Circles for Social Change (CSC) is located in the Bay Area, Northern California. We use the philosophy and circle-process of restorative justice to create deep cultural change in schools, nonprofit organizations, and communities striving to confront and heal the harms of racism and other forms of oppression. For these changes to occur, we believe we must do the inside work of gaining awareness of our assumptions and biases and developing skills and resiliency to engage with others in courageous and authentic conversations and action.
WHAT IS RESTORATIVE JUSTICE?
Restorative justice encompasses a set of principles and practices aimed at changing our perspective and response to crime and various forms of harm. Through restorative justice processes, all stakeholders involved in an act of harm are invited to come together to explore what happened, how people have been impacted, and what is needed to move forward and repair relationships.
In addition to addressing harm that occurs at the interpersonal or community levels, restorative justice also offers ways to address harms or crimes that have occurred on a grand scale and over extended periods of time, such as state-sponsored violence or structural racism. Such efforts require the cooperation of people and institutions, and a long-term commitment to repairing harm and building peace together.
The philosophies and spirit of restorative justice are influenced by indigenous practices in the US, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and more. Coupled with movements for penal system reform, conflict resolution, and peacemaking-- restorative justice emerged.