This Restorative Justice Life

59. Retethering and Reflecting in Restorative Justice w/ Kathy Evans

November 04, 2021 David Ryan Castro-Harris Season 2 Episode 5
This Restorative Justice Life
59. Retethering and Reflecting in Restorative Justice w/ Kathy Evans
Show Notes Transcript

Katherine Evans has been a professor in teacher education at Eastern Mennonite University since 2011. She teaches courses in educational psychology, special education, and restorative justice in education (RJE). 

You will meet Kathy (1:30), hear about how she got started in this work in schools (12:48), and learn the importance of retethering to your soul (30:05). Kathy explains the need to redefine grading (36:00) and making space for silence (39:10). She shouts out some good books about restorative justice (44:31) and talks about decentering whiteness (53:35). Finally, she answers the closing questions (1:00:10).

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David (he/him)  
Kathy, welcome to this restorative justice life. Who are you?

Kathy Evans  
I am Kathy Evans. I'm a Mississippi girl. I'm a southerner. With all of the good and the ugly that comes with that. Things that I'm both unlearning and still learning. I love the woods. I love fishing. I love fried green tomatoes, all the southern things. Like I believe that y'all is a perfectly respectable plural pronoun.

David (he/him)  
Who are you?

Kathy Evans  
I'm a work in progress. I am still unlearning a lot of things that were part of my development, and continuing to learn and grow. I don't believe that any of us have arrived yet. I do believe that we are all on a journey. And if we're lucky, we find a few people who are on the same stretch of that journey so that the road isn't so lonely.

David (he/him)  
Who are you?

Kathy Evans  
I'm a nerd. I am I'm an academic. I can't help it. I love thinking I love studying. I love reading. I often live very much in my head. My brain is constantly moving. I like to drive without the radio on. Because I'm creating Venn diagrams and schemes in my head, right? I'm always thinking and I live in that cognitive domain. When I when I experienced a challenge, it starts here. Now I'm learning to be more embodied. And I'm learning to feel things and trust my intuition. But my default is still nerd. It's still academic, it's it's still my head.

David (he/him)  
Who are you?

Kathy Evans  
I am a person who thrives on meaningful relationships. You know, those relationships where you feel seen and honored and where you get to see and honor another human being. Were times stands still sometimes because of the sacredness of the moment, making meaning with folks over cups of coffee, to our lunches. Those are the stuff that I thrive on.

David (he/him)  
Who are you?

Kathy Evans  
I'm a dreamer. As someone who often lives in my head, I'm constantly thinking about the next idea, the next thing. What needs to happen perhaps three to five to 10 years down the road, I tend to focus on the big picture, the macro level stuff, the systems and structures. And I often miss the day to day things, the minute to minute lived realities that people are in and so that liminal space of both seeing what can be, but acknowledging that I need like realists around me, who honor the dream, and who can help me figure out the next step.

David (he/him)  
Who are you?

Kathy Evans  
I am a person who appreciates complexity. I appreciate conflict and ambiguity. I love the word and. This is true. And this is true. Even when those two things seem like opposing truths. So I love a good paradox. And I believe the world is full of them if we have the courage to name and embrace them, haven't always been that person. And I think it's been both the most challenging part of my journey and the most rewarding part of my journey, that unlearning and relearning to love and embrace complexity and paradox.

David (he/him)  
And finally, who are you?

Kathy Evans  
I'm a person who loves all things peach. I'm serious. Like as a southerner. Like I love fresh peaches. I love peach tea. I love peach knops I love peach ice cream peach cobbler. Literally, if it has peaches, I'm I'm in love. So

David (he/him)  
beautiful, beautiful as like the color or the fruit. Let me see if I can get one more out of you. Who are you?

Kathy Evans  
I I'm a reflector. I deeply believe in praxis. And again, not something I grew up believing. But I grew up believing in theory theory rules and then think one of my growth edges early on in my restorative journey was realizing that my theories without like pragmatic everyday realities were lending a lot on deaf ears. because people would say that sounds really lovely. But what does that look like with first graders? Or what does that look like in a middle school classroom? And so this idea that our practice informs our theory and our theory informs our practice is very real to me.

David (he/him)  
Yeah, absolutely. And look at us. We've gotten past the part of this, as you were most stressed out about, from here on out smooth sailing. You did a wonderful job with those introspective reflective questions of who are you? But it's always good to check in. So to the fullest extent that you want to answer the question. How are you?

Kathy Evans  
Yeah, so I heard you ask other people that question. And I was like, you know, that's such a complex question. I mean, we're in the middle of a global pandemic. I feel like so many things that I thrive on are thwarted right now. And like, How privileged Am I like, I get to work from my office, which I love is very comfortable. My day to day reality is not dire, economically, I'm privileged enough to be able to have a job that I enjoy. So how am I in that big way? I'm really good. This summer, I took time off and took care of my heart. And I hadn't done that to the extent that I did it this summer in a long time, like it took a whole month off of email. And you know that because I didn't respond to your initial email, right? I have not ever done that. I always have felt tied to my work. And yet this summer, it felt like a very necessary part of restoring my soul. In the little book of restorative justice and education, we had that one diagram, the ripples of relationship and it starts with being restorative with self. And I know that looks different for different people. But for me, it meant detaching from the work for a little bit so that I could show up a little bit more creative and ready to engage.

David (he/him)  
Yeah, I feel that so deeply. I'm curious what that month off looked like for you.

Kathy Evans  
I went to see family hadn't seen my family since the beginning of the pandemic, see my mom, but not my siblings, and so, spent some time with my family I fished a lot. my family is all in Mississippi, so I got to hang out with my nephews and nieces and brothers and sisters. introduced my partner to some of my family members that she hadn't met. And that was fun. And honestly, like, surprisingly lovely. Wasn't sure and it went really well like grace upon grace. But yeah, detached from email was the biggest thing somebody texted me and said, your voicemail is full. responded, yes, I'm leaving that way. So people won't leave me voicemails, and expect me to respond. But yeah, that was really good. I read. I read a novel. I haven't read a novel in probably 10 years. So yeah, it was just a good break.

David (he/him)  
Yeah. I'm curious. I mean, you kind of shared as you checked in but, you know, you talked about like, coming back with like, creativity and openness. Like, can you describe the feelings and like how you think you're, you know, coming back into this new school year, having taken that rest for yourself.

