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Fall/Winter 2009



Impact on USA

Growing, Transforming, Making an Impact Often when we describe the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding we first acknowledge the diverse student body from all over the world. With CJP alumni now serving in over 120 countries, the impact that they have worldwide is amazing. However, at least half of CJP alumni and programs also make a significant impact in North America. This Peacebuilder highlights some stories of impact in the United States. In order to be effective in whatever setting we occupy, the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding constantly works at strengthening and transforming itself, partly in response to feedback from our students and alumni and partly in response to the changing environment.

Lynn Roth

Two new programs that we believe will serve our graduates well involve collaboration with other graduate programs at EMU. CJP is collaborating with the Master of Business Administration (MBA) program to offer a graduate certificate in Nonprofit Leadership and Social Entrepreneurship. CJP is collaborating with Eastern Mennonite Seminary to offer a dual degree program (Master of Divinity and MA in Conflict Transformation) and a graduate certificate in Theology for Peacebuilding. In this issue you will read about our other programs that continue to grow and make significant impact. This change and growth can only happen with the help of those who support CJP by encouraging people to participate in our programs, by making contributions and by praying. All these efforts are essential to our programs. As you read Peacebuilder, I hope it inspires you in your continued support of the people and programs of CJP.

Lynn Roth Executive Director

Fall/Winter 2009



Why STAR is a must-take seminar ...................... 2

Historic Trauma of Slavery

Fred Kniss Interim Provost

Intro to Restorative Justice2009





RJOY Schools Coordinator RJOY Board Member

Director, Restorative Justice Programs Mediation Works Oregon

Jacqueline J. Beuthin David R. Brubaker Janice M. Jenner Barry Hart 3 VICKI SANDERFORD O’CONNOR, MA ’02 Sue Williams Executive Film Producer Owner & CEO ClariQuest CJP Leadership California Team Members

FATHI ZABAAR, MA ’04 Program Manager





Pastor Stoughton United Methodist Church Wisconsin

GILBERTO PEREZ JR., GRAD CERT ‘99 Founder, Director Bienvenido Program Indiana

RJ Is All Over the Map


RestorativeStyer Justice Jon & Family Group Decision Making American Humane Association Designer/Photographer California

Consultant Clarity Facilitation Minnesota

Coordinator Youth Justice Initiative Iowa

University Professor RJOY Board Member

Bonnie Price Lofton Editor/Writer

Howard Zehr explains key principles.................. 6 14

Soros Justice Fellow RJOY Justice Coordinator





Founder, Director Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth (RJOY) California


Founder Finger Lakes Restorative Justice Center BARB TOEWS, MA ’00 New York PhD Candidate Bryn Mawr College Formerly employed by Pennsylvania Prison Society Pennslyvania



40 people illustrate RJ’s breadth........................ 8

JEREMY SIMONS, MA ’02 RJ Coordinator, ‘03-’08 City (Public) Schools Colorado

Director Arizona Statistical Analysis Center Illinois (& Arizona)



THADDEUS HICKS, MA ’08 Coordinator Disaster Management & Relief Ohio Christian University Ohio


Director, Counseling Psychology Kentucky Christian University Kentucky



Former corrections official has new mission.... 13



Attorney West Virginia



LOU FURMAN, SPI ’02,’05,’06

Director The Contact Project Texas

Director Turning Point Partners Louisiana

Attorney Deputy Director, Fair Trial Initiative North Carolina

President RJ Association of Virginia RJ Coordinator Central Virginia Restorative Justice Virginia

Residents refuse to accept city’s crime rate..... 14



Attorney South Carolina

10 ELIZABETH BECK, SPI ’05 Associate Professor College of Health & Human Services Georgia State University Georgia



Turmoil to Renewal

Teacher & Leader Community for Advanced Studies Meridian High School Mississippi

Retired lawyer Chair, North Alabama Restorative Justice Team, United Methodist Church Alabama

Jean Handley bounces back.............................. 20 Restorative Justice Is All Over the Map!

Influencing Public Policy







Contents ©2009 Eastern Mennonite University. Requests for permission to reprint are welcomed and may be And so is (Strategies for Trauma addressed toSTAR Bonnie Price Lofton at Awareness & Resilience) 8 ■ peacebuilder fall/winter 2009 Cover photo Jacqueline Roebuck Sakho. Story on page 13. Photo by Jon Styer.

Chaplain, American University Trainer & Consultant on RJ & Conflict Transformation Washington D.C.


Executive Director Turning Point Partners Tennessee

Transforming Memphis 33

JACQUES KOKO, MA ’03 Adjunct Faculty Seton Hall University New Jersey




For more information or address changes, 2contact: SAUNDRA LEVITZ, MA CANDIDATE Volunteer Justice Board Center for Justice and &Community Sunnyside Neighborhood Association (Peace Initiative Program) Peacebuilding Arizona Eastern Mennonite University 1200 Park Road Harrisonburg, VA 22802

REV. DR. BEVERLY PRESTWOOD-TAYLOR, SPI ’03, ’ Executive Director The Brookfield Institute Massachusetts



Founder, Executive Director Community Mediation Center, Inc. Peace & Justice Ministries Coordinator TriStake Mission Center Missouri


Member, Delaware Governor’s Council on Hispanic Affairs Visiting Scholar, Delaware Humanities Forum Delaware

African-American RJ Network

Founder Dine’ Ba’ Hozho Nahoodleel’hii (Dine’ Peacebuilders) CEO,The Forgotten People Utah, New Mexico, Arizona

Executive Director Communities for Restorative Justice Massachusetts






PATRICIA PATTON, MA ’00 Attorney, specializing in representing abused or neglected children Maryland


Advocate Teacher The Patchwork School Colorado



29 Trainer & Community Educator Pennslyvania




Executive Director Offender/Victim Ministries Inc. Kansas (540) 432-4000


“Coming to the Table” is going national............... 5

Loren E. Swartzendruber President 5


The Power of STAR

PEACEBUILDER is published by the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP) at Eastern Mennonite University, with the collaboration of the Development Office: Kirk L. Shisler, vice president for advancement; Phil Helmuth, executive director of development; Phoebe Kilby, CJP associate director of development.

Map Explanations



Executive Director Council for Restorative Justice Georgia State University Georgia

The 40 people on this map agreed to serve as examples of the range of restorative justice (RJ) work being done in the United States. Almost all of them have studied RJ with Howard Zehr. For more information on these people, turn the page (their numbers on the map correspond to their numbers on pages 8 and 9). Of the 626 people who have taken basic RJ at EMU, 327 (52 percent) have home addresses in the United States.


The states containing the acronym STAR inside a star symbol are the home states for people who received EMU-sponsored training in Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience (STAR) during 2008-09. For more information on STAR, read the article beginning on page 2 or visit

3D Security is highly visible on Capitol Hill........24 The Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP) is rooted in the Mennonite peace tradition of Christianity. CJP prepares and supports individuals and institutions of diverse religious and philosophical backgrounds in the creation of a just and peaceful world. CJP is based at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, and offers a masters-level degree and certificate, as well as non-degree training through its Summer Peacebuilding Institute and its Practice & Training Institute. The latter also offers expert consultancy. Donations to CJP are tax-deductible and support the program, the university that houses it, scholarships for peace and justice students, and other essentials. Visit for more information.

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The Power of STAR One story told in a recent STAR seminar: Denied art supplies, an inmate in a state prison pulled threads out of prison towels and made the angel above, plus many more, to give away.

Of all the programs offered by the Center for Justice and holding masters degrees in the field of conflict transformation. Peacebuilding (CJP), the 8-year-old STAR program is emerging as Fellow classmates included a refugee settlement worker, courtthe must-do one. employed mediator, clinical psychologist, social worker and Willroy Grant of Costa Rica returned to Eastern trainer with a women’s group. Twelve were from Mennonite University this September (’09) for the United States, four were from Canada, and the a week-long STAR experience, even though he rest were from six other countries. holds a master’s degree in conflict transformation One of the Americans was a chaplain, Mark from CJP and has extensive experience in the field. Siler, who ministers to prisoners at Marion CorHe worked in Cuba for Mennonite Central rectional Institution, located in the mountains near Committee (MCC) from 1998 until 2001. He took Asheville, North Carolina. classes with almost all of the full-time professors “I’ve known for some time about CJP and the in CJP’s program. He interpreted (English to work of Howard Zehr and John Paul Lederach Spanish) for Howard Zehr for restorative justice through their books,” said Siler. “Then a good trainings in Guatemala, accompanied John Paul friend of mine, Suzanne Walker-Wilson, took Elaine Zook Barge Lederach to help transform conflict in Colombia, Level I and Level II STAR in preparation for servstudied with Barry Hart at the Caux Institute in Switzerland, and ing with MCC in Colombia. co-facilitated classes with Lisa Schirch and Nancy Good. He has “When she next saw me, she said, ‘I kept thinking of you and worked for, or been a consultant to, non-profit organizations your work in prison the whole time I was there’ [in STAR].” working for peace and democracy in Costa Rica since 2001. For Siler the word “trellis” comes to mind when thinking of the Despite his wealth of his credentials and experience, Grant benefits of STAR. “It gives me a trellis on which to hang what I relished taking Level I STAR this fall: “STAR wove together all experience every day in the prison,” he said in an interview for the different components that make up CJP. It connected many of Peacebuilder. “It gives me an answer to the question: ‘What can the pieces of my own life. Everything was present – conflict trans- be grown in a place that can feel very barren, where the system is formation, restorative justice, mediation, trauma, ritual, the moral bent so far from being anything restorative?’ imagination, and the arts. Trauma was the common thread.” “I’ve done my share of workshops and seminars,” he said, but Elaine Zook Barge, program director of STAR, half-humorous- STAR surpassed them all. A key lesson, he noted, is how trauma ly calls her program “the best hits of CJP.” changes both our brains and our bodies. Most of the 22 participants in this STAR – which stands for STAR provided what Siler called a “safe space” to explore deep “Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience” – did not come wounds, as well as space to celebrate one’s resiliency and ability 2

peacebuilder fall/winter 2009

Photo by Jon Styer (upper) and Howard Zehr (lower)

“STAR wove together all the different components that make up CJP. It connected many of the pieces of my own life. Everything was present – conflict transformation, restorative justice, mediation, trauma, ritual, the moral imagination, and the arts.” – Willroy Grant

