Message from Sylvia Clute, President
Alliance for Unitive Justice
Teachers for Social Justice:
Knowing of your interest/commitment to schools that provide a joyful adventure in learning, instead of a system based on hierarchy and punishment, you may be interested in a “unitive education” workshop that Laurie Koth and I are offering the last week in June.
I have spoken to several of you about my work within the restorative justice movement that has spanned a couple of decades called “unitive justice.” This includes comparing 12 structures of the punitive justice system to 12 structures of unitive justice. For some time, I have realized that these structures are not limited to the legal structure, they can be applied to other endeavors and professions.
Laurie is a Ph.D. candidate in the VCU School of Education. She is assisting me in adapting this material to education, in what we are calling “unitive education.” Unitive education is grounded on certain principles that emphasize the following:
- Community strength and self-empowerment.
- Consensual participation and equality/inclusiveness.
- Values, such as trust, honesty, discernment and lovingkindness.
- Achieving mutually beneficial outcomes.
Laurie and I are offering an intensive 5 day workshop June 26-30 at the Friends Meeting House in Richmond that will be specially designed for teachers and school administrators. I know some teachers were interested but unable to take the course on Restorative Justice in Education that I am teaching May 31 – June 9 in the VCU School of Education because they are not yet out of school. This workshop is timed for them. The workshop does not include the opportunity to design an RJ school program as the VCU course does, but it will include much of the same material AND it will be tailored specifically to address unitive education.
The circle facilitation process being taught in the workshop is based on unitive principles. Using episodes of conflict to discover the underlying epicenter of brokenness out of which the conflict arose, root causes are addressed and mutually beneficial action is achieved. It teaches new skills that apply in school, at home, in life.
Laurie has taught English/Language Arts at the middle and high school levels and in an alternative high school. Her doctoral research interests include the school-to-prison pipeline and ways to disrupt it, including culturally relevant pedagogy and restorative justice.
You can register here.