Kathy Evans  
I feel Ever more just centered and grounded. I just, I feel connected to myself again. Sometimes, you know, this, the work gets tedious and it feels insurmountable. And so all of my processing is about what needs to happen what I need to do. What's the next thing on my to do list and having rested a little bit my my processing can be more about dreaming big dreams or thinking about a new vision that I have or something I want to add to a class that I'm teaching or something that we can do it emu to increase our students sense of belonging or like those kinds of the bigger ideas that maybe don't have a checklist, you know, like can't check it off the list and call it done and sometimes the work becomes a thing checklist, right? And it feels good to not have that right now. I'm sure that that will show up again, you know, mid October I'll be like, where's my checklist? But for right now it's, it feels a little bit like there's more time for, for dreaming and imagining. Hoping, yeah, living into new ideas.

David (he/him)  
I feel like this is just me getting inspiration for like, it's gonna be okay, the world's not gonna fall apart, you're actually gonna come back better? In some ways, because you're right, like that checklist can be endless, right. I think one of the interesting things about people who listen to this podcast, we get to hear like slight behind the scenes of like, my internal processes, because like in the last couple of interviews that are aired, right, it's this idea of like, this work is so urgent, we cannot rush, right, is really coming through and like there are a lot of things that I personally the amplify RJ platform can be doing right now. But that that rest that balance, that relationship itself, is so important to you know, that might be a good space to get into the question of you know, you've been doing this work for a while, right? 

David (he/him)  
You've got deep roots in education. And you've been doing restorative justice work for a long time, probably before you knew the words. Right? So from your perspective, how did that get started for you?

Kathy Evans  
Yeah, I went looking for RJ. I didn't know what it was. But I went looking for it. I'd been a classroom teacher, taught middle school in high school. I think that I was relational. I had been a youth minister and a church in my former life. And then when I showed up in a classroom, like, I thought I knew how to build relationships with students, but I didn't know how to build relationships with students that actually impacted their learning. And so I taught middle school for four years, I taught high school for four years. And I think somewhere in there, I realized, I have no idea what I'm doing. I need to know more than I know. 

Kathy Evans  
And so I started figuring out what are the questions that I'm asking? And one of the questions was, why are some kids motivated to learn and others aren't? And, you know, I guess after studying motivation theory, like it seems so obvious now. But based on my upbringing, my very academic upbringing, formal knowledge was like prioritized, right? So if you want to know something, you could get a degree. And that was the way I was acculturated into the learning world. And I'll critique that a lot now. Right. And I do often, but it was where I was at the time. And so when I started looking at the questions that I I, I had about how I could be a better educator. They mostly stemmed around classroom management, classroom discipline, motivation, teacher burnout, all of these things seemed related to me. And so educational psychology was the thing. And so I went got a doctorate degree in educational psychology. Again, nerd, right. 

Kathy Evans  
And when I started doing like, reviews of literature on school discipline, it sent me down this rabbit hole that, like compelled me to ask what other models existed for addressing student behavior that didn't rely on extrinsic motivation and punishment. And so I read about other models, and they all sounded nice, but I kept looking, thinking there has to be something better. I'm about halfway through my grad program, I attended a family reunion in Indiana. This is a funny story. And I met a cousin that I had never met before. And we were sitting next to each other at breakfast for one of the events. And I asked her what she did for a living. And she said, I just graduated from the Center for Justice and Peace Building, with a degree in restorative justice. And I said, Tell me more about that. And so she started talking about restorative justice from the criminal legal kind of framing. But I was like, Oh my gosh, that is everything who's doing that in education? And she said, You know, I don't know but you might read Judy mullets book. And so I went and read a book by Judy mullet and Lorraine Stutzman. Amstutz called The Little Book of restorative discipline. And

David (he/him)  
the purple one, right? 

Kathy Evans  
The purple one, yes, my copy is around here somewhere. But it's all marked up. And I've got sticky notes. I had a whole conversation with Judy Lorraine, there you go. Um, I wish I could put my fingers on it real fast, because I still have sticky notes all over it. And so I read that book. And they cited Howard Zehrs book, changing lenses. And so I went and grabbed that book, and then I just couldn't stop. I literally read everything I could find. And at the time, I think there were only three or four books that really had anything to do with educational context. And so I started taking what I was learning about in educational psychology and pulling it in with what I was learning about restorative justice and seeing like, there's some really cool overlaps here. There's some things that make sense. 

Kathy Evans  
The next year, I attended an annual big huge education conference and Brenda Morrison and Dorothy Vaandering were presenting. And so I went to their session afterwards, the three of us went and grabbed coffee, one of those three hour coffees where it was just sacred. And we dreamed about restorative justice in educational contexts. And at the time, again, it was still about alternatives to discipline. But over the years, like it's become so much more as I've listened again, as practice has informed my theory about restorative justice in schools, kept hearing teachers saying, and students, you know, students saying this as well, like, you can't just change the way you do discipline, if we're not changing the way we do relationships. If we're not shifting the way we build community in our schools, it doesn't make sense to have this toxic classroom environment, where so many students feel like they don't belong, and they aren't honored for who they are. But then we're gonna do this really cool restorative thing when we send them to the office, right? Yeah. 

Kathy Evans  
And, um, and so, yeah, listening to students. So my dissertation research actually interviewed middle schoolers who had been in in school suspension. And I did phenomenological interviewing, which basically starts with the questions. So you've been in ISS lately? What was that like for you? And they told stories and stories and stories and hearing them hearing those middle schoolers talk about their experiences with teachers in school discipline was really compelling for me, and, and again, just confirmed that this was the journey that I wanted to embark on. And I wanted to know everything I could know about restorative justice, and how we can do different systems. The school to prison pipeline was something that I was only just beginning to learn about right then. And hearing the students talk and seeing their lived realities, again, like just helped me see from a student's perspective how that pipeline gets played out on a day to day basis, which also just compelled me to keep going so

David (he/him)  
yeah. Yeah. Like, I love giving an expansive question like that. And like, what sucks about it? Is that like, there was something that you said at the very beginning, that stood out to me, right. And being a circle person, right. Like, I'm not going to interrupt you. But let's go back. Yeah, absolutely. You said like, you know, from your background as a youth minister, like you thought you knew how to build relationships. But like, when you talked about relationships, that impact learning, what was the difference?

Kathy Evans  
Oh, yeah, so when I was a youth minister, I can, like create a throw a pie on your face, like event and we're gonna have a blast, and everybody's gonna laugh, and we're gonna have fun, and people are gonna, like, show up and be excited to be there. Learning is different, like learning is hard. And you're asking students to show up relationally in ways that are risky, like, it exposes their vulnerability. Like if a kid's struggling with math, like relationship can't just be about the fun right relationship has to be how do I create a safe enough environment for this kid to say I'm really struggling with this math problem? That's a different level of relationship. And I didn't know how to do that. I I cared about kids and I think I could convey to them them that I cared about them. But I didn't know how to check around the room read the room, see how people were feeling. I didn't know how to call out injustices and name those as infringing on someone's opportunity to be themselves in a learning space. I didn't know how to not center my own experiences as the teacher as the only ones that really counted in a classroom, I didn't know how to lift up the voices of and the perspectives of students and honor those in ways that changed the way I taught. Yeah, so much that I didn't know about those kinds of relationships, that level of relationship building. 

