The Alliance for Unitive Justice was founded in 2011 as Restorative Youth Services of Virginia by Donna Chewning and Sylvia Clute, the original incorporators. The founding board members included James I. Payne, Marian Yoder Payne, Donna Chewning, Sylvia Clute and Jim Mustin. In 2014 the name of the organization was changed to the Alliance for Unitive Justice, and RYSOV was retained as a trade name.
From 2011-2013 our organization focused on a grant-funded restorative project at Armstrong High School in Richmond, Virginia. AUJ is a member organization of the National Association of Community and Restorative Justice. In partnership with restorative justice advocates throughout Virginia, we actively advocate for the state-wide implementation of restorative justice as an evidence-based alternative to traditional disciplinary and retributive measures.
The mission of AUJ is to provide services that resolve conflict, transform relationships and build community in ways that are consistent with the principles of unitive justice. AUJ is committed to (a) serving schools, courts, detention centers and other organizations and agencies; (b) training restorative justice circle facilitators, staff and volunteers; (c) engaging with the community about restorative justice using unitive principles, its uses and benefits, (d) working collaboratively with organizations and individuals to make restorative justice using unitive principles a more widely used practice; and (e) fostering policies that enhance opportunities for unitive justice to be implemented.
Clarence M. Dunnaville, Jr. – Board Vice Chair. Now a Richmond, Virginia lawyer, Mr. Dunnaville has devoted his life to civil rights. He grew up in the city of Roanoke, Virginia during the Jim Crow era. He fought segregation as a child by refusing to use segregated toilets or to sit in the back of the bus. During college he was a civil rights activist, picketing segregated theaters and participating in numerous student demonstrations and sit-ins that opened lunch counters to black citizens in Baltimore, Md. In December 1953, Thurgood Marshall, arranged for him to see the oral arguments of Brown v. Board of Education in the United States Supreme Court. That experience inspired Clarence to study law and work to end racial discrimination. He graduated with honors from Saint John’s University School of Law in Brooklyn, New York. In 1961, he was appointed an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York by Robert F. Kennedy.
Donna Chewning – Board Treasurer, Program Coordinator and Trainer. Donna is the CEO of Shared Solutions, a Roanoke, Virginia business that offers restorative justice services and training. She has many years of experience as a Restorative Justice Practitioner. As a Virginia Supreme Court certified General District and Juvenile and Domestic Court mediator and Restorative Justice facilitator, she conducts restorative processes in schools and the juvenile criminal courts. She joins the faculty at Ferrum College as an instructor of restorative justice in the spring, 2016. Donna has been an advocate for children and adults with disabilities for over 25 years. She worked at Tekoa, a youth residential treatment facility, and as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA). She holds a BA from Radford University where her studies focused on Youth Advocacy. Donna’s Master’s Degree Program at the Eastern Mennonite University Center for Justice and Peacebuilding focused on Restorative Justice for Youth.
Janie Walker, Board, Co-Pastoral Director of Richmond Hill, an intentional religious community and retreat center, Richmond, VA. Reverend Walker is a mother and grandmother, trained pastoral counselor, healing prayer minister, spiritual director and group facilitator. She has a personal commitment to the healing of Metropolitan Richmond and has practiced engaging as such for over 30 years. Licensed in 1988, ordained in 1993, by the Rising Mt Zion Baptist Church of Sandston, VA, Reverend Walker is a graduate of 2007 graduate of Samuel DeWitt School of Theology at Virginia Union University, M.Div.; certified as an Intentional Interim Pastor and Transitional Consultant in 2008 by the Center for Congregational Health, Winston-Salem, N.C., and has trained in many other schools and programs to facilitate growth and development in groups as well as individuals.
Sylvia Clute – Board President, Richmond Program Coordinator and Trainer. Sylvia was a trial attorney for 28 years; she is trained in collaborative law, mediation, and several models of restorative justice and now teaches restorative justice at the university level. She has authored two books, Beyond Vengeance, Beyond Duality: A Call for a Compassionate Revolution and a novel, Destiny Unveiled. She holds master degrees in public administration from the Univ. of Cal./Berkeley and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and her JD is from Boston University. She is presently writing a book on restorative justice using unitive principles and is developing a webinar on unitive justice. Her websites are SylviaClute.com and UnitiveJustice.com.com.
Shelli Jost-Brady, Board Secretary, Entrepreneur & servant leader, Shelli innovates resilient, restorative and sustainable communities thru education, social justice and economic development within diverse + challenged cultures worldwide. Her military-dependent nomadic youth instilled the importance of finding affinity in disparate groups to create comfort in changing/dangerous environments. With advanced degrees/certificates in design/arch, business, leadership, trauma/ASD paraprofessional, Shelli creates curriculum in human rights, conflict transformation, prejudice/bias, relationship & reconciliation. IofC Community Trustbuilding Fellow, Truth Racial Healing & Transformation facilitator, K12-Univ educator/1:1, facilitator/trainer.