January Term 2019 Workshop on Restorative Justice

Restorative Justice at the Intersections of Indigeneity, Spirituality, and Race

rpp_jan_term_2019_workshop_-_davis_and_bankhead_-_rj_-_2018_oct_3aLed by Fania E. Davis, PhD, JD and Teiahsha Bankhead, PhD, LCSW

Intensive 3-day Workshop
Monday, January 14 to Wednesday, January 16, 2019
9:00 am-1:00 pm and 2:00-5:00 pm

This is a three-day interactive and experiential training that explores the origins, principles, and practices of restorative justice (RJ), with a special emphasis on its intersections with spirituality, indigeneity, racial justice, and peacebuilding. Experiencing the power of the RJ Circle firsthand and engaging in simulations, participants will learn how to facilitate a Community-building Circle and will be introduced to Conflict Circle facilitation. Using the Circle process and other interactive approaches, participants will also examine their own implicit bias and explore practical de-biasing strategies. The entire training will be scaffolded throughout with ceremony, movement and other modalities to deliver an embodied learning experience.

Workshop Objectives

  1. Participants will explore Restorative Justice origins, principles, and practices and its intersections with spirituality, indigeneity, and race.
  2. Participants will experience the restorative Circle process firsthand.
  3. Participants will learn how to facilitate a Community-building Circle and will be introduced to Conflict Circle facilitation.
  4. Using the Circle process and other interactive approaches, participants will examine their own implicit bias.
  5. Participants will be exposed to RJ empathy cultivation and explore de-biasing strategies.

Required Reading Before the Workshop

We are asking all participants to read the two titles (easy and short reads) and one article below prior to the workshop.

  • DiAngelo, R. (2018). White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Race. Boston, Massachusetts: Beacon Press.
  • Loy, D. (n.d.). Healing Justice: A Buddhist Perspective. Retrieved from http://www.zen-occidental.net/articles1/loy2.html
  • Pranis, K. (2005). The Little Book of Circle Processes: A New/Old Approach to Peacemaking (The Little Books of Justice and Peacebuilding Series). Good Books.

Required Reading During the Workshop

In lieu of placing paper handouts of one or two pages in your training folders, we will provide them electronically shortly before the training. Additionally, the short readings below are required.

Recommended Additional Reading

Ross, R. (1996). Returning to the Teachings. Viking-Penguin.

Application and Enrollment

Open to current Harvard University students and fellows free of charge. If space permits, open to Harvard University alumni and the public with an RPP administrative fee of $250. Contact rpp@hds.harvard.edu if you have concerns about the fee or questions about the workshop. The workshop does not provide course credit.

Space is limited. Extended application deadline: Wednesday, November 28. Click to apply.


  1. Watson, C. & Pranis, K. (2010). Heart of Hope: A Guide for Using Peacemaking Circles to Develop Emotional Literacy, Promote Healing & Build Healthy Relationships. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Living Justice Press.
  2. Alexander, M. (2012). The New Jim Crow – Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. New York: The New Press.
  3. Christy Coleman. (2017, February 25). Monuments, markers, museums, and the landscape of Civil War memory. [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4728407/christy-coleman-monuments-markers-museums-landscape-civil-war-memory
  4. Coates, T. (2014, June). The Case for Reparations. The Atlantic Magazine. Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/06/the-case-for-reparations/361631/
  5. Davis, F., (2014) This Country Needs A Truth and Reconciliation Process On Violence Against African Americans. YES! Magazine. Retrieved from http://www.yesmagazine.org/peace-justice/this-country-needs-a-truth-and-reconciliation-process-on-violence-against-african-americans (last visited 12/10/17)
  6. Davis, F.E. & Scharrer, J. (2017). “Reimagining and Restoring Justice: Toward a Truth and Reconciliation Process to Transform Violence Against African-Americans in the United States”. In Silver, M. (Ed.), Transforming Justice, Lawyers and the Practice of Law. Durham, North Carolina: Carolina Academic Press.
  7. Davis, F. (forthcoming 2019). The Little Book of Race and Restorative Justice: Black Lives, Healing and U.S. Social Transformation. New York, NY: Skyhorse Publications.
  8. Elechi, O. (2006). Doing Justice without the State: The Afikpo (Ehugbo) Nigeria Model. Routledge
  9. Elechi, O., Morris, S., Schauer, E. (2010 February 16). Restoring Justice (Ubuntu): An African Perspective. International Criminal Justice Review.
  10. Hadley, M. L. (2001). The Spiritual Roots of Restorative Justice. New York: SUNY Series in Religious Studies.
  11. Kim, S., Wise, T., Anderson, C., Brooks, L. (2017, February 27). What Is Whiteness? [Audio File]. Retrieved from https://the1a.org/shows/2017-02-27/what-is-whiteness
  12. Pranis, K., Wedge, M., Stuart, B. (2003). Peacemaking Circles: From Crime to Community. Living Justice Press.
  13. Pranis, K. (2005). The Little Book of Circle Processes : A New/Old Approach to Peacemaking (The Little Books of Justice and Peacebuilding Series). Good Books.
  14. Ross, R. (1996). Returning to the Teachings. Viking-Penguin.
  15. Wadhwa, A. (2016) Restorative Justice in Urban Schools: Disrupting the School-to-Prison Pipeline. New York: Routledge.
  16. Zehr, Howard (1990). Changing Lenses: A New Focus for Crime and Justice. Scottdale, Pennsylvania: Herald Press.
  17. Zehr, H. (2004). Little Book of Restorative Justice. (The Little Books of Justice and Peacebuilding Series). Good Books.

