J.J. Spedding
University of South Carolina

“Restorative practices and the skills that I learned from my involvement in small group circles with Professor Aparna Polavarapu have played a key role in shaping my character and experiences. It has highlighted the importance of being a good listener which in turn has helped me develop a sense of understanding during tough conversations with those who I may have upset, or who may have upset me. The methods taught to me by Professor Polavarapu in these circles have truly served as a gateway to overcoming the inevitable challenges I have faced, and will continue to face, in a way that provides real opportunity to grow from them.”

“I have been absolutely honored to get the opportunity to be a part of many SCRJI workshops. During each workshop, I have gained valuable information that I have been able to actively utilize in the midst of my everyday work as a domestic violence program director. Aparna and George lead the group with an empathetic and caring approach that encourages group members to dive into restorative justice work within our state. Through SCRJI, I have been able to become a more intentional and caring human and service provider. I’m forever grateful for this initiative, its mission and its impact within the state of SC.”

Breann Griffin-Nicholson                  Program Director of The Hiding Place    Pickens, SC


Jennifer Gunter, PhD
Founder of The Converge Collective
Columbia, SC

“When I participated in the SCRJI Intro RJ skills workshop last year I learned so much about the effects of harm on individuals and communities. The workshop helped me to understand so much more how I contribute to harm production and how I can be a better member of society. I’m grateful to the SCRJI team for creating a space where participants can be brave and explore new ways of being.”