David (he/him)  
Yeah, specifically, like, going into, like, that vulnerability that it takes to admit that you're struggling with math. Right. But something that, you know, I experienced as a student, and like, my struggles with math have largely got alleviated with my dad. Right. You know, creating a chant, like, math is hard math is mean, but I'm the big green math machine. And then like, I had to, like, write, like, at the end of that, like, like, third and fourth grade. Right? And, you know, I was able to have that relationship, because it was my dad, right? I don't know that a teacher would have necessarily done that shout out to Mr. Brower and Mrs. Turner, at the time, right in third, fourth grade. But you know, when the, just something as small as like, Hey, I'm having a problem with like, long division long multiplication, and like, I just don't get it. It takes a relationship to say that, and of course, like I have that relationship with, with my father, not necessarily the relationship that, you know, a teacher has the capacity to have with, you know, 30 different students. So what are the things that what are the ways that teachers can create some of those relationships? Right, you know, we know restorative justice, as you were talking about restorative practices, whatever words we're using, in any given moment, are, can be responsive. But even before like, the kid gets frustrated and throws a pencil across the classroom, hit somebody's eye and then gets sent to the principal's office, right?

David (he/him)  
 Like, what are the things in a math classroom, right, that are important for people to build relationships?

Kathy Evans  
Yeah, I, you know, I, I teach teachers like, that's, that's my day to day job, right? And we talk about that, like, what are what are the things that mattered to you, I spend probably the first two weeks with my college students in circle. Like, we start with real simple questions like that are non threatening, like, what's your favorite flavor of ice cream? Because those are like really accessible questions that don't require a whole lot of vulnerability. But then we actually work together to talk about the underlying values that we share, we we named those as a class, we develop those, as we're, as we were taught in, you know, in circle process, like we develop those as shared values and shared guidelines. And in the process of doing that, we begin to trust each other a little bit more. And I don't think it's too far fetched to say that we can do that with first graders, we have to use different language that's developmentally appropriate. Like what are your shared expectations for class? Like I can't use that with with little kids. But how do we help children show up and name what they need in order to be in a safe learning space. And it will always surprise me what people name as what they need to be in a safe learning space. I need for there not to be candles because I have a real hypersensitive nose and it can shut me down or I need to be able to walk around or I need for you to use these pronouns when you speak about me or I'm this is my given name, but I really like this name. And I'd love it if people would call me this name. So I think for me like to answer your question broadly, it's actually paying attention to what people say they need in order to feel safe and you know, open to learning, and then pay attention to that.

David (he/him)  
Yeah, I mean, we, we talked about reducing restorative justice down to like, being responsive to the needs of people in your community, right? You have to create the opportunities for them to share and to listen. Right? That's, that's people, but then like, it's not just checking in about those, like following up on those and being responsive to those. And it's not all just on you as a person who has the power in a classroom, right? Like, how can the community contribute to all of that, right? Similar to how you were talking about, you know, how is it restorative to send someone to the office and do this cool thing there, and then just send them back to the classroom where, you know, there's chaos and no concrete relationships, we use it in equity, trust, respect, compassion, all those things, there's, there's so much work that can proactively be done to meet those needs. 

David (he/him)  
I know, you talk a lot about the proactive work, you know, your entry into this work is different from some others where like you were exposed to like, oh, the criminal legal system and like alternatives to punishment. But you were already coming from this place of like, what are the relationships, right? of people who listen to this? No, you know, for me, it was working within the context of unemployment program, trying to help people find work, and like, you know, who are the felon friendly employers, or like, but then started to think about, you know, what are the ways that we could have avoided this in the first place? Part of it is like, a restorative alternative to the criminal legal system. But so much of it is like, you know, what are the supports that this person could have gotten in foster care? Right? What are the supports that this person could have gotten? Instead of being criminalized for their mental health issues, or their their addiction, or, you know, so many other things there, there's so much that needs to be done, proactively within the context of school and so like, I so love that, you know, you in the book that you and Dorothy wrote, have, you know, put such this heavy emphasis on the relationships before the fact?

Kathy Evans  
Well, it wouldn't makes me think of is, is the whole idea of harms, needs and obligations, right, that Howard talks about in both the little book of restorative justice and, and changing lenses like if if we really want to think about harms and needs and obligations, that feels very responsive, but when you're talking about somebody who can't get a job because they have been incarcerated, and we still ask that question on our employment forums, right. Like, we have to back up, we have to back up and look, what are the previous harms? Like? Why is this person struggling to read, like what happened when they were in the first and second grade, that they didn't get the reading instruction that they needed in order for them to become a confident reader, which meant that they dropped out of school? Like, we have to look backwards? I think the African concept of Sankofa, right, that speaks to that we have to look backwards in order to be able to move forward. Like I feel like that that's something we've we've, we failed to do often. And so we look at a discipline incident in this moment right here. And we don't look at the huge context that brought us to this moment right here.

David (he/him)  
Right, the things that are under the iceberg, but like also like the water in which we swim, right? We were talking a couple weeks ago on the podcast about you know, so a student punches another student, right? What happened there? It's actually because that student used the homophobic slur against them. Right, right. And, you know, that is rooted in all of the homophobia that exists within probably the culture of the school, but like, society at large, and so like, what, who is obligated then to make those changes? And I think like, in those moments, that can seem enormous. What do you say to people when they're like, I'm not responsible for dealing with all of homophobia, right?

Kathy Evans  
I'd say yeah, we are. We all are like we built that. We built a system that is entrenched in a particular worldview. And we have to unbuild that system. Several years ago, I heard Jasmine stories speak at the restorative justice in a CRJ conference. Jasmine was talking about things that were wrong with the education system and Jasmine identified three things. One was this ridiculous hierarchy structure sure that we, in westernized society like are so just rooted in, and how that impacts schools, a hierarchy that allows teachers to think that they have more value than students a hierarchy that allows administrators to impose things on teachers without teacher buy in. So this idea of hierarchy was was one of the pieces. 

