Whitney Richards-Calathes

Sweet River Consulting
Nyoka Acevedo is co-founder of Sweet River Consulting, a team of educators that provide support in restorative and transformative justice using a racial justice framework. Nyoka is an educator and RJ practitioner who has worked within NYC and LA public schools for the last 15 years. Nyoka has supported school-wide school transformation and trained LAUSD educators on RJ practices. Nyoka has partnered with organizations such as Urban Arts Partnership, Aspira of New York, and others to support progressive educational practices as a means to interrupt the school to prison pipeline.

Presentations from Facing Race 2016

Circle Up!

Public discussion is growing around the implementation of restorative justice. NYC Council allocated $2.5 million dollars to RJ work in public schools. LA created an initiative for RJ programming in many of its schools. Restorative justice in its modern iteration in educational settings was originally pushed by community organizations as a way to challenge racial inequity in “discipline” practices. However, many of these publically-backed “interventions” have no components of racial justice, no contexts of mass incarceration, and no connection to RJ’s roots in indigenous communities. In this session we’ll critically examine this context and explore a more grounded, racially just, and radical form of restorative and transformative justice. We see RJ/TJ as a philosophy and practice that works to divest from traditional models of punishment, a method to work towards racial justice, and an avenue to create structures of shared power and accountability. Together, we will share tools and restorative practices that are easily transferable into community and school spaces. By modeling practical applications of restorative and transformative practices such as community building circles, examples of harm and conflict circles, affective statements and more, we will provide participants with activities that can be easily transferred and adapted to schools and community spaces. In addition, all participants will be provided with a resource packet with sample activities to take back to their respective communities.

Speakers: Nyoka Acevedo, Whitney Richards-Calathes