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Join Jane Addams Hull-House Museum Education Coordinator Irina Zadov and UIC Criminal Justice Society's Brandi Vigil at 5:30pm. Experience the practice of restorative justice and imagine personal, campus, and city-wide peace through a process of trust-building, conversation, and relationship development.
Peacemaking and Restorative Circles are adaptations of indigenous practices from around the world that emphasize healing and learning through a collective group process (as opposed to punishment), and are one emerging form of “conferencing” and restorative justice practices. They are an organic response to Native understandings of interrelatedness, and stress that individuals must live in “right relationship” with the larger community as well as the natural world. Within the original traditions, such processes are recognized as communal and spiritual, and require a very challenging level of shared power. Circles are increasingly being used in non-Native, secular settings as a way of creating communal spaces for problem solving. In circles, involved parties come together in a nonconfrontational peacemaking process to talk through the problem and develop a solution. Although the process may include restitution, it is primarily designed to heal relationships among people and within the community rather than to impose punishment. Circle processes may be completed in one session, but also may extent over days, weeks, or even months until genuine healing is achieved. In the event of violent or abusive offenses, the safety of the victim must be considered throughout the healing process; bringing victims and offenders together immediately is generally contraindicated.