2012-2014 Webinar Series

New webinars will resume in September 2014. Past webinars can be viewed below.



Spring 2014

Guest: Annmarie Early

Our understanding of what it means to be human is undergoing rapid change. We are learning that humans use emotion and patterns of connection and disconnection to navigate the world. Discoveries from neuroscience and research from attachment theory have paved the way for more effective practitioner intervention in situations of conflict. These discoveries both shift and sharpen our understanding of how change happens and are crucial for effective intervention in situations of conflict and restoration. Annmarie Early, Ph.D., LMFT, is professor of counseling in the Master of Arts in Counseling program at Eastern Mennonite University.

Guests: Jacqueline Roebuck Sakho, Shiv Desai, and Nekima Levy-Pounds

Michelle Alexander’s book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness, has gained widespread attention for its compelling analysis of the relationship between mass incarceration and racism in the U.S. More recently, after reflecting on the 50th Anniversary of the historical March on Washington, Michelle Alexander took her work to another level by challenging educational practices. She encouraged her audience on Facebook to “intersect lanes” and resist the expectation to only view problems of practice through one lens or “lane.”

Jacqueline, Shiv and Nekima are going to answer Alexander’s call by beginning a dialogue about intersecting the lanes of education, race, discipline and community-centric practice. What strategies can folks on the ground adopt to address these issues? What tools might be re-purposed to encourage restructuring from the bottom up? What might restorative justice have to say to these issues?

Guest: Dana Greene

Join us for a frank conversation exploring the unrealized revolutionary promise of restorative justice. Dr. Dana Greene, associate professor in the Criminal Justice Department at New Mexico State University, will examine the current direction of restorative justice in particular highlighting missteps all too reminiscent of past reforms. They will discuss tactics, strategies, assets, and as of yet neglected opportunities to use restorative justice to foment a social justice movement in the United States.

Guests: Jane Golden, Robyn Buseman and Eric Okdeh

How can artistic practices and approaches be applied in restorative justice? In what ways might restorative approaches and principles inform artistic practices? In this webinar, the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Restorative Justice Program will provide a case study in the intersection of socially-engaged art and restorative justice. Join Jane Golden, Executive Director, Robyn Buseman, Restorative Justice Program Director, and Eric Okdeh, teaching artist at Graterford, to learn more about the program and view the work.

Fall 2013

Guest: Beatrice Pouligny | Slides

Practitioner, researcher and author Dr. Beatrice Pouligny will share from her recent work in places such as Syria and Libya where she has focused on the overlaps of trauma healing and resilience and the connections with the restorative dimensions of transitional justice. She will also highlight her efforts at trying to support groups and communities to develop their own resilience resources and mechanisms, including when the violence is still going on.

Guest: Chris Marshall

Chris Marshall is a New Testament scholar and long-time RJ practitioner in New Zealand with a longstanding involvement in restorative justice. Taking a cue from two well-known parables of Jesus, in his new book Compassionate Justice, Chris Marshall argues that the true significance of restorative justice lies in its capacity to mobilize compassion in the service of justice, at both a personal and political or institutional level. In this webinar, Chris will discuss his approach of bringing biblical teaching into dialogue with restorative justice theory to generate new insights into both, as well as to suggest achievable goals for the justice system and public life in general.

Guest: John Caulker

Human Rights advocate and Founding Director of Fambul Tok International – Sierra Leone, John Caulker will present on the work of restoring justice in the wake of the brutal civil war that wracked his country for 12 years. Disillusioned by the failure of the Special Court and the Truth & Reconciliation Commission to deliver a lasting justice in his home country of Sierra Leone (West Africa), John turned to the revitalization of a customary practice called Fambul Tok (which is translated as “Family Talk”) in the Krio language. Launched in 2008, Fambul Tok provides an innovative example of a community-driven and owned transitional justice process that illustrates the spark of creative genius resulting from the partnership of civil society and local communities that are allowed to dream and act out a better justice for the future – a reconciliatory, healing justice that holds promise for generations to come.