Kathy Evans  
The second piece that Jasmine identified was toxic individualism. And, and the idea that we exist in isolation, apart from others. And so Jasmine was talking about the ways in which I don't see that what happens to me is connected to what happens to you because I live isolated. And and I was really struck by that a lot. The third one was this detethering of the soul. And they talked about how we've separated ourselves from who we are at our in our core, and that we do that to the detriment of all of us. Again, those are way up here kinds of things, how do we fix that? Like, you can't, like that's a ginormous shift that has to happen. But I can, in in whatever realm that I have influence. I can, as a teacher, for example, help my students retether to their soul. Yeah, I can resist hierarchies and help students feel like their voice matters. And that I'm, I'm paying attention and can't change the whole school, perhaps, but I can change my classroom dynamics. And then, as I move into different spheres of influence, if I'm a principal, like I can change those at the school level, you know, so I think it's figuring out where is my sphere of influence? And how do I leverage the influence that I have to change the things that I can? I think, finally, Davis talks about, you know, the individual, and then the structural and then the systemic and, like, we have to be working at all three of those levels. It's not that we can work here and ignore here, all three of those have to be addressed together.

David (he/him)  
Yeah, for sure. I'm thinking about, you know, what you said about praxis, right? And with these like heady abstract ideas, and like, there's something that I struggle with too, like, I'm not a teacher, I've never been a teacher, I have worked in schools, and like, I do not have all of the education that people who are teachers and have been trained in education have. So I'm like, these are just these principles. These are things that I've seen other people do, but you got to figure out what works for you. I'm not gonna ask you like, what it what you're coaching other folks to do in classrooms. When we're talking about this detethering, from these systems of oppression and domination, and toxic individuals? What does that look like for you in your spheres?

Kathy Evans  
Yeah. Well, obviously, it looked like taking a month off of work, or saying, I'm not answering emails, right, I have to retether to my soul, and figure out where are the places and I can't tell other teachers to do that, if I'm not willing to actually do that. And there's a luxury in that. And I get that. And again, paradox say, there's a luxury and a privilege and being able to do that, I need to name that. And just because it's a privilege doesn't mean I shouldn't do it. I whatever I need to do, and then being able to encourage other people to do what they need to do. And for me, it was stepping away from email for a month. For somebody else it might mean like going to a spa and I don't know I don't get that's that wouldn't ever do it. That would create stress for me, right? But, but I'm sure for some people that would would be a really good way to connect with themselves. I don't know Anyway, reading a book. I don't know what it is for people. But I know that we can't just say that self care and being restorative with ourselves is important if we don't actually do it. I think I might have missed a little bit of the question I was still thinking about Yes. Can you come back and ask,

David (he/him)  
yeah, I'm gonna maybe like frame it a little bit differently, thinking about the way that you detach either from these systems within the context of your classroom. What does that look like?

Kathy Evans  
Um, oh, 100 little things. Like, I hate grades. I think grades are just like the devil. I think that they're extrinsically reinforcing of all kinds of dynamics that we're trying to minimize, like, who's smart and who's not like the whole concept of intelligence, when you say

David (he/him)  
we are trying to...who's the we?

Kathy Evans  
Yeah, thank you the structure of schooling, privilege is a certain type of intelligence. And I think the structure of schooling, we need to shift the way that we all of us see intelligence. And I think we're moving away from that societally. But in the day to day lived realities, this kid is still perceived as smart and this kid is not based on a GPA, which is absolutely ridiculous. Because it doesn't take into consideration any of the contextual factors that have set this child up to make a higher GPA than the student. It also doesn't take into consideration any of the intelligences that this child brings to schooling that we don't honor that are not honored on a daily basis in their schooling practices. And so minimizing the importance of grades to be one of the ways that I, I tried to do that

David (he/him)  
was gonna say, what does that look like?

Kathy Evans  
Depending on the level of students like where they are developmentally. I try to, I mean, I have to have a grade. But I try to minimize the importance of that and focus more on using language that demands their own learning. And not just my assignment of a grade, it's more about an the comments that I give the feedback that I give is not about what I expect, but rather, how they're making meaning of new ideas. Yeah, it's hard. I think that's one of the questions that, that I still have is, how do we live restoratively in a world that doesn't often support those kinds of shifts. 

Kathy Evans  
For example. Silence giving space for people to just think. We suck at that. One of the things that I love so much about circle is the opportunity to, to hold a talking piece and be able to reflect and think before I speak, our day to day lived reality is very seldom that way. If I pause for like, a minute, or 30 seconds to think about what I want to say next. So often, like somebody is going to jump in and speak on top of me or interrupt my thought or not, let me get to that place of reflection. So yeah, I think so much of restorative justice is just countercultural in so many ways. Yeah, and none of that addresses, like things like capitalism that drives so much of what happens in schools. I mean, we could throw out big words like, you know, neoliberalism and stuff like that. And but again, all of those are just kind of structural things that tend to dictate for so many teachers what happens in their classrooms, and it doesn't have to be that way. But I do think that it takes all of us working collectively to begin to change those structures. 

David (he/him)  
Yeah, for sure. 

Kathy Evans  
And it's what you said earlier, right? It's so important that we can't rush. Like, I know that that work is the long whole work. It's, it's not we're not going to arrive tomorrow with that we're not going to change a thing. And then it has the impact that we want to have I get that. That doesn't make it any less worth doing. Even if it's not going to have a direct impact, which gets us all into big conversations about grant funding and stuff. I get into today,

David (he/him)  
for sure. For sure, like all of that had me rethinking like my removal of silent spaces when I edit podcasts, right, so like, so I'm gonna, like, I'm gonna leave that part in, but like so other people know, right? Oftentimes, this restorative justice life, people aren't thinking of things like just on the spot and like, brilliant, like, a lot of times people do take those pauses. So, I'm just reflective of my own practice, right? Because like, I want people to be able to consume content in ways that are, like time efficient for them. And, you know, the probably cumulative 2, 3, 4 minutes that I edit out of a podcast just from, and, you know, those silent pauses, like, what is the impact of that one way or the other? I don't know the answer to that.

Kathy Evans  
But I took a class when I was in grad school called discourse analysis, and we actually analyzed all the ums and the pauses, and, and, and all of the ways that people use language in order to perform all kinds of things, right. And so it was really fascinating.

David (he/him)  
Yeah. Yeah. No, I'm just reflective of all of my Yes. Right. Yeah. Like, yeah. And like, what am I trying to communicate when I use those? And oftentimes, it's just filler, like, so. So there is that as well. 

David (he/him)  
You talked about, like, demphasizing grading as one of those practices among hundreds of little things. Are there a couple other that you want to highlight?

