The biggest and most exciting news this month is I submitted my dissertation!! It feels wonderful and exciting to have completed such a significant piece of work on a topic that is so important to me. This journey has been challenging at points, but ultimately so rewarding. I am so grateful for how my understanding of restorative justice has deepened through the process and for all the support I have received along the way! Next, my thesis will be sent out to three examiners, one at VUW, one in Australia, and one in the United States. In approximately four months, I will have my oral defense, likely followed by required revisions. There are still a few big steps in the process, but it is nice to be able to take a deep breath and relax a bit before the defense!
February started off with a week of training with the VUW Residential Advisers. As always, they were a wonderful and inspiring group of young people, who picked up very quickly on restorative principles and practices. I have high-hopes for the year ahead! If you would like to read more about restorative practices in the residential halls at VUW, check out my article in Conflict Resolution Quarterly.
This month, I also learned that the University of Western Australia is going to adapt the Sustained Restorative Dialogue process developed at VUW to hold a restorative circle dialogue with a group of law students on their experience of competitiveness and stress in the law school learning environment. It is very exciting to see this process spreading, as I think it is a promising new development in the field of proactive restorative practices aimed at broader culture change in communities.
I contributed several pieces to the most recent NACRJ Restorative Well, which you can view here.
This month’s Rotary Peacebuilder Newsletter is on the topic of Risk Taking. My contribution is titled “Taking the Risk to be Vulnerable: What We Know from Restorative Justice Research and Practice” and can be found here.