SPI Response to COVID-19: Letter from our director
Dr. Catherine Barnes has worked for conflict transformation and social justice for more than thirty years. She is an affiliate faculty member of the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University and a freelance practitioner (www.catherinebarnes.space). Catherine has extensive experience facilitating conversations on challenging topics, in locations ranging from the UN General Assembly Hall to village gathering places. She is increasingly focused on designing whole-of-system deliberative dialogue processes and training other practitioners in these skills.
Examples of recent processes she has helped to design and facilitate range from workshops for the
Afghan High Peace Council; a multi-stakeholder process to develop a vision for the Shenandoah River
Watershed; a consensus-building process to provide guidance on the status of LGBTQ persons in a
religious denomination; community dialogues for racial justice and healing in her home town; and the
Mennonite Church USA’s Future Church Summit convening more than 700 people in a process of church
renewal. She finds that underlying process design principles can span these widely divergent contexts.
As a facilitator, trainer, researcher, policy advocate and consultant, she has worked with civil society
activists, diplomats and politicians, and armed groups in more than 30 countries to support their capacities for preventing violence and using conflict as an opportunity for addressing the underlying
systems giving rise to grievance.
She has written widely on peace processes, civil society roles in peacebuilding, and on issues related to
statebuilding, conflict prevention, genocide and minority rights. She is currently writing a book entitled:
Ending Our Addiction to Coercion: Understanding Conflict Habituated Systems and How to Transform
Catherine holds a doctorate in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University. She has
worked with numerous peacebuilding and human rights organizations, including Conciliation Resources
and Minority Rights Group International.
She now lives in Staunton Virginia with her husband and son, extended family and friends, with whom
she loves to garden, to cook, to make music, and to retreat into the wilds of the surrounding mountains.
Dr. Martha A. Brown, president of RJAE Consulting, Intl., is author of Creating Restorative Schools: Setting Schools Up to Succeed available at Living Justice Press. Dr. Brown received her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Florida Atlantic University and has more than five years’ experience designing and teaching online courses. Dr. Brown was Lead Instructor for Simon Fraser Universiy's Continuing Studies online Restorative Justice Certificate Program and was an adjunct professor at Florida Atlantic University where she taught a course in Educational Assessment. She has published several peer-reviewed book chapters and articles on restorative justice and correctional education and has presented internationally at conferences sponsored by the National Association for Community & Restorative Justice (NACRJ), Restorative Practices International (RPI), American Evaluation Association (AEA), the Canadian Evaluation Society (CES), Visitor Studies Association (VSA), and the International Conference on Conflict
Resolution in Education (CRE).
As a consultant, Martha assists non-profit, cultural, community-based, educational, and
correctional organizations with program design, readiness assessments, strategic planning,
student assessments, monitoring implementation, and defining and measuring program
Dana Coles began her time with Key Bridge as a volunteer facilitator in 2014. She has been a director of the Community Conferencing Program (CCP) since the summer of 2015. Her skills in management, organization, and marketing, as well as her training as a lawyer and mediator all culminate in her drive to provide high-quality facilitations to community conferencing participants. Dana uses her creative nature to develop fun and interactive trainings to enhance the facilitation skills of CCP’s volunteers. She is committed to expanding the web of restorative processes in Maryland and building a network of restorative practitioners throughout the state and beyond. Dana has an undergraduate degree in Sociology from Bowie State University, a law degree from Roger Williams University School of Law, and is a member of the Maryland Bar.
For 15 years as Director of the Institute for Environmental Negotiation (IEN), Dr. Dukes led an organization that helps individuals, communities, and public agencies find just and sustainable solutions to complex problems and conflict. He continues to work full-time at local, state, and federal levels on projects involving environment and land use, community development, health, and education. He has also facilitated public conversations on topics ranging from faith and sexual orientation to reparations for slavery.
