Restorative Justice at Pendle Hill
We had the honor of sharing our music to help kick off the "Beyond Crime and Punishment: Fostering Transformative Justice in Community" conference at Pendle Hill a few weeks back. One of the keynote speakers, Kay Pranis, helped establish restorative justice practices in the Minnesota department of corrections where officers, judge, victims, community members, and offenders could all come together to collectively decide a path towards healing and wholeness. So powerful. Pranis spoke of how crucial the shape of a circle is to this practice, which derives from traditions practiced by many indigenous groups in North America and beyond.
Dr. Fania Davis applied similar principles from traditional healers in many African nations when she founded the renowned project, "Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth" where students are empowered to peacefully express their needs, cultivate their emotional awareness, and resolve their own conflicts. Many similar programs such as Safer Saner Schools are spreading to schools with the urgent aim of using restorative justice practices to resolve conflicts and reduce punitive expulsions that leave countless students vulnerable to unemployment, poverty and incarceration.
Here is one of our songs, "Forgiveness Is Peace", which is inspired by the restorative justice movement and the book "Non Violent Communication" by the late Dr. Marshall Rosenberg: