Institute: Equitable Systems Design for Restorative Justice
As a time to “think and do,” a central focus of the institute was to concretely and constructively promote equal access to restorative justice and dismantle structures that perpetuate disparities in criminal legal systems.
On March 31, 2023, the NCORJ, in partnership with the University of California College of the Law, San Francisco, invited practitioners, academics, advocates, system-impacted people, and professionals at the intersection of criminal legal processes and restorative justice to attend a one-day institute on equitable systems design for restorative justice. Attendees were invited to participate in think tanks on various critical issues and to attend a screening of the short film Sippin’ by Artist-in-Residence for the event and the film’s director Rosa Navarette.
Following the day’s events, participants gathered to share learnings and insights, and to identify next steps towards more equity and access in the restorative justice field.
Eddy Zheng addressing the Equitable Systems Design for Restorative Justice Institute audience
The Institute began with a morning keynote address from Founder and President of the New Breath Foundation Eddy Zheng, who shared his own powerful story to highlight the importance of community-owned and driven, culturally responsive restorative justice practice. Eddy urged attendees to remember the centrality of CHI– culture, history, and identity–to collective healing.
The morning also included a panel presentation featuring Dr. Darryl M. Heller, Professor Lydia Nussbaum, Professor Eve Hanan, and Professor Deborah M. Weissman, four authors of the Hastings Journal on Gender and the Law & Hastings Race and Poverty Law Journal, Special Issue on Restorative Justice. One attendee said, “From all the panelists, I learned insight into the formation of Restorative Justice processes in America.” You can read the special issue here.
Panel Presentation featuring Professor Deborah M. Weissman, Dr. Darryl M. Heller, Professor Lydia Nussbaum, and Professor Eve Hanan, moderated by Alysyn Martinez