We are Jordan Ferrick, Fabio Ayala., & Becca Jacobson We work at the Greater Falls Community Justice Center (GFCJC), a Restorative Justice Center in Bellows Falls, VT and the Brattleboro Community Justice Center in Brattleboro, VT. It is our honor to have been accepted to be speakers at a world conference in Belgium in May to present on our work that we have been doing at the Justice Centers. The IIRP Europe Conference on Community Wellbeing and Resilience is an international conference focused on restorative practices and allied approaches in growing well-being and resilience in communities and organizations.
Your participation in this fundraiser will help us fund conference registration, transportation, room & board, and insurance.
So what is restorative justice? Restorative justice is a victim-focused, community-based approach for responding to crime and conflict that focuses on the harm that was caused and what needs to happen to make things better. The goal is to build understanding, encourage accountability, and provide an opportunity for healing. Part of our work includes providing school district-wide direct restorative services to staff, administration, students, and families.
Below is a more detailed description of the sessions that we will be presenting:
Being a teenager today is no easy task. More and more, teens are hard pressed to choose between two worlds, the digital world and the real world. While social media has become a powerful platform for self-expression, community, and connection across diverse groups of people, it has also contributed to a lack of compassion and empathy in the real world, especially among teen users. To assist in developing these essential skills, we believe bringing youth together and encouraging them to engage with aspects of their personal and social identities, in conjunction with their peers, can lead to deeper conversations around social inclusion, multipartiality, and the adoption of a more fluid lens to the ways teens see and engage with each other.
Our workshop session would like to model how to facilitate a training for teens on building empathy and compassion through the use of a social identity wheel. In following an experiential model framework, we would like to invite participants to engage in this process as participants and reflect along with us on how this tool can be used within their own diverse contexts.
In addition, Jordan will be presenting separately on the work that she has been doing working with the formerly incarcerated and recovering addicts on deconstructing stigma and its impacts on self and the community at large.
It is clear that having a criminal record and being labeled both an “addict” and a “felon” can create a harmful self-image; a self-fulfilling prophecy that is hard to break free of; and a reaffirmation from a judgmental society that those labels are deserved and defining. In her capacity as Community Advocate at the Greater Falls Community Restorative Justice Center, she created a project to explore the use of photovoice and circle processes, as a combined tool for reducing self-stigma for the formerly incarcerated recovering from addiction. The participants then created a gallery showing off their work at several locations, so the larger community could witness their art and stories. Our goal is simple and ongoing:
1) to reduce community stigma on those who have served time and/or are struggling with addiction and more importantly,
2) to reduce self-stigma and see oneself through a new lens.
Thank you! We are more than willing to send updates on our trip and what your funding went to. We appreciate all of your help and can't thank you enough for your support in our professional development.
For more information on what we do, please visit our websites: