Building Restorative School Communities: An hour public dialogue with Kay Pranis and Carolyn Boyes Watson

In this podcast you will discover some great insights into how to build your own restorative school community, including conversations and answers from our guests regarding:

  • What the Seven Core Assumptions are of a restorative process
  • Why a restorative school community is unique in its inclusiveness of participants
  • Insights on integration and how to manage overwhelm
  • The importance of cultural diversity and inclusivity in processes
  • How to distribute power with equanimity in a circle --as facilitator and community owners of a process
  • Ways in which systems are collaborating beyond schools
  • And much more...

Carolyn Boyes-Watson is Director of Suffolk University’s Center for Restorative Justice and Associate Professor of Sociology at Suffolk University. Professor Boyes-Watson has been on the faculty since 1993.

Boyes-Watson has published in the area of restorative justice, criminal justice, technology and social control and drug policy.

She is currently Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Correctional Legal Services, the prisoners’ rights organization of Massachusetts.

Her current research interests include restorative justice and criminal justice policy and she teaches in the areas of criminal justice, juvenile justice and restorative justice. 

Her most recent book is Circle Forward: Building a Restorative School Community with Kay Pranis (2014), with whom she also co-authored Heart of Hope Peacemaking Circles & Urban Youth: Bringing Justice Home (Living Justice Press, 2008).


Kay Pranis teaches and writes about the dialog process known as 'peacemaking circles.'  Kay learned about peacemaking circles in her work in restorative justice in the mid-90s  Her initial teachers in the circle work were Barry Stuart, a judge in Yukon, Canada, and Mark Wedge and Harold Gatensby, First Nations people of Yukon.  Since that initial exposure to the use of peacemaking circles in the justice system Kay has been involved in developing the use of peacemaking circles in schools, social services, churches, families, museums, universities, municipal planning and workplaces.

Kay has authored or co-authored several books about circles:  Peacemaking Circles - From Crime to Community;  The Little Book of Circle Processes – A New/Old Approach to Peacemaking;  Doing Democracy with Circles – Engaging Communities in Public Planning;  Heart of Hope – A Guide for Using Peacemaking Circles to Develop Emotional Literacy, Promote Healing & Build Healthy Relationships; Circle Forward – Building a Restorative School Community.

Kay works primarily as a trainer in the peacemaking circle process.  She is a Senior Associate at the Center for Restorative Justice at Suffolk University in Boston.  She is also an adjunct professor at Simon Fraser University, Eastern Mennonite University and Southwest Minnesota State University.

Kay has a particular interest in the use of circles to support social justice efforts addressing racial, economic, class and gender inequities.  That interest includes the use of peacemaking circles to understand and respond to historical harms to groups of people.  The peacemaking circle process has been a source of energy, inspiration and continuous learning for Kay


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Restorative Justice on the Rise

Media That Matters: Public Dialogue On Justice

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