Restorative Justice Week 2017
Ideas on How to Engage Your Community
The following suggestions may help generate ideas and activities for your community. Remember that partnerships are fundamental to restorative justice so it is important to identify and work with other individuals, agencies, organizations, and groups in your community. One must also consider that people will have different levels of understanding about restorative justice and the criminal justice system. Accordingly, you may want to offer a combination of activities that will help develop an understanding of restorative justice and the justice system, develop a sense of community, and move people towards restorative action.
- Challenge your community to put restorative justice (RJ) to work in the community and in each individual's life. Communicate the challenge through posters, local newspaper articles, local radio station, or your community's website.
- Host a community engagement party: Invite community members to be guests at a social where your RJ organization and its partners become engaged in either a discussion around each group's role in the community or an issue that your community may have. Explain how applying a restorative lens may assist in resolving the issue.
- Invite federal/provincial/municipal politician, Aboriginal Elders, Spiritual leaders, Chief of Police and other community leaders to speak to the issue of restorative justice and how they see it as being a way to strengthen the community.
- Check to see if your City Council has proclaimed RJ Week.
- Have an open house at your organization where you can invite your community and other agencies within the community to visit and learn more about how your organization contributes to the RJ field.
- Organize an 'RJ Dialogue Series'; creating an opportunity for various practitioners from the community to speak about how they see RJ initiatives applying (to) within their community, as well as how they see their organization working within an RJ framework.
- Create a forum where the community can hear the stories of those who have been affected by crime (either as a victim or offender) and learn what their individual needs were/are and how they feel an RJ framework could assist them in their journey.
- Host a community justice fair: Invite all organizations that you work with and those you would like to build a relationship with to set up display/information booths at a location that is accessible to members within your community.
- Invite your community to attend a mock Healing Circle or Restorative Process. Try engaging a drama or theatre class at one of your local schools to assist in being the actors for the event.
- Host a contest where students can design a poster or write a story that illustrates the RJ Week theme.
- Recognize individuals (community members, prisoners, justice system personnel) or organizations who have contributed to the growth and advancement of RJ in your community.
- Host a community event that will honour all of the criminal justice personnel who work in your community.
- Hold an evening training session or workshop on how community members can apply RJ Principles in their daily life as a way to strengthen their relationships and the community.
- Hold a community fundraising event such as a BBQ and raffle, an RJ run, walk or bikeathon, a community auction, a golf tournament, a concert or art show, etc.
- Create opportunities for media involvement by getting local media to promote and report events that you are running for RJ Week. They may be able to publish a feature on restorative justice, facilitate an event, or hold media conferences.
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