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Partners and Associates


The Institute for Restorative Justice and Restorative Dialogue, with founder Marilyn Armour, LICSW, Ph.D. 

Marquette Law School's Restorative Justice Initiative, with founder Janine Geske (former Wisconsin Supreme Court Judge)

National Association for Community and Restorative Justice, with Executive Director Michael Gilbert (

Human Rights Center—University of Minnesota Law School, co-director: Kristi Rudelius-Palmer

Center for Spirituality and Healing—University of Minnesota, founder and director: Mary Jo Kreitzer

The Zehr Institute for Restorative Justice--Center for Justice & Peacebuilding, Eastern Mennonite University, Co-Directors, Carl Stauffer and Johanna Turner (

Jennifer Blevins

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Senior Research Associate

Jennifer Blevins is a Research Assistant for the Center for Restorative Justice and Peacemaking and a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Minnesota School of Social Work. She has an M.S.W. from the University of Minnesota with a concentration in community practice. Her research interests are in the areas of multiculturalism, the intersection of restorative justice and Islam, violence prevention, restorative dialogue and peacebuilding. Her current focus, Restorative Justice and Islam: Building Bridges of Understanding, is a collaboration with a number of organizations and mosques in the Twin Cities metro area. The goal is to identify and draw from the strengths of traditional community conflict resolution practices within Muslim cultures, and apply those practices to the creation of a culturally congruent restorative dialogue process in current times. 

As an educator, Jennifer has taught classes in rural and urban community organizing and development, group facilitation, restorative justice, conflict management, and working with new immigrant populations. She also assists in teaching courses on forgiveness and healing within the Center for Spirituality and Healing at the University of Minnesota.

Jennifer has 25 years of experience working with communities in culturally specific and multicultural settings to identify solutions to community problems, implement action plans and advocate for public policy changes that increase individual and community wellbeing. Her experience includes working with Anishinaabe, Somali, Oromo, Hmong, Mexican, and Ecuadorian community groups to implement multi-year projects. Throughout her tenure as a community-based practitioner, Jennifer has utilized action research, community-based participatory research, asset mapping, and focus groups as part of the community engagement and systems change process. 

Sheryl Wilson

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Trainer & Research Associate

Sheryl is director of the Kansas Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (KIPCOR) and president of the National Association for Community and Restorative Justice (NACRJ). She was previously the Executive Director of Southern Truth and Reconciliation (STAR). Sheryl also served on the VOMA Board of Directors. She holds both a B.S. in Mediation and Communication Studies and a restorative justice-based M.L.S. from the University of Minnesota.     More information about Sheryl.

Scott Vollum

Scott Vollum

Research Associate

Scott Vollum is Associate Professor and Department Head in UMD's Department of Anthropology, Sociology & Criminology. At this time, his primary areas of academic interest and research are violence, the death penalty, restorative justice, and moral disengagement. His work on restorative justice includes examining the role of restorative justice in capital cases and in cases of exoneration of wrongfully convicted death row inmates as well as how restorative justice might provide guidance away from these retributive (and destructive) processes. Currently, he is working with Men as Peacemakers on an evaluation of their domestic violence restorative circles program in Duluth, Minnesota.

National Associates

Marilyn Peterson Armour, Ph.D.

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Research & Training Associate

Marilyn is an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas at Austin. Besides being a practitioner, she has completed research on meaning making in the aftermath of homicide with specific applications to victim offender mediation and dialogue.       More Info    

Janine P. Geske, Hon.

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Distinguished Professor of Law 

Janine is the director of the Marquette University Law School Restorative Justice Initiative. The Initiative is committed to supporting victims and communities in the healing process by providing information and training resources, and by facilitating communication.     More Info

Raj Sethuraju

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Dr. Raj Sethuraju is an Assistant Professor in the School of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice at Metropolitan State University. He teaches courses in Victimology, Restorative Justice, and Diversity Matters for Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice undergraduates as well as a Community Building and Civic Leadership class for graduate students. He has over 20 years of experience implementing various Diversity initiatives in universities and colleges and in the communities that surround them. Raj also works and volunteers with various Restorative Justice nonprofit organizations in the Twin Cities in Minnesota. He has presented to Restorative Justice groups in prisons, is a trainer for the MNCOSA program run by the MN Department of Corrections, and is involved in training volunteers for other non-profit community Restorative Justice organizations. His passion for restorative justice using the circle process is infectious and his engaging presentations and workshops are inclusive and humanizing.

Past Associates

Ann Warner Roberts

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Senior Fellow, Restorative Justice, School of Social Work, University of Minnesota 

In her capacity as a national and international trainer, she provides custom designed courses as well as technical assistance. As an experienced practitioner, Annie mediates/facilitates minor to serious and violent criminal justice cases

Betty Vos, Ph.D. 

Research & Training Associate

Betty teaches at Kaplan University, Mason City, Iowa. As a Senior Research Associate her recent research has focused on restorative justice dialogue in bias-motivated crimes, victim offender dialogue in serious and violent crime, and juvenile victim offender mediation.

William Bradshaw, Ph.D.

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Research Associate

William is  an Associate Professor at the School of Social Work, University of Tennessee. His interests are in the areas of mental health services research and the development, evaluation, and dissemination of evidence-based practices for social workers in mental health. His current research for the Center focuses on meta-analysis of recidivism in restorative group programs.

