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About us...

Dr. Dorothy Vaandering is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at Memorial University, St. John’s, NL and is Director of Relationships First - Restorative Justice, NL. In this context, as an researcher, educator and practitioner,  she weaves together interests and experiences that are rooted in the desire to honour the dignity, worth and diversity of all people, as well as the desire to "make hope practical and despair unconvincing" (Giroux, 1988; Williams, 1980)

Her teaching and research expertise lie in the implementation and sustainability of restorative justice in education.  This interest intersects with other topics including school climate, curriculum integration, citizenship education, aboriginal and settler relationships, and decolonization.

Dr. Rose Ricciardelli is a Professor and Criminology Certification Coordinator at Memorial University. She is an Associate Director of the Canadian Institute of Public Safety Research and Treatment (CIPSRT), where she leads the Community and Instiututional Corrections sector ( Her research is centered on community and institutional corrections, gender, and wellbeing, including evolving understandings of masculinities, vulnerabilities, risk, and experiences and issues within different facets of the criminal justice system

Our History


In August 2012, 17 educators in Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) embarked on a two-week long institute to explore the possibilities of Relationships First: Restorative Justice in Education. Beginning with an exploration of their own core beliefs and values, the educators dug deep to reflect on the many relationships that make up their school community and began their journey toward creating and sustaining healthy, inclusive relationships in schools. Since then, many others involved in education in NL have discovered the benefits of restorative justice in schools. In 2014 Relationships First: Restorative Justice in Education Consortium was formed and engaged a wide variety of education stakeholders within and outside of the traditional schooling systems.

Since that time we have grown into a multidisciplinary Research and Resource centre that is comprised of researchers and practitioners in relational justice. ​We share our insights and experiences on this site in hopes of learning together with others globally.  Please explore the site, send us feedback, and share your ideas.


Our Vision & Mission

To thrive youth and adults alike need to be loved; to be loved we need to belong. When we belong, we learn to trust, and when we trust we discover our interconnectedness. Educational institutions have significant potential for nurturing cultures of belonging.  



 RF-RJE Consortium envisions communities where the inherent worth and well-being of all involved are honoured and promoted. It recognizes the significance of authentic relationships in the healthy development of youth in NL.



RF-RJE Consortium’s aim is to nurture and support relational organizational cultures where children, youth, and adults alike thrive.



 F-RJE Consortium promotes, supports, and encourages the development of relational policies within a variety of organizations engaged with youth; and creating and sustaining relational educational cultures in Newfoundland and Labrador. Be sure to read our Partners section to learn more about who's involved!

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