2017 Commencement“The graduates you see before you are the leading edge of a new and vibrant field within the social sciences,” affirmed John Bailie, Ph.D., President, at the 2017 Graduate School Commencement. “Every day they are doing the difficult, inspiring, transformative work of improving civil society. And I have no doubt that each of them will continue to work tirelessly to improve their community. Going forward from today, they will be the professionals, leaders and role models the world so desperately needs.” Craig Adamson, Ph.D., Provost, addressed the graduates: “We take huge pride in your successes. To be able to count on your expertise as relevant, practical and innovative agents of change — that’s something no institution should take lightly.”

The Class of 2017 Master of Science graduates participated in the program from more varied and distant locations than ever before. The 16 graduates reside in seven US states from California to Connecticut, plus Trinidad and Tobago and British Columbia, Canada. They are attorneys, teachers, music therapists, violence prevention educators and more. All were driven to commit time and hard work to gain valuable competencies and interpersonal and intrapersonal skills relevant to their professions.

Kris and KevinOn behalf of their classmates, Commencement speakers Kevin Jones of Illinois and Kristin Wraight of Connecticut shared their journeys and their passion. “I am able to bring about whole community change because of the IIRP,” declared Kevin. Kristin urged us to “get to know our neighbors again, especially the ones who don’t look like us.” Because, she asserted, “Community is the antidote to hate and fear. When we lose our way and feel powerless to do anything, all we need remember is to reach out and connect with one another. This is the work that will heal the world."

Pittsburgh students globePittsburgh Public Schools (PPS) brought the IIRP’s SaferSanerSchools Whole-School Change Program to 22 schools, from 2014 to 2017, thanks to a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice Comprehensive School Safety Initiative. The RAND Corporation has been studying the project — a randomized controlled trial of restorative practices implementation — and will be producing a final report in spring 2018. Meanwhile, PPS has announced it is making a commitment to continuing the use of restorative practices in the 22 schools, as well as expanding their use to all district schools over the next two school years.

IIRP Canada300x200The International Institute for Restorative Practices Canada (IIRP Canada) is pleased to welcome two new members to the team, Gayle Desmeules, who will serve as the Regional Representative for Western Canada, and Peggy Barrette, who joins the team as a bilingual trainer and consultant providing learning opportunities in French as well as in English.

Columbia Teachers CollegeVia Boston Public Library.Columbia Teachers College has made a commitment to offering restorative conflict resolution practices to master's-level students at its New York City Summer Principals Academy (SPA). For the past two summers, IIRP President John Bailie, Ph.D., and Provost Craig Adamson, Ph.D., who are now adjunct faculty at Columbia, have co-taught “Basic Practicum in Conflict Resolution.” This three-credit course is geared to help aspiring school administrators primarily serving diverse urban populations communicate effectively, build relationships and meet the needs of their constituencies’ competing demands.


IIRP President John W. Bailie, Ph.D., provides a brief overview of how restorative practices could provide a framework for responding to extermism.

refugeesImage by Trocaire via Wikimedia CommonsAcross Europe, communities are struggling to deal with the consequences of Syrian immigrants arriving, settling and attempting to integrate into society. In the Romanian port town of Brăila, Vidia Negrea, IIRP Europe’s Regional Representative for Eastern Europe and IIRP Trustee, recently ran a restorative circle to begin to address issues that have strained relationships in a local school.

Pamela Randall Garner 200x200As the pendulum in U.S. schools continues to swing away from punitive discipline policies toward a more holistic approach to improving school climate, a host of presentations at the 23rd IIRP World Conference, Learning in the 21st Century: A Restorative Vision, will explore elements of this development.

Featured speaker Pamela Randall-Garner, Ed.D., Senior Staff Advisor for the Collaborating Districts Initiative of CASEL (Collaborative for Academic Social and Emotional Learning), will focus on several important aspects of these efforts in her presentation, “Building Supportive School Communities,” including social and emotional learning (SEL) for students and staff, equity for students of diverse backgrounds and the role of restorative practices to support those efforts.

Two candidates for the IIRP Graduate School Master of Science in Restorative Practices, Claire Sinclair and Melissa Ash, have been awarded the first Shawn Suzch Scholarship.

Melissa Ash crop copyMelissa AshClaire Fall16 LR 1cropped CropClaire Sinclair

The IIRP faculty choose the scholarships recipients on the basis of their answers to these questions: How have you demonstrated persistence in the face of adversity? How are you applying what you’re learning to help make the world a better place? and How would a $1,000 scholarship help you in the pursuit of your studies?

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Proficiency in giving constructive and effective feedback is a core skill for anyone in a senior leadership position, but what about those times when you need to challenge a superior?

conference photo"A world that is smaller and more connected than ever before requires new ways to learn and teach," says IIRP President John W. Bailie, Ph.D. "This conference will explore cutting edge pedagogy, community development and how insights into social and emotional development will change how children and adults learn in the 21st Century."

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