Impact Snapshot: Dialogue and Restorative Justice at Yale University
“To be able to facilitate a conversation about accountability and harm, to listen with a nurturing ear, to hold space for these difficult and complicated topics—this is so important to the work of restorative justice.”
Onyeka Obiocha, EP Alum
Onyeka Obiocha is the Managing Director at CITY, the Tsai Center for Innovative Thinking at Yale University. Tsai CITY’s mission is to inspire Yale students from diverse backgrounds to seek innovative ways to solve real-world problems through programs, funding, and mentoring.
Some of the student projects supported by Tsai CITY include an innovative eco-friendly packaging material, a digital platform to improve the quality of distance learning, and a non-profit that connects high-achieving high school girls with the finance industry.
As part of EP’s field-leading evaluation program, Obiocha recently talked to EP about applying skills learned at our Basic Facilitation Skills workshop to his Restorative Justice work at Yale University. Here's what he said:
“I came to the EP training to collect new tools to facilitate contentious conversations, such as discussions between student founders on negotiating equity compensation.
“Because of the EP training, I have been able to help my organization and colleagues think about diversity, equity, and inclusion issues more thoroughly. We have developed a Restorative Justice Working Group at Yale, in which we try to re-imagine the relationship between accountability and harm.
“Let’s say someone has harassed or deeply offended someone who lives in the same residence hall—what does it mean for everyone else in that residence hall? The person has harmed one other person directly, but they have also harmed their community. Additionally, what does it look like to re-integrate the individual back into the community they harmed?
“To be able to facilitate a conversation about that, to listen with a nurturing ear, to hold space for these difficult and complicated topics—this is so important to the work of restorative justice.”
If you’re interested in finding out how Essential Partners can equip you to bring skills for connected conversations to your campus, workplace, or community, contact us today for a free consultation.