Willroy Grant

to heal from such wounds. He loved a quote he heard at STAR: “Pain that is not transformed is transferred” [Father Richard Rohr]. For Siler, STAR named or described patterns that he sees every day, such as the fact that untransformed pain will be “acted out” in activities that hurt those around oneself or “acted in” by harming oneself through such means as substance abuse, harmful relationships, and suicide attempts. On the fourth day of STAR, Siler found himself weeping after viewing a documentary film on a wrenchingly inspirational meeting between a woman whose daughter had been murdered and a prisoner who had participated in the act. “I obviously needed to weep, to express the pent-up grief I had been feeling from the work I have been doing… There was safety in the room and permission to let it flow. “I work in a sea of cyclical violence and trauma. It’s played out in the lives of the men in prison, but also in the staff in the system. There’s a stuckness, a brokenness, that gets entrenched and perpetuated. The staff experience trauma from being part of something that is destructive, that is dehumanizing.” Siler left STAR feeling that he now has “a fire in me – I can be more intentional in healing the trauma around me.” Siler thinks the volunteers who come to his prison to offer Bible study, worship service, and to otherwise express love would benefit greatly from taking STAR to better understand the sources of violence and trauma, and ways out of the cycle. “Having a lot of heart, concern and love are key, but not enough. The resources and understanding provided by STAR are crucial.” He just wishes more people could take STAR: “Why can’t more of this happen? The longing I feel for victims, for offenders, for all

Mark Siler

Photos Jon Styer Photo by JonbyStyer

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of us. Why can’t we create space for this to happen, for transformation?” Despite everything he has heard and seen in prison – “I’m with men who have done horrible things… I’m not saying we should just fling the doors open” – he stresses that “there are also really extraordinary human beings, extraordinary prisoners, extraordinary staff, inside the system.” STAR helped Siler to see “there is light everywhere, even there.” Many people inside and outside of prison know “it isn’t working,” he says. “Even if you just care about the safety of your community – 92 percent of prisoners will get out some day – even if you just care about the wasting of your tax dollars, you have reason to consider the benefits of a STAR or restorative justice approach to the prison system.” Willroy Grant, who was among the first group of students educated at CJP in the 1990s, will be taking his fresh insights from STAR into his work as a therapeutic counselor and as a member

of the pastoral team for his church “right in the middle of the red light district.” He said if he had taken STAR before getting his master’s degree, “I would have found it very provoking and it would have opened up my appetite to know more.” Taking it years after his master’s degree, “it presented a framework that shows how the need for trauma awareness is central to getting to the root causes of conflict.” For more information on STAR, visit or phone (540) 432-4651. STAR is offered at two levels. Level I presents the STAR trauma healing framework. Level II, for which Level I is a prerequisite, qualifies you to use STAR materials in your professional or community context and connects you with trauma healing resources and an exclusive online community. 

Expanding Galaxy of STARs Founded initially as a program to assist religious leaders and other caregivers in New York after 9/11, the demand for STAR is growing so fast, program director Elaine Zook Barge spends much of her time identifying and training new facilitators for STAR. In 2008, there were 23 STAR sessions held in seven states and two countries. In 2009, 33 STAR sessions – a 30 percent increase in one year – have been scheduled in seven states and four countries. STAR – which stands for Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience – seems to meet a vast array of needs. In December 2007, five Russian citizens affected by the 2004 Beslan school hostage crisis in Chechnya (where 334 hostages died) came to EMU and took STAR, with the help of an interpreter. Twenty people from Pakistan sought to come to a September 2009 STAR held at EMU, but were unable to get visas. One CJP MA alumnus Ali Gohar, a Pakistani national, thinks he has the solution to that problem: find funding to bring STAR to Pakistan. South of the U.S. border, STAR is being embraced by people hardened and traumatized by struggles against organized crime in Mexico – 10 STAR sessions have been held or scheduled in various locations in Mexico in 2009-10, always in Spanish. In the United States, Jubilee Partners of Georgia hopes to use STAR to improve its work with refugees, who often arrive traumatized by violence in their home countries. In Michigan, the Christian Reformed Church is exploring STAR as a tool to help church leaders address racism within their church.


peacebuilder fall/winter 2009

Variations of STAR have been developed for: youths aged 14 to 20  villages with low literacy levels (using pictures instead of written words)  veterans of war  groups involved in historical traumas, such as the descendants of slaves and the descendants of slave-holders (see article on facing page). Jan Jenner, director of CJP’s Practice & Training Institute, has been involved in STAR since its inception. “It’s been humbling and gratifying to see how many individuals have found STAR helpful in their personal and professional lives, and how many communities have benefited as a result,” says Jenner. “STAR touches deep places in people’s souls. As importantly, it provides knowledge and skills for working through deep hurts held by individuals Jan Jenner and communities.” One of the current challenges is finding funding to offer STAR to community and church leaders wanting to help returning veterans and their families. Says Barge: “STAR could help vets and their families better understand the ‘wounds of war’ and discover wellsprings of resilience and healing.” 

You may also enjoy reading “University Offers New Approach to Trauma Healing” in the March 19, 2009 issue of, accessible by a link on this EMU page,

Photo by Jon Styer

Sha Jackson, left, and Amy Potter Czajkowski

National Focus on Historic Trauma Of Slavery Coming to the Table (CTTT) is on the cusp of becoming a national movement. Thanks to an infusion of funding from the Kellogg Foundation and the Fetzer Institute, CTTT will expand over the next three years beyond its current occasional gathering of the descendants of slaveholders and enslaved people. On a national basis, CTTT will be seeking to address the historical legacy of slavery and to show ways of healing the wounds remaining from that legacy. Coming to the Table began as a pilot event on January 2006, centering around descendants who had ancestors who were linked by an enslaved/slaveholder relationship. In this first meeting, many of the participants were already known to each other, but CTTT enabled them to deepen their relationships. “The pilot event provided important information about the value of such gatherings,” says Amy Potter Czajkowski, CTTT director. “It helped us learn how to create a place where people could be open and honest as well as feel safety and support.” Between 2006 and 2009, CTTT was able to tap into resources on trauma awareness and resilience assembled for EMU’s STAR program (see p. 2) and to adapt them toward addressing the society-wide trauma inflicted by the practice of slavery.

“We don’t agree with some people’s attitude that ‘it happened a long time ago; it is not relevant,’” says Czajkowski. “We have to know where our social problems come from. We have to start talking about parts of our history that many people would rather forget, because it still has an impact on all of us.” Sha Jackson, who holds a master’s degree in journalism, joined CTTT in August (’09) to create the project’s website and to run its web-based communications for sharing life stories. “A lot of the research that we are doing in Coming to the Table deals with how historical things might have been transferred to our current lives unbeknownst to us,” she says. Participants in CTTT share stories about family connections and events that might otherwise be lost. Betty Kilby Baldwin (formerly Fisher), a civil rights activist, told of her children’s surprise in reading her book Wit, Will & Walls (2002) and learning of the abuse their mother endured as one of the first to integrate the previously white high school in Front Royal, Virginia. “We must first know what happened and how it inflicted harms that continue to this day. Then we can determine together what we must do to put things right,” says Czajkowski. Kellogg contributed a two-year grant of $400,000 to CTTT. The Fetzer Institute is providing $445,000 over three years. The funding is intended to support the program’s mission to “acknowledge, understand and heal the persistent wounds of the institution of slavery and its aftermath, strive for racial reconciliation and a more unified, just and truthful society.” Jackson’s revamped CTTT website and the expanded plans for CTTT will be officially unveiled in conjunction with Martin Luther King Jr. Day in January 2010. Watch the CJP website – – for details. 

Photo by Bill Goldberg

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Howard Zehr’s Capital Introduction to Restorative Justice

On Oct. 16, 2008, the United States Sentencing Commission held [Restorative justice revolves around three basic principles:] a “working luncheon” in Washington D.C., where EMU restorative One is that crime and other kinds of wrongdoing create harm, justice professor Howard Zehr was the opening panelist. The following and harm always generates needs. That’s why victims have to be at is a much-abridged version of what he said. Zehr is one of six the center of restorative justice. appointed members on the commission’s Victims Advisory Group. Secondly, it has to do with obligations. All of our ancestors, I think, understood that when we harmed somebody, we had an It’s an honor to be here… I’ve been given the task of obligation. That obligation was to try to put it right to the extent giving a brief overview of restorative justice. we can. The first obligation is the offender’s, but the community Restorative justice as a field developed in the 1970s. It develmay have obligations as well. oped in specific communities in the United States and Canada as And the third principle is the principle of engagement. As seen an effort to deal particularly with three areas of concern. in some of the research, the more you involve victims and offendOne was the neglect of victims, and the traumatization or reers in the outcomes, the more satisfied they are, and the more traumatization they often experienced in the justice process. satisfactory the outcome. A second had to do with how we deal with offenders. We were Sometimes I say it really revolves around three questions. In convinced that offenders have deep denial processes, and that the the legal system, we tend to ask, “What laws were broken and legal system and the experience of prison tended to increase those who did it; what do they deserve?” Restorative justice is trying denial mechanisms. We wanted a way to hold them accountable, to think, well, there are three other questions that are important: in the sense of helping them to understand [the need] to take “Who has been harmed in this situation? What are their needs? some responsibility for what they were doing. Whose obligations are they?” And the third was the impact [on], and the involvement of, the When we first began, we began with more “minor crimes.” But community. We were concerned that justice not only did not today there are programs for the most serious kinds of crime and reduce the tensions around the crime in the community, but often many new applications. There are [restorative justice] programs in actually increased the conflicts and tensions around it. We felt every continent except Antarctica. that the community was often victimized and needed to have its One of the most exciting arenas is school disciplinary proceneeds addressed just like individual victims, but it also needed to dures. The schools are beginning to realize that basically we’re be engaged in this process, and it needed to step up to the plate mirroring the criminal justice system in our schools with zero and accept its responsibilities. tolerance, and so forth. It’s not working. And so more and more So those are the kind of concerns that led to restorative justice. school systems are adopting restorative disciplinary processes. The research has been encouraging. The latest meta studies from Sherman and Strang released in England looked at 36 studies For more information on restorative justice, read Howard Zehr’s from around the world and found high levels of victim satisfacpioneering book Changing Lenses – A New Focus for Crime tion, reduced recidivism by most offenders, [and] greater underand Justice, originally published in 1990, now in its third Englishstanding by victims and offenders of the other. They concluded language edition, along with editions in six other languages. For a that the research for restorative justice is much stronger than [for] quicker read, check out his Little Book of Restorative Justice (Good many of the innovations that we’re spending billions of dollars on. Books, 2002). 


peacebuilder fall/winter 2009

Photo by Pushpika Gangani Weerakoon

Subscribe to Howard’s Blog (It’s free.) Howard Zehr regularly posts reflections at on some aspect of his work. By clicking on “Subscribe” on the left of the blog’s main page, readers can receive an e-mail alerting them to a fresh entry in the blog. Here are thoughts culled from Zehr’s first set of blogs. 

