Register now: Virtual Restorative Justice Conference enters final week

Manager of Teen Services Stephen Jackson gives an overview of this year’s conference.

The Medicine Wheel: Balancing Humanity

Oak Park’s third annual Restorative Justice Conference has been taking place virtually all October, and it wraps up on Friday, October 30.

This year’s theme is The Medicine Wheel: Balancing Humanity. The goal has been to provide the community with strategies to cope in these extreme times.

“2020 has been very difficult for everyone,” says the library’s Manager of Teen Services Stephen Jackson. “This year’s conference is about ways people can support themselves and others, find balance, and find tools just to connect,” Jackson says. “Connection is something so many of us need right now.”

IN THE NEWS: Watch conference organizers and participants on The Doris Davenport Show »

Thank you to The Doris Davenport Show for hosting conference organizers and presenters over the past three Sundays! Watch recordings on the show’s Facebook page »

Register now in Zoom for the final week

Each week, we’ve been exploring one of the four quadrants of the medicine wheel. We are now in the final week of the conference.

To attend any session, please register in Zoom for the day. You can attend any or all sessions on the days you register, and all sessions are free. Please note, you must register separately for the Closing Ceremony on Friday, October 30.

Week 4: Physical

The Example Setters Youth Poetry & Leadership Squad, a dynamic group of courageous youth committed to social justice, performs at the Closing Ceremony on Friday, October 30, 6-8 pm. See more info and how to register below.

Register in Zoom for Wednesday and Friday sessions:

  • Wednesday, October 28 (click for full session info)
    • 2-3 pm. Community Commons: Trained facilitators hold a virtual talking Circle
    • 3:15-4:15 pm. Community Commons: Trained facilitators hold a virtual talking Circle
    • 5-6 pm. Community Commons: Virtual talking Circle facilitated by FEELREAL. A space to explore what is being learned and what are challenges.
    • 6-7 pm. Sterling De Sutter Summerville: The Importance of Being an Ally to Yourself and Others
    • 7:15-8:15 pm. Betsy Grimm: Mind/Body Approach to Anxiety 
  • Friday, October 30 (click for full session info)
    • 10-11 am. Physical Balance virtual talking Circle facilitated by Beronica Puhr, Oak Park Public Librarian
    • 11:15 am-12:15 pm. Sophia Manuel: Rethinking Responses to Community Violence with READI Chicago
    • 5-6 pm. Community Commons: Virtual talking Circle facilitated by Stephen Jackson, Oak Park Public Library Manager of Teen Services.
    • 6-8 pm. Closing Ceremony. See below; register separately.

Register separately in Zoom for the Closing Ceremony

  • Friday, October 30, 6-8 pm. Closing Ceremony. We are gathering to create a safe space to process the days of the conference and to explore how we collectively would like to see the work continue. One highlight: We will be joined by the Example Setters Youth Poetry & Leadership Squad, a dynamic group of courageous youth committed to social justice. This motivational youth leadership and poetry team from Chicago came together because they all believe the tongue has the power of life and death. More about the Example Setters »

More about this year’s theme: The medicine wheel

A medicine wheel

As in past years, we are diving deep into restorative practices, which include bringing empathy to a situation, seeking first to understand, and helping people without doing further harm. Whether they’re applied in a criminal justice, school, family, or broader community setting, restorative practices take a group perspective.

The medicine wheel inspires the theme of this year’s conference because it’s an ancient healing method of acknowledging the balance of the four components of humanity: mental, spiritual, emotional, and physical. “Indigenous cultures used this method to heal any dis-ease in the community,” Jackson says.

As physician Louis T. Montour, Mohawk of the Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy, writes in The Permanente Journal (PDF), “In Native American language, ‘medicine’ meant power, a vital energy force that was within all forms of nature. It also meant ‘knowledge’ because knowing gave the ‘knower’ power to do, to achieve, and to attain.”

Montour adds that the medicine wheel is not unique to Mohawk culture: “It is derived from universal principles which are found within all human groups: sharing, caring, kindness, humility, trust, honesty, and respect.”


Sign up for email updates on the conference

To receive weekly email updates on workshops, peace circles, self-care and more, please sign up below.


Previous weeks in the 2020 conference

  • Opening Ceremony: Friday, October 2, 6-8 pm. We gathered to create a safe space to build perspective, understanding, and community
. The Opening Ceremony began with an indigenous land acknowledgement, followed by an overview of the month’s conference, a welcome circle, and breakout rooms.

