National Conference on Restorative Justice to be held June 19-21 | UToledo News

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National Conference on Restorative Justice to be held June 19-21

This month, the National Association of Community and Restorative Justice will bring together faith leaders, educators, judges, politicians, policymakers, practitioners and community members to explore the use of restorative justice principles and practices in today’s world.

web restorative justice screen shotThe fourth National Conference on Restorative Justice will take place Wednesday through Friday, June 19 through 21, at the Hotel on UT’s Health Science Campus.

“Keepin’ It Real — Race and Restorative Justice” is the theme this year.

The National Association of Community and Restorative Justice is a nonprofit organization that provides a professional association for educators, practitioners and others interested in restorative and community justice.

“We are bringing together practitioners and scholars from the fields of social justice and restorative justice to explore ways to deal with racism,” said Dr. Morris Jenkins, UT professor and chair of criminal justice and social work. “This conference is the first of its kind and I am proud and glad that it is in Toledo.”

The association will use principles of social and restorative justice to assist educators, practitioners and others to seek transformation in the ways justice questions are addressed within the United States. The association will promote effective forms of justice that are equitable, sustainable and socially constructive.

Sponsored by Lourdes University and The University of Toledo, this year’s conference will feature international speakers and experts in the field of restorative justice. Listed by date, the speakers are:

Wednesday, June 19

• Dr. Angela Davis, Distinguished Professor Emerita of History of Consciousness at the University of California at Santa Cruz. She is a founding member of Critical Resistance, a national organization dedicated to dismantling the industrial prison complex, and an affiliate of Sisters Inside, an abolitionist organization based in Australia that works in solidarity with women in prison.

• Tim Wise, who is one of the “25 visionaries who are changing the world,” according to Utne Reader. The international speaker and author of six books on race issues received the 2001 British Diversity Award for best feature essay on race issues. Wise is a regular contributor on CNN and ABC’s “20/20.”

• Dr. Marilyn Armour, associate professor and University Distinguished Teaching Professor in the School of Social Work, and director of restorative justice and restorative dialogue at the University of Texas at Austin. She was instrumental in developing Defense-Initiated Victim Outreach in Texas capital cases and has provided training to Texas litigators.

Thursday, June 20

• Colorado State Rep. Pete Lee, who helped establish Colorado’s Restorative Justice Bill.

• Lynn Lee, who serves as chair of the Pikes Peak Restorative Justice Council. Lee has received the John Gallagher Restorative Justice Volunteer of the Year Award.

• Sharletta Evans, a certified addiction counselor who founded the Red Cross Blue Shield Gang Prevention Inc., a nonprofit, faith-based organization offering an alternative to gangs and gang activities.

• Dr. Julius Bailey, professor in the Department of Philosophy at Wittenberg University and founder of Project Eight, a youth service organization focused on leadership and civic participation. He has been a featured speaker in more than 50 prisons and correctional facilities in California, Illinois, Iowa and Ohio.

• Dr. Katherine van Wormer, professor of social work at the University of Northern Iowa. She has worked extensively in the field of substance abuse counseling and has authored or co-authored 16 books. Her most recent work is titled Restorative Justice Today: Practical Applications.

• Dr. Theo Gavrielides, founder and director of the youth-led social policy think tank Independent Academic Research Studies. He is an advisory board member of the Institute for Diversity Research, Inclusivity, Communities and Society, as well as the Faculty of Society and Health at Buckinghamshire New University in the United Kingdom.

Friday, June 21

• Robert Yazzie, a member of the Navajo Nation Bar Association. He has practiced law for 16 years, having served as chief justice for the Navajo Nation from 1992 until his retirement in 2003. He is a visiting professor at the University of New Mexico School of Law, adjunct professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at Northern Arizona University, and a visiting faculty member for the National Judicial College. He will speak with Navajo Peacemaker Ruthie Alexius.

• Ericka Huggins, professor of sociology at Laney & Berkeley City College and professor of women’s studies at California State University at East Bay. A political activist since the 1960s, she founded the Black Panther Party in New Haven, Conn., and remains the party’s longest running female leader. She also established the Oakland Unified School District-sponsored After School Academy with the help of Maya Angelou and the Bay Area United Fund.

A new component of the 2013 conference is the “Justice Through Our Eyes” art program. Designed to capture the essence of justice in its truest form through the eyes of youth, the program called for students to submit their original artwork that answers the question: “What does justice mean to me?” All artists’ submissions will be included in the conference program booklet, and a winning entry from each age category will be chosen by a select panel of art and social justice professionals.

Registration is $300 per person. Day pass, single event and group rates are available upon request.

For more information visit restorativejusticenow.org or contact Jenkins at morris.jenkins@utoledo.edu.

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