Rotary Global Grant Blog September 2017

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During September, my colleague, Haley Farrar, and I delivered a Restorative Justice Facilitator Training for a group of Victoria University staff from across the university. It was a great opportunity to spend three days immersed in the philosophy and implementation of restorative practices with a passionate group of leaders in our community. I look forward to facilitating cases with this group on campus and also to seeing how they creatively implement restorative practices in their spaces of influence.

I also had the opportunity this month to give a lecture on my research to the Graduate Certificate in Restorative Justice class. It was great for me to have the chance to distill my work to date into a two-hour lecture. The class discussion also helped me to clarify my ideas and fueled my excitement moving forward in my study.

On a fun note, this month I went on a girls trip to Martinborough, a town not too far from Wellington known for its vineyards. We were lucky enough to get a beautiful spring day and visited several vineyards by bike!

This month I have also joined the Youth Committee of the Rotary Club of Wellington. I am looking forward to working with them in the upcoming months!

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Rotary Global Grant Blog August 2017

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August has been another full and exciting month in Wellington!

At the beginning of the month, I competed in Victoria University’s Three Minute Thesis Competition. The Three Minute Thesis competition challenges postgraduate students to explain their thesis research to a non-specialist audience in just 3 minutes. The goal is to clearly outline your research, engage the audience, and make them want to learn more.

I competed last year and was surprised and honored to win first place. You can read about that experience and see the video of my presentation here.

Because I had so much fun last year, I decided to participate again! This year, I won first place for International Students. You can watch the video of my presentation here.

This term, I have taken on the role of tutor for the Graduate Certificate course in Restorative Justice at Victoria University. I have enjoyed answering questions, marking papers and hosting tutorial sessions. This month, I was a guest lecturer for the course and delivered an interactive workshop on Restorative Circle practice. The content was well received and I enjoyed the opportunity to share with the class. To read more about designing restorative circles and how I am using this practice in the university context, see “How do you design a circle process?”

I have continued to interview facilitators for my research throughout the month and am learning so much from these conversations. To hear more about a recent insight, see “How does restorative justice counter biases?”

This month, I also received further training to be a facilitator in a pilot project using restorative practices to respond to elder harm issues. I am excited to be part of this new application of restorative practices.

Finally, this week I attended my first meeting with the Rotary Club of Wellington. It was a wonderful experience and I met so many great people! The speaker was Dr. Bronwyn Wood, whose speech was titled “Young people today: active or apathetic?” She suggested that these categories need to be challenged and outlined the ways in which youth and young adults are politically active in a different way than previous generations. It was an insightful and thought-provoking talk. As the Rotary Four Way Test was recited for the new members joining the club that day, I felt immense gratitude for this committed and passionate international community and for my place as part of it.

“Service above self.”

Rotary Global Grant Blog July 2017

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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.