I was introduced to restorative justice several years ago, after taking the facilitator training workshop. I had just finished law school, and the idea of a different approach to the traditional justice system appealed to me.
For the first few years as a volunteer, I participated in circles as a facilitator, co-facilitator and mentor. The power of the process to bring together people who have experienced hurt, shame, and anger and see them come to a place of healing, understanding and acceptance is truly remarkable. What I value most about the process is that we are there to support people through some of the most difficult moments of their lives, whether it is facing up to the shame and guilt of harming someone, or moving past the fear and anger of being armed. I know that our work really does make a difference and lives are changed for the better, some dramatically so.
I have been on the board for the past five years, the past two as Chair. Although I miss being a witness to the transformative power of the circle, I really enjoy being on the board. There’s so much that needs to be done behind the scenes to keep our organization going! It is interesting and challenging work that has great rewards. I also feel privileged to work with such amazingly talented and dedicated people.