Our Training Team

Emily Gaarder

Dr. Emily Gaarder (she/her/hers) is the Director of the Center for Restorative Justice and Peacemaking at the University of Minnesota Duluth and an Associate Professor in the Department of Studies in Justice, Culture, and Social Change at UMD.

Since 2003, Emily has taught restorative justice at the university level and also for community groups and organizations. She loves to share how restorative justice can be used in daily life by everyone. She has trained hundreds of volunteers in the circle process, circle keeping, and restorative dialogue.

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Ted Lewis

Ted Lewis has been a consultant and trainer with the Center since the summer of 2013. Since 1996 he has done a variety of work in the fields of restorative justice and conflict resolution, including work as a practitioner, program manager, trainer, writer, director, teacher, and consultant. Most of this work has been done through and for nonprofit organizations that have partnered with government agencies. He has also taught the Restorative Justice course as an adjunct professor at UMD Duluth campus.

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Mark Umbreit

Dr. Mark Umbreit is a Professor and founding Director of the Center for Restorative Justice & Peacemaking at the University  of Minnesota, School of Social Work. Mark serves on the faculty of the Center for Spirituality & Healing in the Academic  Health Center at the University of Minnesota, teaching courses on Peacebuilding Through Mindfulness Practice, and  Forgiveness & Healing. He also serves as a Visiting Professor at the Marquette University Law School in Milwaukee teaching a course on Peacemaking and Spirituality.

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Jacob Otis

Jacob Otis is a doctorate student at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities within the School of Social Work, the Director of Programming at St. Croix Valley Restorative Services in Wisconsin, and an intern at the Center for Restorative Justice and Peacemaking at the University of Minnesota, Duluth.  

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Joel Friesz

Joel Friesz (he/him/his) has worked with communities across North Dakota for 16+ years to implement restorative practices into schools, the juvenile justice system, adult corrections, and other community entities.

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E Ornelas

E Ornelas (they/them/theirs) is a PhD candidate and Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellow at the University of Minnesota.

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Ceema Samimi

Dr. Ceema Samimi (they/them/theirs) is an Assistant Professor in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. They have been a restorative justice practitioner for over 20 years and have volunteered as a circle facilitator and mediator. Ceema's research examines the intersections of service organizations, societal systems, criminalization, and race, and how these intersections impact young people. Ceema believes that institutions such as the U.S.

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