“The real genius of restorative justice is the way it highlights the role and needs of victims in the justice process. If restorative justice is to truly help re-invent justice, we must not lose that focus.” (May 20, 2009) “I believe that forgiveness can be tremendously healing. It is a process, though, not a state, and it must be chosen rather than imposed.  And it is much easier to choose this road when our needs – including our needs for vindication – are met.” (June 11, 2009) “We need to take seriously the need for those who have been harmed to be vindicated – for the wrong to be acknowledged, honor restored, and efforts to be made, preferably by the one who offended, to make amends.” (June 11, 2009) “How am I living justly? Where am I contributing to injustice in the way I treat people I’m around, in the systems I’m in? In my relationship to the earth? Those are all justice questions and I don’t see many of us asking these questions…” (Quoting Catherine Barnes, an experienced restorative justice practitioner and a former student of his, June 29, 2009)

“Shame can be positive when it motivates us to do the right thing – when we modify our behavior, then put shame behind. But shame is essentially a threat to our self-worth and when shame ‘sticks’ to us, it is debilitating. In fact, I am convinced that shame plays a major role in much offending.” (July 26, 2009)

“As the fields of restorative justice, conflict transformation and trauma work all emphasize, conflict is an opportunity. Out of hurt can come growth. A poster idea: ‘Conflict is opportunity – don’t waste it.’” (Aug. 2, 2009)

“James Gilligan, in his important book Violence: Reflections of a National Epidemic, says that all violence is an effort to do justice or to undo injustice. That is, violence – and much offending behavior in general – is a response to experiences or perceptions of victimization. Experiences of victimization or trauma, in short, can help explain why people offend as well as how they rationalize their offending behavior.” (Aug. 22, 2009)

“My intention in [photo-journalism] projects like Doing Life: Reflections of Men and Women Serving Life Sentences and Transcending: Reflections of Victims of Crime has been to portray people as themselves, without stereotypical clues to their identities... Perhaps the highest calling of photography is not to highlight otherness but to find human connections to that which seems foreign and unfathomable. Photography can build community when it reminds us what we have in common with others.” (Sept. 30, 2009) 

Photo by Howard Zehr

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5 21

Fania E. Davis, SPI ’05 (instructor) Founder, Director Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth (RJOY) California

Michael Bischoff, MA ’02 Consultant Clarity Facilitation Minnesota

28 Matthew Hartman, MA ’07 Director, Restorative Justice Programs Mediation Works Oregon

Rita Renjitham Alfred, SPI ’09 RJOY Schools Coordinator RJOY Board Member


Sujatha Baliga, SPI ’09

Claudia Henning, Grad Cert ’02

Soros Justice Fellow RJOY Justice Coordinator

Coordinator Youth Justice Initiative Iowa

Sonya Shah, SPI ’09 University Professor RJOY Board Member

7 Wonshé, MA ’04

6 Jeremy Simons, MA ’02

3 Vicki Sanderford O’Connor, MA ’02

RJ Coordinator, ‘03-’08 City (Public) Schools Colorado

Executive Film Producer Owner & CEO ClariQuest California

Advocate Teacher The Patchwork School Colorado

15 Elizabeth (Libby) Schrag, MA ’01 Executive Director Offender/Victim Ministries Inc. Kansas

34 Robert Redsteer, SPI ’07, ’08 Founder Dine’ Ba’ Hozho Nahoodleel’hii (Dine’ Peacebuilders) CEO,The Forgotten People Utah, New Mexico, Arizona

4 Fathi Zabaar, MA ’04 Program Manager Restorative Justice & Family Group Decision Making American Humane Association California

23 Diane Kyser, MA ’06 Founder, Executive Director Community Mediation Center, Inc. Peace & Justice Ministries Coordinator TriStake Mission Center Missouri

2 Saundra Levitz, MA candidate Volunteer Community Justice Board & Sunnyside Neighborhood Association (Peace Initiative Program) Arizona

33 Jennifer K. Lynne, MA candidate Director The Contact Project Texas

Restorative Justice Is All Over the Map! And so is STAR (Strategies for Trauma Awareness & Resilience) 8

peacebuilder fall/winter 2009


25 Wilbur Bontrager, MA ’99

30 Barb Toews, MA ’00

37 Lamarr Gibson, MA candidate


Pastor Stoughton United Methodist Church Wisconsin

Gilberto Perez Jr., Grad Cert ‘99 Founder, Director Bienvenido Program Indiana

Founder Finger Lakes Restorative Justice Center New York

19 Jennifer Larson Sawin, MA ’04

PhD Candidate Bryn Mawr College Formerly employed by Pennsylvania Prison Society Pennslyvania

Executive Director Communities for Restorative Justice Massachusetts

20 Rev. Dr. Beverly Prestwood-Taylor, SPI ’03, ’04

29 Dawn Lehman, MA ’02

Executive Director The Brookfield Institute Massachusetts

Trainer & Community Educator Pennslyvania

18 12 Phil Stevenson, SPI ’00 Director Arizona Statistical Analysis Center Illinois (& Arizona)

24 Patricia Patton, MA ’00

Jacques Koko, MA ’03

Attorney, specializing in representing abused or neglected children Maryland

Adjunct Faculty Seton Hall University New Jersey

8 Charito Calvachi-Mateyko, MA ’06 Member, Delaware Governor’s Council on Hispanic Affairs Visiting Scholar, Delaware Humanities Forum Delaware

27 Thaddeus Hicks, MA ’08


Coordinator Disaster Management & Relief Ohio Christian University Ohio

Leonard Knight, MA ’07 Director, Counseling Psychology Kentucky Christian University Kentucky

9 Marinetta Cannito Hjort, MA ’05 Chaplain, American University Trainer & Consultant on RJ & Conflict Transformation Washington D.C.

36 Brenda Waugh, MA candidate Attorney West Virginia

32 Jean Handley, SPI ’98-’05


Executive Director Turning Point Partners Tennessee

Sarah Anthony, SPI ’04 Attorney Deputy Director, Fair Trial Initiative North Carolina

35 David Saunier, MA ’04 President RJ Association of Virginia RJ Coordinator Central Virginia Restorative Justice Virginia


31 Jeffrey Bloom, SPI ’06 Attorney South Carolina

Lou Furman, SPI ’02,’05,’06 Director Turning Point Partners Louisiana

10 Elizabeth Beck, SPI ’05 Associate Professor College of Health & Human Services Georgia State University Georgia

1 Anne Wheeler, SPI ’08

22 MIKE CLYMER, MA ’99 Teacher & Leader Community for Advanced Studies Meridian High School Mississippi

Retired lawyer Chair, North Alabama Restorative Justice Team, United Methodist Church Alabama

11 Pamela Leonard, MA ’06 Executive Director Council for Restorative Justice Georgia State University Georgia

Map Explanations The 40 people on this map agreed to serve as examples of the range of restorative justice (RJ) work being done in the United States. Almost all of them have studied RJ with Howard Zehr. For more information on these people, turn the page (their numbers on the map correspond to their numbers on pages 8 and 9). Of the 626 people who have taken basic RJ at EMU, 327 (52 percent) have home addresses in the United States.


The states containing the acronym STAR inside a star symbol are the home states for people who received EMU-sponsored training in Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience (STAR) during 2008-09. For more information on STAR, read the article beginning on page 2 or visit

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The People on the Map 1. ALABAMA, Anne Wheeler: Is developing a network of RJ practitioners in Alabama and serving as Alabama liaison for the RJ Clearinghouse based at the Council for Restorative Justice in Atlanta. Active in Defense-Initiated Victim Outreach (DIVO) and will be assisting in training others for DIVO work in Alabama. 2. ARIZONA, Saundra Levitz: Designs and facilitates workshops on learner-centered/dialogue for adult volunteers interacting with youth who have been charged with non-violent criminal behavior. Also behind the Peace Initiative Program, a grassroots effort to restore community in a high-crime neighborhood through relationship building and reintegration of high-risk youth. 3. CALIFORNIA, Vicki Sanderford O’Connor: Until recently worked with Access to American Indian Recovery Project on building communities of recovery and restoration, sometimes using traditional indigenous interventions. Now producing “Bright & Shiny,” a film about drugs, murder and justice that heals. 4. CALIFORNIA, Fathi Zabaar: Has facilitated restorative conferences in Sonoma County in cases of arson, bomb threat, battery and now develops curricula to implement restorative justice processes. He is developing Restorative Family Conferences. Zabaar also provides trainings and makes presentations. 5. CALIFORNIA, Rita Alfred, Sujatha Baliga, Fania E. Davis, Sonya Shah: Four of the dozen people behind Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth. RJOY has a triple focus on schools, the juvenile justice system, and community. • Rita Renjitham Alfred serves as the RJ coordinator at a large urban middle school. The pilot program at her school was so effective in reducing suspensions, expulsions and violence that the program is spreading to other schools in the district. • Sujatha Baliga, an attorney, has taught RJ at both the college and law school levels and has served as a consultant to the Stanford Criminal Justice Center. As a Soros Justice Fellow based at RJOY for 2008-10, Baliga has implemented a diversion program for young people accused of crime. • Fania Davis spent three decades as a civil rights trial lawyer, then earned a PhD in indigenous studies. Since 2003, she has focused on healing alternatives to adversarial justice. In 2005 she taught at EMU’s Summer Peacebuilding Institute.


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• Sonya Shah, teaches core courses in global studies at the Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. Her students explore social change movements, paradigms of violence and nonviolence, models of conflict resolution, and the role of compassion and grief. 6. COLORADO, Jeremy Simons: Started the first RJ program at Cole Middle School that served as the model for Denver’s school-based approach. In 2008, the school board passed a discipline policy, putting RJ at the heart of responses to wrongdoing in the schools. (Simons is currently in the Philippines.) 7. COLORADO, Wonshé: As a teacher in a learning community, she joins other staff and students in using RJ practices to transform conflicts, initiate and participate in group council and talking circles, and address harm done. 8. DELAWARE, Charito CalvachiMateyko: Previously a human rights lawyer in her native country of Ecuador, Calvachi-Mateyko teaches classes on RJ and the circle process in Delaware. She also brings an RJ perspective to the Delaware Governor’s Council on Hispanic Affairs, to which she is appointed. 9. DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, Marinetta Cannito Hjort: In addition to being employed as a chaplain at American University in D.C., Hjorst does RJ trainings in many settings, including in Italy and Mexico, where she has trained personnel of the judicial system and community struggling against corruption and organized crime. 10. GEORGIA, Elizabeth Beck: Principle investigator in a Georgia State University project that supports the development of Defense-Initiated Victim Outreach throughout the United States. Co-editor and chapter author of an upcoming book, Social Work and Restorative Justice: Skills for Dialogue, Peacemaking and Reconciliation. 11. GEORGIA, Pamela Leonard: The Council for Restorative Justice headed by Leonard seeks to address the needs of victims and victim-survivors in the criminal justice system, especially in death penalty cases and other cases of severe violent crime. Toward this end, the Council trains and supports individuals to act as Defense-Initiated Victim Outreach (DIVO) specialists and victim-offender mediators. It has projects in Georgia, Texas and Louisiana.