Dr. Dukes’ work at IEN has included the following highlights:
- He directs IEN’s Transforming Community Spaces project, helping communities come to terms with spaces associated with problematic pasts. This includes a project developing a Truth and Transformation process for the Charlottesville-Albemarle area.
- He directed community engagement as a principal of the design team contracted to design the Memorial to Enslaved Laborers at the University of Virginia; the design was approved by the Board of Visitors in June 2017 and the memorial will be dedicated April 11, 2020.
- He served in a pro bono role as a member of the Charlottesville Commission on Race, Memorials and Public Spaces.
- He is currently leading the University & Community Action for Racial Equity (UCARE @ ucareva.org), to examine and address the legacy of slavery and segregation at the University of Virginia and surrounding communities.
- His work in the Appalachian coalfields includes the Clinch River Valley Initiative (clinchriverva.com) from 2009-2018, a pioneering effort integrating economy, environment and community.
- He chaired the Response to Sexual Violence Working Group appointed by University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan in 2015 that developed consensus recommendations concerning the University’s response to sexual violence.
- He was lead mediator of the Dan River Basin Community Stakeholder Team, convened by IEN and Duke Energy following the company’s release of coal ash and coal ash water into the Dan River from 2014-2015. The Stakeholder Team identified community concerns and developed consensus for solutions that addressed the impacts of the coal ash release on the communities and resources downstream.
- He is co-founder and core faculty member of the Virginia Natural Resources Leadership Institute, a program that develops collaborative leadership among and between community and advocacy organizations, industry and business, and the public sector.
- He spent seven years mediating national and regional discussions among tobacco farm and public health leaders for the Southern Tobacco Communities Roundtable, resulting in a series of agreements including over $2 billion in funding for tobacco farm regions and tobacco control (public health) efforts.
You may find a video of his talk “Charlottesville and Beyond” at the University of Denver’s Conflict Resolution Institute here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=GaEQha9MxNc
Katherine Evans has been a professor in teacher education at EMU since 2011. She teaches courses in educational psychology, special education, andrestorative justice in education (RJE). She holds a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and Research from The University of Tennessee in Knoxville where her dissertation research employed phenomenological interviews with middle school students about their experiences with in-school suspension. Prior to graduate school, Evans was a middle and high school special educator for students identified as having learning, behavioral, and emotional challenges. Her research, teaching, and scholarship focus on ways in which teachers participate in creating more just and equitable educational opportunities for all students, including those with disability labels, those who exhibit challenging behavior, and those who are marginalized for a variety of reasons.
While at EMU, Evans has been active in furthering the field of Restorative Justice in Education (RJE) both through scholarship and teaching and by working collaboratively with the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding to develop an interdisciplinary concentration in RJE within the current Masters in Education degree program. Beginning in the Fall of 2014, the EMU Education Department began offering both a concentration and a certificate in RJE. For more information, please refer to the website: http://www.emu.edu/maed/restorative-justice/
Evans has published several articles and book chapters related to zero tolerance policies, restorative justice, and school discipline practices and regularly presents at professional conferences. Most recently, she and Dr. Dorothy Vaandering published The Little Book of Restorative Justice in Education through Skyhorse Publishing. She is a member of several professional organizations including the National Association of Community and Restorative Justice, the Virginia Association for Community and Restorative Justice, and the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.
Dr. Al Fuertes' fields of specialization include facilitation and intercultural/interreligious dialogue; global education and cross-cultural experiential learning; conflict resolution/transformation and peacebuilding; community-based psychosocial trauma healing as a component in peacebuilding and community development; refugee and internal displacement; sustainability of indigenous communities in Southeast Asia; anti-human trafficking, ecumenism, and spirituality; theology of struggle/people’s theology/liberation theology.
