The Northwest Justice Forum (NWJF) recognizes that persistent inequities exist between social groups including race, gender, class, national origin, ethnicity, culture, disability, age, religion, sexual orientation, and more. These disparities 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 structural inequities, and the dominant culture that justifies them, and it follows that restorative justice practices can perpetuate systemic harm and injustice. These realities hinder the realization of NWJF's vision of a healthy and meaningful restorative justice community of practice in the Northwest. We recognize that the field of restorative justice should 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 historically failed to include the voices and perspectives of many marginalized communities. We commit to work to make the NWJF a space of safety and meaningful participation for people and communities who have experienced marginalization within the field of restorative justice, and recognize that restorative justice cannot truly be actualized without the presence of the voices of those who have been most directly harmed by social inequities. The NWJF, as a convening body, has a responsibility to achieve significant and meaningful access by ensuring that our committees and programs represent the anti-racist, inclusive world in which we want to live.
The NWJF realizes that the path toward equity is a journey; therefore, this Commitment to Equity statement is a living document.
In recent years the committee has:
Recruited more people from racially marginalized communities to serve on the steering committee
Focused on learning and using more inclusive language
Offered scholarships to assist with any barrier that may prevent attendance
Attempted to center the voices of those most affected by the justice system and restorative practices
Applied an equity lens to strategic planning and meetings
Moving forward the committee will:
Continue to apply an equity lens to the strategic planning of future forums
(1) What equity issues need to be considered for this discussion? (2) How are various groups advantaged or disadvantaged by this action? (3) What steps will we take to ensure that all stakeholders have a voice in the process or are invited to provide feedback?
Continue to share our journey including what we have tried, what we have learned, what worked and what didn’t work
Continue to have ongoing staff development related to diversity, equity and inclusion
Continue to increase the diversity of the steering committee
Add an equity question to the meeting evaluation check at the end of each meeting to monitor fidelity of implementation.
NW Justice Forum a collaborative effort of restorative justice practitioners across Idaho, Oregon and Washington