Linda Kligman 480x600In 2020, IIRP Vice President for Administration Linda Kligman, Ph.D., received her doctorate in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Ethical and Creative Leadership and a specialization in Martin Luther King, Jr. Studies. Her dissertation, Widening circles: A Grounded Theory study of workplace leadership, received two honors from Union Institute and University: The Marvin B. Sussman Award for originality, interdisciplinarity, and social relevance in scholarship; and the Virgil A. Wood Award for excellence advancing the legacy of Martin Luther King. Linda has been invited to be the Social Justice Speaker at Union’s Spring Residency. Her thesis has been made available for free download.

When I came to work at the International Institute for Restorative Practices in 2010 it was a profoundly different experience for me. My career had largely been in the nonprofit sector, I had run community organizations, a private company, and served on many boards, but this culture of high expectations and abundant support felt remarkably different. We practiced giving and receiving candid feedback in team builders, we were encouraged to talk about and express our feelings, and instead of running decisions “up the ladder” we “circled up” to include others. I enjoyed coming to work even on the hardest days. This relational orientation allowed me to stretch and find my role within an ambitious, innovative and dynamic graduate school.

volcano.jpgOn June 3, 2018, the Volcán de Fuego (Fire Volcano) in Guatemala erupted, killing 300 people and leaving close to 2,000 homeless and relocated to temporary shelters. Lava flows buried the towns of Alotenango and San Miguel Los Lotes; El Rodeo was also highly impacted.

The government, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and international response was focused on relocating villagers to safe locations and providing health care, medicines and food, as well as initiating a formal plan to move entire communities that would not be able to live in those high-risk areas again.

However, the emergency response made no effort to listen to the people affected by the eruption or to provide them with a space where they could find emotional support and release some of the emotions around the trauma they suffered. Asociación para el Liderazgo en Guatemala (ALG), a local NGO that trains other NGO leaders in the country, offered an intervention that provided a space for both people displaced by the eruption and emergency response teams to find support in the use of restorative circles. This article will examine ALG ́s intervention and offer some lessons learned about providing circles to people affected by natural disaster, and how they can be helpful in coping with the aftermath of such a traumatic event.

A. Miguel Tello is an IIRP Lecturer and Executive Director of the Strachan Foundation based in Costa Rica; Flor García Mencos is an IIRP Trustee and Executive Director of the Asociación para el Liderazgo en Guatemala.

Read the full paper, which was published in ENGAGE! Co-created knowledge serving the public good, 1(3), 2020.

Daniel Goleman200x200The IIRP Graduate School sponsored the December 2020 WOBI (World of Business Ideas) digital event on the theme of emotional intelligence in leadership. Featured speaker Daniel Goleman, Ph.D., who wrote the bestselling book Emotional Intelligence (1995), joined IIRP President John W. Bailie, Ph.D., to discuss why emotional intelligence is more important now than ever, not only for business leaders but all of us.

It was an honor to speak with Dan Goleman. His work on emotional intelligence has been a tremendous influence on my personal practice as a leader. Dan’s thinking has also been foundational to the work of my institution, the IIRP Graduate School — the world’s first graduate school wholly dedicated to the science of relationships and community.

Our world is increasingly complex. The COVID-19 pandemic, political unrest, and economic realignment are all accelerating the pace of change. (Text continues below.)

Claire is the Representative for IIRP Latin America. She is based in San José, Costa Rica.

claire3What about the "restorative practices thing"?

When people ask me about this “restorative-practices-thing” that I am always talking about, I usually make a summary – unfair as all summaries are – that goes a little bit like this:

(1)  Restore the value of the person. Michael White said it well: the person isn’t the problem; the problem is the problem. To separate deed from doer helps us to honor each person’s dignity, even when we disagree or even disapprove certain behaviors

2020electionHow the IIRP Graduate School is using restorative practices to talk about the 2020 presidential election.

The IIRP Graduate School is aware of the uncertainty and stress surrounding the U.S. election. We held circles internally to help faculty, staff and trustees begin to process their feelings. We decided to share our process for others to use and learn from.

Watch Henry L. McClendon, Jr., Director of Community Engagement, and Lecturer Beth Smull share their experience using restorative practices to talk about the 2020 U.S. election in the workplace.

Read and feel free to adapt two agendas that demonstrate a proactive circle and a responsive circle designed to help organizations talk about difficult subjects, such as the 2020 U.S. Election.

Check out professional development opportunities to strengthen your restorative practices skills.

