The Northwest Justice Forum (NWJF) recognizes that persistent disparities exist based on a variety of visible and non-visible identity markers such as race, gender identity, national origin, ethnicity, culture, disability, age, faith, and sexual orientation. These disparities, together with systemic economic barriers, are the result of, and enabled by, the structures of white supremacy, heteropatriarchy, and colonization.
Restorative justice practices in the Northwest have been shaped by these dominant culture structures and it follows that restorative justice practices perpetuate systemic harm and injustice. These discriminatory structures, systemic disparities, and resulting barriers hinder the realization of NWJF's vision of a healthy and meaningful restorative justice practice in the Northwest.
We recognize that the field of restorative justice carries responsibility to be center the voices of harmed parties and we acknowledge where the field has failed to achieve this goal. Restorative justice, as a community, relies on all voices invested in accessible and inclusive justice.
The NWJF recognizes that we have also failed to include all voices necessary and need to be constituted by many voices and partners in order to achieve an inclusive and representative cohort of practitioners. We aim to ensure that the NWJF is a space of safety and meaningful participation for voices and bodies who have experienced marginalization within the field of restorative justice, and recognize that restorative justice cannot truly be actualized without the presence of diverse voices. The NWJF, as a convening body, has a responsibility to reinforce significant and meaningful access by ensuring that our committees and programs represent the anti-racist, inclusive world in which we want to live and work.
In order to implement this, the NWJF commits to:
- Reconciling diversity and identity patterns within the Planning Committee
- Unpacking our individual and group white supremacy and white fragility through dialogue and training
- Offering a decolonizing scholarship opportunity for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and other marginalized voices as a form of reparations
- Centering the voices of those most affected by the justice system and restorative justice practices