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Restorative DC, a program of SchoolTalk, is supported by a diverse collective of local restorative justice practitioners who provide direct technical assistance to DC schools. Our team has a deep knowledge base representing multiple restorative justice models and practices, as well as complementary expertise in social work, drama therapy, non-violent communication, positive discipline, coaching, trauma-informed practices, special education, and more.

Consultants, Trainers & Partners.

Jane Connor
Consultant | Trainer | In-School Technical Member
Center for Nonviolent Communication

Dr. Jane Connor has studied and practiced a variety of forms of Restorative Practices including significant course work with the International Institute of Restorative Practices in PA, Circle Processes with Kay Pranis, and communication with Marshall Rosenberg, the developer of Nonviolent Communication.

More recently she has been Coordinator of Restorative Practices at High Point High School in Prince Georges County for three years where the suspension rate decreased 90% during her tenure there.

She has enjoyed sharing Restorative Practices including Nonviolent Communication on five continents, with a particular interest in Central America and has a “high-intermediate” level of fluency in Spanish.

Rashid Hughes
Consultant
www.rashidhughes.com

Rashid was born in Richmond Virginia, into a family that cherished community and culture. From a very young age, he  wished that there would be less violence in the world and that people would be more loving to one another.

In 2010, Rashid graduated from the Howard University Department of Music and the Howard University School of Divinity in 2014.
Today, he is a certified mindfulness teacher,(Engaged Mindfulness Institute (500-hrs) and a certified Trauma Technique Tapper (Peaceful Heart Network). He is also the co-founder and managing director of the Institute of African- American Mindfulness, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing mindfulness and other healing practices to the African- American community and other communities of color. Restorative Justice is another process that Rashid facilitates as an alternative approach to handling conflicts, addressing misbehavior, holding discussions, and repairing harm in communities.  Rashid is devoted to helping all people rediscover well-being and fulfilment through learning how to live more compassionately towards themselves and their world.

Ivy Hylton
Consultant | Trainer | In-School Technical Member
Youth and Family In Crisis, LLC

Ivy Hylton is an international Inspirational Speaker, Certified Restorative Justice Trainer, Professional Development Specialist and Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker. On the cutting edge of a new paradigm for psychological, physiological and emotional healing, with a break through concept with Sound Vibronics™ healing, teaching, and inspiring personal transformation and peace with sound and vibration.

Ivy’s company, Youth and Families in Crisis, LLC, is the Lead Contractor for the Balanced and Restorative Justice Institute for Juvenile Justice Reform in the District of Columbia for Superior Court Social Services Division and the Department of Youth and Rehabilitation Services.

Ivy is also a team member of Restorative DC, providing training, consulting and restorative coaching to teachers and youth in the DC Public School system.

Dwanna Nicole
Consultant | Trainer | Advisor
Advancement Project

Dwanna Nicole serves as Advancement Project’s Director of Policy and Stakeholder Outreach. In this role, she develops strategies to implement the policy agenda of Advancement Project and its partner organizations by supporting local, state, and national campaigns. She also builds and maintains relationships with external stakeholders, including teachers’ unions, school officials, law enforcement, judges, and policymakers to create a diverse constituency of support for Advancement Project’s initiatives. Prior to joining Advancement Project, she served as the Director of Policy and Advocacy for the Young Women’s Project, where she worked with local elected officials and government agencies to design and implement youth led campaigns, including those focused on health, education, and child welfare.

Dwanna has held policy positions at nonprofits, within school systems, and at the local government level. She has coordinated legislative activities for various organizations and coalitions, including the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland and the Let Haiti Live Coalition, and has developed legislation for the Maryland General Assembly, Council of the District of Columbia, City of Richmond, Virginia, and the District of Columbia and Prince George’s County Public Schools Boards of Education.

Dwanna is currently working within numerous schools and school districts throughout the country to assist them with developing strategies to create more positive school climates for educators, students, and families. This work includes providing training and education on the school to prison pipeline and its effect on student educational and life outcomes;  assisting with the development and administration of school climate surveys; providing counsel on engaging students, families, and community partners; and revising school codes of conduct. She is currently partnering with National Education Association and the Community Justice for Youth Institute to offer monthly peace circle trainings to educators and community members.

Mali Parke
Consultant | Trainer | In-School Technical Member
Peace Circle Center and Core To Coeur LLC

Mali Guitteny Parke is a trauma-informed ICF* certified professional coach, certified Positive Discipline educator, and Family Systems Constellation facilitator with a focus on individual and collective restorative relating, care culture and climate, collaboration, and leadership.

Mali finds purpose and service in supporting educators, parents, and community members in individual as well as whole-system approach to increase safety, warmth/care, belonging, mattering, engagement, collaboration, conflict resolution and optimal learning/creating for people of all ages and beyond systemic power differentials.

Mali is a life-long scholar bringing over a decade of studying and integrating nonviolent communication, restorative justice, positive and conscious discipline, leadership and relationship coaching, embodiment healing (Focusing & Somatic Experiencing), Interpersonal Neurobiology and Attachment Theory/Trauma, Polyvagal Theory, Consensus-Based Decision Making (Sociocracy) and Systemic Family Constellations.