Al is a field practitioner and consultant who specializes in community-based trauma healing as an integral component in peacebuilding and conflict transformation. He travels extensively around the world, particularly in places affected by war, armed conflict, and natural disaster. Al works with government, religious, military, and community leaders, as well as NGO development workers, school administrators, teachers, youth, refugees and internally displaced persons. He is the faculty director of the global education program in the Philippines, a 6-credit summer course in Human Trafficking, Environmental Issues, and Grassroots Peacebuilding through Mason's Center for Global Education (CGE); the Cambodia program, a 3-credit winter course in Post Genocide, Community Development, and Spirituality; and in Rwanda, another 3-credit winter course in Genocide, Healing, and Reconciliation through the Social Action and Integrative Learning (SAIL). Al is an ordained minister with the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP). He currently works as a covenant minister of UCC Wellspring in Centreville, VA.
Dr. Fuertes was a recipient of the 2019 Global Peacebuilder Award by the Daniel Fissell Music Foundation, the 2019 Outstanding Sillimanian Award, and the Alumni Recognition (2019) for his work in Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation by the Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary. He also received the 2015 Spirit of King Award, the 2014 Oscar Mentoring Excellence Award, the 2008 GMU Teaching Excellence Award and the 2001 AT&T Asia-Pacific Leadership Award.
Professor Thalia González is a nationally recognized expert in the field of restorative justice with more than decade of experience in law, policy, and practice. Her research and teaching pays particular attention to equity with regard to race and gender. She currently holds an appointment as a Senior Visiting Scholar in the Center on Poverty and Inequality at Georgetown University Law Center where she leads the Center’s national research on restorative justice policy and practices.
As a scholar and practitioner, Professor González has a specific focus on system change and policy development. She advises and supports a number of projects and programs using a restorative approaches in public systems and community-based settings. Her research on restorative justice, race and inequality, and the school-to-prison pipeline is regularly utilized by educators, policymakers, county safety councils, think tanks, and bar associations. Professor González is a frequent expert speaker at conferences and public commentator on legal and policy issues. Her publication, Restorative Justice From the Margins to the Center, is the first article to trace the emergence of school-based restorative justice in the United States and its subsequent cascade and institutionalization as a new discipline norm.
Professor González has been recognized for her excellence in teaching, including being awarded the Linda and Todd White Teaching Prize, the Loftgordon Teaching Award and selected as a Mortar Board Last Lecture speaker. She was a member of the Research to Practice Collaborative of the Civil Rights Project at UCLA and has worked as a consultant for the National Institute of Justice. She has been a Visiting Scholar at Berkeley Law, UCLA School of Law, and Georgetown University Law Center. Prior to joining the faculty at Occidental College she was a practicing attorney and held appointments at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and Arizona State University.
Dr. Alma Abdul Hadi Jadallah is an internationally recognized scholar practitioner in conflict prevention and mitigation. As an educator, she teaches graduate level courses in conflict analysis and resolution. She also brings extensive organizational development experience to her work coaching parties and groups to identify shared interests and enhance their abilities and skills towards collaborative attitudes and behaviors. Her research writings and practice focus on political and organized violence, the role of third-party roles, gender, and culture. She has worked extensively in the Arab world and on regional Middle East issues. In the US her work focuses on race, ethnicity and group dynamics in the workplace and communities. In 2019, joined the Eminent and Expert Persons advising the ASEAN Regional forum advising on preventive diplomacy and on women peace and security (WPS). Currently she manages Kommon Denominator Inc. (www.kommondenominator.com) an organizational dedicated to the well-being of organizations and communities through the facilitation of constructive conversations. Past positions included serving with the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) as the Quaker International Affairs Representative to the Middle East. In 2014 – 2015 she served as the Regional Expert and Coordinator, Panel of Experts on Yemen established pursuant to Security Council resolution 2140 (2014), Department of Political Affairs, United Nations. Prior to this role, she served with the Special Advisor to the Secretary General Jamal Ben Omar (SASG) in Yemen during the Yemeni National Dialogue. On Syria, she was involved in Track II diplomatic efforts led by the UN. She is the recipient of several business awards and honors including the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award for the School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University.
