NORTH NEWTON — The Kansas Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution at Bethel College will open its annual Film Series and kick off a new restorative justice network at the same time. KIPCOR will screen the Kansas premiere of the documentary Healing Justice at 2 p.m. Nov. 12 in Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center on the Bethel campus.
This is an earlier start time than for past films. This film will be part of the launch event for the Kansas Restorative Schools Network, which KIPCOR is coordinating. Since 2011, KIPCOR staff have been helping to facilitate Restorative Practices in Schools trainings for teachers, administrators and school social workers, with more than 1,000 of them in schools across Kansas.
The Nov. 12 event marks the official start of an organized network of leaders and practitioners of Restorative Practices in schools from around the state, many of whom are coming to campus for the film and other events. The showing of Healing Justice is free and open to the public as part of the annual KIPCOR Film Series with a freewill offering taken to help support the series and the work of KIPCOR.
Discussion leaders for the talk-back session after the film will be members of KIPCOR’s Restorative Schools Initiative training and consulting team.
Healing Justice looks at restorative justice as a response to the school-to-prison pipeline. The term refers to a disturbing national trend where children are funneled out of public schools due to exclusionary and punitive disciplinary practices, into the juvenile and criminal justice systems. Many of these children have learning disabilities or histories of poverty, abuse or neglect. They would benefit from additional educational and counseling services, but instead are isolated, punished and pushed out. Just released this month, Healing Justice is the newest film from World Trust Educational Services, a nonprofit social justice organization that provides tools and resources for people interested in tackling unconscious bias and systemic racial inequity in their workplaces, their communities and their lives.
Since 1998, World Trust has been producing films, curriculum and workshops that educate in an effort to deepen the conversation about race. Directed and produced by Shakti Butler, Healing Justice addresses the need for comprehensive criminal justice reform in the United States. It highlights various healing methodologies, including restorative justice practices, with the goal of supporting a national dialogue that investigates and considers alternatives to the current punitive model of justice.
The rest of the afternoon’s activities, while geared towards those who have completed Restorative Practices training through KIPCOR, are also free and open to the public. However, preregistration is required, which can be done by visiting kipcor.org/event/kansas-restorative-schools-network-launch-event/ or calling KIPCOR at 316-284-5217. No preregistration is required to see the film.
Membership in the Kansas Restorative Schools Network is open to those who have completed KIPCOR’s Restorative Practices training. Others who are interested are invited to join as supporters, to receive news about the network’s activities and stay connected.