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January 2020 Call for Submissions: Education: Restorative justice

The Mennonite, Inc., invites your original submissions for our January 2020 print magazine issue and corresponding online content focusing on Education: Restorative justice.

Description of the theme:

Restorative justice as an area of study and practice has been growing among Mennonite colleges and universities in recent years. By way of definition, Howard Zehr has said that “rather than obsessing about whether ‘offenders’ get what they deserve, restorative justice focuses on repairing the harm of crime and engaging individuals and community members in the process.” In addition to being studied, restorative justice is increasingly used in educational institutions themselves as an alternative to more retributive forms of justice when responding to harms done on campus. Many graduates of Mennonite schools are now employing restorative justice practices in their workplaces. God’s justice is restorative, not retributive, as seen among the prophets Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah and others. Jesus’ understanding of what today could be considered restorative justice is on display at the very beginning of his public ministry, when he quotes Isaiah, saying God sent him “to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4).

Submissions may consider one of the following prompts/questions, among others:

  • Are you a student or graduate of restorative justice education? How did your way of thinking change as a result of the program? How are you practicing restorative justice principles in your life or in your work now? Tell us your story and be sure to includes the voices of all involved, with their permission.
  • Whether in a Mennonite, public, charter, homeschool, co-op or other educational setting, where have you seen restorative justice principles and practices work well? Where are opportunities for growth?
  • How is your church, organization or local community implementing restorative justice as an alternative to the criminal legal system? Tell us your story and be sure to include the voices of all involved, with their permission.
  • How do you understand the Bible’s teaching about the restorative justice principles of reducing, addressing and healing from harm and developing just, accountable relationships? What are some Biblical narratives where we see restorative justice in action? Where are there opportunities for Mennonites and other Anabaptists to better live out Scripture’s call for restorative justice today?

Submissions are due to no later than Nov. 25.

We welcome articles—personal stories, biblical or theological reflections, stories about your congregation, and more (800-1,200 words)—as well as original photography, videos and artwork on the theme. Please note we are committed to anti-oppression reviews as part of our editorial process. When developing your submission, please review our updated anti-oppression guidelines as well as our updated editorial guidelines.

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