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Coming up on Connections: Friday, September 22, 2023

M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence logo
M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence logo

First hour: Restorative justice practitioner Dominic Barter

Second hour: Zachary Arenz, 2024 New York State Teacher of the Year

Is restorative justice an effective model for addressing conflict and crime, both on a small scale and in large-scale international situations? Dominic Barter says creating a restorative system that reflects the community is a community-building process in itself. Barter has studied and taught restorative justice for decades. He created Restorative Circles in the favelas of Brazil in the mid-1990s. The process brings together the different parties in conflict and enables them to talk as equals. His method has been used by groups throughout the world, including the United Nations. Barter is in town as a guest of the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence. We talk with him about his work, how it can be applied, skepticism and criticism of the process, and what people and organizations can learn from Restorative Circles. Our guests:

  • Dominic Barter, creator of Restorative Circles, and coordinator of the Restorative Justice Project for the international Center for Nonviolent Communication
  • Gwen Olton, co-director of the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, and author of “From Conflict to Community: Transforming Conflicts without Authorities"

Then in our second hour, a Rochester City School District teacher has been named the 2024 New York State Teacher of the Year. Zachary Arenz is a music teacher at Flower City School 54. As reported by WXXI's Noelle Evans, “The Board of Regents recognized Arenz for his work to uplift students, like keeping his classroom closet stocked with clean clothes and toiletries for them and learning Spanish to speak some students’ first language.” He was also recognized for designating his school a grief-sensitive school though an initiative with the New York Life Foundation. This hour, we sit down with Arenz to discuss his teaching career, his work with students in Rochester, and what it means to be a leader in social-emotional learning. Our guest:

  • Zachary Arenz, 2024 New York State Teacher of the Year, and music teacher at Flower City School 54 in the Rochester City School District
Evan Dawson is the host of "Connections with Evan Dawson." He joined WXXI in January 2014 after working at 13WHAM-TV, where he served as morning news anchor. He was hired as a reporter for 13WHAM-TV in 2003 before being promoted to anchor in 2007.
Megan Mack is the executive producer of "Connections with Evan Dawson" and live/televised engagement programming.