Dr. Martha Brown joins me for an honest conversation about how being trauma-informed can help us help our communities. Martha generously shares her personal stories and how that led her to restorative justice and now trauma-informed work.
Grounded in indigenous practices, Restorative Justice practices are centered on relationships. Circles equalize power through a structured process for people to talk and listen to each other. Martha literally wrote the book on Restorative Justice approaches in schools. Check it out here.
Now people in the field are moving toward a Trauma-informed Approach. Trauma is an event or series of events that exceeds a person's ability to cope. Trauma has long-lasting effects on a person's physical and psychological health.
Martha breaks down these concepts for us and helps us understand the ongoing, lasting effects of trauma on people and our society. Having a high ACES score does not define us, but can help us understand each other.
We talk about why nonprofits and community coalitions need to take a trauma-informed approach. It first has to start with those inside the organizations. Listen to learn more about being a trauma-informed organization.
"If you want peace, work for justice." Pope Paul VI
Dr. Martha A. Brown resides in Faribault, MN and is president of RJAE Consulting andauthor of Creating Restorative Schools: Setting Schools Up to Succeed, available at Living Justice Press. She is also the Trauma and Restorative Justice Specialist with Hamai Consulting, based in Palo Alto, CA.
Dr. Brown received her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Florida Atlantic University. Her dissertation focused on restorative justice in two Oakland middle schools. For the past two years, Dr. Brown has taught a course in Circle Processes at Eastern Mennonite University’s Summer Peacebuilding Institute and has recently facilitated an eight-week online Circle training course for faculty and staff at James Madison University Libraries. Dr. Brown has been Lead Instructor for Simon Fraser University's Continuing Studies Restorative Justice Certificate Program and was an adjunct professor at Florida Atlantic University, where she taught a course in Educational Assessment.
Currently, she teaches and trains evaluators, organizations, and anyone else who is interested how to use the Circle process and incorporate trauma-informed practices. In 2019, she taught an eStudy to evaluators through the American Evaluation Association and has continued this work with evaluation firms and affiliates of AEA ever since. A meaningful project Martha works on at Hamai Consulting is TRISI – Trauma and Resilience Systems Initiative. This unique model uses the Circle process and coaching to help organizations serving children and families in San Mateo County to become trauma informed organizations and eventually become a trauma informed system of care. She seamlessly integrates trauma informed restorative practices into her evaluation and consulting work.
In addition to her book, Dr. Brown has published several peer-reviewed book chapters and articles on restorative justice and evaluation, and has presented internationally at conferences sponsored by the National Association for Community & Restorative Justice (NACRJ), Restorative Practices International (RPI), American Evaluation Association (AEA), the Canadian Evaluation Society (CES), Visitor Studies Association (VSA), and the International Conference on Conflict Resolution in Education (CRE).
At RJAE Consulting, Martha assists non-profit, cultural, community-based, educational, and