Barbie Fischer is currently the Executive Director of Restorative Encounters, a non-profit association of restorative justice professionals and organizations offering resources and training in restorative practices; specializing in equipping organization, government agencies and people to work through conflict within the criminal “justice” system, child welfare, schools and families. During her 20 years of work in the Restorative Justice field, she has assisted in organizational development where her creativity has led to the success of innovative and strategic programming for various non-profits, private companies, and government agencies. Her experience includes program management, strategic communication and marketing, risk management, conflict coaching, and training development. Her work in restorative re-entry led to her invitation to sit on the Pennsylvania Re-entry Council developed by Governor Tom Wolf and Attorney General Josh Shapiro.
Her passion is in restorative and transformative justice, building strong communities focused on health and healing. Her work in this field began with her development of reintegration programs for former child soldiers that have been utilized in northern Uganda and in Sri Lanka. Grateful to the teachings she has learned overseas, she then turned her attention stateside to work with abuse survivors, organizations focused on prevention of abuse and how to handle situations well when abuse happens. She spear headed restorative justice practices for veterans returning home, has developed restorative re-entry programs for incarcerated people, focusing on bringing support to the incarcerated person, the victim, and their families during the release process. Assisted in the bringing restorative practice child welfare for increased kinship care and support for children and birth parents. She currently oversees the legislated victim offender conferencing program for the state of Delaware and has been working since 2015 to help expand Restorative Justice in that state. In 2022, she was part of a team to launch a fully funded Restorative Reentry Program for kids in Delaware aimed at reconciling with their families and building support for successful futures.
If that wasn’t enough to keep her busy, she is also a part of the Restorative Cities Movement and prison abolition work in the mid-Atlantic region of the USA. Her work and life is informed by the ancestral teachings of the saints from all different tribes who have gone before us. To add to this work she is an experienced advocate for many social justice issues and a sought after presenter at various universities, conferences and communities around the globe.
Ms. Fischer’s background also includes fundraising and branding experience. She has assisted several start-up non-profits in developing and implementing their branding and marketing strategies, while assisting long standing organizations in telling their stories in relevant ways for a new audience to hear. She has also managed large communication campaigns. Most recently she has been developing e-learning training modules to implement change while minimizing the risk of conflict; along with creating promotional materials and communication plans for these trainings. With this Ms. Fischer is excellent at stakeholder engagement.