This new organization has been formed as an outgrowth of the DC Alliance for Restorative Practices (DCARP), led by local RJ activist Tarek Maassarani.
In announcing the formation of DCRPI, Tarek said:
“We believe the time is ripe to focus our energies on transforming a handful of DC schools, with the aim of expanding this District-wide, and into juvenile justice and other systems through local leadership and ownership. Demand for and visibility of restorative practices is on the rise.”
A number of local RJ activist having local familiarity, capacity, expertise, and availability have been invited to join the implementation team. Key stakeholders in and outside of DC government and school-related agencies are on board.
DCRPI is in the process of consolidating partnerships with and/or funding from DC Department of Public Schools, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education, and individual schools. SchoolTalk, a DC-based organization with extensive experience and networks in DC schools, will serve as the organizational incubator. There is also the support of flexible private foundation funding.
The immediate work of DCRPI will be program development, implementation, and evaluation. In addition, an Advisory Council is being established that will ensure longer-term vision, guidance, and support, including:
- Strategic planning for impact, sustainability, and local ownership
- Building and maintaining awareness around social systems of power and marginalization so as to strive towards authentic inclusion and shared power
- Accountability, credibility, and visibility
- Advocacy and institutionalization within DC school and government systems
- Connection and coordination with other DC initiatives and organizations around related issues
Perry Saidman, a DC native and long time PISLAP member, has been invited to join the Advisory Council.