Based in Contra Costa County, the mission of The Collective Healing And Transformation (CHAT) Project is to expand community capacity to respond to and transform interpersonal conflict, harm, and violence without the use of state intervention and the criminal legal system. Since 2018, The CHAT Project has used restorative justice, circle process, and collective action to respond to domestic and sexual violence. We are a community based and non-law enforcement program working with all people impacted by sexual and family violence- survivors, people who have caused harm, children and youth, family, friends, and other support systems.

This work exists at the center of many tensions- calls for restorative justice in response to domestic violence and sexual harm, fear and rejection of the appropriateness of this response, concerns about co-optation and professionalization of community interventions by systems partners, to name a few. This is an introductory workshop and is intended to provide a more informed foundation for continuing the exploration of RJ and circle and reflecting on current assumptions, interventions, and limitations in the field.

In this workshop we will introduce the meaning and history of restorative justice and circle process and share about the work of The CHAT Project and how we implement and explore these practices with community members. The presenters will share case stories, successes, challenges, and how we have adapted our work over time to meet the needs of people impacted by sexual and domestic violence.

Chelsea Miller, Camila Robayo Durán, Nyabingha McDowell, Selene Calderón

Area of Focus

Alternative Justice