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May 2021

The Center on Gender Justice & Opportunity at Georgetown Law, under the leadership of Senior Scholar Thalia González, conducted a two-year study funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The project was designed to examine associations between school-based restorative practices and protective health factors for girls of color. Qualitative data was collected from focus groups with more than sixty Black and Latina girls attending public middle and high schools across the United States.

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Our Findings

Participation by girls of color in non-disciplinary restorative practices is affirmatively associated with protective health factors that increase their capacities for engagement in school, academic success, and overall emotional wellbeing. Specifically, we found that restorative practices outside the disciplinary context resulted in benefits in the following categories:

  • School connectedness
  • Peer relationships
  • Connections to family
  • Sense of safety and positive school climate
  • Social and emotional literacy (SEL) skills
  • Mental health, resilience, and empowerment