Professional Development Workshops

Umoja offers workshops on topics spanning the three pillars of Umoja’s work: Restorative Justice, Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) principles, and postsecondary readiness. We work with schools and organizations to customize a series of workshops to meet specific needs and to cultivate participant’s abilities to build purposeful relationships with young people and adults.

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Below you'll find a menu of all our available workshops! We offer a variety of professional development options in Restorative Justice, Postsecondary Readiness, Social and Emotional Learning, and General Application for schools and organizations. If you are an individual seeking professional development, check out our Upcoming Workshops page for monthly training opportunities!

Foundational workshops

Foundations of Restorative Justice: Connecting Philosophy to Self & Practice

Restorative Practices are tools that only hold meaning and power if a practitioner understands Restorative Justice as a philosophy and mindset.  This experiential workshop asks you to examine your own beliefs about relationships, community, and harm in order to leave this workshop with a greater understanding of why restorative practices are essential in schools, how to deepen your own self-awareness, and how to approach each day with restorative language, thinking, and intention.

Time: 3 hours
Prerequisites: None

Check Yourself: Cultivating Self-Aware Restorative Practitioners

Build skills to cultivate connected relationships and approach engagement with others  through deep self-awareness. Through a series of exercises, participants will build an awareness of how social identities and privilege can create challenges that, when left unexamined, can cause unintentional harm and present obstacles to relationships with others and restorative practice. Establishing a foundation of social and emotional awareness allows participants to be present for others as restorative justice practitioners that are not only rooted in practice, but also equity-rooted engagement.

Time: 3 hours
Prerequisites: RJ Foundations

Creating Intentional Community: Community Building Circles & Practices

Learn to build intentional proactive Restorative Justice practices through the use  of Community Building Circles and practices. Community Building supports groups of students and adults to connect, build trust, and maintain ongoing relationship building. When strong relationships exist within a community, individuals are less likely to harm one another and more invested in repairing relationships if conflict occurs. Using Umoja best-practice planning tools, you will leave this workshop ready to re-engage your community with intentionality.

Time: 3 hours
Prerequisites: RJ Foundations

Discovering Root Cause: Restorative Conversations that Encourage Reflection, Accountability, & Repair

Learn how to engage in effective, meaningful conversations after conflict occurs that lead to self-reflection, conflict resolution, and relational repair. This interactive workshop invites participants to learn the  four foundational questions of an effective restorative conversation and practice restorative conversations with true-to-life scenarios and Umoja’s best-practice tools.

Time: 3 hours
Prerequisites: RJ Foundations

Restorative Conversations Part 2: Restorative Accountability

This session deepens and extends the work of Restorative Conversations with particular emphasis on supporting students to generate restorative consequences to repair the harm that occurred. Restorative consequences reframes our notions of accountability and are created in collaboration with the harm doer, supported by an adult, and help students answer the question, "What do I need to do to make things right?" Such student-generated consequences offer a rigorous alternative to suspension and support students to reflect on the impact of their actions, learn new skills, and repair the relationship that was harmed. 

Time: 3 hours
Prerequisites: RJ Foundations, Check Yourself, Community Building Circles, Restorative Conversations

Advanced Circles

Once a community is familiar with the practice of the community building circle, or talking circle, safe space exists for deeper listening and reflection. This session supports circle keepers to hold more emotionally charged and complex circles gathered for the purposes of celebration, healing, support, understanding, and loss. Participants will explore many types of circles which may apply to diverse groups. A particular focus of the session will be crafting compassionate questions to guide the circle content. We will also pay close attention to norms setting, arranging the physical space, and calling a circle with specific participants.

Time: 3 hours
Prerequisites: RJ Foundations, Check Yourself, Community Building Circles

Peace Circles in a School Context

With limited resources and time constraints, the school setting presents a unique challenge to the traditional practice of peace circles. While keeping the mission and vision of this indigenous circle tradition alive, participants learn to modify and adapt ancient practices to resolve interpersonal conflict in schools. Participants engage with true-to-life case studies to role-play their role as circle keepers to support others in a process of mutual understanding and repair. In addition to practicing facilitation, we will discuss systems for logistics and documentation to make this practice compatible in a school or youth development setting. 

Time: 3 hours
Prerequisites: RJ Foundations, Check Yourself, Community Building Circles, Restorative Conversations, Restorative Conversations Part 2, Advanced Circles

Building an Effective In-School Suspension Program

This workshop is offered in conjunction with Umoja's In School Disciplinary Intervention Curriculum and explores both the logistics and SEL content of an effective In School Suspension program. Participants define restorative accountability for their own school and use this definition to guide their creation of systems and structures to support ISS. In addition to adapting Umoja's tools, participants also learn to use the curriculum to teach social skills as an intervention for negative behaviors. This session is most effective when all members of the disciplinary team which supports ISS are present.

