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.
Anashe graduated with a BA in Legal Studies in May '19. As an RJ student leader, she shared her passion for RJ through our Decal course, and excellent fundraising efforts. She is passionate about approaches to conflict resolution on an ethno-religious scale and would like to be a part of drafting negotiations in the European Commission and the International Criminal Court. Anashe admires her mother who traversed a violent civil war and has inspired her studies and passions. Currently, she writes for a few UC Berkeley-based journals, including the Review for International Conflict and Security. Anashe is am currently working at a startup law firm in San Francisco called Atrium. Using expert legal talent and useful software, Atrium helps startups with their legal needs and assist first time founders accomplish their dreams. But, busy as ever she is studying for the LSAT and applying to foreign relations graduate programs abroad! She know that wherever she goes, she takes the lessons she learned at the Restorative Justice Center with her as she navigates the conflicts we all encounter in our daily lives. She know it will come in handy because her dream is to become a chief negotiator one day!
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.
Sarah Brown is a 2nd year student in the Masters in Social Welfare program focusing on Child and Family Services. Sarah has contributed to past efforts to reconcile long-standing conflict by traveling to Israel-Palestine and creating spaces for inter-religious dialogue. Sarah seeks to spread the RJ message on campus because she observes and believes in the power of human relationships to create sustainable, positive change. She also hopes to use Restorative Justice practices in her future career as a school social worker and beyond!
Jacqueline graduated with Sociology major, and she was a student leader in the RJ Center serving as a point of contact between Greek Life and the Restorative Justice Center. Jacqueline is passionate about helping others, learning, and challenging any preconceived notions she has through learning about the other struggles people face in their daily lives. What drew her to the RJ Center was the mission centered around resolving conflict amongst groups of people and playing an active role in addressing conflict around social issues in a loving and compassionate manner, and she was honored to be part of a student group on campus that values making a difference in other people's lives.
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.
SADUSHI DE SILVA
Sadushi is joined the RJ team as a co-community manager in 2018. Her three years of study at UC Berkeley were based in the Ethnic Studies department with an interest in Urban Studies. Born and raised in Inglewood, Sadushi has a profound love for LA. She is particularly fascinated by the relationship between urban space and community interaction, driven by her deep admiration for the most human displays of the love and conflict in beloved communities of color. Her other hopes and dreams move in the direction of prison abolition, community healing, and a time for collective reflection. The person Sadushi admires the most in the world is her Mom. Her mom is a daily inspiration to be as dope, strong, hard-working, grateful, and self-sufficient as she can be. Recently, Sadushi has been asking herself what are her place, space, time & limits in the revolution? One of her immediate goals includes learning how to truly keep it real with others—in a healthy way. Ideally, in her free time, Sadushi loves reading literature and works by authors of color, as well as seeking alternative knowledges when finding holes in her life-long, ahistorical miseducation. Sadushi brought wisdom, integrity and humor to circles and our community, and updated and coordinated our social media presence. Happy travels, Sadushi!
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.
Kyndall is a self proclaimed Social Justice advocate and Warrior poet. They are from the South side of Los Angeles, California. They have an older and younger sister and a mother who cares for them all on her own. Kyndall feels like where they come from and the community in which has raised them, ultimately has had a direct impact on how they see themselves as an African American, Queer-identified, Artistic, and self expressive individual. One of the most life changing experiences that has shaped them in terms of character and spirit, would be when they cut their hair and made the decision to go natural the summer before Junior Year started in High School. Kyndall continuously reflects on their experiences of growing up in an Anti-Black/Colorist Household and environment, and learning the ways in how do they effectively navigate through this world from a multi-lensed perspective on their overlapping identities. These current and recent journeyed experiences of finding purpose in self existence and perfection in their "flawed" image, ultimately sit at the core of them. Aforementioned, it is from their growth of wisdom coupled with their reality and life experiences, that they define themselves to be an advocate at heart and a warrior poet in their art. They love being a service to community, and enjoy meeting, loving and helping people. They're currently studying Sociology and African American Studies on a Pre-Law track and hope to use their knowledge to build and reform the Institution and System for equity.