Kathy Evans  
Sure, like starting two weeks in circle, like, we literally take two weeks to build relationships. And over the course of those two weeks, we increasingly talk more about teaching and learning. But it starts out at that experiential level, like, talk about a teacher that meant a lot to you. What was it about that teacher? What kind of teacher do you want to be? Why are you studying teaching? And what do you hope to accomplish as an educator? Those kinds of questions, I think are crucial before we get into talking about Piaget, or Vygotsky, or nel Noddings, or bell hooks, like bringing ourselves to a place where we're like, oh, so can we talk about Maslow? Can we talk about Jeffrey Duncan and, and we can we can we problem problematize Maslow, like all of that gets really theoretical, and it's lovely, and I love it. But it doesn't mean a whole lot. If we haven't first situated ourselves as learners who really care about motivation, if we don't care about every child, if we don't like if we haven't brought ourselves to that learning space. So taking the time to do that, and not just diving into content.

David (he/him)  
I think some people would say like, yeah, that's easy. When you are teaching teachers about teaching. What does that have to do with my math classroom? Was that have to do with my history class was I have to do with PE?

Kathy Evans  
Yeah, and the only thing I can say to that, because I haven't done circles with fifth graders. But the teachers that I work with, who do circles with fifth graders, tell me all the time, that they spend the time building the relationships up front, and it saves them so much time down the end, because they're proactively building a container where learning can happen. And so, I guess, trust teachers, the teachers are saying that it matters if we build those relational pieces first, like, It matters. It matters to the students, whether they show up well or not. And then not just at the beginning, but I'm working on a new writing project right now on restorative justice and education like from a pedagogical perspective. Miesha Wynn has written a good bit about pedagogy, restorative justice pedagogy, has my Miesha been on here before who is that? 

David (he/him)  
No. 

Kathy Evans  
Oh, my Miesha Wynn is a rock star. I am so grateful for her work. She's a teacher educator. Also her first book was justice on both sides. And then she's written two books that are more directly about pedagogy. One specifically about English language arts curriculum, and then the most the next the most recent one was about pedagogy across the content areas. And so thinking about pedagogical practices from a restorative justice place, like using using the graphic and the kind of framework that we use it AMU and that we brought up in the little book of restorative justice and education, like three big components, right, nurturing healthy relationships, repairing harm and transforming conflict, and establishing just and equitable learning environments, if we just take those three perspectives, and then we think about what can we do proactively, what can we do responsively for each of those, and then thinking about what we mean by pedagogy. 

Kathy Evans  
I like to use Carol Tomlinson's kind of taxonomy, of content, process, product, a fact and environment. So if we think just about content, like the curriculum that we choose, how do we establish just an equitable learning environments? And what adjustments to our curriculum need to happen? Well, it means we need new history textbooks and a lot of situations right? It means that our English Language Arts classrooms need to bring in a whole bunch of different types of literature, and not this same tone of authors that have been part of our English classrooms for generations that we decenter whiteness, in our history and in our language arts, that when we talk about maths and sciences, that we acknowledge that there are lots of mathematicians and scientists that are underrepresented in our thinking about math and science. And so how do we adjust our curriculum and our content in order to be more just and equitable? 

David (he/him)  
Yeah, 

Kathy Evans  
and I could go for days on that, but I'll stop. 

David (he/him)  
Yeah, I was gonna say like, and none of that is an overnight process.

Kathy Evans  
 None. 

David (he/him)  
Yeah. Those each deserve, like podcasts of their own and like books. And so shout out to Carol and I already forgot 

David (he/him)  
Miesha wynn

David (he/him)  
 and Miesha about those folks. And we can link those in the bio and like, proactively, I'm gonna say, hey, maybe that's one of the people that I'm going to ask you to hit me up with to be on this podcast. 

David (he/him)  
You know, you've continued to do this work. And I appreciate, you know, the way that you endorse the approached the little book of restorative justice education, I'm also appreciative of knowing about my issues, but because I didn't know about that as well. A lot of times people ask me about resources, books around restorative justice, specifically in education. A shout out you and Dorothy's book, The Little Book of restorative justice in education. I shout out, circle forward from Kay and Carolyn and living justice press. Primarily because of the books out there, like those are two that like, really make clear from the jump that like, this work is rooted in indigenous ways of being right. This work isn't like a social science that has developed in the last like 3040 years. And like, I know that y'all aren't the only people who are writing, those are the only two that come to mind. What are some of you just shout it out? My issue is, are there any others that like, really help folks within like, education leaned into restorative justice practices?

Kathy Evans  
Yeah, I Christina Parker's out of Canada, has a chapter in the colorizing, restorative justice. So big shout out to colorizing restorative justice. I, for a while, I was like, Yeah, I'm not going to speak anymore or write anymore. All I want to do is tell everybody to get read colorizing restorative justice, and then when everybody's done that, then we can resume conversations because I feel like it's groundbreaking. I really do. I feel like the restorative justice world needed that book needs that book desperately. Christina Parkers in Canada, she writes about schooling practices, 

Kathy Evans  
Bettina love's book, we have to do more than survive, I think, is crucial to our understanding of like abolitionists, teaching and what needs to happen in schools in order to make space for everyone to show up as learners in good and healthy ways. And our undergrad students did a book study on the Bettina loves book last year, and it was pretty transformative for them. I mean, I could hear in their tone like, oh my goodness, like we have to read this book. Everybody has to read this book. I want everybody to In a release Adele Pitts work and Sonia Nieto's work and, I mean there's more? 

David (he/him)  
Yeah. 

Kathy Evans  
Will Brummer has a new book on trauma and restorative justice that thinks critical. And yeah, you know, several years ago, I did a good audit of my syllabi, the course documents that I was providing to my students the things that I was inviting them to read. And I realized, like so many of the authors were white authors talking about restorative justice. And it was super important for me at that point, I was using a textbook in my undergrad classes. And I ditched the textbook, completely and still have to teach Maslow and Vygotsky and Piaget and all of these, like educational psychology people. But I want to, I want to read them alongside more contemporary and particularly authors of color, right, who represent the global majority and represent perspectives that aren't held by textbook authors necessarily. And so I think that it's important in the RJ work. For me, it's important that I continue to find ways to dissenter whiteness as the dominant narrative, and look for ways to recenter or center for the first time in many cases, right. The perspectives of people that have been disregarded for years. I don't say that as some like grandiose vision, but like, it's a matter of looking through my syllabus and realizing oh, like, this is not balanced. It's not representative. And it's not honoring of the roots of restorative justice, and so on to change that. So, 

David (he/him)  
yeah, whether organically or not, it always comes up in interviews, conversations that I have with the handful of white folks that have been on these airwaves, and that's intentional, right? What do you see as your role as a white person who has done a lot of work? In restorative justice, like your experience, you have a lot to contribute. But what do you see as your role in this work now?