Time: 6 hours
Prerequisites: RJ Foundations

Restorative Classroom Engagement: Tools & Practices for a Connected and Collaborative Learning Environment

Engage in experiential activities to master simple and effective  interventions that create a caring classroom. Examine your role, identity, and power as a teacher in the classroom as you learn ways to establish and maintain shared classroom agreements, foster peer to peer relationships, and utilize invitational, non-escalating  language to redirect behaviors and invite student reflection.

Time: 3.5 hours
Prerequisites: RJ Foundations

GENERAL APPLICATION

Adult Healing & Self Care

Inspired by the saying "restoration starts with me," adults who serve high needs youth will explore personal triggers and give space and voice to their experience. With the goal of equipping participants to be better adults to young people, the workshop explores how personal experiences shape mindsets and, by extension, interactions with others. Participants have an opportunity to rejuvenate their personal and professional selves through engaging conversations and mindful practices, remembering we can only be good to the young people we serve if we are good to ourselves.

Time: 3 hours
Prerequisites: None

Leading With a Community Organizing Lens

One of the most challenging aspects of working with young people can often be mobilizing the adults who support them! Many leaders struggle to get colleagues to collaborate on behalf of students. This workshop is designed to support participants to understand their role through a community organizing lens in which partnership is central. This workshop supports community organizers to live out "golden rules" of adult interaction, whether the focus of their work is team leadership, professional development, or coaching. Participants will leave with a plan of action to move peers in a positive direction to support the success of youth development initiatives.

Time: 3 hours
Prerequisites: None

The Next ‘Right’ Question

Through high engagement exercises, this workshop explores the impact of questioning on both questioners and respondents. Participants dig deeply into the concept of the next right question, which is one that responds in real time to the circumstances of a conversation and advances the conversation to the next level of depth. Such questions are crafted throughout the workshop as participants refine their self-awareness and their awareness of the needs of others. The skill of asking the next right questions may be applied to any learning-centered relationship, from teacher and student to coach and trainee.

Time: 3 hours
Prerequisites: None

Asking Big Questions

What is the greatest question you've ever been asked? What are the go-to questions in your toolbox? How can facilitators use levels of questioning to push rigor and engagement in spaces with young people? Probe these and other burning questions about the challenges and rewards of facilitation in Ask Big Questions! In this workshop, we'll consider how multiple types of questions may be recombined to achieve many and varied objectives, both in large group and 1-on-1 discussion settings. Whether you're an Umoja Seminar teacher, a member of an Advisory team, or a Restorative Justice practitioner, you'll have an opportunity to practice the type of facilitation most pertinent to your work. Come prepared with your favorite questions!

Time: 3 hours
Prerequisites: None

Implicit Bias in Educational Settings

Through experiential means, lively discussion, and self-reflection, participants will unpack the ways in which implicit bias impacts their work in schools. After defining implicit bias and identifying ways in which it can impact relationships, participants will reflect on circumstances that provoke implicit bias and begin the ongoing work of surfacing their own biases. The session culminates with metacognitive strategies for observing participants' own inner monologues to mitigate and interrupt the impact of implicit bias on their actions and relationships in schools.

Time: 3 hours
Prerequisites: None

Social and Emotional Learning

Facilitating Collaborative Learning

In this workshop, we explore how to develop proactive classroom management routines and procedures to create an environment of respect and rapport. Designed for teachers and facilitators of adult and youth groups, this workshop features a wide variety of cooperative learning strategies. From the establishment of norms at the beginning of a group process to daily rituals and routines, you'll gather many tips and tricks to foster collaborative and interactive learning.

Time: 3 hours
Prerequisites: None

The Workshop Model: Helping Students Practice What We Preach

Humans are social creatures! We acquire knowledge through lived experience and learn life skills through practice in social settings. This workshop honors and investigates the importance of giving students an opportunity to practice what they learn in a variety of youth development settings. We'll focus intensely on the workshop model, a four-part system that structures learning experiences. There will be many opportunities to make this information practical, applying the workshop model to real-life situations in schools. Participants craft a vision for implementing this model, outlining rituals and routines to implement on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.

Time: 4 hours
Prerequisites: None

Postsecondary Readiness

Building an Effective 9th Grade Culture

Is student cohesion and community building a challenge at your school? Have you struggled to increase the academic performance of your students as a whole? Are you trying to implement school-wide incentives? This session focuses on using various school structures to build a culture from the beginning of high school and leverage the work that is initiated by guidance systems, CARE teams, ILTs, Postsecondary Teams, etc. to integrate initiatives that holistically address student concerns and create an On-Track culture from Day 1.

Time: 3 hours
Prerequisites: None

Guiding Students to Postsecondary Success

Helping students catch a vision of their future is critical to the work we do with young people in the present. Connecting students to college and career pathways requires constant and consistent social, emotional, and academic support throughout a student's school career. This workshop offers college and career readiness activities and lessons to inject into youth development spaces of many types. As Umoja believes that every adult who comes into contact with young people is a post-secondary coach, this workshop is designed for all adults who interact with young people. This workshop is a great way to gear up for next year with an infusion of post-secondary resources!

Time: 3 hours
Prerequisites: None