The Center for Conflict Resolution, Sisters of St. Joseph, Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association, and Avila University are co-sponsoring a one-day conference on Restorative Justice to further conflict resolution and nonviolent means of resolving conflict in the greater Kansas City area. Presenters include experts currently providing restorative approaches in the judicial and criminal justice system, neighborhoods, policing, families, and schools. The Restorative Justice approach includes Mediation, Circles, Conflict Management Skills, Neighborhood Accountability Boards, and Victim Offender Dialogue. The restorative approach reduces conflict, re-offending, and violence. At the end of the conference there will be Calls for Action to implement this approach in the Greater Kansas City area.
Featured Keynote Speaker: Mark S. Umbreit, Ph.D.
Dr. Mark Umbreit is a Professor and founding Director of the Center for Restorative Justice & Peacemaking at the University of Minnesota, School of Social Work. He serves as a Visiting Professor at the Marquette University Law School in Milwaukee. Dr. Umbreit has also served as a Fellow of the International Centre for Healing and the Law, and a Fellow of the Center for Contemplative Practice in Society. He is an internationally recognized practitioner and scholar with more than 40 years of experience as a mediator, peacemaker, trainer, teacher, researcher, and author of nine books and more than 200 other publications in the fields of restorative justice, mediation, spirituality, forgiveness, and peacemaking. Dr. Umbreit has conducted training seminars and lectures throughout the world, in Asia, Africa, Europe, the Mideast, and North and South America. Mark has been a consultant and trainer for the U.S. Department of Justice for the past 34 years. Dr. Umbreit also serves on the faculty of the Center for Spirituality & Healing in the Academic Health Center at the University of Minnesota, teaching courses on Peacemaking & Spirituality, and Forgiveness & Healing.
Restorative Justice practitioners, presenters, and small group leaders:
Debbie Bayless has been a mediator with the Center for Conflict Resolution since 2004 and Mediation Coordinator since August 2009. She manages neighborhood accountability boards for the Municipal court in KC since February 2013. Her past experience involved working with emotionally disturbed youth in a group home setting and an emergency shelter setting, and with developmentally disabled adults. Debbie holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Human Services, with a minor in German Language and Psychology.
Kathleen Bird is a former juvenile prosecutor and municipal judge who became interested in restorative justice in the mid 1990s. She established a victim offender dialogue program in Clay and Platte counties with Title II funding, which has expanded to other restorative processes. Kathleen is Director of the Office of Dispute Resolution Services for the Seventh Judicial Circuit of Missouri.
John Hamilton retired at the rank of Major from the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department after 26 ½ years of service and is now an Associate Professor of Criminal Justice Administration at Park University. At the time of his retirement, Dr. Hamilton served as the division commander for the North Patrol Division, a position he held for over 4 years. Dr. Hamilton holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Kansas, a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and an Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Public Administration and Adult Education from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He has extensive experience in Community Policing and Problem Solving and a deep belief in the principles of restorative justice. Dr. Hamilton is the co-author of Community Justice (Routledge Press).
Annette Lantz-Simmons is Executive Director of the Center for Conflict Resolution (CCR). Annette holds an Undergraduate Degree in Business Administration from Fresno Pacific University, and a Master’s Degree in Conflict Transformation from Eastern Mennonite University, where she studied Restorative Justice with Howard Zehr. CCR currently has MOU’s with Center, Independence and Kansas City, Missouri School Districts and, with a team of CCR school specialists, has created a Restorative Discipline program that has been shown to decrease office referrals and incidences of physical violence in schools, as well as increase attendance and G.P.A. for those involved in mediations and training.
Many thanks to our generous sponsors: