Restorative Justice and Democracy in Education

November 02, 2023

Location: 312 Main, Vancouver [Main Floor Training Room]

Time: 4 - 6 PM 

Support for this workshop is provided by:

Event description

Join us for a community gathering to connect and reflect on the practice of restorative justice and democracy in education and to celebrate recent publications Restorative Justice in Education: Liberating Student’s Voices through Relational Pedagogy by Dr. Crystena Parker-Shandal and The Unbounded Classroom: Democratic Teaching, Learning and Research by co-authors Dr. Brenda Morrison and Dr. Joanna Ashworth, and to hear about the community-driven work from Restorative Justice Association of BC’s Executive Director, Christianne Paras. This gathering will invite restorative justice practitioners, educators, academics, community members, and students to explore and discuss the practice and possibilities of restorative justice in education - in K-12 schools, higher education, and the community.

During this workshop, we will introduce a Restorative Justice in Education framework and discuss its theoretical and practical application to working towards democracy and justice in education – kindergarten to university. We will discuss how equitable and democratic pedagogies work with restorative justice and relational opportunities for building a culture of care and connection in classrooms.  Crystena will also discuss and share some findings from her ethnographic, classroom-based research on restorative justice in diverse urban elementary schools.  This session will also include some practical opportunities to practice these skills, share experiences, and discuss various approaches to facilitating a restorative process to implementation.


Crystena Parker-Shandal

Crystena Parker-Shandal is an Associate Professor in Social Development Studies at Renison University College at the University of Waterloo. Dr. Parker-Shandal’s research expertise is in curriculum and pedagogy, restorative justice in education, conflict resolution, inclusion, antiracism, peacebuilding, and dialogue in diverse global communities. She examines how peacebuilding education and conflict dialogue processes could foster a sense of inclusion for marginalized children and youth and how such practices, in their successful implementation, can challenge young people to engage in authentic dialogue and conflict learning. Dr. Parker-Shandal’s research on peacebuilding for democracy and social justice in diverse classrooms shows how dialogic and anti-oppressive pedagogies facilitate inclusive spaces where all students have the opportunity to participate and have their voices heard. She is the author of Restorative Justice in the Classroom: Liberating Students’ Voices through Relational Pedagogy (2023), Peacebuilding, Citizenship, and Identity: Empowering Conflict and Dialogue in Multicultural Classrooms (2016), and co-Editor of Finding Refuge in Canada: Narratives of Dislocation (2021).              

Christianne Paras

Christianne Paras is the Executive Director of Restorative Justice Association of BC. She is a co-founder of ROOTS – Reclaiming Out Own Truths & Stories, an organization dedicated to anti-racism work in restorative justice and community spaces. She is also an instructor at Simon Fraser University, and a long time anti-oppression /anti-racism facilitator providing workshops in schools and organizations across British Columbia Lower Mainland. Over the years, she has helped establish a variety of social justice-related community initiatives including the Building Vibrant Communities Workshops, Community Dialogue Series, Speak Out Series, and the Widening the Lens Symposium. She is a published researcher and author, and has been involved in a wide variety of research projects on topics such as safety in seniors’ living spaces, online gambling, race and the criminal justice system, and restorative justice. Most recently, she is one of the authors of the newly published book ‘Colorizing Restorative Justice: Voicing Our Realities’.

Dr. Brenda Morrison

Dr. Brenda Morrison is the Director of the Research and Engagement Centre for Restorative Justice and an Associate Professor in the School of Criminology. She is a social psychologist with teaching, research and field experience in outdoor education, governance and justice. She completed her PhD at the Australian National University. Following her PhD, she worked at a Post-Doc with the Regulatory Institutions Network, at the Centre for Restorative Justice. For three years she led a juvenile justice research and development project at the University of Pennsylvania in partnership with a range of justice, human services and school-based institutions. Internationally, she has presented papers at the House of Lords and UNESCO. Nationally, she is a research partner with PREVNet (Promoting Relationships Eliminating Violence Network), Children’s Rights Academic Network and serves on the Board of Smart Justice Canada. She has also served on justice reform committees for the Ministry of Justice. In British Columbia, she has served on the Ministry of Justice Performance Review Committee, and the working group summits for a Justice System for the 21st Century. In her home community, she is an active board member for the North Shore Restorative Justice Society.

Dr. Joanna Ashworth

Dr. Joanna Ashworth researches, teaches and practices methods of democratic engagement including convening mini publics for public policy formation. She is a filmmaker, educational programmer and curriculum designer focusing on dialogic leadership and collaborative governance in the related fields of green infrastructure, energy transitions, climate change mitigation and regenerative agriculture practices. She is a research associate with and past co-chair of the Teaching, Training and Mentoring Committee and Senior Associate with the Wosk Centre for Dialogue where she has led programs and partnerships for more than ten years. Recent publication: Ashworth, J. (2020). 9 Art-ful Methods of Democratic Participation: Listening, Engagement, and Connection. In L. Levac & S. Wiebe (Ed.), Creating Spaces of Engagement: Policy Justice and the Practical Craft of Deliberative Democracy (pp. 208-225). Toronto: University of Toronto Press.