12. ILLINOIS & ARIZONA, Phil Stevenson: Involved in juvenile justice research and policy in both Illinois and Arizona; has strongly encouraged RJ principles to be the guiding principles of work with youth. For example, as a member of the transition team responsible for planning the new Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice, Stevenson worked with other team members to ensure that the principles of RJ were considered. 13. INDIANA, Gilberto Perez Jr.: As the bilingual director of a program serving newly arrived Latino immigrants, Perez needs his knowledge of RJ, trauma healing, conflict transformation, and mental health counseling to support the people he serves to find health and hope -- not to mention livelihoods -- in Indiana’s schools, churches, and communities. Perez majored in social work as an undergraduate at EMU and earned a MSW at Interamerican University (PR). 14. IOWA, Claudia Henning: Heads a comprehensive, 10-year-old community RJ initiative that works with youth offenders as a diversion from juvenile court. In 2006, Henning received one of three awards bestowed by the International Association of Chiefs of Police. 15. KANSAS, Libby Schrag: Directs a local nonprofit that includes prison arts, victim-offender conferencing, and shoplifters education. Soon it will begin facilitating victim-offender dialogues for crimes of severe violence. She is also exploring programs for domestic-violence offenders (batterers) and sex offenders. 16. KENTUCKY, Leonard Knight: For the last 11 years, this scholar (PhD in reading education; DMin in family counseling ) has joined his wife in volunteering each Friday afternoon at the Eastern Kentucky Correctional Center. They facilitate activities to heighten awareness of the victim. They explore offenders being accountable for doing harm (and making restitution for it) while also helping them to experience forgiveness, mercy and grace. 17. LOUISIANA, Lou Furman: Based in a region devastated by hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Furman is director of Turning Point Partners, a nonprofit organization that promotes healthy and secure communities. He has established programs in alternative and charter schools and works extensively with incarcerated youth and special populations. He facilitates trainings in trauma awareness, victim advocacy, nonviolent communication, and restorative practices to improve schools, the judicial system and the broader community.

18. MARYLAND, Patricia Patton: As an attorney specializing in representing abused children, Patton believes RJ principles include the idea that if a child, person, or family is in trouble, then restoring them to functionality often involves recreating community for them. Patton no longer sees one child sitting in a therapist’s office as a solution in itself to a problem that goes back generations and crosses family boundaries. 19. MASSACHUSETTS, Jennifer Larson Sawin: Heads a communitypolice nonprofit partnership serving the metro northwest region of Boston and offering restorative justice in the wake of crime. Cases include those affected by adult- and youth-initiated crime. Referrals come from partnering police departments, with court-referred cases beginning to come. Has done intensive training with 100 volunteers in the community. 20. MASSACHUSETTS, Rev. Dr. Beverly Prestwood-Taylor: Co-founded the Brookfield Institute in order to practice peace through healing of the person, the community and the earth. Has led STAR in Brookfield, Mass., with a particular concern for veterans. Has taught conflict transformation skills and RJ skills to pastors; has consulted on conflicted and traumatized congregations. Has worked with ministry committees looking to apply RJ principles to clergy misconduct. 21. MINNESOTA, Michael Bischoff: Draws on RJ processes and principles in his organizational development consulting. Supports criminal justice systems and other organizations in moving towards restorative and just practices. Sometimes facilitates restorative dialogues in prisons with victims and offenders. 22. MISSISSIPPI, Mike Clymer: Teaches math in a large urban high school, as well as leads its new Community for Advanced Studies. It is part of Meridian High School’s effort to enhance rigor, relevance, and relationships by creating small learning communities within large schools. 23. MISSOURI, Diane Kyser: Over the last 21 years, has twice founded and led thriving mediation centers -- first in Davenport, Iowa. The Missouri center serves 6,000 people per year, including those referred by courts and other law enforcement agencies. Has done RJ circles at Women’s Correctional Facility in Chillicothe, Missouri, and trainings in Kansas City area schools, including bully-prevention. 24. NEW JERSEY, Jacques Koko: With a PhD (’08) in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from Nova Southeastern University, Koko weaves RJ into Seton Hall University classes he teaches on negotiation, peacemaking, and conflict resolution.

25. NEW YORK, Wilbur Bontrager: As the founder and first director of the Finger Lakes Restorative Justice Center (now called Partners in Restorative Initiatives), Bontrager developed cooperative ties with the Rochester Police Department, faith communities, and the Rochester Institute of Technology’s Center for Student Conduct & Conflict Management Services. The center now spreads RJ practices to schools, criminal justice personnel, churches and community groups throughout western New York. 26. NORTH CAROLINA, Sarah Anthony: Delivers Defense-Initiated Victim Outreach (DIVO) services on capital cases. Provides supervision and support to the eight other professional DIVO experts in N.C. Trains young graduates of law school entering capital defense in RJ principles so they might become more creative, thoughtful, compassionate, and responsive to harms their clients have caused. 27. OHIO, Thaddeus Hicks: This former police officer is now a PhD candidate at Asbury Theological Seminary. He has designed a major at Ohio Christian University dealing with disaster relief, including required coursework on conflict resolution, with several class sessions on RJ and its practices. “The administration has also approached me about developing a Criminal Justice Program. If this occurs, all classes will have a RJ slant.” Hicks still works a few hours a month as a reserve police officer. 28. OREGON, Matthew Hartman: In 2007, he began with a 3-day conference with fellow CJP graduate Aaron Lyons and professor Howard Zehr, which led to adding victim assistance and youth accountability components to existing organization Mediation Works. Also set up RJ mentoring groups in the juvenile detention center, often using circle process, and helped found a network of non-profit organizations willing to provide restorative community service hours for juveniles. Now advising city schools on restorative discipline. 29. PENNSYLVANIA (western), Dawn Lehman: Coordinated an RJ in schools program through Pittsburgh Mediation Center (2004-06). Trained victim-offender dialogue volunteers for Center for Victims of Violence and Crime (2008). She is a volunteer with the Office of the Victim Advocate’s Mediation program for cases involving severe violence. 30. PENNYSLVANIA (eastern): Barb Toews: Most recent practice includes facilitating restorative justice education in prison and working with incarcerated individuals to develop their own restorative projects. She was founding director of a victim offender reconciliation program in Lancaster, Pa. She also worked for the Pennsylvania Prison Society.

31. SOUTH CAROLINA, Jeffrey Bloom: In his death penalty cases, Bloom has attempted to reach out and communicate with the victim’s family members. Where such efforts have been received, it has created a less adversarial environment for all concerned. 32. TENNESSEE, Jean Handley: Is executive director of Turning Point Partners, which is featured on pages 16-23 of this magazine. 33. TEXAS, Jennifer K. Lynne: As she nears completion of her MA degree in conflict transformation, Lynne is conducting the Big Bend Listening Project, a research project that is examining the roles of conflict and change in the Big Bend region of Texas, a sparsely populated rural area within a vast curve of the Rio Grande in southwest Texas. 34. UTAH, Robert Redsteer: The land of Redsteer’s Dine people (often called Navaho nation) extends from southeastern Utah and northwestern New Mexico across northeastern Arizona. Here natural resource extraction occurs without regard to environmental justice. Redsteer brings together oppressors and victims (corporations, tribal governments, and grassroots communities whose well-being has been impacted by environmental degradation) to arrive at resolution of conflicts. 35. VIRGINIA, David Saunier: In 2002, founded a program that serves a number of local courts as well as community at large in using RJ to deal with criminal and non-criminal community problems. He started by working with the juvenile courts where he initiated “support and accountability conferences” in which victims and offenders meet and usually arrive at a repair plan, which is passed to the judge for approval. 36. WEST VIRGINIA, Brenda Waugh: A former assistant prosecutor in Berkeley County, W.Va., Waugh has conducted workshops and presented papers regarding restorative philosophies throughout the U.S. and has publications scheduled for release in 2010. Current projects include development of RJ and mediation programs in W.Va., including child protection cases and civil rights cases. She is also developing a program for law students that will expose them to the practice skills often associated with collaborative conflict resolution. 37. WISCONSIN, Lamarr Gibson: As a navy veteran with a doctorate of ministry, three masters degrees (divinity, dispute resolution, pastoral counseling), and a fourth masters degree soon earned at EMU with a focus on RJ, Gibson is uniquely qualified for his work as the coordinator for the Stoughton restorative justice program, which addresses youth who commit misdemeanors.

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Zehr Keeps Planting Seeds At age 65, Howard Zehr muses with friends and colleagues about retiring and spending more time on his photography and kayaking, but he shows no signs of slowing down. If anything, Zehr’s schedule seems fuller than ever as he mentors successors. Zehr’s propensity to function “outside of the box” could be seen as early as his undergraduate days, when he was the first white to graduate from historically black Morehouse University in Atlanta. (He earned his master’s at the University of Chicago and his doctorate at Rutgers University.) Zehr has made RJ presentations in 35 states and 25 countries. He puts high priority on: (1) responding to former students who want his help in launching initiatives and (2) accepting speaking invitations that might encourage a national shift away from harshly punitive judicial practices that feed cycles of violence. In 2008, Zehr visited Brazil where he spoke to more than 500 people gathered at the law school of the University of Sao Paulo, the largest law school in the country. Zehr also addressed judges and law professionals at the Sao Paulo Court of Justice and gave two keynotes in an overflowing auditorium at the Higher (Supreme) Court of Brazil. He was a keynote speaker at the Congress of the Brazilian Association of Juvenile Justice Judges and at another meeting of justice professionals in Porto Alegre. About 4,000 people in total came out to hear him in these five venues. Zehr also was covered by Brazil’s media, including a guest appearance on its most-watched TV talk show. Zehr’s Brazil visit corresponded with the publication of a Portuguese edition of Zehr’s seminal 1990 book Changing Lenses: A New Focus for Crime and Justice. In the fall of 2009, Zehr made his eighth speaking tour of New

Howard Zehr (2nd from left) and co-teacher Lorraine Stutzman Amstutz (far right) with Memphis folks (l to r} Michael O’Neal, Frank Black, Johnnie Hatten, Brenda Alexander

Zealand, a country that (not coincidentally) has restructured its juvenile justice system to put restorative conferences at its core, with remarkable results. In 2008, Zehr applied a $30,000 award he received – part of the International Peace Award from the Community of Christ – to the Koru Project, which collected the experiences of CJP graduates in restorative justice, including those of many of the people on the map on pages 8 and 9. Since 2002, Zehr has also received awards from the following: the Journal of Law and Religion; the Restorative Justice Association of Virginia (the first annual Howard Zehr award); the New York Dispute Resolution Association (annual Peacebuilder Award); and Prison Fellowship International (the Restorative Justice Prize). His longevity in the field and early book on the subject (Changing Lenses) has caused him to be dubbed the “grandfather of restorative justice.” Zehr’s public work is partly supported by an EMU endowment fund set up by Kathryn and John Fairfield, which provides “faculty release time” for disseminating the principles of conflict transformation more widely in the world. 

