The Little Book of Youth Engagement in Restorative Justice
Intergenerational Partnerships for Just and Equitable Schools
Evelín Aquino, Anita Wadhwa, Heather Bligh Manchester
- 144 Pages
- November 16, 2021
- ISBN: 9781680997484
- Trim Size: 5.5in x 8.5in x 0in
The purpose of this book is to illuminate a theory of youth engagement in restorative justice that seeks to create systems change for more equitable schools. The authors define youth engagement in restorative justice as partnering with young people most impacted by structural injustice as changemakers in all aspects of restorative practices including community building, healing, and the transformation of institutions. Based on Adam Fletcher’s version of the Ladder of Youth Engagement, coupled with Barbara Love’s model of liberatory consciousness and an analysis of youth engagement in Restorative Justice in three different regions—Western Massachusetts, Oakland, and Houston—the authors provide a theoretical contribution: Youth Engagement in Restorative Justice grounded in liberatory consciousness.
In this book readers will find:
- Comparative case studies from different parts of the country of youth led restorative justice programs.
- An exploration of the cultural and historical context of each region to situate the work.
- Stories from the authors' own lives that provide context for their interest in the work given their varied racial identities (White, Black, Latinx, South Asian) and upbringing.
- Literature review of the language of youth engagement vs. youth leadership/youth organizing/youth participation, along with a new definition of youth engagement in restorative justice.
- Theoretical framing based on Adam Fletcher’s Ladder of Youth Engagement , which provides a structure for the book.
- Exploration of how adults must combat adultism both individually and systematically as a prerequisite to doing this work.
- Student narratives.
- Applications of the work in the virtual context.
She lives in Hadley, Massachusetts.
Heather Bligh Manchester is an educator, trainer, and connector with over 30 years of experience facilitating leadership and community engagement programs and infusing theater, games, and movement into restorative justice in rural and urban settings, including the Oakland School District. She partners with youth and adults to create spaces for meaningful engagement to build equitable and resilient communities locally and internationally. Heather coaches organizations to work in partnership with young people as trainers, researchers, and policymakers. She has a Masters in Peace and Conflict Studies, with a focus on Youth Participation in Peacebuilding, from the University of Ulster. Rooted in family, nourished by travel, she thanks the stories that guide her. She lives in Oakland, California.
Anita Wadhwa is a native Houstonian and daughter of Punjabi immigrants. She is a classroom teacher, trainer, and restorative justice coordinator. She is author of Restorative Justice in Urban Schools: Disrupting the School to Prison Pipeline and a contributor to the recently released anthology, Colorizing Restorative Justice. She hires and consults with former students to train in restorative practices. She has developed a youth-led restorative justice model based on her research which has garnered national attention. She owes everything to her parents, husband, and two lovely girls. She lives in Houston, Texas.