In September 2016 the GrowSouth VISTA Team participated in a workshop about restorative practice. Lead by Dallas Independent School District (DISD), restorative practice/restorative discipline is a program piloted several years ago in several DISD middle schools. WFAA highlighted the approach in a news story recently.
The thought in bringing the concept to our VISTA team was this: What if the principles and tools of restorative practice (creating respect agreements, communication circles, etc.) could be used by neighborhood leaders to create more effective neighborhood association meetings, reduce conflict, build community, and reconcile issues in their neighborhoods amongst themselves, rather than relying on city resources.
On October 28th, two members of the GrowSouth VISTA team, Altha Moore & Paige Ransom, piloted this work with 9 neighborhood leaders, holding a workshop on the tools of restorative practice. Here are a couple photos from the event:
After a hugely successful event, the VISTA team plans to scale the program in January by opening it up to all of its 32 partner neighborhoods in Southern Dallas. The tentative date for this next workshop is January 19th, and will be assisted by a local leadership group called the Mayor’s Star Council.