The Committee on Right Relations’ goal is to build an anti-racist, spirit-rooted Transformative Justice framework and practice for All Souls Church to use to address conflict by:
- creating a shared language and practice for congregants and leadership around conflict;
- building up a network of similarly-trained restorative justice practitioners; and
- catalyzing healing and transformation over time.
To that end, in 2022, All Souls Church has partnered with Richael Faithful, Lasitha Ranatunga, and Em Morrison to guide and support the development of this Transformative Justice framework and practice with All Souls congregants, staff, and leadership. Faithful, Ranatunga, and Morrison began work in April 2022 and further updates will be posted here when available. Their bios are below.
Here are some helpful videos that introduce transformative justice:
- The Modern Roots of Transformative Justice (8:17 min)
- What is Accountability? (16:32 min)
- The Everyday Practices of Transformative Justice (14:23 min)
- What is Self-Accountability? (3:57 min)
- Rev. Bill Sinkford’s Sermon about transformative justice on Sunday, May 21 (it starts at 41:41, but you won’t want to miss the music!)
Richael Faithful (they/them) is a traditional Black healer, conflict worker, complex conversation facilitator, community lawyer, and artist who has designed, led, and facilitated transformative justice work for eight years. They have particularly strong ties to the Unitarian community and history of its transformative justice work. Richael advised Kyla Dixon on All Souls’ efforts to build a transformative justice framework over the last three years; they facilitated a restorative circle with one of the All Souls bodies in 2019; they led the public UUA restorative process, involving Christina Rivera, the same year; and recently, they facilitated a two-part transformative justice series for CUUMA in 2020. Beyond UUs, Richael is nationally-known for their healing and BIPOC-centered conflict and accountability work within social justice movement groups.
Lasitha Ranatunga (he/him) has always been drawn to the question of how we sustain lifelong involvement in meaningful movements. His organizing has focused on long-term projects around capacity, leadership and community building, co-learning, and collectivity. His time as a high school teacher was fueled by one-on-one relationships with students; his software engineering career has focused on mentoring, building sustainable teams, and finding joy and beauty in solving problems together. Recognizing that our inability to handle conflict often debilitates our teams and communities, he has been learning about transformative justice and supporting several conflicts/processes over the last two years. His superpowers include deep listening, holding and absorbing, balancing the whole with the detail, finding paths through thorny mazes, and doing the dishes.
Em Morrison (she/her) is a facilitator and teacher who has lived in the DC area for over fifteen years. Trained as a youth worker, organizer, meditation teacher, and restorative justice practitioner, she works at the intersections of these streams with organizations and individuals. Em has been in recovery from substance abuse for ten years, an achievement of individual freedom that she believes was made possible by a collective community of care. That journey inspires her to seek out and develop impactful approaches to community healing and transformative justice. She is currently building her skills in trauma-sensitive mindfulness, somatic practices, and coaching for anti-racist organizational culture change. Her strengths include creative strategizing, holding the whole with love, emergent facilitation, connecting in context, and making space for joy in the room.