The IIRP is proud to announce that Trudy Junkroski is the 2020 recipient of the Shawn Suzch Scholarship. The scholarship is awarded in memory of Shawn Suzch, a young man who overcame adversity with courage and determination and gave his life for his country.

"One of the motivations for entering into this field of study is to support the implementation of restorative practices in response to serious crimes and incarceration," says Trudy. "At Everglades Correctional Institution in Miami, where I volunteer, incarcerated individuals in the Horizon program have become partners in building community and creating paths forward for those facing the challenges of life inside and outside of prison."

She adds, "I am a person who wants to step into difficult spaces, even when it's uncomfortable to do so. I am deeply grateful to receive the Shawn Suzch scholarship honoring his extraordinary life and the courageous partners in Shawn’s own journey. I look forward to proudly representing Shawn’s spirit in my own work and continued studies at IIRP."

Congratulations, Trudy!

Bruce and JohnBruce Schenk (right), along with IIRP President John Bailie at the IIRP Canada Conference in Toronto, 2018.It is with a great sense of warmth and gratitude that we say farewell to Bruce Schenk, who is retiring as Director of IIRP Canada after serving for 12 years. Bruce’s pioneering work in Canada has been instrumental in extending the ability of individuals and organizations to foster healthy, meaningful relationships in schools, justice systems, workplaces and other areas of society.

“When I started in 2008, restorative justice was a known thing in criminal and juvenile justice circles in Canada, and a little bit in schools, but not restorative practices,” says Bruce. “The thing I’m feeling really good about is how restorative practice is now seen as applicable to so many areas, especially education, and IIRP Canada has had a big role in that.”

online callImage by Phil Wolff at Flickr Creative CommonsAs many of us gather virtually during this time of COVID-19, we feel a need to talk about what is happening and how we’re being affected.

The impact has to do with those who become sick, obviously. The rest of us who are settling in place in our homes and maintaining physical distance are also dramatically affected.

Early in the crisis, a teacher asked, “I’m out of school; all my students are at home. What’s a good circle prompt to do at this time?”

distancing socializingU.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Sadie Colbert

As the COVID-19 crisis deepens across the country and around the world, most of us are settling into a life characterized by physical distancing and sheltering in place. The IIRP has been receiving numerous inquiries and requests about how restorative practices can be applied to help. Overall, we know that people are the experts in their own communities; in fact, we look forward to people sharing their experiences so we can all learn. (Our social media platforms are already available as a place to share, and we are currently developing other meaningful options.) However, we would like to share some principles derived from restorative practices that might help us frame appropriate responses in our families and work, and with our friends and community.

While the coronavirus is a medical issue, a large part of what we are experiencing is a social crisis. Therefore, the relevance of consciously being relational becomes even more important. As many restorative practitioners understand, restorative thinking and practice isn’t just reserved for the workplace. We take restorative practices wherever we go. Now that so many of us are confined closely with our nuclear families, we can really focus on how to interact with our loved ones using a restorative lens, as we navigate this crisis together.

LA Conf 3From right to left, Claire de Mézerville López (Costa Rica), Kay Pranis (U.S.), John Braithwaite, Ph.D. (Australia), Miguel Tello (Costa Rica) and Manuel Delgado Chu (Peru) On Thursday and Friday, March 5 and 6, IIRP Latin America held an international conference, Congreso Justicia y Educación con Visión Restaurativa (Justice and Education with a Restorative Vision) in Mexico City. Over 100 participants from 11 different countries (Brazil, Chile, Peru, Colombia, Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Spain and the United States) gathered to share experiences and programs related to how restorative practices and restorative justice can help us to find hope in our Latin American region.

Our keynote speaker, John Braithwaite, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor at Australia National University and IIRP Honorary Trustee, inspired and encouraged participants on Thursday morning, calling for them to seek points of hope and to "aim breathtakingly high."

During the conference, 40 breakout sessions were held on topics including peace circles following the establishment of the peace agreement in Colombia; restorative approaches in Mexican schools; a restorative approach for supporting youth with drug addiction in Brazil; restorative practices with indigenous communities in Peru; and restorative responses for communities struck by natural disasters in Guatemala, along with many other topics.

Subscribe to IIRP News

Sign up for the IIRP News to receive periodic, hopeful emails including news and announcements about the growing field of restorative practices.
Please let us know your name.
Please write a subject for your message.
Please let us know your email address.
Invalid Input
Invalid Input
Invalid Input