A Restorative Circle in the Wake of a Police Shooting

In Seattle, distance, anger, and pain remain from decades of command and control policing. The success of the Williams Restorative Circle fuels the promise that we can address that painful history, find mutual understanding, ensure accountability, and find a sense of well being and trust in agreed-upon actions moving forward.

Manhood and Violence

We want new men in our classes. We’re recruiting — like the marines — a few good men who’ll help build a movement of folks who see that being intimate, empathic, and warm is a better way to raise our kids and get along with each other.

The Fight Room

Rather than being dangerous, conflict holds within it vital messages regarding unmet needs and areas of necessary change. Given this understanding, safety is increased not by avoiding conflict, but by moving toward it with the intention of hearing the messages within.

Learning from Rwanda

The Rwandan approach makes restorative justice an ongoing multisector process embedded in the realistic realization that post-genocide healing never ends; rather, this healing is the lifelong multigenerational endeavor of people to work through their pains of tragic loss informally through living together.

The Day the Jail Walls Cracked: A Restorative Plea Deal

When I got the call from Howard Zehr, I balked at the idea. “In a capital case? He shot her in the head? No chance, Howard.” As I listened to the Grosmaires’ story of seemingly impossible love and forgiveness, my feeling that nothing could be done started to shift. “If God forgives us, how can we not forgive Conor?” Andy asked.

The Shabbes Wife

Growing up as a totally secular Jew, I was always intrigued by the idea of the shabbes goy—a non-Jew who would perform certain tasks for Jews on the Jewish Sabbath, tasks they were forbidden to do themselves (such as turning on a light, which would count as “work” on the day of rest). It seemed pretty sneaky to me—a way to follow the letter of the holy law while violating it in spirit. By which I mean to say: I dug it.

Poetry in the Age of Mass Incarceration

As a result of the transformation of America into an incarceration nation, the now-bursting prisons have become hotbeds of testimony, poetry, art-making, and speechifying. The books of Reginald Dwanye Betts, which are part of this flood of prison-based testimony, recount the tale of a young man who entered prison as a confused sixteen-year-old but who now, more than a decade later, has embarked on a career as a writer.

Educating for Wisdom

What Wilhelm and Novak have to say represents a light in dark times. They have written a book that is at once a sophisticated philosophical treatise on education and a radical guide for those who teach kids in the classroom.