How Effective Is Restorative Justice? Though contemporary restorative justice began only about 30 years ago, the effectiveness of these practices in reducing violence, incarceration, recidivism, and suspensions and expulsions in schools is increasingly being documented. It is recognized as a model in the Office of Juvenile Justice and Deliquency Prevention Model Programs Guide. A meta-analysis of all restorative justice research written in English, Restorative Justice: The Evidence [by scholars Lawrence W. Sherman and Heather Strang of Cambridge University], concluded in at least two trials, that when used as a diversion, restorative justice reduced violent re-offending, victim’s desire for revenge, and


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costs. A 2007 University of Wisconsin study found that Barron County’s restorative justice program [in northwestern Wisconsin] led to significant declines in youth violence, arrests, crime, and recidivism. Five years after the program began, violent juvenile offenses decreased almost 49 percent. Overall juvenile arrest rates decreased almost 45 percent. Significantly, the study further found that collaboration of law enforcement officials with the community and schools was a decisive factor in reducing youth violence. New Zealand’s juvenile justice system adopted a nation-wide, family-focused restorative approach in 1989, and today, juvenile incarceration is virtually obsolete for

Photo by Jim Bishop

crimes other than homicides. Seventy percent of youth participants have no further contacts with the justice system. Youth detention facilities are being shut down. Closer to in-custody adult restorative justice program in San Bruno County showed a decrease in violent re-offending by 82.6 percent after 16 weeks of participation. RJOY’s own program in West Oakland’s Cole Middle School reduced the rate of suspension in its first year by more than 75 percent and expulsions and violent fights to 0. Excerpted from a 2009 report by Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth (RJOY)

Jacqueline Roebuck Sakho, MA ’09, at the Division of Corrections of Shelby County, Tennessee

Sakho Builds RJ Network Of African Americans

old twins in tow to start the master’s program in conflict transformation, which typically takes two years or longer to complete. Responding to Sakho’s enthusiasm, husband Ferdinand lent fabulous support by caring for the other children, then ages 5, 7, and 11 (the older twins) in their home in Memphis. He took their older children to the park, scouts, sports activities, and healthcare providers; all of them worked to maintain good grades. Sakho’s extended family also stood by her. Sakho’s grandparents, parents, and aunt – who live two hours from Harrisonburg in Washington D.C. – helped care for the twin toddlers and backed up Sakho in every way they could. Sakho’s mother-in-law “carried our family and provided financial support” until she died just weeks before Sakho’s graduation in the spring of 2009. Four years ago, Jacqueline Roebuck Sakho was working as the “We [Sakho’s immediate family] have been nurtured by what faith-based outreach coordinator for the Division of Corrections society thinks is extinct – the black extended family,” she says. in Shelby County, which surrounds Memphis, Tennessee. She “For many Africans and African Americans, it is worth the ultitried to do things to help families stay in touch with each other, mate sacrifice to have children educated. I’m just extremely fortusuch as get the National Association of Baptist Women to provide nate that I come from such rootedness, strength and dedication.” cakes for children’s birthday parties with their imprisoned fathers. Was CJP truly worth two years of her life and tens of thousands But Sakho wasn’t satisfied. She was appalled at the lack of of dollars? “Beyond worth it,” Sakho replies. “I always say I grew answers for the high recidivism rate for African-American young up at CJP. I learned about being an empathetic human being.” men. She worried about the tendency for long-imprisoned wom For her final master’s degree project, Sakho tried to locate en to build substitute families, with different women assuming African Americans across the nation who were involved with the role of father, mother, and child. “These women were going restorative justice and to solicit their experiences with it. to have a very difficult time returning to their communities after Her project led to the first gathering of African Americans release,” said Sakho, the mother of six children (including two interested in restorative justice theory and practices. Fourteen of sets of twins!). And there was obvious inequity in which types of them met in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, July 31 to Aug. 2, citizens ended up behind bars, with disproportionate representa2009, including Sakho, attorney Fania E. Davis, who is executive tion of African-American young men and women, often incarcerdirector of Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth (more on Davis ated for relatively minor offenses. on page 10), and Morris Jenkins, an associate professor in the De When Sakho saw a flier for a workshop on restorative partment of Criminal Justice at Wright State University in Ohio. discipline led by Jean Handley (profiled on pages 20-23), Sakho Grassroots practitioners also came. went and loved what she heard. At Handley’s suggestion, Sakho Sakho next wants to explore restorative justice as a tool for enrolled in a restorative justice class at EMU’s 2007 Summer addressing the historical trauma of slavery. An article related to this Peacebuilding Institute (SPI). “I took my first class with Howard Zehr and said, ‘This is it.’” topic is on page 5.  A few months after SPI, Sakho moved to EMU with her 2-yearPhoto by Jon Styer

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Transforming Memphis Little by Little In April 2009, when Forbes magazine labeled Memphis, Tennessee, as the second-most dangerous metropolitan area in the United States (after Detroit), at least a dozen residents of Memphis refused to accept this bleak assessment of their city. Instead they vowed to continue their work of changing the culture of Memphis, little by little. On the surface these people have little in common: manager of subsidized housing complex, top security official in city schools, assistant district attorney, retired GM factory worker, teen who



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belonged to a gang, schoolteacher, real estate agent. But all are committed to deepening their understanding of alternatives to violence (to self and society). All want to spread that understanding to the people and systems that they touch. All believe Memphis has the ability to transform itself into a network of healthy and secure communities, even serving as a model for other U.S. cities. All have a connection to Turning Point Partners (with branches in Tennessee and Louisiana), a non-profit group that relies

Photo by Jon Styer

heavily on EMU’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP) for new knowledge, skill-building, and revitalization when burn-out threatens. Seven of the 15 Memphis residents mentioned in this issue of Peacebuilder have received training at EMU. Several others plan to enroll in the 2010 session of EMU’s Summer Peacebuilding Institute.


Tips from Memphis 

Start wherever you are and do whatever you can


Find others who want a better future and enlist them as allies


Learn how to heal trauma, transform conflict and practice restorative justice


Don’t be afraid to apply what you’ve learned


Persist despite mistakes and setbacks


Maintain hope and faith – no matter how necessary and positive the changes, almost none will happen overnight

Memphis has blended many influences, as the Memphis-rooted music of Elvis Presley, B.B. King and Johnny Cash shows.

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Frank Black is head deacon at Abundant Grace Fellowship, the first Memphis church to fully embrace restorative justice.

When Jean Handley decided to make Memphis her new 18), Flowers and his co-workers wanted to break the “cradle to home in 2007, she brought the Turning Point Partners concept prison pipeline” in Memphis. In the tradition of Martin Luther from her old home in New Orleans. King Jr. (who was assassinated in Memphis in 1968), Flowers’ In New Orleans, Turning Point has popularized “communitygroup had advocated for, and won, non-violence studies in the building circles” in which participants literally sit in a circle and Memphis school system in the late 1980s and 1990s. Yet the Peace pass a “talking stick,” guided by a trained facilitator. These circles & Justice Center is more of an advocacy group than a group permit mutual problem-solving and create a sense of a common, that implements the changes it proposes. Turning Point Partners hopeful future. (For a newspaper reporter’s account of a circle was positioned to offer trainings in the relationship skills people process, turn to page 18.) require to change themselves and their communities. For FlowRestorative justice, as described on pages 6 ers, the work of the two groups was highly and 7, is a cornerstone of Turning Point Partcomplementary. Handley became a member ners, as is “mindful communication,” a way of of his board of directors, and he became a talking that encourages compassion for, and member of hers. awareness of, self and others. Frank Black, who owns a cleaning and Such great concepts, plus a good track landscaping business, signed on to be a record in New Orleans (maintained by Lou volunteer with Turning Point Partners after he Furman, Handley’s successor as director of heard Handley give a talk at Abundant Grace Turning Point Partners in Louisiana) – but Fellowship, where Black is head deacon. Black how to introduce Turning Point to Memphis? and his pastor, Dwayne Hunt, want their Handley started by making herself availchurch to lead the way in embracing restorVickie and Michael O’Neal able to government agencies, churches and ative practices. “In the churches, we teach and community centers for free presentations on restorative justice, preach about Christ and restorative principles,” Black says. “We the circle process and non-violent communication. She contacted have to make it tangible and manifest in people’s lives. We have to local leaders and asked for meetings to introduce herself and her get in and change people’s hearts so they see a better way.” previous work. She produced her own fliers and business cards. Last spring (’09), Black noticed strife between the young And she began to find allies. Some of them have jobs in the people raised in the church and those coming from the surround“system,” but others are church or community people who felt that ing neighborhood, attracted by outreach ministry. Black invited volunteering with Turning Point Partners gave them an opportuHandley to lead the first circle ever at Abundant Grace Fellownity to build a better future for themselves and all of Memphis. ship. In a two-hour circle process, the 45 teenaged participants When Jacob Flowers, director of the Peace & Justice Center shared tearful stories and deep feelings and moved toward “new of Memphis, first met Handley in 2007 he recognized a kindred understandings, relationships, and reconciliation that have been spirit. Like school assistant superintendent Gerald Darling (page maintained to this day,” says Black. Handley notes that this was 16

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PhotoS by Jon Styer


Jacob Flowers heads the 27-year-old Peace & Justice Center of Memphis, an advocacy and organizing group.