Week 1: Mental

  • Wednesday, October 7, 10 am–8:15 pm (click for full session info)
    • 10-11 am. Community Commons: Trained facilitators hold a virtual talking Circle
    • 11:15 am-12:15 pm. Community Commons: Trained facilitators hold a virtual talking Circle
    • 2-3 pm. Community Commons: Trained facilitators hold a virtual talking Circle
    • 3:15-4:15 pm. Jacquelyn Eadie: My Mind Shapes my World
    • 5-6 pm. Community Commons: Virtual talking Circle facilitated by FEELREAL. A space to explore what is being learned and what are challenges.
    • 6-7 pm. Peter Howstrawser: Growth Mindset
    • 7:15-8:15 pm. Frances Kraft: The Power of Partnerships
  • Friday, October 9, 10 am–8:15 pm (click for full session info)
    • 10-11 am. Tatiana Swancy: Mental Balance virtual talking Circle
    • 11:15 am-12:15 pm. Daryl Satcher: Turning Breakdowns into Breakthroughs
    • 2-3 pm. Community Commons: Trained facilitators hold a virtual talking Circle
    • 3:15-4:15 pm. Josephine Horace-Jackson: Endogenous/Exogenous Depression and Anxiety: Trauma in the House
    • 5-6 pm. Community Commons: Trained facilitators hold a virtual talking Circle
    • 6-7 pm. Kaleigh Clarke: Writing Poetry
    • 7:15-8:15 pm. Josh Easter & Cody Cotton: Perpetual Self-Learning
Oak Park and River Forest High School senior Kaleigh Clarke led a poetry workshop on Friday, October 9, 6-7 pm.

Week 2: Spiritual

  • Wednesday, October 14, 10 am–8:15 pm (click for full session info)
    • 10-11 am. Karen Light: Creative Inner Wisdom
    • 2-3 pm. Community Commons: Trained facilitators hold a virtual talking Circle
    • 3:15-4:15 pm. Sandra Sosa: Knowing You in Order to Know Myself
    • 5-6 pm. Community Commons: Virtual talking Circle facilitated by FEELREAL. A space to explore what is being learned and what are challenges. 
    • 6-7 pm. Community Commons: Trained facilitators hold a virtual talking Circle
    • 7:15-8:15 pm. Community Commons: Trained facilitators hold a virtual talking Circle
  • Friday, October 16, 10 am–8:15 pm (click for full session info)
    • 10-11 am. Tatiana Swancy: Spiritual Balance virtual talking Circle 
    • 11:15 am-12:15 pm. Darcel Washington: The Spirit of Kindness
    • 3:15-4:15 pm. Community Commons: Trained facilitators hold a virtual talking Circle
    • 5-6 pm. Community Commons: Virtual talking Circle facilitated by FEELREAL. A space to explore what is being learned and what are challenges.
    • 6-7 pm. Darryl Allen: Powerful Spirit Humble Heart
      7:15-8:15 pm. Robert Marshall: A Conversation About How Faith Can Be a Catalyst for Peace

Week 3: Emotional

  • Wednesday, October 21, 10 am–8:15 pm (click for full session info)
    • 10-11 am. Terrance Anderson: Balance Amid Chaos
    • 11:15 am-12:15 pm. Vanessa Westley: Restoration That Heals: The Power of Collective Healing
    • 2-3 pm. Kelly Wilson & Jennifer Bedier: Supporting Staff Through Trauma
    • 3:15-4:15 pm. Darryl Allen: Healing Ears: Therapeutic Listening 
    • 6-7 pm. DuShaun Branch: MOVEMENT + JUSTICE Yoga Session 
    • 7:15-8:15 pm. Gail Galivan: Coping through COVID-19
  • Friday, October 23, 10 am–8:15 pm (click for full session info)
    • 10-11 am. Rose Barnes and Jenny Jackson: Emotional Balance Virtual Talking Circle 
    • 11:15 am-12:15 pm. Alternatives’ Peace Ambassadors: Seeds and Shelters: A Participatory Study on Building Restorative Space
    • 2-3 pm. Community Commons: Virtual Talking Circle facilitated by RJ Staff Facilitators
    • 3:15-4:15 pm. Raheem Young & Dominique Hickman, Oak Park Township Youth Interventionists: Artificial Intelligence Versus Emotional Intelligence
    • 5-6 pm. Community Commons: Virtual Talking Circle facilitated by FEELREAL. A space to explore what is being learned and what are challenges.
    • 6-7 pm. Madeline Block: Including and Adapting to the Disabled Community
    • 7:15-8:15 pm. Devin Davis: Health & Wellness
Oak Park and River Forest High School junior and Leading Edge Teen Advisory Board member Madeline Block led a workshop on Friday, October 23, 6-7 pm: Including and Adapting to the Disabled Community.

More about the 2018 and 2019 conferences

Restorative Justice Conference 2019 Community Committee
Participants in the 2019 Restorative Justice Conference at the Main Library, including the community committee who co-planned and ran the three-day event.

Stay current on news and new arrivals.

Close Bitnami banner
Bitnami