“It’s about bringing people together in a safe, confidential space so they can have the difficult conversations that will help them begin to move forward.”
In an effort to strengthen a culture of respect, the University is launching an initiative focused on restorative practices, a method of conflict resolution that can be an effective way to rebuild trust when conflict arises.
Beth Olivares, dean for diversity in Arts, Sciences & Engineering (AS&E), has taken a leadership role in this initiative, working with other administrators and faculty. Olivares and a steering committee, including faculty from AS&E, the Warner School of Education, and the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, have engaged restorative practices experts Toni McMurphy and Duke Fisher.
According to McMurphy and Fisher, restorative practices employ informal and formal strategies and processes to encourage authentic communication and support collaborative conflict resolution. It’s about bringing people together in a safe, confidential space so they can have the difficult conversations that will help them begin to move forward. Most of all it’s about respect, trust, and holding people accountable in ways that restore community and help ensure safe environments to study, work, and live.
How Restorative Practices Work
What restorative practices actually involve:
✓ Honest authentic communication
✓ Identifying and repairing harm
✓ Accepting responsibility and being accountable
✓ Rebuilding trust and community
✓ Collaborative problem-solving
✓ Working with those who CHOOSE to participate
✓ Collateral healing
✓ Guiding principles
(Source: Skidmore College Project on Restorative Justice)
Register for a Training Session
Faculty, staff, and students are invited to receive training on restorative practices at one of the following workshops. The sessions will introduce the circle process and ways that restorative practices can enhance communication, demonstrate how to use a restorative lens to manage conflict, and provide methods for enhancing collaboration in meetings.
Monday, March 18, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Havens Lounge, Wilson Commons
Tuesday, March 19, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Havens Lounge, Wilson Commons
Thursday, March 21, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m, in Havens Lounge, Wilson Commons
*Please note that restorative coaching is only for those who attended an introductory training this past summer.
University of Rochester Quadcast
Rochester implements restorative practices
In this episode of the Quadcast podcast, Beth Olivares, Toni McMurphy, Duke Fisher, and Kristin Doughty talk more about restorative practices and what they hope to accomplish with the ongoing initiative.
For more information, please email Beth Olivares.