ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO- “Restorative Circles are facilitated in 3 stages designed to identity the key factors in the conflict, reach agreements on next steps, & evaluate the results. As circles form, they invite shared power, mutual understanding, self-responsibility and effective actions,” says Dominic Barter, Co-Founder of Restorative Circles with shanty town drug gangs, & Brazilian Ministry of Justice. Dominic serves on the Board of Directors for the Center For Nonviolent Communication (CNVC) headquartered here in New Mexico’s biggest city, Albuquerque, and shares Restorative Circles mainly in Brazil as well as in 22 countries world wide as the coordinator of theCNVC Restorative Justice Project.
Here in Northern New Mexico we’ve been “chopping a lot of wood & carrying a lot of water”, co-creating the conversations, foundations, and logistics for honing the principles of nonviolence, building Restorative Circle Systems (informed by Nonviolent Communication but not dependent on it) and practicing facilitation for practical applications of compassionate response to conflicts & crimes with people in 6 schools in Taos, Angel Fire, Penasco & Mora, New Mexico since 2007.
We’ve been following local dreams of how conflict could be and held pilot restorative circle practice groups in Taos, Santa Fe, and Angel Fire and we are starting a 4th in Penasco, this spring. We’ve been staying in touch with key people who have apprenticed Restorative Circles in Albuquerque and the inspiring work of William Poehner, Jori Manske, Jim Manske & Jiva Manske who’ve been honing nonviolence & restorative justice with Comienzos in Bernallio County Jail & the Juvenile Detention Center. Delighted to hear the visions for Restorative Justice that have been activated here and looking forward to ongoing learning.
We’ve been building restorative justice conversations in alliances and relationships with over 360 human beings in Mora, Taos, Angel Fire, & Penasco who come from all walks of life and are Indigenous leaders, school superintendents, administrators, therapeutic agency staff, teachers, students, restorative justice practitioners, school board members, parents, mediators, University of New Mexico deans, juvenile justice board members, retired Sheriff deputies, local police, social workers, gang members, school principals, community organizations, judges, LGTBQ advocates, parole officers, lawyers, and juvenile detention center workers.
Here in New Mexico, we also have experimental & strategic Restorative Circle sister co-learning relationships slowly forming at snail’s pace with communities in India, which is exactly straight through and on the other side of the Earth, from NM. Please be in touch if you’d like to talk about Restorative Circles and the interconnected realities between structural violence, conflict, crime, and ecocide in local, regional, national, intercontinental, & global justice systems.
This local emergence of Restorative Circles Systems in a global Restorative Justice movement is profound given that Taos Pueblo is the oldest most continuously occupied dwelling in North America, Santa Fe is the oldest State Capital, Albuquerque has the highest per capita gang violence, Espanola has the highest per capita heroine violence, and Los Alamos has the biggest Nuclear weapons facility in the USA. Restorative Justice is ancient and can be re-awakened to respond to modern violence, consciously.
How can we think consciously about compassionate responses to all this and the opportunities in the development of local & global Restorative Systems that honor the next seven generations, our unique strands in the web of life, and the real needs of the whole?
If you’d like to co-learn about Restorative Circles, it’s potential, and practical application to respond nonviolently and systemically to conflict & violence in our local communities in New Mexico, throughout North America, and around the world, please contact Srinath Barker firstname.lastname@example.org, check out the international Restorative Circle practice group directory, and email Dominic Barter atDominic@RestorativeCircles.org.
For more information, videos, press, updates on apprenticeship & co-learning events with Dominic Barter, to ask us questions, and to read evidence based reports on the radical efficiency of Restorative Circles, please visit us at temporary homes, on the web at:
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