project leader
Mika D
New York City
(Across all boroughs)
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the project

Since 2015, Restorative Justice Initiative has been educating, advocating and connecting New Yorkers who dream of new models for achieving justice, healing and accountability for harm (interpersonal and systemic). Now we’re ready to take action with the next generation of restorative justice movement leaders at the center.

The first step in this evolution is to launch a website spotlighting the findings and recommendations of students, parents and educators involved in the “On Our Terms” participatory action research project focused on restorative justice in New York City schools. The site will include web-based and downloadable tools to support ongoing education, advocacy, and action.

Next, we’ll begin convening six BIPoC New York City youth for a year-long program focusing on community organizing with an emphasis on interpersonal skill development, popular education, and an exploration of alternative modes of justice. Through participation in Restorative Justice Initiative’s Youth Advisory Board, young people impacted by racist criminalization in schools will develop theories related to community, conflict, and healing, while charting a path toward strategic solutions.

the steps

In October, we will be launching a website to uplift and amplify the “On Our Terms” project findings after three years of research. Our website will include tools for action - such as facilitation models to engage in conversations about the challenges and realities of shifting to a restorative culture. Over the coming months we will begin to train youth organizers to use these tools, developing a model of young people training young people as facilitators and circle-keepers. The "On Our Terms" digital advocacy tools will provide a platform for young people to engage with community conversations, make changes in their schools and make policy recommendations to lawmakers. This work will overlap with our Youth Advisory Board.

To recruit Youth Advisory Board Members, we will reach out to existing youth organizing and advocacy groups throughout the city, to public schools, and to programs that support young people with involvement or previous involvement in the criminal justice system. The Youth Advisory Board Members will participate in the leadership of the organization through one of our Board Committees, meet monthly with an “RJI Mentor,” and help plan a monthly community building circle. Our anticipated starting date for the Youth Advisory Board is December 1, 2021. 

why we're doing it

New Yorkers are currently engaged in conversations about public safety, accountability and the costs of incarceration that will have a far-reaching impact on our youth. As local lawmakers scramble to address the inequities within law enforcement and education, we must offer concrete alternatives to the punitive models on which we’ve relied for too long. Restorative justice should be central to the vision of the future we are seeking to create. 

Too often, decisions that impact our shared-future are made by politicians and policy-makers who are not directly-impacted by these decisions. Young people must be at the table. It’s also imperative that young people who are advocating for an end to the school-to-prison-pipeline have a clear understanding of alternatives to punitive approaches, and the skills to facilitate restorative processes in their schools, families and neighborhoods. Our youth leadership development programming will accomplish both goals.


Disbursed Budget 12.08.2021

$7,000.00 - complete and launch On Our Terms website
$10,391.05 - youth advocacy board expenses including youth stipends
$10.000.00 - youth travel & conference scholarships for Chicago 2022
$4,550.00 - stipends for youth to participate in ongoing advocacy work related to the On Our Terms research findings

= $31,941.05

TOTAL RAISED = $32,465.00
ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) N/A
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $523.95

Original Budget:

$5,000.00 - complete and launch On Our Terms website

$10,000.00 - youth advocacy board expenses including youth stipends

$10.000.00 - youth travel & conference scholarships for Chicago 2022

$4,550.00 - stipends for youth to participate in ongoing advocacy work related to the On Our Terms research findings

ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) N/A
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%)
(Donation processing fee does not apply to match funding.)

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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This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


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