Lawrence Educators to Discuss Respect, Safety, Justice
Esperanza Academy in Lawrence defines restorative justice as, “Rooted in indigenous wisdom, restorative justice (RJ) is a set of values that, when practiced as a community, creates a transformative paradigm shift in how teachers and students learn and grow,” according to Jadi Taveras, Head of School.
Quin Gonell, Manager of Restorative Justice at Lawrence High School, will join Taveras to talk about restorative justice at the second session of Greater Lawrence Family Health Center’s Speakers Series (#GLFHCSpeakerSeries). The session is Thursday, August 18 at 4:30 pm at the Performing Arts Center of Lawrence High. It is open to everyone.
“The GLFHC Speaker Series is an opportunity for leadership in the Merrimack Valley to ‘walk-the-walk’ on diversity; we can come together from various backgrounds to discuss significant challenges to healthier lives in Lawrence, and collectively create solutions. We are delighted to have Mr. Taveras and Mr. Gonell set the proper frame of restorative justice,” said Guy L. Fish, MD, CEO of GLFHC.
Taveras is a first-generation Latino from Lawrence. He is a graduate of Kimball Union Academy (NH) and has a bachelor’s degree from Siena College in Political Science and Global Studies. He spent a semester at Stellenbosch University in South Africa working alongside the African National Congress Youth on issues of civil rights. This experience, coupled with his family’s journey as immigrants from the Dominican Republic, sparked a passion and commitment to supporting and advocating for marginalized communities. After several years of leading international development initiatives in Latin America and East Asia, Taveras earned his master’s degree in Intercultural Leadership, Communication, and Management from SIT Graduate Institute in Brattleboro, Vt. He was appointed Head of School at Esperanza Academy – an all-girls middle school with a 12-year commitment to its students – in 2018.
Gonell grew up in Lawrence, in an immigrant household as the youngest of eight siblings who endured significant struggles related to family life, schooling, and the carceral system. Despite the odds, Gonell earned both high school and college diplomas, crediting strong relationships he cultivated with teachers and peers as a major factor in his ability to successfully navigate the adversities that often hinder the ability of inner-city youth to resolve their life’s challenges. He continues to apply these values in his role as a school administrator tasked with expanding restorative practices at Lawrence High, which serves more than 3,000 youth of color. Gonell is a Salem State University Hall of Fame Teacher and was selected as a Massachusetts Colleges and Universities Teacher of the Year. His more recent work as an academic researcher was recognized by the Association of American Colleges and Universities who named him a 2021 recipient of the K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award.
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