Presenter Information

Kathleen Burch

Department of History

Public History M.A. Program

Abstract

The state of the criminal justice system in the United States is one in need of repair. A local Pittsburgh group – the Elsinore Bennu Think Tank for Restorative Justice – challenges its members and the community to engage in restorative justice. The group comprises professors, returning citizens, police officers, and lawyers to initiate change through restorative justice in communities impacted by crime.

The Elsinore Bennu Think Tank for Restorative Justice (EBTT) Oral History Project at Duquesne University uses the methodology of oral history to gather stories of change, inspiration, and trauma from EBTT members. I will analyze the aural text of three narrators, Dr. Cathleen Appelt, Dr. Sarah Kuehn, and Dr. Cindy LaCom, all women in academia and involved in the project. As the facilitator of a branch of the EBTT, Dr. Cathleen Appelt leads the Big Idea Team, an intergenerational working group. Dr. Sarah Kuehn works as an Inside-Out instructor, leading classes with her university students and men in the Pennsylvania State Correctional Institution. Dr. Cindy LaCom brings her knowledge of gender and social justice to the EBTT, where the returning citizens are all male, and works on initiatives within the EBTT. The goal of their oral histories is to illuminate how gender impacts the EBTT and Inside-Out classes.

This research is vital to understanding the prison system, restorative justice, and how the role of gender can change or challenge these traditionally male dominated spaces. I will document each woman’s community engagement through her oral history, as a measure for changing patriarchal norms and establishing justice.

School

McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts

Advisor

Dr. Jennifer Taylor

Submission Type

Paper

Publication Date

2022-03-15

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Mar 15th, 12:00 AM Mar 15th, 12:00 AM

Gendered Norms in Community-Based Engagement: Oral Histories of the Women in the Elsinore Bennu Think Tank for Restorative Justice

The state of the criminal justice system in the United States is one in need of repair. A local Pittsburgh group – the Elsinore Bennu Think Tank for Restorative Justice – challenges its members and the community to engage in restorative justice. The group comprises professors, returning citizens, police officers, and lawyers to initiate change through restorative justice in communities impacted by crime.

The Elsinore Bennu Think Tank for Restorative Justice (EBTT) Oral History Project at Duquesne University uses the methodology of oral history to gather stories of change, inspiration, and trauma from EBTT members. I will analyze the aural text of three narrators, Dr. Cathleen Appelt, Dr. Sarah Kuehn, and Dr. Cindy LaCom, all women in academia and involved in the project. As the facilitator of a branch of the EBTT, Dr. Cathleen Appelt leads the Big Idea Team, an intergenerational working group. Dr. Sarah Kuehn works as an Inside-Out instructor, leading classes with her university students and men in the Pennsylvania State Correctional Institution. Dr. Cindy LaCom brings her knowledge of gender and social justice to the EBTT, where the returning citizens are all male, and works on initiatives within the EBTT. The goal of their oral histories is to illuminate how gender impacts the EBTT and Inside-Out classes.

This research is vital to understanding the prison system, restorative justice, and how the role of gender can change or challenge these traditionally male dominated spaces. I will document each woman’s community engagement through her oral history, as a measure for changing patriarchal norms and establishing justice.