Oct. 25, 2022 – Cook County MN Restorative Justice (CCMNRJ) is hosting a two-day North Shore Restorative Justice Training Conference on Friday, Nov. 11 and Saturday, Nov. 12, at the Schroeder Town Hall located at 24 Cramer Road. Thanks to a grant from the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation (DSACF) to Grow Restorative Justice in Cook County and beyond, the training conference is free to anyone in Cook and Lake Counties interested in developing restorative practice skills, volunteering as a Restorative Justice facilitator or to use these important skills in professional or personal lives.
The training will be led by expert Ted Lewis, Restorative Justice Consultant and Trainer with the Center for Restorative Justice & Peacemaking University of Minnesota-Duluth. The Conference includes dialogue and a 16-hr training course, lunch and snacks on both days. Participants will be qualified to serve as volunteer Restorative Justice Facilitators although a commitment to volunteer is not required. Restorative practices and peacemaking and healthy conflict resolution skills are valuable in organizational settings, working with youth, in families and community building. The training conference is from 8-5 pm, on both Friday and Saturday, Nov 11 and 12.
“Restorative justice work brings the community together to craft a way for an individual who has harmed the community to acknowledge the harm, make amends, and do better in the future. The process, done well, rebuilds our social fabric and connection,” said Shaun Floerke, President and CEO of the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation. “We are deeply honored to help support this essential community work.”
CCMN Restorative Justice is a program of the North Shore Health Care Foundation. NSHCF adopted the fledgling program in January of 2020, to serve the community and ensure its sustainability until it can grow into its own independent non-profit. The Foundation has a successful track record of incubating solutions that fill gaps in services and contribute to community health.
Since its inception in 2019, 18 cases have been successfully resolved through the CCMN Restorative Justice Program as an alternative to traditional sentencing which have also repaired harms done through the incidents. Approximately 80% of cases referred to the RJ program involve youth offenders. Over the last year, CCMNRJ has also been active at ISD 166, making volunteer facilitators available every Wednesday for “Snack N Chat” for students to talk, learn restorative practices, and resolve conflicts. The CCMNRJ is also working with local partners to take on Truancy under its programming to reduce truancy and connect students and families with necessary resources to reduce absences and get kids back to school. Truancy has become a national epidemic since the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are so grateful to the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation for recognizing the value of the work happening in our program here in Cook County with this grant,” said Valerie Marasco Eliasen, Executive Director – North Shore Health Care Foundation. “This is an incredible opportunity for North Shore residents interested in the benefits of restorative justice and restorative practices. We are fortunate to have a dedicated leadership team, including Cook County Restorative Justice Chair, spearheading the growth of restorative justice in Cook County, as well as talented team of more than two dozen volunteers and facilitators from various backgrounds committed to seeing the success of this program. Ted Lewis has been a valuable resource and consultant as we have developed our program. We look forward to working with him again in November to build our program through this conference and extend the model of Cook County’s program to our neighbors in Lake County.”
Cook County MN Restorative Justice is overseen by a multi-sector Advisory Council which includes representation from the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, the County Attorney’s Office, Cook County Probation Office, Cook County Board of Commissioners, Grand Portage Tribal Council, Grand Portage Human Services, Cook County ISD 166 Schools, Cook County Public Health & Human Services, the Violence Prevention Center, participant and facilitator advocates, and administration from the North Shore Health Care Foundation.
To register for the North Shore Restorative Justice Training Conference, go to www.NorthShoreHealthCare.org/events.
Contact: Valerie Marasco Eliasen, Executive Director – North Shore Health Care Foundation,
218-387-5700 or NSHCF@boreal.org