Focus on Community Justice Initiatives: Building a Restorative Region

1 minute read

Community Justice Initiatives (CJI) is a Kitchener-based organization committed to restorative justice. The process of restorative justice addresses conflict and crime by engaging the individual(s) who caused the harm, people who were affected by the harm, and the community. 

And so, restorative justice gives back because the process educates and heals. It puts those involved into a room together and helps them reach a kind of peace, something that’s hard to find when a resolution is handed over by an outside third party. 

It’s about relationship building that transforms the way we manage conflict in our lives.

“I would like to live in a culture where we recognize the humanity of those around us and we work together to find solutions,” implores CJI Executive Director, Chris Cowie.

Going beyond individual cases, the CJI Restorative Region project promotes peace by providing people at local organizations with the skills to better manage conflict. CJI partners with schools, churches, community housing associations, and workplaces to provide training and consulting services, and to influence corporate policy and discipline procedures.

“We want to empower people in our region through restorative justice principles,” Cowie adds. “In essence, the Restorative Region project is about regional cultural change.”

The Kindred Charitable Fund provided funding to the CJI Restorative Region project this year. CJI offers its services through 28 employees and 250 dedicated volunteers, and it receives funding from all levels of government, the United Way, foundations, businesses, and private donations. 

To donate and help CJI continue with its innovative approach to community-building, visit

Sheila de Peuter

Communication and Content Manager

Sheila is an experienced marketing communications professional with a depth of experience working with credit unions and a passion for co-operatives.

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