Bio of Fania Davis and Teiahsha Bankhead

Fania Davis

Fania E. Davis is a leading national voice on restorative justice, especially its intersection with racial justice. She is a long-time social justice activist, civil rights trial attorney, restorative justice practitioner, writer, professor and scholar with a PhD in Indigenous Knowledge. Coming of age in Birmingham, Alabama during the social ferment of the civil rights era, the murder of two close childhood friends in the 1963 Sunday School bombing crystallized within Fania a passionate commitment to social transformation. For the next decades, she was active in the Civil Rights, Black liberation, women's, prisoners', peace, anti-racial violence and anti-apartheid movements. Studying with indigenous healers, particularly in Africa, catalyzed Fania’s search for a healing justice, ultimately leading Fania to bring restorative justice to Oakland, California. Founding Director of Restorative Justice of Oakland Youth (RJOY), her numerous honors include the Ubuntu award for service to humanity, the Dennis Maloney Award for excellence in Youth Restorative Justice, World Trust's Healing Justice award, the Tikkun (Repair the World) award, the Ella Baker/Septima Clark Award, the Bioneer’s Changemaker Award, the LaFarge Social Justice Award, and the Ebony POWER 100 award. She is a Woodrow Wilson fellow and the Los Angeles Times has named her a New Civil Rights Leader of the 21st Century.

Fania, who resides in Oakland, California, writes and speaks internationally on restorative justice, racial justice, school-based restorative justice, restorative justice to interrupt the racialized school to prison pipeline and mass incarceration, a restorative justice-based truth and reconciliation process to transform historical harm against African-Americans, gender and restorative justice, restorative justice to promote community peace and healing and other subjects.

Teiahsha Bankhead

Executive Director of Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth (RJOY), Teiahsha Bankhead is a social justice activist, a restorative justice advocate, a licensed psychotherapist and a professor with both MSW and PhD degrees in social work from the University of California at Berkeley.

She was a Research Fellow of both the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), and the United States Psychiatric Congress and served on the Family Council of Spirit Rock Meditation Center. She is co-author, with University of California Berkeley, Professor Emeritus Jewelle Taylor-Gibbs, of Preserving Privilege: California Politics, Propositions and People of Color.

Born to a Black radical mother during the uprising of the Watts Rebellion and coming of age in South Central Los Angeles during the embittered racial relations and social unrest of the civil rights era ignited within Dr. Bankhead a passionate commitment to social justice advocacy and transformative community empowerment.

Dr. Bankhead has a commitment to racial justice, racial healing and restorative economics. She has taught racial, gender and sexual orientation diversity, theories of criminal behavior, and US social policy. She speaks and holds circle on the subjects of Race and Restorative Justice, the Indigenous Roots of Restorative Justice, Truth-Telling and Racial Healing, the School-to-Prison Pipeline, Mass Incarceration, and Restorative Cities.

Over the last years she has worked to increase racial equity building approaches in restorative justice practices. In June of 2017 she co-chaired, with Fania Davis, the largest and most diverse RJ conference in US history, the Sixth National NACRJ conference in Oakland with the theme, “Moving Restorative Justice From Margins to Center: We’re the Ones We’ve Been Waiting For,” which included over 1,300 registered attendees.

Her future is focused on expanding the work of RJ towards radical inclusivity and practicing restorative justice through an equity lens in ways that honor its indigenous roots.