more artists per capita than any other city in the nation – highlighting Oakland’s cultural spaces, especially art that imagines a new and transformed future