Kathy Evans  
Again, decentering, whiteness, and not white people, but decentering whiteness as that construct that very Eurocentric way of thinking. And, like, I'm still learning what that looks like, I know that, for example, the lists of things to do is a very white thing. It's very white dominance, so that I become more concerned with accomplishing things than I do about actually attending to people who are sitting right in front of me, right. I think other ways that whiteness shows up for me is like this. Utilitarianism. And I heard it in my voice earlier, I heard it in something I said, Oh, that we do circles, because it takes time now, but saves time later. Like, that's such, that's whiteness, you know, that's like, we've got to make sure that we're being efficient. And the ways in which those show up, I'm still, I want to be reflective enough to go ah, that's what that was. And then try to figure out how to undo those the things that Jasmine talked about hierarchies and individualism. Like those things also are like so steeped in white colonizing practices. 

Kathy Evans  
And so how do we like begin to push back against those? So as a white person, I think naming those for myself is a place to start. And I mean, I'm teaching at a university that's very much like white students. And so I think for me, working intentionally with my white students to help them to begin asking questions that it took me a long time to begin asking, and that that might mean like encouraging the encouraging them to read colorizing restorative justice or Bettina loves book or Meisha Wynn's books, encouraging them to look to other sources for knowledge. I think another way it looks for me is to acknowledge that my perspective about restorative justice is always influenced by my whiteness. And so how do I like right now? It was really important. I'm co teaching with a woman of color black woman who came through our restorative justice and education program. That was intentional because I don't know what I don't know. She's brilliant in and of and of herself, of course, but like I don't ever want to show up for I don't want to be the thing. I don't want to be the white sage on the stage. Like, I want to find ways to decenter, me. And yet, by the virtue of my job, I often find myself in that place. And so can I be intentional about finding ways to not do that? So yeah, those are just a couple of things that pop out. Did I even answer your question?

David (he/him)  
Yeah. There's no right answer to that question. Right? It, it's really like, a reflection of like, you know, where you're at in wrestling with this.

Kathy Evans  
It's a work in progress?

David (he/him)  
Yeah, for sure. And I appreciate the vulnerability that that it takes to share that. And like, I was reflecting a little bit earlier about, like, you know, whenever there are people of the global majority in new roles, it's like, what does it like to be this oppressed person in this space? Right, and thinking about, like, flipping the question, to folk like, you know, in the especially in this moment that we're in now, and I know, like people have issues with like, this moment, right. Like, this has always been a necessary conversation. But I know people like yourself, have been more reflective over the last couple years about like, what is it mean, to continue to do this work that we believe in, in a way that like, to your point is decentering whiteness and is you know, undoing the harm, not undoing, repairing the harm?

Kathy Evans  
The extent possible? Possible, right?

David (he/him)  
It is your obligation? 

Kathy Evans  
It is. Yeah, and, and I don't know all that I need to know. And I'm doing my darndest to study and to read, but all of that up here kind of stuff. And so part of the work is to partner with other leaders in the field of restorative justice who represent the global majority. And who I can learn from and with, right, so Dorothy, and I recently did a presentation or a kind of a conversation with Skye Bowen from Canada and Cheryl Wilson. And the four of us just how to read, you know, really lovely, we've had two now, just lovely conversations with the four of us about whiteness, and how whiteness shows up and restorative justice, and how do we decenter it? How it causes harm and how do we address that harm? And name it first right? Reckon with it. Which is another book that I'm reading right now. Daniel Suresnes book until we reckon. And it's it's knocking my socks off? I'm really enjoying it in in that good, meaty kind of way. 

David (he/him)  
Yeah, absolutely. You shout it out? Well, Dorothy has been on this podcast. Cheryl's been on this podcast, skye I've been talking to trying to get Danielle we're gonna get there with all of those folks. 

David (he/him)  
I want to transition into the questions that I asked everyone. And you know, this, I sometimes I think about it as a speed round. It rarely is very speedy. But we'll go where we go. For you to find restorative justice.

Kathy Evans  
respect, dignity, mutual concern, a belief that all people are worthy in relational focus on relationships and justice, equity.

David (he/him)  
What's been a moment as you've been doing this work, and what have you learned from it? Yeah,

Kathy Evans  
I, I heard you ask that question. And I knew you were going to ask this question. You know, early in my restorative justice work, I hear it him you either even I was at a conference. And I, I felt like a big week at the conference. I was responsible for some things. And at the end of one of the days, a black man came to me and expressed that he had experienced a racial microaggression and he felt deeply harmed and he wanted me to do something about it. I was busy. And I didn't have time to address his harm in the moment because I felt like my to do list was more important. I was responsible, I was important, I centered me. And I caused harm. Deep harm, I got defensive when I got called out for calling the harm, I did all of the wrong things. And it took a mentor, respected mentor calling me on the phone and very kindly, but very directly shining a light on my very colonizing practice. She said, Kathy, you have a lot to offer the field of restorative justice, but you're going to have to become more racially savvy than this. I hated that. Oh, it was, it was such a humbling moment for me. Because, like, I screwed up royally. And I saw it in that moment. And yet there was grace upon grace. And it was a real turning point for me. It pushed me to do a lot more deep reflection, about the role of my whiteness, in my own restorative justice work about my tendency to prioritize the big picture over the minute to minute relational interactions. And it pushed me to stop and pause and listen to people when they say, this is what I've felt in what I need. And I regret deeply the harm that I caused that man. And I still feel like that is not repaired, I get bothers me like, there's still something that needs to happen there. And I don't know exactly what it is. And I regret that moment. I don't regret the deep learning. That that came as a result of that, and how it shifted the trajectory of my whole life. pushing me to like, yeah, to learn, and to keep, like, figuring stuff out. Yeah, it's a humbling moment. It was an oh, shit moment for sure.

David (he/him)  
Yeah, we've talked a lot about how restorative justice and like this work has existed within the professional realm for you. What about in your personal life? Well, you know, this restorative justice, life?

Kathy Evans  
Yeah, life. You know, I often said, I wouldn't be in a relationship with my family right now, if it wasn't for restorative justice, I love my family deeply. We're super close. Growing up, we were like, really, really tight as I began to shift in my political and religious ideals. And then several years ago, when I came out to my family, it all but severed some of that. And it was really hard for a few years. And I'm not sure that if I hadn't embraced restorative justice as a way of being, and not just as a thing I do in schools, not sure if I would have had the skills or the ethic to persist in that relationship. And so the summer when my partner and I went to meet my family and to visit with them, again, talk about grace upon grace, right. Like, there were good relationships there. And we still disagree, lots, and we're still on really big ends of spectrums in a lot of ways, and yet, the respect the dignity is still there, and the relationship is still there. And I'm really grateful for that. I think it also impacts the way I interact with colleagues who see the world differently. I think it impacts the way I treat myself when I screw up.

