project leader
martin u
(New York City)
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the project

On Saturday, April 27th, 2024, we are producing a a youth led conference with the theme of "How can we center NYC youth's experiences of peace and justice in the systems and policies that address community safety in our city? Our day-long conference will be 100% designed, led and facilitated NYC youth ages 11-21 and will feature workshops, roundtables, artistic performances & research opportunities for NYC youth to foster communities of like minded restorative justice youth leaders in schools, collaboratively produce knowledge, engage in participatory research and present their findings to community members, elected officials, family members and fellow students. 

The Circle Keepers was born as an after school program for high school students in 2017, where they could have the space to hone and live their leadership skills, learn about restorative justice for community building and conflict resolution as well as produce community service and social justice projects in both their school as well as out in their communities. Since then, they have facilitated over one thousand peer mediations, trained over 250 NYC high school students and staff on restorative practices, testified to city council, lobbied congress for restorative justice funding and presented workshops around the country. This cohort has been together for their whole high school journey and as their final project together, they will produce a Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) project co-investigating what peace and justice means to NYC youth in hopes that lawmakers, both at the city and state level allocate the much needed funding to restorative and healing practices as well as divest from punitive systems in our public schools. 

the steps

The youth executive leaders have been meeting weekly on Thursday afternoons since the beginning of the school year to ideate, plan and execute this conference. 

Since November we have been hosting monthly get togethers that engage NYC youth in the conversation by hosting open meetings and inter-school days of learning.

On Saturday 1/27/2024, we will host a "Research Camp" day on bringing 25 young students together to lean research methodologies. 

Starting on Thursday, 1/25/2024, we will host monthly open Youth Leadership Council meetings for NYC youth ages 11-21 to engage in the conversation around peace and justice, learn from each other's experiences and study how issues of peace and justice have affected our youth historically in the city. 

In March, 2024, we will schedule visits with all of our stakeholders stakeholders; lawmakers, school administrators and community members, to engage them as part of our research.

In April, we will meet twice weekly, one in person and once on Zoom to make sure our logistical plans are set for the conference. 

On Saturday, 4/27/2023 will host the Peace and Justice Conference on Saturday, 4/27/2023 at a location TBD in NYC. Details to come! 

We will present our proposal for RJ funding to our community at a TBD event in mid June of 2024. 

why we're doing it

The Circle Keepers deeply believe that youth's voice, participation and agency should be at the center of a community. We stand affirmed in doing to work to not only center youth's voices but to cherish and protect them! For far too often, schools have been sites of pain and even violence for youth; especially for our Black, Brown, Indigenous, Immigrant, Queer and Disabled students. We believe in the power of restorative justice in transforming schools into sites of healing and liberation. We know that restorative justice is a path to making things right, no matter who is right, as Maisha Winn says. We believe that young people deserve opportunities to learn from their mistakes and not be criminalized. We believe that young people deserve to experience joy in their schools We believe that the struggle for social justice and collective liberation can only be done in community and by members of the community. In the words of Black Brazilian Queer Feminist Lawmaker Marielle Franco: “The Favela (barrrio/people) is not the problem; it is the solution.” WE BELIEVE THAT THE YOUTH ARE THE SOLUTION! 


We are aiming to raise $5000 to be able to pay the 9 youth leaders stipends for producing the conference! It is so much work for them, as they meet weekly for 2 hours and do asynchronous projects on their free time!

We are also aiming to raise $2500 to be able to feed our 250 attendees a delicious and nutritious lunch!

Finally, we need to raise $2500 in order to purchase the print materials for the conference as well as to hire two videographers to document the conference and edit a short documentary that we can use at the end of our project to present to lawmakers as we aim to drive policy change and advocate for more restorative justice funding in NYC. 

ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee 8% $909.09
ioby Donation Processing Fee 4% $454.55
TOTAL TO RAISE $11,363.64
Donation processing fees apply to donations only. 100% of match funding goes to projects. Please note, fees are estimated here and final numbers may change based on the final amount raised and amount of match funding applied to this campaign.  




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