Since 2000 we have been independent contractors/consultants. We have worked independently and together. We have been involved with schools, businesses, faith-based organizations, community organizations, and state agencies. Our focus has been to train and provide direct services in the area of Restorative Practices (Restorative Justice/ Restorative Measures). Specifically we provide training and mentoring in the Circle process. We provide Circle keeping or facilitation of Circles for specific incidents where healing is needed. Repair of harm through the Circle process strengthens relationships, restores wholeness and increases understanding. We also use the Circle for community building.
In education the applications are presently numerous and new “uses” are being created continually. Circles help unite the school staff, welcome students to a new classroom, and handle conflict discovery and resolution. Some teachers have chosen to integrate Circles into their daily teaching plan. Some of the other possibilities have yet to be imagined…
RE. Oscar Reed and Jamie Williams
Jamie and Oscar have extensive experience in Minnesota and around the nation training school staff and administrators, community members and social services staff. They also keep circles with students, gender specific as well as mixed, to address attendance and school connectedness issues, confusion around relationships and friendships, and for support. They are circle keepers for school, court and social services programs, working with youth and adults to repair harm, establish a family plan for child protection or to help victims and offenders address crimes of severe violence.
Nancy Riestenberg Prevention Specialist MN Department of Education
Quotes from training participants:
• I would like the district to support the Circle in all MPS schools
• Four days of training was too short…I didn’t want the training to end!
• The Circle provides a home/safe place for students who otherwise feel adrift
• I have been startled by the intensity of emotion and opinion released by this seemingly simple technique. This touches on some fundamental needs we have not been meeting
• I learned to Listen…Listen to students to see what I could learn about them. Circle was a wonderful way to hear/listen to kids talk about themselves or the people in their lives. The things they choose to talk about are the things they know best!!!
• Enlightening experience…deep and profound
• I have great contempt for artificial (forced) sharing. The Circle is authentic because it is so open-ended. Those of us who are private don’t have to bear our souls. The Circle helps me to feel like a valued participant because I choose the level of sharing that I’m comfortable with. And you know what? I am usually all about the glib responses, but as my comfort level with the Circle increased I was able to let my guard down and to share what is in my heart…opening up to my colleagues is a wonderful way to begin the year. I have taught with many of these people for six years and I’ve learned more in four Circles than I have in six years. I will surely do Circles with my advisory and maybe with my actual classes. Thank you
Comments about Oscar:
• Oscar had a special way about him that is very powerful, not in the physical sense, but in the non-physical. He is very compassionate about this work, and I felt clearly that compassion
• Oscar is calm and emits such peace. Each balances the others. It was nice to spend four days in their presence. They have a lot of love and respect for each other, which is rare. It was beautiful to be around, I’ll miss it
• Very clear and well spoken. He inspired me to be a better person. He so clearly gives it his all
• I was very impressed with Oscar. His genuine caring and commitment seemed to me to be a very special gift. He is very “savvy” to “the energy” of a Circle. Oscar is a natural and we are blessed to have him in the field of Restorative Justice
• WOW! Superman on the field and in the classroom. His insight into the process was wonderful.
Comments about Jamie:
• Genuine, open, wonderful energy, centered, bubbly personality and great stories
• An honest and sensitive, absolutely committed spirit,
Very clear, understanding, humble, and down-to-earth
• Knowledge, humor, and sweet humanity, a very powerful and disarming teacher
• You are a server and a wisdom speaker…you are a daughter of Wakan Tonka
• Jamie is a marvelous (leader) from a position of being right beside us, not over us. She seemed to intuit what we needed. Wonderful presence, showing intelligence and grounded in life perspective
Partial list of organizations served:
University of Minnesota Center for Restorative Justice and Peacemaking
Minneapolis Public Schools
Milwaukee Public Schools,
Nokomis East Neighborhood Association
Seward Neighborhood Group
St. Paul Public Schools
Indian Health Board
Benito Juarez Elementary School, San Diego California Minnesota Department of Corrections
School Districts 1, 2 and 3 in Sheridan Wyoming
Northside Restorative Justice Circle
Minnesota School District 287
Anoka / Hennepin Alternative Learning Center Sequoyah Middle School, Atlanta, Georgia
St. Louis Park Public Schools
Taos Public Schools NM
New York City Public Schools
Des Moines Public Schools
Tucson Public Schools
Portland OR Public Schools
*The mission of The Restorative Way is to enhance and expand opportunities to help create restorative cultures in schools, communities, businesses, correctional systems, families and faith based organizations; opportunities for people to make positive healing connections.
Are you interested in Peacemaking Circle Training? Need more information about Restorative Practices?
Do you have a need for a Community or Restorative Circle?
Or do you have questions? Send us a message!