Amidst the many challenges of 2020, we are proud to have done a great deal of wonderful work, moving most of our programs online. We held our annual conflict resolution course for graduate students through SUNY New Paltz, conducted our new Peace Restored class for educators twice, and taught dozens of teachers social-emotional learning techniques. CRC staff presented at online conferences this fall including those of ACR, Education First, and New York State Dispute Resolution Association. We have been sharing and demonstrating the use of our template that simulates sitting in a circle to help teachers and practitioners hold online classes and virtual restorative circles with a greater sense of community and connection. Social Media-tors!, CRC’s partnership with the developers of the Bridg-it app, is moving into its second year. We trained peer mediators at Queens MS 217, a model restorative school we’ve worked with for 6 years, to practice pro-social behavior, intervene in cyber-bullying, and use their devices to give shout-outs and report abuse or endangerment.
In partnership with MADE Transitional Services, we began in August to hold restorative circles with formerly incarcerated men using masks and social distancing. As the weather cooled, we moved these circles online. We are getting ready to begin online circles with women in re-entry, in partnership with Hour Children. We will also be doing restorative work with women in Taconic and Bedford Hills Correctional Facilities and we continue to work with women and children whose lives have been impacted by incarceration in our Thursday Night Support Group. Your donations allow us to support participants in rebuilding their lives.
As an organization with a commitment to and long history of work aimed at ending racism and all forms of bias, we’ve been inspired by the powerful, expanding racial justice movement and the shift in the national conversation. We continue to challenge ourselves to reflect, learn, and grow. We are updating and developing curriculum and looking for new ways to contribute our knowledge and tools to the project of transforming our country into a more just one. Our monthly international restorative circles, initiated after the peace education conference in New Delhi we attended last year, have focused on ending racism. We’re also collaborating with mediation and conflict resolution practitioners to encourage more anti-racist work in the field at large.
We hope we can count on your support this year. We deeply appreciate contributions of any size. Checks may be sent to CRC, 145 College Road room 4300 Suffern NY 10901, or you can donate her. Thank you for your ongoing commitment to building a more just and safer world.
For the Board and Staff of CRC,