Transitioning Justice Lab

Transitioning Justice as a Route to Peace


Justice is always in transition. The Transitioning Justice Lab at the Carter School enhances inquiry, engagement, and learning about justice -- in its many forms -- in the study of peace and conflict resolution.

Our efforts focus on understanding justice and social change across time, culture, and societies. A nuanced understanding of justice informs our approach to transitioning justice—changing and reforming justice institutions and practices—in order to achieve more equitable and peaceful societies.

The lab’s emphasis on justice and social change will be a hallmark of our contribution to the peace and conflict resolution field, as lab projects focus on historical and current efforts to foster social justice, reduce structural violence, and build peace. In collaboration with partners, including local governments, community-based organizations, and universities, lab teams of students and faculty will co-create new ideas about justice and, through project-based experiential learning, peace and conflict resolution students will gain the knowledge, skills, and abilities to effect constructive change.

The tools and social technologies developed at the Transitioning Justice Lab will emerge from research and reflective practice. As an example, lab members are building a Flexible Toolkit for use in Community-Based Restorative Justice. This effort is part of our collaborative work with our local partner, Restorative Arlington


To advance scholarship on transitioning justice as a route to peace through engaged projects in three areas: racially-equitable, community-based restorative justice; peace and conflict resolution learning in carceral spaces; and comparative theories of justice and social change. We engage in domestic and international initiatives, framed through a comparative approach, in order to position justice as a terrain for advancing societal, institutional, and individual transition toward peace.

Current Projects

  • Collaboration with Restorative Arlington: A multi-faceted training and research project supporting implementation of restorative justice in Arlington’s schools, legal system, and community.
  • Peace and Conflict Resolution Education in Carceral Spaces: An initiative that builds Carter School capacity to involve incarcerated persons and returning citizens in our educational mission.
  • Beyond the Spectacle: A speaker series featuring social justice organizers telling their own stories and aimed at dispelling the many mythologies of progressive social change.
  • Projects in Progress: A Graduate Student-Led Seminar on emerging projects. The spring 2021 theme is Justice, Peacebuilding, and Displacement.


Susan F. Hirsch

Current Members

  • Tehama Lopez Bunyasi
  • Charles Chavis
  • Leslie Dwyer
  • Najla El-Mangoush
  • Susan F. Hirsch
  • Douglas Irvin-Erickson
  • Sheherazade Jafari
  • Patricia Maulden
  • Molly Powrie
  • Arthur Romano
  • Mara Schoeny
  • Julie Shedd