Jessica Ajoku is an undergraduate at the University of California, Berkeley pursuing a degree in Business Administration. She is passionate about being at the forefront of the end of human sex-trafficking and seeks to explore its ties to racial and gender inequalities. She endeavors to implement Restorative Justice in order to navigate through healing, creating a sense of belonging, and establishing an outlet for those affected.
Sophie Bandarkar is a third year studying Political Economy and Public Policy. She was drawn to RJ because of her interest in criminal justice and her experience working with RJOY over one summer in Oakland. Sophie worked with the RJ center on the mini-grant project, the DeCal class, and facilitated circles for the South Asian community.
Matthew Boser is a former UC Berkeley graduate student serving as community research associate to the UCB Restorative Justice Center. His work includes research around expanding the harm-reductionist philosophy and practices of restorative justice from conflicts among peers to those among institution and individual, or among community members with recognizably different levels of power in their community. He is currently investigating the relationships between graduate students and their faculty advisors through the lens of restorative justice, and is interested in how campus climate affects doctoral student retention, especially among members of underrepresented groups.
Tyrone Botelho discovered RJ in his Peace and Conflict Studies courses and immediately set out to learn more. After graduating, he went off to France for further study, and when he returned, he joined the emerging RJ Center as a Co-coordinator. He was soon hired by SEEDS Conflict Resolution Center, where he coordinated SEEDS' development of school-based programs in Hayward and other Bay Area cities. In 2014, Tyrone set out to create his own RJ organization, Circle Up Education, with fellow graduate Tiffany Hoang. Their organization is currently growing, specifically through their work with Diversity and Inclusion in Oakland.
Nicole Cuellar graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Environmental Sciences, Policy and Management. She first encountered RJ while on summer study abroad in Kenya. As an intern with RJOY (Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth), Nicole developed her skills co-facilitating circles. She is currently employed as an RJ Coordinator with SEEDS Conflict Resolution Center.
JOHN EARL DIO, RESTORATIVE RESOURCES AND MARKETING ASSOCIATE
John Earl Dio is a third year Legal Studies and South and Southeast Asian Studies double major with a minor in Human Rights. He is highly interested in the way legal advocacy works with disadvantaged communities and is currently the president and founder of OUTLAW at Berkeley. John has also worked with the UC Berkeley Graduate Assembly as their project coordinator assistant, and contributes to The Berkeley Graduate online publication as a staff writer. He is the Restorative Resources and Marketing Associate for the Restorative Justice Center, where he develops and updates social media, maintains communications for the center, and liaisons with Graduate Assembly and student organizations, in addition to participating in RJ and Restorative Practice event planning and follow-up, and contributing to our blog.
Omar El-Qoulaq graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Political Economy. He is currently conducting research on military courts in the West Bank, as well as various aspects of campus climate and conflict resolution.
Jose Eddie Estrada
Eddie Estrada was introduced to RJ through his courses in Peace and Conflict Studies at UC Berkeley, and was immediately inspired by the prospects to bring RJ to his community as a way of giving back. In his senior year, he interned with Centerforce Youth Court in Oakland, and went on to become an RJ Coordinator in the Napa school system with SEEDS Conflict Resolution Center. He is now embarking on his second year as the RJ Coordinator for Berkeley High School.
TJ graduated with a degree in political science major and public policy minor. He originally became interested in Restorative Justice Work after putting on circles and helping create a workforce development program for the previously incarcerated at the Glide Foundation in San Francisco. After that experience, his passion has always been civil rights and criminal justice, which lead him to intern at the Equal Justice Society in Oakland and work in the public policy department of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law in Washington D.C. Because he has seen how effective RJ can be on the criminal justice arena, he is excited to bring this resource to campus in any way he can.
Wendy Melissa Hernandez
Wendy Hernandez attended several RJ trainings and worked as a Mentor and Research Fellow with the RJ Center during her time at UC Berkeley. She recently completed a year of service with JusticeCorps at the Los Angeles Superior Court, Self-Help Family Resource and accepted a position to be a Juvenile Case Manager for a non-profit in Inglewood, California, Centinela Youth Services.
KAREM LIZBETH HERRERA
Karem Lizbeth Herrera graduated from UC Berkeley in 2015 with a degree in Peace and Conflict Studies major and Global Poverty and Practice minor. She is passionate about social justice and was the president of the Student Abolitionist Movement and co-founder of the Berkeley Anti-Trafficking Coalition. She worked as the Restorative Resources and Fundraising Outreach Associate at the Restorative Justice Center, where she assisted in fundraising efforts, strategizes outreach to the UC Berkeley campus and larger community, liaisons with student organizations, co-ops and Residential and Student Service Program (RSSP) to develop RJ programs.
Tiffany graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Peace and Conflict Studies. While at Berkeley, she took a decal on Restorative Justice, where she and twenty other students met weekly in community building circles to discuss social justice issues around race, class, gender, and sexuality. She also participated in the Restorative Justice Circles and Community Conferencing Training held by the RJ Center where she had the opportunity to learn under practitioners such as Sujatha Buliga and Rita Alfred. After graduating, she returned to her hometown in Union City seeking opportunities to utilize her RJ Training in the community. Tiffany felt fortunate to be giving back to her alma mater, James Logan High School as the RJ Intern. In January 2014, she began working with SEEDS Community Resolution Center as the Restorative Justice District Coordinator for Berkeley Unified School District. Today, she has joined forces with her colleague, Tyrone Botelho in co-founding CircleUp Education--an organization dedicated to bringing training, coaching, and consulting in Restorative Practices to schools, businesses, and communities state-wide.
