She’ll use ‘accountability and healing’ instead of ‘punitive or legal measures’
Brown University has hired its first coordinator of “transformative justice,” a new program at the school that uses “indigenous teaching” to help students “navigate conflict in their everyday lives.”
The Brown Daily Herald reports that the school recruited Dara Kwayera Imani Bayer, a graduate of Brown who previously worked “as a humanities teacher and in a restorative justice role in Boston Public Schools.” While at Brown she reportedly “participat[ed] in activism on campus that urged police accountability and University transparency.”
Bayer’s role will be “a two-year pilot position funded by the Office of the Provost.”
The university this year intends to roll out a “Transformative Justice Practitioner” program for a small number of students, the paper reports:
The cohort will work to better understand the nature of harm within their communities and relationship networks. They will also explore how their communities envision justice and accountability, Bayer said. In the spring, the students will begin an apprenticeship program guided by what they learned in the fall.
Training students to work within their communities is key because “for real transformation to happen, we have to work not just to change things outside of ourselves, but within ourselves,” she said.
Bayer was hired after a “year of advocacy” by Brown student Camila Pelsinger, herself a “transformative student justice coordinator.” Pelsinger had organized focus and discussion groups over the prior year in order to identify “community-based mechanisms of conflict-mediation” on the campus.
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