The 2023 American Ethical Union Assembly will be a multicultural and multigenerational experience focused on:

  • Making our Ethical Culture communities healthier and stronger
  • Learning how to hold space for one another
  • Learning how to create the conditions for your society to build community and address challenging conversations through the circle process.

The RJ Trainers

David Yusem has 23 years of experience as a leader and practitioner in the field of conflict resolution and restorative justice. For the last 12 years, he has coordinated the Restorative Justice (RJ) movement at Oakland Unified School District. The RJ program at OUSD is considered a National model for the implementation of restorative practices in schools. Prior to working at OUSD, David managed the community mediation program at SEEDS and founded their restorative justice program. David has also initiated RJ pilot programs at the Alameda County Juvenile Justice Center and Berkeley Unified School District. At OUSD, David supports the district-wide implementation of restorative justice practices as a model to relate, repair, and restore. David is committed to building caring, engaging, and equitable school communities and to the elimination of racial disparities in discipline.

Kyle McClerkins refers to himself as a son of Oakland. Before finding his passion for working with youth, Kyle held numerous jobs in the financial industry, including as a day trader. Kyle has worked in a variety of Oakland elementary, middle, and high schools. In 2009, he started contracting with Oakland Unified School District as a Conflict Mediator and later transitioned to work in the Restorative Justice unit. Since working as a  RJ Facilitator, Kyle has been a High School Dean, leadership, and advisory teacher. Outside of school, he has partnered and consulted with multiple school districts across the United States, from the Los Angeles Unified School District to the University of Pittsburgh School of Education. Currently, Kyle teaches a Restorative Practice class at a local Oakland High School. He has trained over 2000 participants in Restorative Practices. Occasionally Kyle works pro bono cases and facilitates Harm circles with victims and offenders. Kyle’s passion for his work largely stemmed from his two children.


Intro to Restorative Justice Webinar – Wednesday, May 31 | 7-8:30 pm ET

In this 90-minute webinar, you will get a crash course on what restorative justice is, how it works, and why it’s useful. We recommend attending this webinar to determine your interest in the 2-day Restorative Justice Training. Attending this webinar is not required to attend the Restorative Justice Training.

Restorative Justice Circle Training – Friday, June 9th and Saturday, June 10th | 10 am-12:30 ET, 30-min lunch break, 1-3 pm ET

The AEU hired two seasoned RJ Trainers, David Yusem and Kyle McClerkins, to provide a two-day Zoom training and experience. Participants will learn the underlying philosophy and effectiveness of Restorative Justice, the myriad of ways our communities have embraced RJ in schools and juvenile justice, and how to be a circle keeper for your Society and beyond. Our goal is to have four people from each Society attend this event, so please spread the word. Send any questions to and

Local Restorative Justice Colloquies – Sunday, June 18

*This is not a meeting, this is a recommendation for your local Society to do.

Society members and Leaders who attend the RJ training are encouraged to bring what they learn back to their Societies and discuss how RJ could be useful in their Society within a colloquy format. We leave this to each Society to plan at their discretion*.

*Societies are encouraged to create their own colloquy questions about RJ, but here are some questions for inspiration:

  • How might Restorative Justice be used in your Ethical Society?
  • How might your Ethical Society make use of Restorative Justice in your community?
  • What are some next steps you can take to use RJ in your Ethical Society?

RJ Meaning Making Workshop & Communities of Practice – Tuesday, June 27 | 7-8:30 pm ET

Following individual Society colloquies, we will hold a national workshop to reflect on restorative practice and to create a community of practice to commit to ongoing support and improvement using Restorative Justice within our Societies and community partnerships.

If you have any questions, please contact Rachel Pfeffer at

Click here to RSVP today!

This announcement originally appeared at