Webinar: Listening to a Movement

When: -

Guest: Sonya Shah and Sarah King

Host: Dr. Carl Stauffer

Restorative Justice is alive and well across this nation and beyond. The explosion of energy and activity surrounding the application of restorative justice is breathtaking. Is this a passing fad, a call to professional focus, or a burgeoning social movement? Whatever the case may be, restorative justice as an academic discipline and a practice field is facing at least three important transitions: defining its identity, expanding its transformative impact, and sustaining its adaptability. To understand these dynamics better, we (The Zehr Institute, Porticus Foundation & locally-rooted RJ leaders) set out to listen to the voices of those who do restorative justice on a day-to-day basis at all levels in our society. Over the past 3 years, through consultations, conferences, and a nation-wide listening and framing project we traveled, asked questions, listened, and together, imagined a more restorative world. We believe we documented a social movement of critical practice – characterized by its decentralized structure, its deinstitutionalized origins and its collaborative impulse. Join us as we explore some of the political opportunities, the resource mobilization and the message framing that are driving this critical restorative justice movement.

Guest Bio

Sonya Shah has 20 years experience in social justice education. She is an associate professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies, and a facilitator of restorative justice and trauma healing processes in her family, community, University and in prison settings. She has trained hundreds of facilitators in trauma healing and restorative justice practices. She’s currently facilitating groups for survivors of sexual harm and people who have committed sexual harm in an inaugural cohort of fellows and grantees with Justice Beginnings Collaborative called Project Ahimsa, which she started in 2015. Sonya speaks regularly at conferences. She has spoken on numerous local and national radio programs including NPR, and the BBC, and started a blog on Huffington Post.


Sarah King is currently a Master’s candidate at Eastern Mennonite University’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding. During her time at CJP, Sarah has been employed as the graduate assistant and then as the restorative justice project assistant at the Zehr Institute for Restorative Justice. In the latter role, Sarah’s primary responsibility has been assisting with the Restorative Justice Listening Project. Prior to attending CJP, Sarah was a staff member of the Victim Assistance and Restorative Justice Unit at the Minnesota Department of Corrections. In this role, she was part of a two-person team responsible for coordinating the Minnesota Circles of Support and Accountability (MnCoSA) program. Sarah earned her undergraduate degree from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. She will complete her graduate studies in April 2017.