The Restorative Approaches (RA) Collaborative is comprised of Vermont trainers, researchers, Community Justice Center (CJC) staff, and school educators and leaders. Membership in this collaborative is based on a deep commitment to the development of the restorative approach in Vermont schools, not on any specific criteria related to experience as a restorative approach trainer in schools.
Some members have worked in a wide range of schools throughout Vermont and beyond while others bring expertise from restorative justice work to their community justice centers. Many have experience in both community and school-level restorative justice work.
Therefore it is important each school does its own research before contacting a collaborative member. You can start that work by searching this directory and reading the profiles.
Mel MotelDirector; Brattleboro CJC
Since 2003, the Brattleboro Community Justice Center has been engaging community members in building community and repairing harm using restorative principles, practices, and processes.
The BCJC restorative training team is led by Executive Director Mel Motel. Other trainers may be available for specific training needs.
Prior to joining the BCJC as Executive Director, Mel was Founder and Director of Just Schools Project, where she worked with hundreds of youth and adults throughout New England to implement restorative approaches in schools. In addition to many years as a restorative practices leader in communities, schools, and the legal system, Mel has an MA in Teaching for Social Justice from Marlboro College and brings her experience teaching in middle school, high school, and college classrooms.
During the 2018-2019 school year, the BCJC led numerous restorative practices trainings with youth and adults who work with youth both inside and outside of school settings. The BCJC and Greater Falls CJC (Bellows Falls) formed, trained, and supervised a restorative practices in schools training team whose members have worked closely with schools in our region. This team worked with adults and students in each school to craft restorative approaches that fit with each school, based on the idea that every school is unique and transforming school culture is a long-haul process that requires genuine engagement with all members of the community.