Hi! My name is Ollie, and I'm now a senior here at Cal studying Integrative Biology and Conservation and Resource Studies. I love podcasts, animals, and being an RA. I have a passion for restorative justice practices, along with building healthy relationships, dealing with interpersonal conflict, and understanding how to apologize and work to make oneself a better person. I am so glad to have worked with the RJ Center, building communities on campus and working through issues!
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.
José Fernandez is now a Graduate from UC Berkeley. He majored in Ethnic Studies and minored in Education. Fernandez was born in Los Angeles and raised by a Guatemalan immigrant mother and Chinese-Cuban immigrant father. For José, restorative justice started in the home where his mother would tell him stories of how she was disciplined growing up and how she would never treat him that way. His mother taught him early on, "Hay que hablar cuando hay problema," (We have to talk when there's a problem). He is interested in community-oriented leadership development to empower young people of color to assess, analyze, and address the issues in their communities. What drives José is a love for the people and the desire to serve them.
Emely Gonzalez graduated with an Ethnic Studies major. She is from Inglewood, California. Through her lived experience, she has learned that having faith in humanity can promise change—transformation even. Given where we stand today, as a nation, where topics such as mass incarceration, school to prison pipeline, and other social justice inequities have regained focus and are moving towards transformation; She definitely sees restorative justice as a catalyst to such change. Gonzalez used restorative justice to expand conversations within UC Berkeley and neighboring communities to show how external factors are delimiting for specific groups of people and thus sets them up for these unfavorable circumstances. She raised awareness on this matter and helped deconstruct long histories of knowledge that are often viewed as general, linear realities. By doing so will provide rehabilitation and end the cycles of systematic disadvantage for targeted groups of people that are often P.O.C (people of color) with a low socioeconomic status.
Annie Gorden graduated from UC Berkeley where she studied Peace and Conflict Studies with a concentration in Conflict Resolution. She is passionate about social and environmental justice, and is excited about using Transformative and Restorative Justice as a liberatory approach to transform violence and conflict, heal trauma, dismantle structural oppression, build stronger movements, and end the Prison Industrial Complex. She was a Research Fellow for the Restorative Justice Center where she was researching Transformative/Restorative Justice models as a response to campus sexual violence as a way to provide survivors with safety, healing, and justice and hold perpetrators accountable.
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.
Nicole Nava is a 3rd year who intends to major in psychology and minor in education. Born and raised in Madera County--a school district which does not implement restorative justice practices--she joined the Restorative Justice Center with very little prior knowledge. However, she was immediately drawn to its efforts to address harm, resolve conflict, and restore relationships through non punitive means. Now, she hopes to expand her knowledge of and involvement with RJ so that she may spread awareness of its use and potentially bring these practices to more Central Valley school districts.
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.
Juliette Tafoya worked with us as a community manager during her Freshman and Sophomore years as an intended Computer Science major and Public Policy minor. Juliette loves UC Berkeley and wanted to bring forth restorative practices throughout student life on campus because of the different divisive events happening in the world today. She wants to bring people together through conversation to mend divides and heal wounds. She co-founded the student organization Restorative Justice League at Berkeley because she wanted to involve students on campus to take on bigger roles in their campus communities and implemented and teach restorative practices with other students. She enjoys coding and spending time with her family, and wishes to do more research within California to come up with solutions, alongside state government, on how we can improve the public education system to provide better access to technology and coding courses to low income K-12 students.
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.
Misana graduated in May '19 as a Poli Sci major with a minor in Education. An experienced circle keeper, he generously shared his enthusiasm and skills with the team. He's now studying at Stanford Graduate School of Education. His passion for community building and healing has drew him to become a Restorative Justice Student Leader where he facilitated conflict resolution through human connection.
Wendie Yeung graduated Cal in Economics with a minor in Public Policy. She is originally from Seattle, Washington and had always wanted to come to UC Berkeley because of the Free Speech Movement and its rich history of social justice activism. She is passionate about women's empowerment and improving campus safety. At the Restorative Justice Center, Wendie was a Research Fellow where she was researching policy, resources, and incidents surrounding sexual harassment on campus as well as the role of social media in sexual assault reporting and justice. On campus, she was also involved in campus tour guiding, the Model United Nations, and the Vice Chancellor's Student Advisory Committee.
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