Georgia Conflict Center offers training programs and workshops in schools, businesses, jails, and many others. Our primary focus is education based on restorative principles, in order to break the cycle of violence plaguing many communities.
This two-hour experiential workshop introduces teachers, administrators, school staff, students and all supportive stakeholders to restorative concepts and practices. Participants will explore the continuum of restorative practices, and experience a responsive circle for strengthening relationships and social-emotional skills. More fundamentally, participants will understand restorative approaches as a means to shift school culture and climate, as well one that addresses systems of power and oppression. The session concludes with information on how to receive additional materials and support.
Absent additional training, this workshop alone is not intended to equip participants to facilitate any particular restorative process.
Two related approaches to conflict and harm underlie most of GCC’s work: Nonviolent Communication and Restorative Justice. These two are used in a wide variety of settings, but because they are based on human nature, learning in any context often has a carryover effect. Many times participants at a school workshop have said, “I can use this with my husband (or kids, coworker, etc.)!”
Nonviolent Communication was developed by Marshall Rosenberg, a former psychologist who sought ways to make the work of Carl Rogers and others accessible on a larger scale. Influenced by Paulo Freire’s liberatory pedagogy, Rosenberg worked in neighborhoods, jails, schools, businesses, and many other places to help people understand the concept of universal human needs and their connection to our emotions. NVC helps us understand the reasons why we and others make certain choices, and a way to address things that are not supporting us in making our lives more wonderful.
Restorative Justice is an umbrella term for a wide variety of practices (some very ancient) that address community building and how communities deal with conflict and harm. At its heart restorative justice is about determining who has been harmed, what their needs are, and how to meet those needs communally. In the West its modern applications (often informed by indigenous practices) started in the context of juvenile justice, but has expanded to include schools, neighborhoods, businesses and other communities.