Date of Graduation

Spring 5-19-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in International and Multicultural Education (IME)


School of Education



First Advisor

Dr. David Donahue


Restorative justice principles and practices have gained significant traction among educators in recent years, as they endeavor to establish school cultures that prioritize safety, student belonging, and humanizing relationships. However, existing literature indicates that schools who implement restorative justice frameworks tend to be obstructed by the historically punitive logics that govern them. As schools have become institutions that are highly racialized and influenced by neoliberal policies, it is important to continue to identify factors that can impede the work of racial equity and social justice within the schooling system. The purpose of this thesis is to conduct a qualitative study which aims to better understand how restorative justice practitioners navigate their work within a highly racialized and neoliberal education system in the United States. By understanding the experiences of those doing the work of restorative justice, this thesis aims to help educators move beyond the limitations of traditional and hegemonic schooling, transform school cultures to lead with dignity and respect, and advance the work of racial justice for educational equity.