Rahkii Holman was coordinating the "Get on the Bus" project at UC Berkeley when he discovered RJ in a Peace and Conflict Studies course. He was soon mentoring youth who had been diverted to RJ programs with Community Works in Oakland. Since graduating from Cal, he has worked as a VOEG (Victim Offender Educational Group) facilitator at Chowchilla Prison Facility with the Insight Prison Project. He currently works with Community Works as a case manager for reentering adult offenders and their families.
Paula Jaramillo studied Political Economy, Minor in Global Poverty & Practice
Something she likes about RJ is that it provides spaces for dialogue and healing that are so important in our communities. Something that she is learning as an RJ practitioner is to be a more empathic listener.
Mackenzie Lance is a recent graduate of UC Berkeley with a major in History of Art and minors in both Peace and Conflict Studies and Education. Her interest in Restorative Justice was piqued after completing PACS 128AC, specifically through a project focusing on creating accessible Restorative Justice channels for Sexual Assault survivors. She worked with us as the summer website design and social media assistant for the Restorative Justice Center where she contributed to creating visibility for the center and restorative Justice as a whole.
Kristie Okimoto is a senior Conservation and Resource Studies major, with concentrations in Anti-Oppression, Decolonial Thought and Marine Biology. Kristie has worked with the Demographic Inclusion Task Force and founded the People of Color Caucus to make the Berkeley Student Cooperative more friendly to low-income students and students of color. They are interested in using Restorative Justice to build community and achieve critical dialogue around many campus climate issues. Mainly, Kristie is interested in organizing to address anti-Blackness in Asian American communities and to build community for Queer folks of color on campus.
Adriana Reyes is a 4th year Peace and Conflict Studies major with a History minor. She interned at RJOY (Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth) through the RJ Center as well as helped to run the DeCal on Restorative Justice. Adriana was drawn to RJ because she wanted to explore different ways to establish cultures of peace before, during and after a conflict.
JOHANNA VALERIA ROMERO
Johanna Valeria Romero graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Peace & Conflict Studies with an emphasis on U.S. Human Rights, and Global Poverty & Practice. Her most valuable experiences of deep learning and growth came about through the community building, self-reflection, and social justice service work as a Bonner student Leader in Alternative Breaks, a critical service learning program aimed to address social/structural inequalities by serving various marginalized and resilient communities. With a critical lens, and loving compassion, Johanna aims to work alongside youth to challenge and transform the current U.S. food & education system to better provide youth with tools: to connect back to their roots with the Earth, to be active leaders in transforming the world around them, and to create community through conflict resolution. Her innate faith in Restorative Justice as well as personal experience with the practice drives her in becoming a RJ practitioner, and a life long learner!
Yari Sandel encountered RJ in her classes in Peace and Conflict Studies, and started training in RJ as a volunteer with SEEDS. She is currently a Restorative Practices Practitioner with the Oakland Unified School District.
Amanda Silver is a fourth year Ethnic Studies and Interdisciplinary Studies Field–International Human Rights double major. She has previous internship and work experience at Human Rights Watch, San Francisco Court Appointed Special Advocates Program, and JusticeCorps at the Superior Court of Alameda. She is the current Restorative Research Associate and Videographer at the Restorative Justice Center, where she produces videos, liaisons with the graduate assembly, student organizations and co-ops to develop RJ programs, participates in RJ and RP event planning and follow-up and contributes to our blog and website.
D'mani Thomas is a third year undergraduate student aiming to major in Media Studies and Social Welfare. He thinks that representations of people of color within the media often times justify negative treatment towards them in academic spaces and in everyday locations. He is drawn to restorative justice as a tool to help keep communities together, while they are constantly being attacked by a number of outside forces.
Chelsea Thompson graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Anthropology. Though recently introduced to it formally, Chelsea has held a lifelong interest in the principles of Restorative Justice and its ability to bring communities closer through addressing the needs of all parties involved in conflict. In the spring of 2013, Chelsea completed a 40-hour training in Restorative Justice. She hopes that her training will enable her to help create a more open, connected, and inclusive community on campus. Upon graduating, she endeavors to explore the potential role of Restorative Justice in Anti-Sex Trafficking work.
Patricio Yrarrázaval is a 4th year undergraduate student majoring Xican@ Studies with a minor in Creative Writing at UC Berkeley. They are interested in the uses of transformative/restorative justice as a means of healing and building autonomy for communities of color, against the violence of state practices such as incarceration and policing. Specifically, they are interested in how transformative/restorative practices can promote communal understandings of mental health, and empower the most vulnerable members of oppressed groups. Patricio is the Web, Social Media and Marketing Associate for the Restorative Justice Center, where they work on the website, blog, and social media for the Center, develop promotional artwork and outreach strategies, and participate in RJ and RP event planning