In the News

Youth - "March for Our Lives"

merlin 135954453 8886e7b7 13ce 4992 94c4 5bf9d2faaf4c master1050 2 New York Times photo by E. Schaff (3/24/2018)

On Saturday (March 24, 2018) the "March for Our Lives" event was led by surviving students from the school shooting at Florida's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School a month before. Eight hundred simultaneous marches took place all over the country and worldwide.  Several hundred thousand young people and their supporters gathered in front of the Capital Building in Washington, DC.  In clear, articulate, consistent and loud expressions, demonstrators demanded change in American politics which has placed easy access to high-capacity, military-style weapons ahead of the safety of kids. The youth who have been the targets of school shooters or have been victims of gun violence in our communities have found their voice and are no longer willing to tolerate political inaction on gun safety issues.  They are speaking for themselves, telling their truth, and demanding change.

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Senator Uses Talking Piece

104962243 AP 18023560307962 collins talking stick.530x298In order to create a greater mood of civility, Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine told CNN reporters that she had to use a "talking stick" to help her colleagues learn the value of waiting until it is their turn to speak during recent negotiations over immigration and funding the federal government. The beautifully beaded talking stick was given to Collins by her friend, Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota. It is originally from Africa and it is used to help control a debate in a meeting with lots of people and lots of emotional energy. Read more.

The Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (an NACRJ Institutional Member) at Eastern Mennonite University has invited Senators to traininng sessions on circle processes led by Kay Pranis. 

Kay Pranis is widely recognized as a leading expert on circle processes and the use of talking pieces to facilitate and control dialogue. Her "Circle Keeper's Handbook" is widely used by practitioners as a resource.

When suspensions weren't working, this high school opted for a new approach

The Washington Post

By Joe Heim August 23, 2016

Donnell Honesty TWP 8 23 16

Donnell Honesty, a student at Ballou High School in Southeast Washington, attends summer school at Ballou on July 17. Honesty went through the school’s restorative-justice program, which is changing the way discipline is handled at the school. (Evelyn Hockstein/For The Washington Post)
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Donnell Honesty can’t remember what the fight was about or even quite how it started.
He was a junior at D.C.’s Ballou High School in 2015 when another student stepped toward him in the school’s cafeteria. Within seconds, the two were trading punches.

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After the Election - Ripple Effects in Schools

2016 Election RSD Cropped

 Since the election on November 8, 2016, we have received a number of emails from educators in elementary, middle school and high school regarding an increase in bullying, racial harassment and sexual harassment among students.  School staff are also observing expressions of anxiety and fear among students who wonder what the future of our nation holds for them.

As one of our members noted, "These stories are painful and this is a difficult time.  It is important that we maintain our principles so that hurts are processed in restorative ways."  In our view it is particularly important that educators address these issues in respectful and culturally sensitive ways that allow students to hear each others' stories and find understanding across racial, ethnic, cultural and class differences.

Attached are three documents that may help teachers address the harms and misunderstandings that children in their classrooms are experiencing at this time.

Dear Colleagues Letter - Department of Education, MN (Nov. 9, 2016)

Model Circle Process for Post Election Dialogue (UMOJA, Nov. 9, 2016)

Entry from the Teaching Tolearance Blog (Nov. 2, 2016)

We want to hear about your experiences with constructive responses to these issues.  If you are a member and wish to join a dialogue on this and other issues visit the Virtual Circle discussion forum on the NACRJ website. 

National Conferences

The upcoming 7th NACRJ Conference in Denver (June 14-16, 2019) now has a special Cvent website with all primary information and online registration. This includes keynote speakers and performers that are confirmed. Information is also on our own Conference 2019 webpage.

Meanwhile, our 6th NACRJ Conference held in Oakland, CA (2017) still has recordings of keynotes, interviews, and photos that you can see and hear on our website.

In 2021, the 8th NACRJ Conference will be held in Chicago, IL. We look forward to being in Chi-Town.

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