a breakthough, since the group included members of opposing street gangs. “Our circles are not always that successful,” she adds. “But the key is to keep at it – I’ve never seen circles utterly fail.” Michael and Vickie O’Neal happened to be visiting Abundant Grace in the fall of 2008, checking out possible churches to attend in Memphis, when Frank Black invited them to come to a talk Handley was giving on ways that restorative justice can help juvenile offenders. The O’Neals attended that talk and said “wow” over what they heard (Michael’s word). Feeling that any church sponsoring such a presentation was a good one, the O’Neals soon became active members of Abundant Grace, as well as volunteers with Turning Point Partners. Michael says this is the first time in his life where he is doing something that he feels truly called to do. Earlier, when he was living in Atlanta and earning good money as a skilled tradesman at General Motors, he was “mentally suicidal, depressed, drinking – the weight of the world was on me.” In 2008, Michael received a buy-out package from GM, freeing him of pressure to take a 40-hour-a-week salaried job. Now he owns and operates O’Grass Lawncare Service. Sober for four years and freshly married to real-estate businesswoman Vickie, Michael says he is “growing into the person I want to be – going to church, reading the word of God, living the word of God” and responding to God’s invitations, like the one extended through Black. Michael especially likes the circle process because “you meet in a powerful place and you become as one. You establish something you never had before – relationships. You learn that people have had experiences just like you. It’s different than a service at

church. It’s not scripted. Your voice is an important voice, as important as anyone’s. It becomes a spiritual voice inside that room. God is in that place. Real healing goes on right there.” Olliette Murry Drobot, program director for Southeast Memphis Community Development Corporation, is in charge of community-based efforts to reduce crime in her sector of the city. After hearing Handley give an introductory talk on restorative justice in November 2008, Drobot teamed up with Turning Point Partners to build partnerships with law enforcement, the local school system, and the private sector. In the fall of 2009, one of Drobot’s goals was getting a pilot conflict-tranformation program into a troubled elementary school. Another goal was assisting with building a sense of community among residents of a government-subsidized apartment complex in southeast Memphis, Autumn Ridge Apartments. Debra McIntosh, the executive manager for the apartments, has lingered after her work hours to support the weekly circles led by Turning Point Partners. Olliette Murry Drobot (See “Talking Stick Helps Heal” on page 18.) In New Orleans, Handley had both grant money and government funding to underwrite the work of Turning Point Partners, enabling her and several colleagues to receive pay for their work. In Memphis, the Assisi Foundation partly funded the work of Turning Point Partners with the Department of Children’s Service for two years. Since the economic downturn, however, Turning Point Partners has relied on committed volunteers. The group lost the energies this autumn (’09) of several valuable, enthusiastic people who simply had to have some source of regular income. Veteran schoolteacher Johnnie Hatten, who enthusiastically took restorative justice and another class at peacebuilder ■ 17

Gerald Darling, city school security chief, successfully used restorative justice in his previous school system in Miami, Florida.

contained this surprising piece of information: Based on reading EMU’s Summer Peacebuilding Institute (’09), had to return to and math test scores of upper elementary-age children, correcthe classroom. Deidre Daw took a teaching job too, vowing to tions department officials can make fairly accurate projections of “take circles into the schools” with her. Brenda Alexander, a forhow many of them will end up in prison as adults. Why not use mer pre-trial release counselor who took two classes at EMU this this information for the opposite purpose – that is, for identifying summer – restorative justice and dialogue facilitation for crimes who needs help to avoid the track to prison? of severe violence – has taken a job as a home-care worker, though “For every student we save and graduate, this represents a she “would love to work in the field of restorative justice. I feel monetary value to the community,” says Darling. “When we stop very blessed to have met Jean and to have gone to EMU.” spending $70,000 a year for incarceration and enable people to In the summer of 2008, the Memphis school board accepted actually contribute to the economy and raise a healthy family, this the recommendation of their new superintendent and lured a adds millions of dollars to the economy.” former colleague of his, Gerald Darling, from his job overseeDarling wants the several hundred staffers under him to be ing security in the Miami-Dade County school system in Florida. trained in restorative justice practices, beginning with those in the Darling had collaborated in Miami with renowned restorative jus14 schools with the most security-threatening incidents. “I’ve been tice expert Gordon Bazewell to use restorative discipline processes doing this for a long time,” he says. “If you change the students’ to keep troubled teens in their classes, still learning, instead of susbehavior, it will transfer into their families and community.” pended or expelled. If put outside, these teens tended to commit Jasamine Tiana Holmes, 17, would make a great “Exhibit more offenses, on their way toward being school drop-outs and A” in support of Darling’s arguments. She dropped out of school eventually imprisoned adults. “Most suspensions are for fighting, at age 14, after grade 9 (the usual drop-out grade).” I was so angry and putting the student out on the streets doesn’t stop the cycle and mean – I gained my respect by fighting. God forbid any of fights, but restorative justice can, and does,” said Darling in a teacher try to tell me what to do. I’d cuss her out and be gone.” August (’09) interview with Peacebuilder. Darling referred the interviewer to America’s Cradle to Prison [Holmes is pictured at bottom right.] Her parents were separated – dad in the navy, mom occupied with work and other things. By Pipeline, a 2007 report by the Children’s Defense Fund, which

‘Talking Stick’ Helps Heal Getting to know the neighbors took on a new dimension recently at a gathering of residents at a Southeast Memphis apartment complex. Summoned as part of a neighborhood watch program, they were asked to form a circle and pass a 18 ■ peacebuilder “talking stick.” They were told to speak fall/winter 2009 only about themselves, and only the one

who held the stick could speak. The event was a “peacemaking circle,” being used in neighborhood settings, churches and elsewhere in Memphis to resolve misunderstandings and create bonds of empathy, said Jean Handley, founder of Turning Point Partners, a nonprofit agency. Turning Point teaches communication, community-building and conflict resolution under the larger concept of restorative justice. The circle was held at Autumn Ridge Apartments in Hickory Hill, which is one of

several areas of the city Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin said last month include hot spots of crime. Little was said until the stick was passed to Bonita Brice, 47, who had brought her two young grandchildren. Brice said her mother died when she was 4; she was passed among relatives and endured mistreatment (including once being made to drink a bottle of turpentine, she explained later). She had lost three sisters to heart disease and had had open-heart surgery herself. Pressing one


Assistant district attorney Terre Fratesi meets with (foreground to right) Jean Handley, Bonnie Lofton and Frank Black.

middle school, Holmes was smoking, drinking, doing drugs and gang banging. She stabbed someone in an argument over microwaving noodles. She was in and out of jail. Somehow Holmes found her way to the first youth circle held at Abundant Grace Fellowship last May (’09). “It was a release to tell my story in that circle,” she said. “Miss Jean and Brother Frank and the others at Turning Point helped me. I still have problems, but I got a better way of dealing with them.” She has learned, for instance, how to let her father know, “I just want you to say you love me.” Holmes is Turning Point Partner’s youngest volunteer – she almost never misses a meeting or a circle process. In June (’09) she came with Black, O’Neal, and Alexander to the Summer Peacebuilding Institute, where she took “STAR: Breaking Cycles of Violence, Building Healthy Communities.” She went home feeling transformed, hoping to finish high school through GED studies and return one day as an undergraduate. When Holmes was into looking and acting tough, she had lots of company in Memphis. The office of assistant district attorney Terre Fratesi receives about 15,000 referrals for misbehaving (or downright criminal) juveniles from the schools of Memphis City and surrounding Shelby County each year. Like school security chief Darling, Fratesi would like to see this flood of referrals dwin-

child to her breast, she said she had never been out to meet anyone there. “I don’t have nobody to talk to where I can say just what I feel.” Brice’s story quickly spurred others. A woman said her father was murdered; another, like Brice, lost her mother as a small child and felt like an outcast in her family; a truck driver fought pneumonia alone in a hospital for months, lost his apartment and lived out of his truck for a year. Before the evening ended, one woman

dle to a trickle. She agrees with Darling – putting troublesome kids out of the schools only shifts their troubles somewhere else. As the lead prosecutor for offenses committed by juveniles in Memphis, Terre Fratesi handles “the worst of the worst – the rapes, homicides, shootings, stabbings.” Over the years, though, she has observed that few felt good at the end of the judicial process. “Even the victims walked out feeling empty,” she said. With Jean Handley’s help, Fratesi has become familiar with the way restorative justice helps to meet the emotional and informational needs of victims of crime, while giving offenders a way to make amends and get off the criminal flywheel. Reflecting on the various “silos” of people in Memphis who care about young people, “I think the major players have good intentions,” Fratesi says. “But there is a huge disconnect between all of us who want to do the right thing for kids. How do we get from here to there?” The folks who call themselves Turning Point Partners think the best place to start is by building honest, trusting relationships, one person at a time, regardless of each person’s “silo” and then working together to transform self and community, little by little. For more information on Turning Point Partners, contact Jean Handley at For more information on EMU's conflict-transformation trainings, visit 

in the circle gave Brice her phone number and Brice, in turn, gave the woman who felt unwanted a hug. Reported by Barbara Bradley and excerpted with permission from the Memphis Commercial Appeal (09/10/09). As an epilogue, circles continued at this complex through September and early October 2009, with residents starting to “own” the process. They chose Brice to be their circle leader for October 6, 2009. Jasmine Tiana Holmes at Autumn Ridge

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Turmoil To Renewal A Saga Unlike Any Other “In the spirit of Raku, the artist makes no demands, expects nothing, follows no absolute plan, is secure in change, learns to accept another solution and, finally, prefers to gamble on her intuition.” Jean Handley Raku artist & sculptress Jean Handley carries in her head and heart the essences of nine CJP training sessions she has attended since 1998. Jean likely holds the record for repeated attendance at CJP, though never as a degree-seeking student. Yet she brings as much to CJP as she derives from it – she has lived a truly astonishing life. Jean was raised Jean Botnik in an ethnically Jewish family in Birmingham, Alabama, during the era when African Americans in her city were meeting, marching, and being killed for civil rights. In the same small city lived Fania E. Davis, a close friend of two of the three African American girls who were killed when the Ku Klux Klan bombed their church in 1963. (For more on Davis, see page 10.) When that bomb hit, Jean was age 17. A week later another bomb exploded – this time in her synagogue. Nobody died in that one, but Jean’s community too feared the Ku Klux Klan. Jean moved to Cincinnati right after high school, fleeing an unhappy home. In Cincinnati, she taught herself computer programming and made a living at it. She also survived rape at knife point. Like many young people in the 1960s, Jean turned on and dropped out. She headed to California to study art for a year, liberally dosing herself with weed and hallucinogens. In 1969, she went South, surfed in Mexico, taught English in Colombia (and was raped again, this time by four gun-wielding men), backpacked through South America, and finally settled after a few years with a boyfriend of Peruvian peasant stock, Manuel. Jean and Manuel lived on an island three hours up the Amazon River from the nearest settlement, itself just a handful of huts. They had two tangible assets – a chain saw and a 100-meter dragnet for catching catfish. They raised pigs and chickens, trading them for gasoline, kerosene, matches and salt. A year after settling on the island, Jean almost died giving birth. After four days in labor and four or five hours trying to flag down the occasional passing boat, Jean departed alone (Manuel had to stay behind to tend the animals) to a generator-powered medical clinic in Pucallpa, Peru, where the road from Lima ended and river travel began. There her son, Magus, was born by C-section. Jean and the baby returned to what she now wryly calls “living sustainably” on the island. When Magus was three years old, Jean developed appendicitis. She endured another hours-long boat trip to Pucallpa, where the local doctor didn’t know what to do with the dying woman. A young surgeon


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Jean Handley holds her dog “Buckwheat” in her living room, where a few pieces of art salvaged from her New Orleans home can be seen, along with newly produced items. Her Memphis house remains sparsely furnished, as she slowly pieces together her post-Hurricane Katrina life.