Sidney Morgan was born and raised in Southern California and moved to Portland, Or. April of 2000. Sidney began her work with youth, as a Youth Pastor in Southern California and has been working with youth for over 20 years. Sidney has been working in Restorative Justice work for 15 years. She first began her Restorative Justice journey in Juvenile Justice with Multnomah County Juvenile Justice department in Portland Oregon. In her time with Multnomah County she worked in several positions that involved Restorative justice work. At the same time, she became certified in Conflict Mediation and has facilitated on-going mediations with families, neighborhood and corporation mediations.
Sidney always found ways to incorporate relationship building with the youth she worked with, and through that developed a garden program that is still “growing strong,” in the Multnomah County Juvenile department. The Hands of Wonder garden program, gives youth basic job-skills that teach them how to grow, care for and sell organic produce.
Sidney continued her work in Restorative Justice and Race Equity for Portland Public Schools as the District Restorative Justice Coordinator. Sidney trained coached and supported school staff throughout the district in building in Restorative Justice Practices, as part of their school climate work. Sidney embarked on a new space in 2018, as she currently works for the Center for Equity and Inclusion.
CEI’s mission of transforming the places where we work and live, tied to her purpose of seeing racial healing through restorative justice practices. Sidney is working with organizations in public and private sector, and from all systems (Education, Philanthropy, Education, Health, Government, Non-Profit, Corporate). As a facilitator and executive coach, Sidney works with organizations to “examine the quality of our consciousness” while supporting an internal look into the organizations to address Diversity, Equity and Inclusion work. Sidney believes this work is not a sprint but a marathon, and this work takes time and needs healing.
Sidney also owns a consulting firm called Red Sea Road Consulting, where she works on special projects using Restorative work from around the country. Sidney is an adjunct professor at Lewis and Clark University, in their graduate school of education, teaching 2 courses on Restorative Justice for educators. Sidney is a current student with CJP, earning her MA in Restorative Justice, and is set to graduate in Spring of 2021. Sidney resides in Vancouver Washington, with her husband and three children.
Kajungu Mturi is a graduate of EMU’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding. Originally from Tanzania, East Africa, he worked in Zambia with Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) under the Brethren In Christ (BIC) Church as a Peace Education Coordinator from 2013-2016. He coordinated Peace Clubs in 12 BIC schools and trained church leaders to address issues of gender-based violence and conflict transformation in more than 100 BIC churches in Zambia. He also worked with Prison Fellowship in Zambia on education and coordinating peace clubs for inmates and prison officers. Currently, he is working with Harrisonburg City Public School as a families outreach especially for the refugees’ families. In addition, he facilitates workshops on domestic violence and trauma healing with the Congolese community who live in Harrisonburg.
Transforming Community Spaces Through Equitable Collaboration - PAX 691
Leanne Nurse is an environmental protection specialist with decades of experience in local, regional, national and international environmental collaboration and conflict resolution; environmental justice; climate change adaptation; and ecology and environment programs.
She specializes in convening difficult conversations about natural resource issues, helping parties identify assets and assess vulnerabilities; and designing effective learning and dialogue processes to find common ground. Her work is based on principles of equity, inclusion and diversity.
Leanne earned an MA in Conflict Analysis and Engagement from Antioch University. Shegraduated from the University of Virginia’s Natural Resources Leadership Institute, serving as a frequent contributor to their programs. She was a fellow at Tufts University’s Summer Civics Institute and studied deliberative
democracy at the London School of Economics.
Leanne was a broadcast journalist and community organizer prior to starting her US Environmental Protection Agency career in 1989. She serves as an adviser in her Buddhist community’s global network, supporting peace and justice projects. Her hobbies are fiber arts and jazz.
