Restorative and Transformative Justice in Action: August 17 Gathering

This is an exciting time in Chicago for practitioners of restorative and transformative justice.  Over the past few years, a number of individuals and organizations have begun to apply restorative and transformative justice practices in schools, jails, prisons, community centers, and local communities.

On August 17, Project NIA, Building Communities Ending Violence, Community Justice for Youth Institute, and Depaul University’s Gender and Women’s Studies Program invite participants to a gathering focused on highlighting practical applications of restorative and transformative justice in Chicago. Participants will be introduced to concrete approaches, practices, strategies, and skills that these projects are developing for restorative and transformative justice.

When: Friday, August 17

Time: Registration starts at 8:30 am and the program starts promptly at 9:00 am

Where: Depaul University Student Center, 2250 N. Sheffield Ave, Room 120

Info: This event is offered at no cost to participants (see below for a note about this).  Also, PRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED TO ATTEND THIS EVENT (see below).

The gathering is divided in two parts.


In the morning, interested participants can apply to participate in two institutes that will provide an introduction to the concepts of transformative and restorative justice as they are being implemented by two local Chicago organizations.

UPDATE: Space is limited for these institutes and we are NO LONGER ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS for the institutes. All participants who have already applied and are accepted into the institutes will be contacted by August 10th.

  1. Transformative Justice and Community Resiliency (Shira Hassan, Young Women’s Empowerment Project):
  2. How do we collectively work together to reduce our dependence on state systems and social services? How do we support each other to become accountable when we have caused harm? This workshop will explore the basic principles of Transformative Justice and engage in honest conversation about the challenges we face when using this model. Using popular education and through video and audio stories we will deepen our understanding of this complex and intimate model.

    • Introduce and build an understanding of the values and application of Transformative Justice principles and practices and their relevance across movements for social justice in the USA
    • Share lessons learned and challenges faces using a Transformative Justice model
    • Support individual and community resiliency-based work as key to social change

  3. Restorative Justice 101
  4. (by Community Justice for Youth Institute)

CURRENT APPLICATIONS OF TJ and RJ in Chicago: 1:45 to 5:30 p.m.

In the afternoon, participants will hear from individuals and groups who are currently implementing restorative and transformative practices in Chicago. Space is limited for these workshops.  Registration will be on a first-come-first-serve basis.  We ask that you only register if you are SURE that you are planning to attend. Please do not take up space from others who would really like to attend. 

1:45 to 3:15 p.m.

  1. Starting A Parent-Led Peace Room in a CPS School (POWER-PAC parents).  In this workshop POWER-PAC Leaders who are the “peacemakers” at the Austin Peace Center, a parent-led Peace room, will give participants tools and strategies to launching, running, and sustaining local peace rooms in Chicago Public Schools. These peace rooms offer alternatives to suspension and expulsion for children and also attempt to interrupt the school-to-prison pipeline. POWER-PAC is an initiative of Community Organizing for Family Issues (COFI).
  2. Facilitating a Resident-Led Circle Process (Vicky Harris, Nicole Huser, & Pamela Purdie) – In October 2011 Wentworth Residents for Survival, Chicago Housing Authority and Chicago Area Project launched a Circle program in Wentworth Gardens to support new and established residents to come together to build community.  The women from Wentworth Gardens have maintained their weekly community circles ever since where they share common interests and struggles.  Wentworth residents and circle keepers will share their stories about how the circle has impacted their lives and their community.  The presentation will hopefully inspire others to start circles in your own neighborhoods.

3:30 to 5:30 p.m.

  1. Creating Collective Strategies for Healing, Intervention, and Accountability (Building Communities, Ending Violence) – This workshop will offer the experience of a collective strategy session to show how community members might work together to respond to domestic violence.  The workshop will provide a structure for people to imagine collective responses that do not rely on the police or external authorities, and, if time permits, a chance to practice some of the skills it might take to implement them.
  2. Using Circles to Work with Young Men in Conflict with the Law (Circles and Ciphers Model) – Facilitators and members of Circles and Ciphers, a hip hop leadership program, will share insights about their experience of using circles with young men.  Participants will learn about the challenges and successes of this model.


Both the institutes and the workshops are being offered at no cost to participants. This does not mean that the event is free.  It just means that participants are not being asked to contribute financially in order to attend.  If you are planning to attend and have resources that you can share with us, we welcome them.  In particular, we can use support from those who are willing to make photocopies of materials, to contribute food items for breakfast and snacks, etc… You can contact Mariame at if you are willing to help.

Please also keep in mind that we anticipate that many people will want to attend this gathering.  Space is however limited so that we can have engaged conversation and discussion. With this in mind, we ask that you DO NOT apply or register if you are not certain that you will attend.  We want to insure that those who are able to attend are not turned away.  So we ask that you not register unless you are certain that you will attend the event.  If you register, and something comes up that makes it impossible for you to attend, please contact us as soon as possible so that a space is opened up for others. Thanks for your attention.



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