Photo by Jon Styer

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from Texas, “Jimmy,” happened to be trekking through Pucallpa. With the help of Jimmy and some missionaries, Jean got airlifted to Lima. Jean underwent two surgeries in an American hospital, with Jimmy assisting (he had been trained by renowned openheart surgeon Dr. Michael DeBakey). Upon recovering, Jean parted ways with Manuel and returned to the United States with Magus. Here she taught English as a second language near the Mexican border. In 1983, Jean emigrated to Israel – “I was looking for roots – a cross between a culture and a spiritual identity.” There she met Dennis Handley, the man who became her beloved husband and who adopted Magus. (She lost Dennis to cancer in 1993.) Jean developed her art and designed silk fashions for a bridal shop. She also worked with Jewish-Ethiopian refuges for eight years and found spiritual kinship with them. Along the way, Jean met two Mennonite families – one living in Tel Aviv (Paul and Bertha Swarr) and one in Haifa – and “I really liked them.” Eager to better understand what it means to “do justice,” Jean found EMU’s Summer Peacebuilding Institute (SPI) on the internet, appreciated its link to Mennonites, and enrolled in her first SPI class in 1998. In 1999, she and Magus returned to the United States to be closer to her father, who had developed Alzheimer’s. In 2000, Jean bought a house near the levies and Lake Pontchartrain in New Orleans, continued to produce and sell art, and started Turning Point Partners to introduce CJP’s conflict transformation principles to New Orleans’ hurting communities. Hurricane Katrina hit in the summer of 2005, leaving Jean’s home – and her art studio equipped with two expensive pottery kilns – under 12 feet of water. Jean was homeless. She took refuge in Memphis, where her sister is a psychologist. By the fall of 2005, Jean was leading a 10-member team affiliated with Turning Points Partners in New Orleans to EMU for a special session of STAR (see page 2 for more on STAR). Until early 2007, Jean agonized over whether to rebuild her life in New Orleans or to stay in Memphis. With colleague Lou Furman stepping forward to lead Turning Point Partners in New Orleans, Jean gradually shifted her attention to Memphis, while protesting to God, “I can’t do this again. I’m 60. I can’t start over again.” But then she read a quote by Goethe to the effect that unless a person is committed, nothing happens; but once committed, the doors open. So Jean decided to mentally commit herself to the Memphis community. She immediately received an invitation to do a restorative justice presentation to the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services at the state level. That cemented her decision – she would re-engage. The doors have kept opening, though she hasn’t hesitated to do her part in knocking on them. These days, Jean divides her time between Turning Point Partners in Memphis – which is all-volunteer as Peacebuilder goes to press, with about six people involved (see pages 14-17) – and her art work, which is sold in a strip-mall gallery. “The two keep me balanced,” she says. Besides, one of the lessons she assimilated in that 2005 STAR session at EMU was that being resilient requires taking care of oneself.  The mighty Mississippi flowing by Memphis is an eternal reminder of the beauty and power of nature.


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PhotoS by Jon Styer


Mud Island River Park visitors can explore a half-mile model of the Mississippi from its sources to Gulf Coast outlet. Embedded in the ground, the model shows each city along the Mississippi. Here Jean Handley shows colleague Frank Black the block where she used to live in New Orleans.

In the “circle process” used frequently by Turning Point Partners, every person gets an equal opportunity to speak and to be heard by use of a “talking stick” – the person holding the stick speaks, then passes the stick to his or her neighbor.

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Eric Ham, policy director for the 3D Security Initiative, under the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol

Influencing Public Policy With Ham’s Helping Hands “Many people in peacebuilding are naïve or unaware of how to engage policymakers. They are clueless about the kind of impact they can have. They are intimidated by the idea of meeting with a member of Congress,” says Eric Ham. Ham is changing that. As policy director for EMU’s 3D Security Initiative, Ham spends most of his week organizing and leading delegations of concerned individuals, often straight from their grassroots organizations around the world, to Congress. He thinks the elected representatives of the United States need to hear fresh insights into policy matters, based on real-life experiences, often supplemented by extensive study. And he seems to be right, judging by the growing numbers of Congressional offices opening their doors to Ham, as well as to the woman he reports to, 3D Security Director Lisa Schirch. Since Labor Day (9/07/09), Ham has taken three delegations to the Hill, focusing sequentially on Burma, global health issues, and Pakistan. On Oct. 2, 2009, Ham’s Congressional visitors – Azhar Hussain of the International Center for Religion and Diplomacy and Rebecca Winthrop of the Brookings Institution – advocated more support for the establishment of an educational infrastructure in Pakistan to fill the space now 24

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occupied by militant religious groups, who are cultivating violent extremism in the schools they run. This type of aid – for educational rather than military purposes – typifies the core argument of the 3D Security Initiative that the United States needs to have a more even-handed approach to the three “Ds” of foreign policy – development, diplomacy and defense – instead of relying mainly on the “hardpower” approach of funding military might. Hired by Schirch in April 2008, Ham heads up the Washington office of 3D Security Initiative. When Washington policymakers were debating whether to send more troops to Afghanistan in the summer of 2008, the Inititative took Afghan and Pakistani students and alumni from EMU’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP) to speak to Congressional staffers about the need to shift funding toward civil society organizations in their countries. These visitors offered a preview of the findings Schirch reported in an article distributed by Common Ground News Service on Feb. 3, 2009. Citing a survey of nearly three dozen civil society leaders from Afghanistan and Pakistan, Schirch found that they “want a shift in military strategy. They warn a troop surge alone will result in more civilian casualties, more village raids, further alienation of the local population and growing local resistance to foreign troops. The leaders also fear that the Taliban could use a troop surge as an opportunity to recruit local people to their cause.” Those surveyed also criticized the funding of “highly paid experts who know little of local culture and design projects with minimal long-term impact.” Instead they recommended “direct support for Afghan organizations that understand local languages, cultures and religious dynamics. There are many Afghans doing frontline work in economic development, human rights, Photo by Benjamin Myers

good governance and independent media. Yet they receive little recognition or financial support for their work.” Eight months after Schirch made her report, validated by CJP students and alumni from that area of the world, her warnings seemed prescient. With matters going from bad to worse in Afghanistan as of October 2009, certain military leaders sought a massive increase in U.S. troops there, while key elected representatives questioned the wisdom of that course of action. “We’re trying to alter the foreign policy landscape,” says Ham. Though the 3D Security Initiative is only four years old, Ham sees signs that it is succeeding, little by little. For one thing, the language used in Congress is shifting, with more references to “building civilian capacity” and funding “conflict-prevention” efforts. For another, an amendment offered by Senators Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) and John Kerry (D-Mass.) was passed restoring $3 billion for development to the foreign aid budget, as advocated by 3D Security. For Ham, working in a David-sized organization to address a Goliath-sized U.S government is exciting and downright inspiring. He’s been on the other side of the meeting table as a Congressional staffer himself in the office of U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D-Fla.). One of his best memories from that period is finding himself next to then U.S. Senator Barack Obama at a Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Obama’s first day in the Senate in January 2005. To Ham’s delight, Obama recognized Ham, who (as a graduate student in public policy) had audited then-professor Obama’s constitutional law class at the University of Chicago in 2002. “He was absolutely phenomenal as a teacher, earth shattering,” recalls Ham. “He was funny, engaging, articulate, brilliant.” Ham, who is a native of Detroit, previously worked for two much larger non-profits: the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. When Schirch sat down with him to talk about the mission, vision and goals of the 3D Security Initiative, Ham was surprised at how closely it meshed with his own hopes for his country, especially since he had never heard of the philosophy or programs of Eastern Mennonite University, where Schirch teaches graduate students. “EMU is one of this country’s best-kept secrets,” Ham said after attending the 2009 session of EMU’s Summer Peacebuilding Institute. “I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of being there. You’ve got this small, religious, Christian university neatly tucked away in the Shenandoah Valley, and it brings in people from all over the world and many religions and puts them in classrooms together. It was like being at the United Nations. “You’re talking to a doctor from Afghanistan and he is talking about how the U.S.-led war has ravaged his country and then you talk to a deputy mayor from Jerusalem... It was a phenomenal experience. “I kept thinking, ‘Washington policy makers just need to come here.’ It would help them to see all the problems they face through new lens.” For more information on the 3D Security Initiative, visit The Initiative is supported by the Ploughshares Fund, the Compton Foundation, the Colombe Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and private donors. 

In a session with Congressional staffers, Azhar Hussain advocates support for Pakistan’s schools as Eric Ham listens.

