Belinda Dulin’s Masters in Dispute Resolution from Wayne State gave her the technical skills to excel in her chosen field, but the hallmark of her tenure as the executive director of the Dispute Resolution Center has been to take the DRC out into the community. As the executive director of the DRC, she and her team have gone into schools to implement conflict programs serving students, families, and school staff in identifying and resolving barriers and issues that affect students. The DRC has also implemented restorative justice practices in schools to address student-student and student-teacher conflict. In addition to its work in the classroom, the DRC partners with the Washtenaw County Peacemaking Court to provide restorative justice services to families in the child protection and delinquency systems.
Restorative justice emphasizes the dignity of every person while addressing conflict in a non-punitive, supportive manner that allows relationships to be restored, problems to be resolved, and support services to be identified. The Youth Justice Fund takes a similar approach by tapping community members and businesses to welcome those who went to prison as kids back into a neighborhood that values their commitment to who they are today.