Warmest greetings from RJOY’s staff, board, volunteers, and youth!
I truly appreciate the countless ways so many of you have wrapped your arms around RJOY and helped it grow and thrive. I am grateful for the way you have embraced our efforts over the last six years in schools, communities, and the justice system to sow the seeds of a new kind of justice – a justice that heals. It is your support that has allowed RJOY to emerge as a thought leader in bringing race-conscious restorative justice principles and practices to Northern California. I thank you and ask you to continue your support by making a tax-deductible donation this year.
Since 2006, RJOY has engaged in public education and advocacy, while launching pilot programs to establish best practices. Having reached more than 2000 youth, educators, and health, justice, and faith-based workers, RJOY’s trainings have enhanced the collective capacity to engage healing responses to harm. Our advocacy efforts have borne fruit – Oakland Unified School District has now adopted restorative justice as its official policy. Programs are underway in 10 schools, with plans to expand to almost 30 more within the next two years.
RJOY’s initiatives early on to reform school discipline and dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline have today become the basis of a robust national movement.
During the 2011-2012 school year, Healing and Peacemaking Circles at our school demonstration sites have yielded positive outcomes. At Bunche H.S., we reduced violence by 77%, suspension days by 64%, and closed the discipline racial gap. At West Oakland M.S., suspension rates declined by 72%, violence by 65%, and racial disparity in discipline by 44%. Suspensions fell 43% at one of our Castlemont school sites and 33% at another. Students are turning their lives around. A significant number of them defied the odds and graduated last May, many pulling up from 0.0 to a 3-plus GPA. One ended up as class valedictorian, and another turned his life around from juvenile justice involvement and failing grades to election this year as the student representative to the school board.
This year we are focusing on an innovative race and gender-specific restorative initiative that includes community elders’ participation in helping to create healthier relationships, particularly among African American boys and girls most at risk of being pushed out of school and incarcerated.
RJOY’s capacity to continue its ground-breaking advocacy, training, and demonstration programs is made possible through the generosity of donors like you.
Let’s together give the gifts of healthier schools, communities, families, and futures to our children!
- $1000 upgrades our Peacemaking Circle room at one of our school sites
- $500 covers a fishing trip for male students
- $250 covers a weekly Girls’ Circle
- $100 covers a Family Conference used as an alternative to suspension
- $50 covers a half-hour post-training coaching session to help teachers learn to facilitate Circles in their classrooms
- $25 covers meals and incentives for student participation in our activities
Your contribution in any amount will make a difference.
Peace and blessings to you and yours,
Fania E. Davis Executive Director,
Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth
Give. That Our Youth May Live in Peace and Thrive.
Eric Butler, our Restorative Justice Coordinator at Ralph Bunche High in West Oakland, is featured along with a student, Cameron Simmons, in a recent article in the Fresno Bee. Fresno looks at program to aid students, defuse powder-keg schools:
Cameron’s story is documented as an audio file. Listen to his story here.
Give. To Create More Caring Communities.
Recently Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth co-produced a video with Oakland Unified School District illustrating a
Community-Building Circle co-facilitated by two high school students. Although Circles are commonly used to respond to wrongdoing that has already occurred, proactive restorative strategies like the Community-Building Circle in this video are essential. They promote social-emotional learning. They generate a culture of connectivity. They “immunize” members of the school community from violence by imparting relational skills to curb the escalation of conflict from the outset. They help to resolve differences in caring ways while re-affirming the centrality of respectful relationships to a successful learning environment. This video was made possible by a grant from The California Endowment.
GIVE. To Close the School Discipline Racial Gap.
Our Executive Director, Fania Davis, responds to Oakland’s school board’s adoption of an innovative proposal to eliminate disproportionate suspension rates of African-American students in response to the U.S. Office of Civil Rights’ investigation of the Oakland School District on charges of racial discrimination in school discipline. Fania E. Davis: Silver lining in the investigation of Oakland’s school district