David (he/him)  
Yeah, yeah. Relationship with yourself always. Is, is a part of that. You get to sit in circle with for people living or dead. Who are they? And what's the question you asked the circle?

Kathy Evans  
been asked before, if you could have a conversation with anybody who would you want to have a conversation with? I probably would probably, like, go to my ancestors. Like I realized as a white person who is a descendant of white people who were settlers on this land. I don't know know that history. I don't know, those practices. And so when I think about being a Southerner from Mississippi I don't know the stories. I don't know the stories of how it came to be that my family settled here. I don't know the stories of how they became landowners. I can make assumptions, but I don't know those stories. And so I would my great, great grandfather, on all four sides, you know, of my immediate family, like, perhaps like just all my great, great grandmother's right to hear their stories about what their life was like. And did they know that when they staked their claim that they were like, were they aware? Like, to what extent did they have awareness that they were staking a claim and land that wasn't theirs? And did they? Did they name those things? I want to understand that history a little bit more so that I can just reckon with my own history a little bit. Yeah. I feel like there's a blank space in my self awareness. Because they don't have access to those stories.

David (he/him)  
Yeah, or whether it was just like, and like they probably wouldn't use the terms manifest destiny to describe that.

Kathy Evans  
Of course, they wouldn't, but, you know, they would have framed it as religious freedom. Yeah, perhaps? I don't know. I want to know.

David (he/him)  
Yeah, for sure. We've talked about this work, largely in the context of schools we talk about in the criminal legal system. I'm curious if there's a specific situation, whether it is historical, fictional, or in your life that you've experienced recently, where you wish someone or where you wish people really knew this work?

Kathy Evans  
Yes, our local county school district is grappling a lot with three big issues, masked mandates, critical race theory, and transgender bathroom policies. And we have so created dichotomies on all three of those fronts that nobody can even have conversations that are even somewhat remotely productive. And we just yell each other down, right? There's just, you're the devil, and you're the devil, and nobody's actually having conversations. And I wished desperately that we could take some of the values and the, the guidelines of circle. We could establish those norms together. of listening. Not that we all agree, I'm not looking for us to agree on things. But I am wishing that we could not vilify one another, that we could actually pay attention to one another, and maybe have some more productive conversations about those three topics that might get us somewhere together. I know that I'm not willing to bend on transgender bathrooms. But I also would like to express that this is so much bigger than bathrooms. And if we're only having conversations about bathrooms, we're missing the point. Can we back up and realize that we're talking about honoring the dignity of every child and every educator in a school building? Bathrooms is a small expression of that pronouns are part of that, but also just being seen and honored for who you are and what you bring to a learning community. Like, can we can we get out of this very narrow focus thing and actually find the humanity in it instead of just arguing or talking points.

David (he/him)  
I think what's hard for me about this things is you said like, you're not looking for agreement. But like, you, that sounded to me, like, I'm not gonna bend. So like. So, right, like, Where where is that space? Because like I agree with no, I agree with you, right? Like, if we're talking about masculinity, right, we're literally talking about Life and death. 

Kathy Evans  
Exactly. 

David (he/him)  
And I think like similar like, in some ways, you have to like, take like the connections to mental health, it and social psychological well being with folks who do not fall within the gender binary, right? It also like they like this is a life and death thing like how are you not looking for agreement?

Kathy Evans  
It you know, and can it be one of the paradoxes that I wrestle with and sit with ambiguity, I, I believe that there are things that support the well being and the sense of belonging for all of us, I think there are things that violate the well being and that sense of belonging. Obviously, what is something that I privilege, well being and belonging, right, I think everybody should prioritize well being and belonging of everybody. And if I push on that person that I know, was protesting the transgender bathroom, like they would say that they also care about the well being and the belonging of all of our children. I think that they would say that,

David (he/him)  
as long as it doesn't interfere with,

Kathy Evans  
as long as it doesn't interfere with their personal rights, right.

Kathy Evans  
so I want to give the benefit of the doubt to that person. But I also know that I've never actually heard them talk in a one on one kind of situation. That's not true. I grew up with those ideas, many of them

David (he/him)  
because I was gonna say, like, here in my liberal bubble of California, my curated interactions on social media, like I only have like, my, like, I do have like, a limited view of the world. I was curious, because because you do live in Virginia, right? college town, but and like you were within like, a university setting, but like you're still amongst people, and like the people that you grew up with, like, do you have those views? 

Kathy Evans  
Oh, man. I know, right? How do I how do I talk about that, like one of the questions that you asked in somebody else? And was what values keep you going? which values are difficult? Yeah. Like for me, they're the same ones. What which come which ones keep me going? It's dignity, its vulnerability, brave spaces, open mindedness and a commitment to personal growth. Which ones are difficult? All of those, like, they're difficult to live in to those. Like, I'm open minded, um, until you start talking about refusing to get a vaccine. And then all of a sudden, I Yeah, not so open minded. Like, I don't know what open mindedness. open mindedness means. When I'm talking to people who are anti science, I don't know how to treat someone with dignity when they refuse to treat our transgender students with dignity. Like I don't know how to create brave spaces with people who are going to use that space to vilify. Like, sir, certain populations of our students are teaching like, so. I value those things, but they're really difficult to live into. And to Yeah, I think that's one of the complexities of restorative justice work. If I really believe that every person is worthy in relational, then I can't just write off this person who stands in direct contradiction to everything that I believe, and yet how to live out my values in that relationship while not compromising on what I believe. Yeah, that's a hard minutes. I don't know. Yeah.

David (he/him)  
Oh man. 

Kathy Evans  
Yeah, 

David (he/him)  
it's, it's messy, because I think about any one of us can say like, that's not my lane, I don't have the capacity to work with, quote, unquote, those people. Right? Well, then who's in? Like, I think there's a lot of merit to that, right. Like, we can only work where in some places like where the doors are open, people are willing to hear us. And you know, some of this work is like, changing those people's minds is impossible, and it's not my job. But like, that's not being dismissive of them. That's just saying, like, I can only control what I can control. I can only work in the spaces where I can work.

