13 2023

Becoming a Restorative Community

11:00AM - 1:30PM  

Contact Kate DeConinck

Becoming a Restorative Community
Alumni Center - Norma Walker Hall (Keene State College)
Thursday, April 13, 2023 · 11:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Restorative justice is a range of community-based practices that aim to cultivate justice, healing, and peacebuilding. This special event invites local youth, residents, leaders, and others to learn more about what restorative justice is and imagine how they might integrate this work into their communities.

The first part of the event will feature a panel discussion with Omar Ndizeye, a survivor of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda who went on to do important work in restorative justice. After a break for lunch, we will then transition to interactive restorative justice circles. The circles offer an opportunity to build community by gaining understanding and connection through facilitator-lead conversations. These circles include guidelines for conversation, questions to guide participants, prompts, check-ins, and a closing activity. Attendees may choose to attend part or all of the event (see registration page).

This event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited to 75 people. Registration will close by Monday, April 3. Please register by visiting: https://forms.gle/B6thK7zbk2vg8hgb7

This program is being hosted by the Cohen Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Keene State College in partnership with the Truth, Reconciliation, and Equity Collaborative (TREC); the Department of Holocaust and Genocide Studies; Cheshire County Restorative Justice; the City of Keene Youth Services Department; and, the Jonathan Daniels Center. This event is sponsored by the Savings Bank of Walpole, which is providing funding to make this program possible.


In addition to participating in this event on restorative justice, Omar Ndizeye will be delivering the 2023 Genocide Awareness Lecture at Keene State College on Wednesday, April 12, at 5:30pm. His lecture is titled "Memory, Culture, and Emotional Expression in Post-Genocide Rwanda." Additional information and registration information for that event is available here.

Biography: Omar Ndizeye is a survivor of genocide, author, and public speaker. He has nine years of experience working for non-government organizations in Rwanda, where he developed the Humura Nturi Wenyine (“don’t worry you are not alone”) initiative. This is a psychosocial program that supports genocide survivors by combining counseling helpline services and volunteer-based first aid intervention. Omar’s work focuses on cultural memory, societal healing, peacebuilding, and youth engagement. Since publishing his first memoir, Life and Death in Nyamata: Memoir of a Young Boy in Rwanda’s Darkest Church, in March 2020, Omar has continued to work on a research project entitled “Journey through Rwandan Memorials.” This project focuses on the 265 genocide memorials/sites of memory and the memorialization process in Rwanda. Currently, he is a graduate student in Genocide and Mass Atrocities Prevention (GMAP) at SUNY Binghamton University.

Sponsor: Cohen Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Keene State College