Restorative Justice coalition presents community workshop

BRATTLEBORO — Using restorative practices to resolve conflict is the focus of a June 10 free community workshop at SIT Graduate Institute. The workshop is from 6:30 to 9 p.m., in the Rotch building at SIT.

The event is being organized by a coalition of Windham County restorative justice organizations and will include participants from about 15 countries attending SIT's annual CONTACT Summer Peacebuilding Workshop.

Restorative practices - such as communication skills, conflict resolution and learning to cultivate a deeper understanding of attitudes and people from different backgrounds - are applicable to many aspects of peacebuilding.

The workshop, “Coming Home,” will address using restorative practices to re-integrate those who may feel alienated - whether through conflict, war, imprisonment, or expulsion - back into their society. The event is free and open to the public.

It is presented by Restorative Community Justice of Southern Vermont, Greater Falls Community Justice, Youth Services, Brattleboro Community Justice Center, and Brattleboro Union High School's Restorative Justice and Practices program.

“Restorative work means finding ways to repair and build healthy relationships between individuals and within our communities,” Mike Szostak, restorative justice coordinator at Brattleboro Union High School, said in a news release. “This provides the foundation for a more just, inclusive and nurturing environment for everyone and a pathway to address income, gender, racial, and other inequities that plague us.”

Mel Motel, director of Brattleboro Community Justice Center noted “I'm thrilled to be part of a community where so many people and groups are working together to build relationships, heal harm, and change systems through restorative practices. This event is a great example of that shared local vision and collaboration.”

Greater Falls Community Justice Director Suzie Belleci, an SIT adjunct professor and an alumna of SIT's peace and justice program, said, “After spending 20 years at SIT and in Brattleboro it always makes me happy to see ways in which SIT and the larger Brattleboro community can come together for mutual sharing and learning. This is one of those opportunities.”

For questions about accessibility or disability-related accommodations for this event, call 916-715-9351.

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