The Transformative Justice in Education Center has gathered a team of scholars, community members, educators, and practitioners to advise and help:
Think about its strategic direction, goals, and outcomes that will help achieve its mission; collaborations, networks, and partnerships that will broaden TJE’s reach and impact; and the possibilities and opportunities not explored.
Learn about best practices and research that TJE can share with its community of learners; solutions and ideas to reducing the educational inequities; and local and national practitioners and scholars to invite to TJE and community spaces to learn, engage, and share with each other.
Act by training and introducing teachers and students to restorative justice principles; supporting university initiatives that promote justice; collaborating with community members advocating for transformative schools; and providing scholarship and resources for students and parents.
The Think, Learn, and Act Community Team (TLACT):
Rita Renjitham Alfred
Rita Renjitham Alfred is the Co-Founder of the Restorative Justice Training Institute, Oakland, California. She consults with schools and trains district personnel, school site staff, students, parents and community members in school districts in the Bay Area in Restorative Justice and Peacemaking Circles. She initiated Restorative Justice and Peacemaking Circles at Cole Middle School in West Oakland initially as the expulsion case manager for Oakland Unified School District (OUSD), then as the Restorative Justice Coordinator for Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth (RJOY). The pilot program at Cole was effective in significantly transforming the school culture to one that was more caring and centered on relationships. This culture change was instrumental in the dramatic decrease in referrals for expulsions, suspensions, and violence on campus. These statistics encouraged staff at approximately 20 additional schools within the District to embrace Restorative Justice, and they are currently implementing restorative practices at their sites. Alfred assisted in the writing of the Restorative Justice Resolution that was adopted and passed by the OUSD Board of Education in January 2010. In the last 6 years, Alfred and others have trained over 3,000 certificated, classified and support staff at four school districts and is now guiding them through the implementation phase. Alfred and Ina Bendich co-founded RJTI in 2011 with the goal to build capacity in communities to transform into greater health, vibrancy and accountability.
City of Davis Mayor Robb Davis is a public health professional with over 25 years of experience working in the field of food security, child nutrition and maternal and child health primarily in francophone West Africa. In more recent years, he has focused on bringing the principles and practices of restorative justice to Yolo County and dealing with the challenges of homelessness and addiction in Davis. Mayor Davis has a Master’s degree in Public Health and a PhD from Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health. He came to Davis in 1999 to work for Freedom from Hunger, a local non-profit that promotes the use of integrated microfinance and health protection services for poor women in Asia, the Indian subcontinent and West Africa. He has worked primarily in the non-profit sector his entire career and lived and worked in West Africa. He has also worked extensively in over 40 nations around the world. He has taught graduate courses in training design, advocacy and program planning, monitoring and evaluation at Eastern Mennonite University’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding and at Eastern University. Davis is married to Nancy Davis, who works in the UC Davis College of Engineering Dean’s Office as a Student Advisor. Robb and Nancy have two adult children and three grandchildren.
Kevin Lawrence Henry, Jr.
A native of New Orleans, and graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison (PhD) and Tulane University (BA), Assistant Professor of Education Policy Studies and Practice, Dr. Kevin Lawrence Henry ’s program of research revolves around two central, interrelated questions. The first question critically examines how power and dominance shape and structure educational policies, practices, and reforms. The second question is concerned with how educational actors—marginalized by race, gender, class, and/or sexuality—understand, resist, reconstitute and transform educational fields to be more equitable and socially just. His research and teaching primarily focuses on the social contexts and political sociology of education with a particular emphasis on privatization/neoliberal restructuring, charter schools and school choice policy, social stratification, and counter-hegemonic practices/pedagogies and theories (critical race theory, feminist theories and queer of color critique).
Sia Henry is an attorney at the Prison Law Office based in Berkeley, California where she assists with litigation, as well as monitoring correctional facilities for compliance with court orders and settlement agreements. Prior to this position, Henry was a program associate with Impact Justice’s Restorative Justice Project where she assisted jurisdictions in establishing pre-charge, restorative justice juvenile diversion programs to address the criminalization of youth as well as racial and ethnic disparities within the criminal justice system. Sia received her JD from Harvard Law School and BA from Duke University where she graduated summa cum laude. Henry joined the California Bar in December 2014.
Pauline Holmes is a Supervisor/Lecturer of Teacher Education in the School of Education at UC Davis. For several decades she has worked, consulted, and coached on subjects such as reading, science, social studies and language arts. Holmes’s research interests include teacher development for understanding language acquisition. She is currently thinking about how Globe practices are taken on by new teachers to enliven and increase understanding of challenging literature in adolescents.