Mali offers trainings, consulting, coaching and systemic process facilitation to individuals and groups through her work in schools with Restorative DC, her Peace Circle Center collaborative of trainers, and Core To Coeur Coaching private coaching/consulting. She also organizes a Nonviolent Communication summer camp, Family HEART Camp West Virginia.

A DC resident since 1998 and originally from France’s Celtic roots, Mali loves weaving a diversity of cultures, languages, musicality and rituals in her everyday life with her two children.

Lennie Smith
Consultant | Trainer | In-School Technical Member
Dramatic Solutions Inc.

Lennie Smith MA, BCT/RDT is a seasoned educator, trainer, university professor, author, and entrepreneur, with over 20 years of experience in public school systems, alternative education programming, corporate and non-profit organizations. Lennie is the co-founder of Dramatic Solutions Inc. Lennie is a strong advocate for active and collaborative learning in the classroom for disengaged learners. During his tenure as Co-founder and Director of a non-profit drama education organization, Lennie successfully developed and implemented an interactive life skills program at a juvenile detention center, consisting of user-specific curricula and training modalities.

Lennie strongly believes in the power of drama to educate, empower, and enlighten. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Educational Drama and a Master of Arts degree in Speech and intercultural Communication from New York University. Lennie is a Board-Certified Registered Drama Therapist, with additional credentialing in Process Communication Model Training and Quality Matters Online teaching. Lennie is currently a doctoral student at Morgan State University.

Dr. Carmen White
Consultant | Trainer | In-School Technical Member
Dramatic Solutions Inc.

Dr. Carmen White is a professional speaker, trainer and consultant, and for over 20 years has provided her expertise in the areas of personal and professional development, leadership, and communication training to organizations, associations and schools. Dr. Carmen White has been inspiring youth and adults on issues of purpose and vision for over 20 years. Her journey towards this novel undertaking began during my childhood where the seeds of imagination, awe, and possibility, were planted.

She went on to obtain (B.A.) degree in Educational Drama and (M.A.) in Educational Leadership from New York University. After gaining invaluable experience in the workforce and starting her own drama education and training firm Dramatic Solutions, Inc., she earned a Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction and Human Development from the University of Maryland. Carmen is a Board Certified Drama Therapist and educator of all most 15 years. and a certified Process Communication Model Trainer and have served as an Artist-in-Residence for The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts since 2008.

 

SchoolTalk Staff
www.schooltalkdc.org

Antonio Carter
Restorative Justice and Youth Leadership Program Specialist

Antonio Carter graduated with a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology from Southern Connecticut State University.  Antonio has worked as a City Year Washington DC corps member providing attendance, behavioral academic support to a cohort of 120 9th grade students at Cardozo Education Campus. After completing City Year Washington, DC, Mr. Carter was hired by Cardozo Education Campus as a Dean of Students where he worked two years within the International Academy and one year with the 11th and 12th grade students. Within in this role, Mr. Carter served as the Bully Prevention Liaison and was a member of the school’s Restorative Practice implementation team. In addition to his professional roles, Mr. Carter served as Assistant Coach for the girl’s Flag Football team. Mr. Carter has a passion for working with young people, helping them overcome obstacles, and empowering them to reach their fullest potential.

 

Tarek Maassarani
Lead Trainer | Technical Member
Tarek Maassarani has worked for over a decade with DC and charter schools on peace education, teacher training and mentoring, youth leadership, and school garden projects. In 2011, Tarek was the Restorative Justice Coordinator for the Latin America Youth Center where he worked to integrate restorative practices into DC schools and the juvenile justice system. In 2012, he helped established the Prince Georges County Community Conferencing Program, a Maryland judiciary-funded program that receives referrals from county schools and the juvenile justice system.

Tarek is an adjunct professor of conflict resolution at the American University and regularly offers training and presentations on restorative justice to non-profit organizations, schools, parents, and police. Tarek is also the founding coordinator for the DC Alliance for Restorative Practices (DCARP) and a member of the Every Student Every Day Coalition Steering Committee.

 

Leila Peterson
Executive Director | Restorative DC Program Manager
Leila Peterson has served as Executive Director of SchoolTalk, Inc since 2008. She has provided conflict resolution, change management, and leadership development services to schools, government and private clients for more than nineteen years. Her practice focuses on public and community conflict, specializing in processes that allow government, private, and community stakeholders to tackle difficult issues together. She also teaches as an adjunct professor in the George Mason University Conflict Analysis and Resolution program. Courses taught include Dialogue and Difference (CONF 202) and Conflict Resolution Techniques and Practices (CONF 300).

Leila received a Master of Science degree in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University in 1998 and a Bachelor of Arts in Politics from Earlham College in 1993. She currently serves as the vice-chair of the National Youth Transition Center Leadership Council. She is an Associate Member of the Association for Conflict Resolution and the Mid-Atlantic ADA Leadership Network.

 

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