Lisa Schirch, center, with former CJP students Hamid Arsalam and Nadia Bazzy on a visit to Congress in the summer of 2008

Photo by Benjamin Myers (upper) and Matthew Styer (lower)

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Barry Hart, founding director of the Community Mediation Center in Harrisonburg, Virginia, with its current director, Tim Ruebke

Cherishing Community Mediation The neighbor’s dog is keeping you awake with his barking. Or maybe you’re facing a divorce, and you would rather not hire a lawyer to slug it out with another lawyer in court. Or perhaps your son was caught putting graffiti on a school wall. Or you feel your business partner isn’t doing her fair share. Or perhaps your problem goes far beyond your home and business: The drinking water in your city has been contaminated by industrial toxins. In all of these cases, trained mediators might be able to help you to arrive at a resolution to your problem that is more satisfying to all concerned than a legal battle and more healing than (say) your son’s expulsion from school. Probably less costly, too. That’s why the Community Mediation Center was founded in Harrisonburg, Virginia, in 1982. “It is estimated that in 1976, there may have been less than 10 community mediation centers; in 1986, approximately 100 community mediation programs” in the United States, according to the website of the National Association for Community Mediation (NAFCM). Now there are more than 500. The Association credits Mennonites and Quakers for playing leading roles in getting mediation centers up and going. “Records from programs throughout the country demonstrate that 85% of mediations result in agreements between the disputants,” says NAFCM. “Similarly, studies show that disputants 26

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uphold these agreements 90% of the time… A full 95% of participants indicate that they would use mediation again if a similar problem were to arise in the future.” The Harrisonburg mediation center not only offers mediation services, it trains people in how to “productively handle disputes,” including training school staffers and students as peer mediators. A 2001 study of community mediation by University of Virginia researchers found that issues handled by community mediation programs included race relations, prison life, boycotts, migrant workers, agriculture, clean air and water rights, farm grazing rights, employment, religious disputes, AIDS, community policing, and business and corporate disputes. On a cautionary note, these researchers observed that most community mediation centers – which are committed to serving all, even those unable to pay – lack financial stability. “One notable exception is North Carolina, which provided state appropriations of nearly $1.3 million for 26 non-profit centers; the centers still relied on outside funding sources for an additional $3 million,” said the study, sponsored by UVa’s Institute for Environmental Negotiation. As a result “North Carolina’s community mediation network is one of the nation’s strongest. In 1999-2000 the state centers served 58,939 clients, and managed 16,698 cases, 79 percent of which were resolved.” The Community Mediation Center of Harrisonburg is directed by Tim Ruebke, a 1999 MA graduate of EMU’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding. CJP professor Barry Hart was its founding director and served on its board from 2002 to 2008, most recently as its president. As the map on pages 8 and 9 indicates, CJP-trained personnel can be found working in community mediation centers across the United States, including Kansas, Missouri, Oregon, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.  Photo by Jon Styer

Church Conflict Can Be Healthy Professor David R. Brubaker has made it his life’s work to understand organizations and to teach them how to negotiate conflict in a healthy way. His 2009 book Promise and Peril – Understanding and Managing Change and Conflict in Congregations is based on his doctoral dissertation, for which he analyzed information on 100 Presbyterian and Episcopalian congregations in Arizona. Insights from the book include: 

Congregations that succeed at change develop a culture that tolerates, if not encourages, disagreement. (p. 120)

Some disagreement, and some conflict, provides energy and generates ideas, but too much becomes destructive. (p. 106)

Leaders who learn to move towards conflict discover that they have opportunities to resolve issues when those issues are small, rather than attempting to fight fires when they are nearly out of control. (p. 108)

Anxious systems need non-anxious leaders. (p. 114)

Like people, congregations will generally only change when the pain of not changing (i.e. threat of extinction through dwindling membership) exceeds the pain and inconvenience of changing. (p. 100)

Organizations tend not to make major changes unless and until their leaders change. (p. 11)

Pastors beginning a new position would be well advised to study the congregation and build relationships before initiating major changes. Leaders have to earn the right to make changes. (p. 94)

Leaders who want to change their societies (or congregations) start by building a diverse group of change agents who must first learn how to cooperate with each other. (p. 126)

Leaders desiring to avoid destructive conflict will make structural changes slowly and deliberately, and they will introduce cultural changes gently and with substantial communication. (p. 120)

During any significant change process, things usually get worse before they get better. (p.96)

Nancy Good

Self-Care Is Important! The vast majority of those who walk through the doors of CJP – actually, probably the vast majority of the faculty and staff of CJP itself – feel overwhelmed at times by the difficulties of building peace in a world that is “fallen” (to use a Christian expression). Burn out threatens. Professor Nancy Good has embraced the mission of teaching peacebuilders how to take care of themselves so that they can persist in their work over the long haul, despite the inevitable setbacks they will encounter. Here is the description for a course she teaches, “Disciplines for Transforming the Peacebuilder”: This course explores the personal sustenance and transformation of the peacebuilder as a fundamental dimension of building peace. To work transformatively in conflict requires that peacebuilders pursue the journey of our own transformation. To an unusual degree, those involved in peacebuilding operate in environments that impose high stress, sometimes referred to as compassion fatigue and secondary traumatization. These environments provide little support in meeting these stresses, and require peacebuilders to prepare in advance with strategies for personal growth and coping with stress. A substantial element of the course requires the development of a repertoire of routines for personal disciplines (emotional, physical, spiritual) in maintaining a prolonged peacemaking presence in settings of highly charged and protracted conflict. 

David Brubaker

Photos by Howard Zehr, Jon Styer (top right)

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Our Way Of Negotiating Must Change By Jayne Seminare Docherty Most people agree that the U.S. health care system is broken. Almost nobody in Congress says it works well the way it is. Physicians and other health-care providers aren’t happy. The insurance companies aren’t. Those without health insurance are at serious risk if they require major medical care. The fortunate ones with good insurance may lose it for a variety of reasons, including changes in employment. So why can’t representatives of the interested, concerned parties simply sit down and negotiate their way to a reasonable solution? The poor record of health care negotiations points to the limitations of “principled negotiation” practice – i.e., looking for the win-win solution – as it has developed since the 1981 publication of Getting to Yes by Roger Fisher and William Ury. In May 2008, I joined a group of 50 negotiation educators and practitioners from around the world in Rome, Italy, to examine the limitations of current negotiation practice and to seek ways of improving negotiation training.* We spent two days watching our colleagues teach a basic negotiation training course and another two days rethinking both content and teaching methods. Our goal was to develop version 2.0 of the standard negotiation course, with special attention to matters of culture and context. I spent most of the four days with a U.S. Army Major serving his third tour in Iraq, a Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer with a UN peacekeeping background, an Israeli crisis negotiator, and some scholars interested in high-risk negotiations. My own work centers on improving the use of negotiation for ending civil wars and rebuilding post-war societies, with a current focus on Burma/Myanmar and Lebanon. You might ask, “What do negotiators working in war zones have to teach negotiators working on health care reform in the United States?” Actually, in both cases, the parties are simultaneously negotiating a specific problem, while trying to re-negotiate their social, political, and economic relationships. When you look closely at the health care negotiations, the biggest problems are not technical; they are tied to our (mostly unspoken) sense that we need to re-negotiate fundamental assumptions about how our collective lives are organized. Difficult questions come into play: Is health care a basic human right? What is the legitimate role of profit making in health care delivery? How do we allocate scarce resources? What responsibilities do individuals have to promote their own wellness? What is the role of government in our personal lives? Any significant changes in the status quo involve enticing millions to 28

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CJP professor Jayne Seminare Docherty

change their behaviors and attitudes about health care. Just as “principled negotiation” is not a robust enough tool for negotiating peace with justice in Iraq, Burma or Bosnia, it is not adequate for negotiating health care reform in the United States. Over the next few years, my colleagues and I will continue to meet and work at drawing negotiation lessons from actual peacebuilding practice. These lessons may arrive too late to affect health-care bills currently being negotiated, but I think they will have surprising applicability to negotiating other public policy issues in the United States including, perhaps, the adjustments we will all have to make in response to global climate change.  For information on the project visit; a second meeting was held in Istanbul on Oct. 14-17, 2009. See Rethinking Negotiation Teaching: Innovations for Context and Culture edited by Christopher Honeyman, James Coben, and Giuseppe De Palo and Negotiation Journal, April 2009, for the first papers from this multi-year project. Jayne Seminare Docherty is professor of conflict studies at EMU and author of The Little Book of Strategic Negotiation (Good Books, 2005).

Correction: A footnote in the spring/summer 2009 issue of Peacebuilder incorrectly listed the date of the death of Steve Williams, husband of Summer Peacebuilding Institute director Sue Williams. A peace worker for many decades, Steve died on December 3, 2007. The first annual World Vision International Peace Prizes, conferred in September 2009, were in honor of Steve Williams.

Photo by Lindsey Kolb

It Takes a Classroom to Teach a Student! The Center for Justice and Peacebuilding has grown since 1994 from two MA students enrolled to 72; from 40 enrolled at the Summer Peacebuilding Institute to 200; from no alumni to 320 master’s program graduates and 3,300 trainees from 115 countries. The Capital Facilities Plan for the campus calls for a dedicated classroom to be provided to CJP on the first floor of the Sadie Hartzler Library. To create and equip this state-of-the art classroom, we will require $120,000.

Features of the new classroom  Built-in state-of-the-art audio-visual system  New windows for natural light  Small kitchen area  “Green” features: + Low VOC-emitting materials (carpets, paints) + Energy-efficient windows and doors + Foyer to trap heat and cold intrusion from outside + Recycling bins + Sink for washing china and flatware (limits use of disposables)

Benefits to peacebuilding efforts  Will provide a quality learning environment for over 70 graduate students convening throughout the school year  Will serve as a Summer Peacebuilding Institute classroom, benefitting about 100 participants each summer  Will be designed to offer flexible space for presentations, large- and small-group discussions, circle processes, role plays, prayer and meditation  Will house a hospitality area, essential to welcoming people from around the world

Please consider supporting our effort to create this new classroom

Ways to Give:  Cash donation  Pledge over 1 to 3 years  Assets, such as appreciated stock

For more information Location of future CJP classroom

Phoebe Kilby ’04 Associate Director of Development Center of Justice and Peacebuilding 1200 Park Road Harrisonburg, VA 22802 (540) 432-4581 or (800) 368-3383

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EASTERN MENNONITE UNIVERSITY 1200 Park Road Harrisonburg VA 22802-2462 USA

center for justice and peacebuilding 2010 Schedule of Events Graduate Program in Conflict Transformation

Summer Peacebuilding Institute (SPI)

STAR -- Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience

Contact Janelle Myers-Benner at if you are interested in enrolling in graduate classes.

Short-term intensive courses for professional development/training or academic credit. Participate in one or up to four sessions.

More information on fees and descriptions of seminar levels online at:

 MA or Graduate Certificate in Conflict Transformation

 New! Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership and Social Entrepreneurship. Offered by EMU’s MBA program in collaboration with CJP.

 New! Graduate Certificate in Theology for Peacebuilding. Offered by Eastern Mennonite Seminary in collaboration with CJP.

 May 10-18 Session I

 May 20-28 Session II

 June 1-9 Session III

 June 14-18 Session IV

 January 11-15 STAR Level I

 March 22-26 STAR Level I

 May 10-18 STAR Level II (during SPI)

 June 14-18 STAR Level I (during SPI)

 October 25-29 STAR Level I

CJP aims to be environmentally responsible... Each issue of Peacebuilder is available online at If you would prefer to no longer receive a paper copy of Peacebuilder, please note this in an e-mail to If you would like to receive e-mail reminders of new issues of Peacebuilder online, please note this as well. Peacebuilder is printed on recycled paper. When finished reading or referring to the paper version, we invite you to please pass it along or recycle it.

Peacebuilder Fall/Winter 2009 - Alumni Magazine of EMU's Center for Justice and Peacebuilding  

Peacebuilder magazine from the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University looks at peacebuilding issues and activi...