Event: Considering Restorative Justice
Friday April 5, 2013
Alumni House, UC Berkeley
Sponsored by the Restorative Justice Center and Cross Cultural Student Development


Event Summary

Considering Restorative Justice was a gathering of Restorative Justice innovators, activists and artists from the Bay Area to consider campus-community partnerships to support and promote RJ principles and practices at UC Berkeley and in local communities.

The Bay Area is currently a major hub in the Restorative Justice Movement in the US. RJ practitioners in Berkeley, Oakland and San Francisco are working on programs to reduce disproportionate minority contact in the juvenile justice system and to disrupt the “school to prison pipeline” by reducing the rates of suspension and expulsion among youth of color in Bay Area schools.

Event Schedule

12-2PM Roundtable discussion in which Bay Area RJ practitioners discussed their work, their goals and and visions for the Restorative Justice Movement.

2PM-3PM Facilitated break-out discussions to brainstorm ideas for campus-community partnerships.

In spring of 2013, the RJ Center teamed up with Multicultural Student Development and the Coalition for Human Rights of the Incarcerated to present “Considering Restorative Justice,” a roundatble discussion with RJ practitioners from the Bay Area and beyond.

After the roundtable, audience members gathered in a circle discussion to consider the potential uses of RJ on UC Berkeley’s campus and in the broader community.

This event was the final day of a week-long campus-wide Week of Action focused on Challenging Mass Incarceration.

The Panelists:

David Yusem

David Yusem, Restorative Justice Program Manager for the Oakland Unified School District

David Yusem currently works with the Oakland Unified School District as Restorative Justice Program Manager to support schools in implementing a culture shift through the use of restorative practices. David’s primary concern and major goal in this work is to lower disproportionate minority contact with the school discipline and juvenile justice system. Previous to this, David held the position of Community Mediation and Restorative Justice Program Manager at SEEDS, in Berkeley and established the RJ program there and at Longfellow Middle School in Berkeley. David is a long-time mediator in the Bay Area trained in Positive Behavior Intervention Supports (PBIS), Crisis Response Intervention, and Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resiliency.


deniseDenise Curtis, Restorative Community Conferencing Program Manager at Community Works

Denise Curtis currently works with Oakland Unified School District as a Restorative Justice Specialist. Previously, Denise has held the position of Restorative Community Conferencing Program Manager at Community Works. In addition, Denise has worked with Catholic Charities of the East Bay, as a clinical case manager in youth crisis intervention, and as a restorative conference coordinator. Denise is a long-time activist for progressive causes, including the international solidarity and anti-apartheid movements and women of color organizing. Denise also serves on the Board of Directors for Speak out!, an organization that encourages critical and imaginative thinking about domestic and international issues through artistic and educational forums.


Daniel Nane Alejandraz

Daniel Nane Alejandraz, Executive Director of the Institute for Peace and Community Development

Daniel Nane Alejandraz currently works as Executive Director of Santa Cruz Barrios Unidos, the Institute for peace and Community Development located in Santa Cruz. Nane founded Barrios Unidos in 1977, a community-based peace organization designed to heal urban violence. Today, Barrios Unidos strikes at the root causes of violence, focusing on economic development, social policy and alternative education programs. Nane has received the National Fellowship of Reconciliation Martin Luther King Jr. Award and the Sankofa Lifetime Achievement Award for his work over the past 40 years at Barrios Unidos.


Sonoo Thanaday, Developer of Stanford University Pilot Restorative Justice Program

Sonoo Thanaday, Developer of the Stanford University Pilot Restorative Justice Program

Sonoo Thadaney-Israni currently works as Director for the Developed the Stanford University pilot program in Restorative Justice in conjunction with the Office of Judicial Affairs. Prior to this position, Sonoo has also worked in the Stanford Diversity and First Generation Office and the Center for Health Research on Women and Sex Differences in medicine. Sonoo has experience working with residential programs at Stanford, and teaching UC Berkeley Extension courses on Conflict Coaching for Constructive Change. Sonoo works in the field of conflict resolution to engage participants to prevent resolve, and leverage conflict while furthering purposeful decision-making, leadership development and organizational vitality.


 MC Jose Arias, Ph.D candidate in the School of Education