We are delighted to share uplifting news with you, along with impactful progress on our Restorative City Vancouver journey and our work with programs and communities.

Keep reading and you’ll also find more restorative resources and international events.

 

Just Announced: RJ Funding!

Hot off the press – exciting news! We are receiving a restorative justice grant from the Law Foundation of BC and Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General for our inaugural Restorative Neighbourhood – Hastings Sunrise.

This grant is part of the $3 million one-time funding announcement last June for restorative justice across BC by Minister Mike Farnworth. We will receive $50,000/year for three years.

 

Our team looks forward to continuing to work in partnership with Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House and Hastings Sunrise Community Policing Centre, and with the Restorative Collective Vancouver. We are grateful for the forward momentum this grant supports.

Join us in celebrating this wonderful news for Vancouver and all the organizations receiving much needed financial support for restorative justice. Read the government press release here.

“Empowering people to take accountability for their crimes allows them to address the underlying causes of harm,” said Niki Sharma, Attorney General. 
“By investing in restorative justice programs that promote healing and reconciliation, we can help reduce the cycle of incarceration and build a more fair and equitable justice system for people and communities in B.C.”

Restorative Neighbourhood

Peacemakers training with Hastings Sunrise

The Restorative Neighbourhood initiative with Hastings Sunrise continues…

Join us in applauding the cohort of dedicated community members who successfully completed the third phase of their peacemakers training with Dr. Evelyn Zellerer. Over a three day immersion, this fabulous group experienced, learned and practiced the fundamentals of Peace Circles. There were great questions, deep dialogue, bonding and laughter. Everyone will now co-facilitate Circles until we meet again to debrief and co-create next steps.

“I am excited to see these powerful tools and processes help restore our neighbourhoods and communities, and heal the deep wounds of colonization.”
– Rachel Jones

We are grateful to be in partnership with lead organizations Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House and Hastings Sunrise Community Policing Centre as we grow our first Restorative Neighbourhood in Vancouver.

Stay connected on social media to learn more about our emergent journey and also a second initiative forthcoming in Strathcona!

“The Peacemaker Training was transformative…
The thought and care and planning that has been put into developing these trainings and in the whole Restorative Neighbourhood initiative is incredible and astounding. This is paradigm shifting work and I am extremely honoured to be a part of it.”
– Gloria Tsui

Peace Circles Trainings

Southern Gulf Islands Community Justice Program

Congratulations to all the participants completing Peace Circles: The Fundamentals on beautiful Galiano Island!

Thanking our wonderful host, the Southern Gulf Islands Community Justice Program, and the people who gathered from three of the islands they serve – Galiano, Mayne and Pender. Facilitated by Dr. Evelyn Zellerer.

Together, they experienced and learned about the foundation, process and invitation of Peace Circles, gaining lots of insights as well as practical tools. Evelyn was inspired by the caring community members and nature at the Galiano Oceanfront Inn.

We also applaud and thank the dedicated, enthusiastic group who completed the third level Peace Circles training for Facilitators! The steering committee of SGI Community Justice Program gathered for a three day immersion into Circle design, process, facilitator awareness and tools, implementation, answering questions and also lots of love.

“I learned so much!”
“What a profound experience.”
“I am excited about our future growth”

While facilitating, Dr. Evelyn Zellerer cherished the time in this wisdom circle and the beauty of Pender Island. A big thank you to our hosts, Ben & Roland, founders and farmers of The Lifeboat Academy – an experiential, place-based learning and living model on maximizing quality of life and harmony within a sustainable footprint.

Anti-Violence Sector Dialogue Circle

As part of their national work on Building Capacity for the Anti-Violence Sector: Reimagining Justice, Salal Sexual Violence Support Centre invited Dr. Evelyn Zellerer to facilitate a circle during a multi-day retreat at beautiful Loon Lake, BC.

The dialogue circle with national leaders was beautiful and profound, while also recognizing that relationships between the feminist anti-violence and restorative justice sectors have been distant and the issues complicated.

We thank WomenatthecentrE, Harambec: Reviving the Black Feminist Collective in collaboration with Concordia University, Victoria Sexual Assault Centre, Yukon Status of Women Council, Salal Sexual Violence Support Centre and this courageous, visionary group for stepping forward in these historic times to co-create what’s next, with an invitation to lead with radical love. A special thank you to Dalya Israel for bringing us together. Dr. Evelyn Zellerer is filled with gratitude, knowing that collaborative, transformative change is possible.

Advocating for Victims Rights to Restorative Justice

We advocate for victims/survivors to be informed about and have full access to options of restorative justice. Their participation must involve informed consent and be voluntary. Where possible and helpful, in person, via writing/technology, and surrogacy options ought to be provided. Let’s do better in listening to, meeting the needs of, and empowering victims.

The Canadian Victims Bill of Rights includes the right to request information about “Available victim services and programs, including restorative justice programs”. While a step forward, it falls short of proactively informing and supporting victims.

In a previous post, we share lots of resources and links for Diverse Applications of Restorative Justice, including for hate crime and sexual violence.

We stand with Restorative Justice for All International Institute (RJ4All) advocating for Victims’ Right to Restorative Justice and invite you to learn about their initiative and petition relating to legislation in the UK.

Like in Canada and other countries, victims’ bills and codes often fall short and justice agencies have let victims down. RJ4All has tabled amendments and are lobbying for change.

You can also read more at Why Me?

More Restorative Resources & Events

European Forum for Restorative Justice (2023) is available free to download!

Vancouver is one of 10 featured cities, with a chapter co-written by Dr. Evelyn Zellerer and Norm Leech.

Learn more and further resources are available from the Working Group on Restorative Cities (EFRJ).

Registration is open for the 12th International Conference of the European Forum for Restorative Justice.

Just Times: Restorative Justice Responses in Dark Times
May 29-31, 2024
Tallinn, Estonia

RJ is widely used for various conflicts and crime. This conference expands the focus to the role of RJ in larger scale conflicts and war.
Pre-conference training is on bias, systemic power and privilege.

Registration is open for the 9th National (USA) Conference on Community and Restorative Justice

“Re-Envisioning Our Legacies: A Defining Moment”
July 29-August 1, 2024
Washington, DC

Several pre-conference sessions and 7 learning tracks during the conference.

Zehr Institute Webinars

We recommend the Zehr Institute webinars. They are free and recorded for viewing at your leisure if you miss it live.

Upcoming:

The Prison Within: The way out is through
Wednesday, April 17, 12-1:30pm ET
Guests: Katherin Hervey, Erin Kenway, Troy Williams, Michael Nelson, sujatha baliga, Sonya Shah
Host: Jonathan Swartz

Restorative Justice and Racial Healing
Wednesday, May 15, 12-1:30pm ET
Guests: Jodie Geddes and Tom DeWolf
Host: DeMointe Wesley

Check out the Podcast of live dialogues by Restorative Justice On The Rise with Host & Founder Molly Rowan Leach.

As is our tradition, we curate annual highlights to acknowledge and invite you on our peacemaking journey.

In case you missed it, read about facilitating the Restorative Collective and moving Vancouver forward in becoming a Restorative City, launching our inaugural restorative neighbourhood, and providing trainings with Carcross/Tagish First Nation, school districts, and police.

Thank you for being in Circle with us!

We’re not alone in bringing change. We would love to further celebrate and uplift you. Send us examples, news and stories of peacemaking and living more restoratively, with a link if you have one (e.g., a description, photo, video).

Our hearts are filled with gratitude and possibility, and you are a part of that.

With Love,
Evelyn and Peace of the Circle Team

Dr. Evelyn Zellerer, Founder/Director