Michelle Arms Almengor, PhD
- I have experience with community, family, and criminal cases through courts and social service agencies. Medium and maximum security prisons. Higher education.
- I have experience with peacemaking Circles, talking Circles, community conferencing, youth court, restorative teaching, and restorative action research.
- In my practice, I have been associated with professional mediators, conflict resolution practitioners and peacebuilders, BIPOC restorative justice practitioners (Restorative Roots Collaborative and Colorizing Restorative Justice), Restorative Justice Research Community Fellowship.
- I’m interested in: supporting practitioners to align restorative values with practices through reflective practice, supporting underrepresented communities to access restorative justice processes and knowledge toward increasing community-based justice avenues, and connecting RJ researchers with practitioners for two-way, co-led learning.
Rochelle Arms Almengor is a Panamanian-American scholar, mediator, and restorative justice practitioner. She is Assistant Professor of Peace and Social Justice Studies in Berea College, the first co-ed and racially integrated college in the southern United States. Her research focuses on critical reflective practice, restorative justice, action research and epistemologies of conflict practitioners. Prior to academia, she served as Restorative Justice Coordinator of New York Peace Institute where she managed mediation and restorative justice initiatives with the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, Juvenile Justice Courts, schools, and community agencies in Brooklyn and Manhattan. She has trained or coached hundreds of individuals in communication skills, mediation and other facilitative interventions. Since 2000, she has worked in the U.S. and abroad in collaborative processes and restorative justice projects, with a variety of groups, including civil society organizations in India, indigenous peoples in Argentina, immigrants and refugees, and homicide offenders and victim survivors in Kentucky. In 2019, she convened the Restorative Roots Collaborative, a participatory action research group where practitioners from underrepresented communities in the U.S. and Latin America work in co-inquiry to investigate challenges in their practices. Dr. Arms Almengor also authored a chapter in Colorizing Restorative Justice and has organized initiatives to underscore the experiences of BIPOC practitioners facing the harmful legacies of settler-colonial attitudes and white supremacy within the field.
Dr. Arms Almengor holds a B.A. in Religion and Peace Studies from Swarthmore College, and an M.A. in International Relations through a Rotary Peace Fellowship at Universidad del Salvador in Argentina. In 2018, she received her Ph.D. from the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University (now the Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution). Before joining Berea, she was Assistant Professor of Dispute Resolution in the Sociology Department of John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York. Since transitioning out of New York City with her husband, daughter, and mother, she is building and rekindling community in Kentucky, her first U.S. home.