From 1974 until September 2015, Bill Kennedy served on the front lines of legal services programs in California where his work focused primarily on housing and civil rights. He is now in private practice and serves as faculty for the Racial Justice Training Institute. Kennedy began his practice 1974 at CRLA in Modesto, California. In 1978, Kennedy was part of the defense team that represented “the Camp Pendleton 14,” African American Marines facing criminal charges for a pre-emptive attack on Ku Klux Klansmen on the base. He then spent several years doing anti-Klan and anti-poverty work in California’s Central Valley with California Rural Legal Assistance in Modesto. In the 1980s, Kennedy was lead counsel on three successful civil rights challenges to the police practices of the Border Patrol. Those challenges limited raids in communities, workplaces and businesses without warrants based upon “articulable suspicion of alienage.” In 2012, his team celebrated a victory on behalf of the Avondale Glen Elder Neighborhood Association wherein a historical African American community was able to defeat a proposal to pump 7.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas into a geological formation under their homes. In 2014, in Texas DHCA v. Inclusive Communities Project, he co-authored, with Andrea Matsuoka and Mona Tawatao, an Amicus Curiae brief on behalf of 19 social psychologists arguing that implicit bias required the retention of the disparate outcome standard in fair housing cases. In that case, the court, for the first time, recognized the existence of implicit bias. Kennedy brings a practitioners perspective to the discussion of cognitive science and the law. He is currently on the faculty of the Racial Justice Training Institute.
Dr. Danny Martinez is an Assistant Professor in the School of Education at the UC Davis. In 2014, he was selected as a Concha Delgado Gaitan Presidential Fellow by the Council on Anthropology and Education. This early career fellowship is intended to support professional development and mentoring in the field of educational anthropology. He published numerous articles, including “Re-mediating literacy: Culture, difference, and learning for students from non-dominant communities” (2009) and “Toward a teacher solidarity lens: former teachers of color (re) envisioning educational research” (2014).
Dr. Erica Meiners is a Professor of Educational Inquiry and Curriculum Studies at Northeastern Illinois University. She teaches, writes and organizes in Chicago. She has written about her ongoing labor and learning in anti-militarization campaigns, educational justice struggles, prison abolition and reform movements, and queer and immigrant rights organizing in the books “Flaunt It! Queers Organizing for Public Education and Justice” (2009), “Right to be Hostile: Schools, Prisons, and the Making of Public Enemies” (2007) and with articles in Radical Teacher, Meridians, AREA Chicago and Social Justice. Her work in the areas of prison/school nexus; gender, access and technology; community-based research methodologies; and urban education, has been supported by the U.S. Department of Education, the Illinois Humanities Council and the Princeton Woodrow Wilson Public Scholarship Foundation, among others. Her methodologies include participatory action research, community-based organizing and research, qualitative research and feminist research.
Chelsea Jackson Roberts
Dr. Chelsea Jackson Roberts is the Founder of Yoga and Literature Camp and a graduate of Spelman College, in Atlanta. She also received her PhD from the Division of Educational Studies at Emory University in 2014. Relying on ethnography and narrative inquiry as her primary research methods, she explores the lived experiences of individuals across multiple communities. Her most recent research utilizes the lived experiences of Black teen yoga practitioners who use yoga and storytelling as mediums for critical literacy development. Working primarily within marginalized communities, Dr. Jackson Roberts seeks to understand the ways in which power and privilege impact lives at the intersection of race, class and gender. In 2012, at a training on Restorative Justice facilitated by sujatha baliga, Dr. Jackson Roberts began making connections between the value of storytelling, critical literacy development and yoga.
Dr. Terrance Wiley is currently an Assistant Professor of Religion and Africana Studies and Coordinator of the Initiative for Ethical Engagement and Leadership at Haverford College in Haverford, Pennsylvania. Previously, Dr. Wiley was an Assistant Professor at Carleton College, Visiting Lecturer art Stanford University and Visiting Professor of Ethics, Law and Peace Studies at the Pacific School of Religion. He is a graduate of Southern Methodist University (BA), Georgetown University Law Center (JD), and Princeton University (MA, PhD). Dr. Wiley teaches courses at the intersection of religious ethics, theology, political philosophy, and African American Studies, with an emphasis on nonviolent social movement theory and praxis. Dr. Wiley is currently working on a manuscript, “Angelic Troublemakers: Religion and Anarchism in Henry David Thoreau, Dorothy Day, and Bayard Rustin,” which interrogates the theological anthropologies, ethics, political philosophies and social theories of three exemplary American religious radicals. His research also focuses on mass incarceration and community organizing.