Gloria Rhodes is associate professor of peacebuilding and conflict studies at EMU, where she chairs the department of Applied Social Sciences and coordinates the Peacebuilding and Development undergraduate program. She teaches peacebuilding theory and practice (including mediation and group facilitation) and conflict theory and analysis. She has served as Administrative Director of the Summer Peacebuilding Institute and as a program assistant for the National Conference on Peacemaking and Conflict Resolution. She has led semester and summer cross cultural programs in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, and Russia. Her areas of expertise include peacebuilding curriculum development and pedagogy, conflict analysis, practice-related research, group facilitation and mediation, and cross cultural education. She holds a PhD in conflict analysis and resolution from George Mason University.
Dr. Lisa Schirch is North American Research Director for the Toda Peace Institute where she directs a research program on “Social Media, Technology, and Peacebuilding.” She is a formal collaborator with the Stanford Peace Innovation Lab and the Alliance for Peacebuilding and holds official advisory role with the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund in Geneva. A former Fulbright Fellow in East and West Africa, Schirch works alongside local colleagues in over 20 countries and on racial justice, Indigenous rights and the media in North America. Dr. Schirch has written ten books including an edited volume on The Ecology of Violent Extremism.
Restorative Justice: Principles, Theories & Applications - PAX 571
Dr. Carl Stauffer teaches Restorative and Transitional Justice at the graduate Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP), at Eastern Mennonite University in Virginia, USA. He concurrently serves as Co-Director of CJP’s Zehr Institute of Restorative Justice and is the Academic Director of the Caux Scholars Program in Switzerland. Stauffer has functioned as founder, director, academic coordinator and instructor for peace and justice institutes on four continents. As a seasoned conflict transformation and peacebuilding practitioner, Stauffer has done consulting and training with organizations such as UNDP, USAID, World Vision, ICRC, Asia Foundation, CRS, Tear Fund, SIDA, Oxfam, and the Ministry of Justice of Jamaica, Ministry of Community Development, Arts & Culture of Trinidad & Tobago, and the Ministry of Safety & Security of South Africa.
Stauffer entered the Restorative Justice field as the first Executive Director of the Capital Area Victim-Offender Reconciliation Program in Richmond, Virginia in 1991. In 1994, Stauffer and his family moved to South Africa under the auspices of the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), a faith-based international relief and development agency. In South Africa, Stauffer worked with multiple transitional justice processes including the Peace Accords, Community-Police Forums, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Local Community Development Forums. From 2000 to 2009, Stauffer was appointed as a Regional Peace Adviser for the Southern Africa region, which took him to 20 African countries and 15 nations in the Caribbean, Middle East, Europe, Asia and the Balkans.
Stauffer’s academic interests include Restorative and Transitional Justice, post-war reconstruction and national truth-telling and reconciliation processes. His research concentrates on a critique of Transitional Justice from a restorative and transformative frame, and the application of hybrid, often parallel indigenous community justice approaches. Stauffer’s most recent publications focus on positioning the Restorative Justice field as a transnational alternative social justice movement.
Carolyn Stauffer teaches in the Organizational Leadership Studies program at Eastern Mennonite University (EMU). Dr. Stauffer lived and worked in southern Africa for 16 years and the Middle East for 17 years. She holds a doctorate in sociology from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, where she was a development specialist focusing on capacity building, leadership enhancement and gender-sensitive humanitarian interventions. During her time in South Africa, Stauffer worked with community-based NGOs as well as blue-chip companies facilitating regional
workshops in Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Uganda. Over the past decade Stauffer has taught in three EMU graduate programs and has won grants and contracts to conduct training in Fiji, Japan, Kenya, New Zealand, and Ireland. Stauffer chaired the university’s Humanitarian Action task force and was a member of the local chapter of UNESCO’s Education for Sustainable Development initiative.
Stauffer earned an M.A. in Public Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University, where she started developing her research interests in intimate partner violence and trauma resilience through strengths-based approaches. As a veteran in cross-cultural settings, Stauffer is an agile educator who uses holistic pedagogies to facilitate personal and structural transformation.