Kathy Evans  
Well, and I think that's different for everybody. Like, for example, talking with white people who still have really pejorative views of people of color people from the global majority, like, I probably have a greater capacity because I grew up with that and like that. part of my journey is unlearning that stuff and I probably as a white person have a greater capacity to sit and talk with white people don't have the capacity to sit and talk with, like people who are homophobic. Yeah. Like, I'll get quickly triggered and irritated. And it's not healthy for me to sit and listen to people talk about their views of LGBTQ folks. So I don't have the capacity for that, that somebody should do that, but just shouldn't be me. And so I think it for me, it depends on like, things on what you do have the capacity for and I should go talk with more white people. I should have those conversations, because I think I have the capacity to do that. But I shouldn't expect everybody to do that. Yeah, I think the work is big. And we all have a role to play. And we should play our role and do what we can. But I can't expect everybody to do what I can do. And nor can I do what other people can do. Right?

David (he/him)  
Yeah. That makes sense. Yeah, for sure. For sure. And like the urgency of like, we need to tell everybody we need to get everyone on board is is such in such conflict. 

David (he/him)  
What is one thing, a mantra or affirmation or maybe something else that you wish everyone listening to this podcast?

Kathy Evans  
And thinking about dear colleague, who recently got some bad news. And I'm gonna rely on her mantra, which is I can do hard things. And I, I know that she is naming that for herself right now. And I'm going to borrow that from her in this moment to say, I think we can do hard things. And sometimes we, I, I'll say I sometimes I shy away from those difficult things. And I need more badass surgery in my life to show up for the hard stuff. Yeah.

David (he/him)  
See that silence is appropriate within the context of this conversation. But how much silence is appropriate for our listener?

Kathy Evans  
Yeah, no, that's right.

David (he/him)  
We kind of already answered this. But he's one person that should have on this podcast, and you got to 

Kathy Evans  
Maiesha Wynn

David (he/him)  
perfect. Well, we'll get that in.

Kathy Evans  
I don't even know that I can facilitate that connect. Because I don't know that I'm in. I mean, know that I'm the person to make that connection happen. But

David (he/him)  
we will find a way we find a way. is there someone else who you would love to see in conversation here?

Kathy Evans  
I did my initial circle training with Oscar and Jamie in St. Paul. Jamie Williams, Oscar, wish I could tell you Oscars last name. Oscar, I tell this story all the time when I'm talking about restorative justice circle process, teachers will say but what about the student who refuses to participate. And I always, always, always tell the story that Oscar told in our circle training about working in a juvenile detention center with young men who were incarcerated for violent offenses. And he Oscar was doing circles with them. And a new student came in a young man came to the the juvenile detention center and just wouldn't even come and sit in the circle sat in the corner of the room. And after it took months for that student to even come sit in the circle. And even after that, that student continued to pass for a while. And then one day, the talking piece, the piece came to that young man and he just opened up and shared about his life and all that had happened that brought him to this place. And Oscar had shared that story as a way to say like, kids will show up when they feel safe. And for some of our students, it takes a little while longer for them to feel that sense of safety and it's our job to create that space, but then also to allow them to be the ones to decide when it is that they feel safe enough to show up. Anyway, I'll always remember that story. And I share it everywhere. So I'm really grateful for the circle training that I had with Oscar and Jamie.

David (he/him)  
Yeah, absolutely. Thank you so much. Like, you can't force someone into being restorative. Right? In the meantime, like it, if you're thinking about like a time when people are, like resistant to like, being accountable for the harm that they cause, like, what do you do then? Right? I think that there's one answer where it's like, you give them the choice of like, Hey, here's this restorative process that you can participate in. It's hard. But I think it'll be beneficial. And we do have these punitive measures that we can take, right? That's still giving people choice. It's often a veiled threat. There. There's this other space of like, what are the other ways that we can address needs meet needs for people who have been harmed? While we're still building safety to deal with this person?

Kathy Evans  
Yeah, for sure. And I think, yeah, absolutely. That has to happen. I just thought of somebody else, because a little while ago, wrote a policy brief with Ann Gregory. And in there, we identified five Misimplementation models for restorative justice in schools. And one of them was a top down coerced model. And like, it just doesn't work. Like we've seen evidence after evidence that when we require people to do restorative justice stuff, and it doesn't come from a place of like, I want to do this, like it actually can cause more harm than good. And so, yes, that was one. And it made me think of that when we were talking about you can't mandate people to show up for restorative justice, like it's it, it's not a thing you can make somebody do. And expect to have good outcomes for sure. So anyway, Ann might be a fun person to have, and would bring a completely different perspective as an educational researcher, and has done a lot of deep dive into what we call research on restorative justice, and why so much of the research doesn't tell us what we're looking for. Because it it's limited to numbers and, you know, trends and misses some of the components. That that might help us understand, like the relational piece is so anyway, and it's fun to talk to as a different kind of different framing of the world. And I really appreciated working with her on that policy brief.

David (he/him)  
For sure. We kind of came to this haphazardly. But last question is, how can how and where can people support your work in the way that you want to be supported?

Kathy Evans  
Yeah, I thank you for that question. I mean, I love what I'm doing. I don't think it's the only way. But when I was studying to be a teacher, educator, and kept hearing people say, Man, I wish I'd learned about this when I was studying to be a teacher rather than having to learn about it post facto. And just seemed logical, like we should build in restorative justice to our teacher preparation programs. And so one of the reasons I came to Eastern Mennonite University was to, hopefully, build a restorative justice and education program. I think we might be one of the very few teacher ed programs that actually offers courses on restorative justice as part of the teacher preparation curriculum. But I'd love to see that become more commonplace because as teachers are developing their understanding of what it means to be a teacher, like they're learning about what it means to be restorative as an educator. So I think just thinking about how can we teach teachers in ways that are restorative? How can we model that? How can we build that into our teacher prep program? We also have a graduate program, and it's now online so people can access the restorative justice and education graduates certificate, like from anywhere. So come join us study restorative justice in schools. Love that.

David (he/him)  
Yeah. And I'll link the all make sure that EMU's pages for all this things are linked in the show notes below of thank you so much for your time, your wisdom, sharing your experiences. Is there any thing else that you want to leave the people with Kathy?

Kathy Evans  
No, I'm grateful for the conversation. Thank you. I will say that I am questions Who am I questions prompted a whole lot of conversation in my home. And I'm grateful for them. They pushed me to reflect on some things. And so even though they were wildly awkward and uncomfortable, I think we should do more reflecting as people on who we are and naming those things. So thanks for that as well.

David (he/him)  
Absolutely. Well, again, thank you so much for your time here this morning, afternoon, you know, on our respective coasts, and to everyone else is listening. Thank you for being here. We'll be back with another conversation next week. Take care till then.

Kathy Evans  
Thanks, David.