Robert Coates, Ph.D.

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Research Associate

Robert is a former social work professor and pastor, and a Senior Research Associate with our center. Bob is a long established researcher and writer focusing on community based corrections, systems change and restorative justice.

Elizabeth Lightfoot, Ph.D.

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Research Associate

Elizabeth is Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota School of Social Work. She collaborated with the Center in producing a National Review of Legislative Statues on Victim Offender Mediation.

Tim Hansen 

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Training Associate

Tim is the former Restorative Justice Planner for the Minnesota Department of Corrections.

Penelope Harley J.D. 

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Training Associate

Penelope is currently an adjunct professor at the University of Denver, Colorado.  She teaches restorative justice and reconciliation oriented courses in the multi-disciplinary Conflict Resolution Program and in the Josef Korbel School of International Studies.          Learn More

Jean Greenwood, M.Div.

 Jean Greenwood

Training Associate

Jean has been active in the field of restorative justice since 1991, as mediator. facilitator, circle keeper, researcher, writer, international consultant and trainer in victim offender dialogue, the circle process, and wider applications of a restorative paradigm. As a former training coordinator for the Center, Jean conducted a national survey of VOM programs, and produced programmatic and training materials highlighting victim-sensitivity.    More Info

Richard Powell

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Training Associate

Richard is a therapist and mediator in multiple settings including VOM and has an extensive background in communication skills, and conflict resolution. Richard is a member of the MN Association of Black Psychologists.

Oscar Reed

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Training Associate

Oscar has dedicated the past 25 years of his life to youth; primarily low-income, challenged youth and families in Minneapolis’ inner city. He serves as a mentor and friend for youth by sharing lessons learned from his life experiences in leadership, team building skills and overcoming obstacles to achieve personal goals. He has an extensive background in Restorative Justice training, developing, and directing many youth programs within schools here and across the country

Gary TenBear


Training Associate

Gary is a member of the Apsaalooka and Anishinaabeg Nations. He is a co-facilitator of Family Group Conferences, and a Circle Facilitator.

Jamie Williams

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Training Associate

Jamie currently is a Restorative Justice Practice / Measure Consultant, Trainer, Teacher and Circle Keeper. She works for Amicus Radius Program (Restorative Justice program for juvenile girls) and as an independent consultant to schools and community organizations. 

Julie and Wesley Black Elk

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International Associates

Jeff Barr

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Northern Ireland

Jeff is the managing director of the Koram Centre in Strabane, N. Ireland.  He is a community development practitioner, trainer, facilitator with experience in mediation, conflict resolution and reconciliation processes with victims and survivors of the conflict in Northern Ireland.  Jeff also holds a number of strategic posts and he is a promoter of empowerment practices that address psycho-social needs and develops social capital.     www.koramcentre

Munir Ahmed Shaik

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Munir holds a master degrees in Economics, and Science in Criminology and Criminal Justice from University of Oxford, with focus on human rights and criminal justice system and transitional and restorative justice. Currently, he is the Senior Superintendent of Police with the Capital City Police Karachi, Pakistan. In 2007, he was selected as a Fulbright Fellow (Hubert Humphrey Fellowship) to enhance his professional and leadership skills as a mid-career professional in the field of restorative justice and peace making

Ahmed Sirleaf

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Ahmed is a Program Associate at The Advocates for Human  Rights focused on coordinating community outreach and international sensitization for the Liberian Truth & Reconciliation Commission's Diaspora Project.  A human rights advocate and scholar, Ahmed has a special interest in efforts to implement transitional justice initiatives in societies that have experienced severe violence.

Elias Jabbour

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Elias is the founder of the House of Hope. An Israeli-Palestinian-Christian-Arab, Elias is a respected practitioner of "sulha," a traditional Palestinian peacemaking process, and a leader of interfaith dialogue and reconciliation in Israel.

Imho Bae

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South Korea 

Professor, School of Social Work, Soongsil University

Keswick Chuk

Hong Kong 

Keswick is the Center in-charge of both the ELCHK, Integrated Service Centre for Reconciliation, providing different types of mediation service for the community, and the ELCHK, Youth Enhancement Scheme, providing counseling service to young offenders who cautioned under Police Superintendent Discretion Scheme.

Claudia Mazzucato


Claudia is a Professor of Law at the Catholic University of Milan, where she teaches penal law, criminology and juvenile justice.  She is a mediator for the Milan Office of Penal Mediation and has been appointed as expert on mediation and restorative justice for the Italian Ministry of Justice.  She also participates in international networks on mediation and restorative

Noah Salameh 

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Noah is the director of  The Center for Conflict Resolution & Reconciliation. He holds a PhD in Conflict Analysis and resolution from Cairo University  and a  M.A. in International Peace Studies from Notre Dame University in 1994 and Dr. Salameh has more than 15 years experience in the field of conflict resolution and reconciliation.

Rina Ritter

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Rina is a social worker  and facilitator of Restorative Justice Programs for the Department Welfare in Israel. She lives in the ethnically diverse Galilee, where Jewish-Arab interaction occurs on a daily basis. Rina strives to promote positive interpersonal relations between Jews and Arabs, and, as a Restorative Justice Facilitator, combines her values with a deep sense of compassion and peace-making.