Starting this term, my PhD studies in New Zealand are generously supported by a Rotary Global Grant Scholarship. I am honored and so grateful to have received this support from Rotary. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity, while home in Colorado, to visit a couple of the local clubs to say thank you in person. I would also like to continue to share my journey and what I am learning through this blog.
Before returning to New Zealand at the end of June, I stopped in Oakland, CA to attend the 6th National Conference on Community and Restorative Justice. It was invigorating to be in a room full of passionate, driven and skillful restorative practitioners. I learned a lot about the state of restorative justice around the country and also delivered two talks titled Creating Transformational Space: Ritual and Restorative Justice and Building a Restorative University.
During July, my colleague, Haley Farrar, and I had the opportunity to deliver a workshop on Restorative Justice to Wellington Community Justice Project, a law student-led society that aims to improve access to justice services in the community. I enjoyed the opportunity to discuss restorative practices with this group of intelligent and engaged law students.
On July 31st, the Rotary Club of Wellington hosted a forum with the central question “What would it take for Wellington, the city and region, to be the best in the world?” It was an exciting and thought-provoking event, featuring many great speakers from Wellington and beyond. Members of the audience were invited to share 60 seconds on their impossible dream for Wellington. I was lucky enough to be chosen to share the idea of making Wellington a Restorative City. You can see a video of my one minute of fame here.
This month, I also began interviewing restorative justice facilitators and participants for my PhD research. It has been wonderful to go beyond the books and to draw from the experience and insight of the people engaged in the process.