Guest: Harley Eagle

Harley Eagle is of the Dakota/Anishinabe First Nations, enrolled in the Wapaha Ska Dakota First Nations Reserve, in Saskatchewan, Canada. He is the co-coordinator of Indigenous Work for Mennonite Central Committee Canada and serves as the co-chair of the KAIROS Indigenous Rights Circle. Harley will provide his perspective on restorative justice based on his cultural and personal experience as a practitioner. He will also speak on the impact of unresolved historical trauma and its effects on conflict in Indigenous settings as well as what it might mean for Restorative Justice.

Spring 2013

Guests: Tammy Krause, Kelly Branham and Dick Burr

What application does restorative justice have in the highly-charged, adversarial context of death penalty cases? Is it possible to do more to engage the families of homicide victims in these cases and in doing so, to help address their needs? What can and should the defense team do in these situations?

In a capital case, victims may receive assistance from victim assistance programs, often associated with the prosecution. However, what they frequently also need is information from the defense as well. In the past two decades a field has emerged that is sometimes called Defense Initiated Victim Outreach (DVO) or Defense Victim Outreach (DVO). DIVO/DVO provides trained victim liaisons to serve as a bridge between victims and the defense team to answer questions, provide information, and generally assist victims to address their needs as they define them.

DIVO/DVO is not usually full restorative justice, but it is informed by restorative justice principles. Although it has been very helpful to many victims, it is challenging, risky and controversial work. In this webinar, three pioneers and leaders in the field will describe the work and some of the possibilities and challenges.

Guests: Tyrone Werts and Barb Toews

View the powerpoint presentation
See Barb’s Reference list from her chapter on Restorative justice in prisons

Tyrone Werts is a former lifer whose sentence at Graterford prison was commuted in 2011. He has been an RJ advocate since the days he was still in prison. Tyrone is currently working with the public defender’s office and with the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program that allows college students and prisoners to study together.

Barb Toews is a long-time restorative justice practitioner and trainer, now completing her PhD and teaching at Bryn Mawr College and Haverford College.

Guests: Nancy Riestenberg and Rita Alfred

Our apologies, this webinar was mistakenly not recorded, but you can view the powerpoint presentation.

Guest: Sujatha Baliga

Sujatha Baliga is a lawyer and restorative justice practitioner who facilitated a restorative justice process for a murder covered in The New York Times Magazine. How did this case unfold? What can restorative justice practitioners learn from this pioneering case? What is the relationship between forgiveness and restorative justice? How do we relate to the media on these issues?


Guest: Elaine Zook Barge

Elaine Zook Barge directs the Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience (STAR) program at EMU. She has facilitated trauma trainings throughout the United States as well as Mexico, Haiti, the Sudan, Colombia and Myanmar.

Guests: Lorraine Stutzman Amstutz, Howard Zehr

Slides: Howard’s, Lorraine’s

This webinar is hosted by Carl Stauffer, assistant professor of development and justice studies at EMU. Carl interviews Lorraine and Howard on their experiences with establishing restorative justice programs.

Lorraine Stutzman Amstutz is the restorative justice coordinator for Mennonite Central Committee U.S. She has been involved in restorative justice work since 1984, when she began working in the first Victim Offender Reconciliation Program (VORP) in the United States. Lorraine co-authored Victim Offender Conferencing in Pennsylvania’s Juvenile Justice System and several other books on restorative justice.

Guests: Fred Van Liew, Len Wetherbee

Guests for this webinar are two seasoned criminal justice professionals who are also long-time restorative justice advocates and practitioners. The webinar will explore possibilities and challenges when applying restorative justice with and within the criminal justice system. Both guests are advocates of collaborative relationships between the system and communities and this will be part of the discussion as well.

Fred Van Liew is an attorney and mediator and the director of the Center for Restorative Justice Practices in Des Moines, Iowa. He is a former criminal and juvenile bureau chief with the Polk County Attorney Office in Des Moines and started the Polk County Attorney Restorative Justice Center in 1994. Leonard Wetherbee is the chief of police at the Moultonborough (N.H.) Police Department. He worked in the Concord (Mass.) Police Dept. for 33 years—17 years as chief of police—and was instrumental in starting Communities for Restorative Justice in Concord, where he continues as an advisor.

Our apologies, but the October 25th webinar – “Restorative justice on college and university campuses” – with guests David Karp and Josh Bacon was mistakenly not recorded.

Zehr Institute Webinars