This course is an introduction to the basic principles and frameworks of Transformative Justice. It will introduce you to the values of Transformative Justice, its history and roots, how you likely already practice transformative justice in your everyday life, and some strategies to apply TJ to the different relationships, communities and organizations you are part of. Understanding the cultural and historical waters we swim in, where the benefit of some is based on the exploitation of many, this course offers some simple tools and frameworks to start creating a new reality for yourself, the people you love and the people you work with. It will explore questions such as:

How do we build communities that can care for one another, even through conflict and harm?

How can we use consent as a tool to navigate power in our relationships, and as a tool to build a healthier relationship with ourselves?

When conflict and harm occur, how can we respond in ways that center transformation, care, and accountability over punishment and shame?

This self-guided mini-course will be broken down into the following topics:

  • What Is Transformative Justice
  • Values + Roots of Transformative Justice
  • Care Practices
  • Consent + Conflict
  • Shame + Accountability

It includes readings and resources in a variety of media, videos made by Spring Up that synthesize key learnings, questions for discussion or group reflection and self-guided activities to help you apply the content to your own life and context. The first welcome module of the course is available as a free preview, including a video welcome from Spring Up co-founders and vision keepers Leander Roth (they/he) and Stas Schmiedt (they/them) explaining more about the class and what you can expect if you sign up.

This course is intended as a “taste of TJ”, a window into this framework that we believe has the power to radically transform the ways we care for ourselves and each other. It is NOT a replacement for our more comprehensive 8 week Transformative Justice course (registration for the 6 week course will post to our homepage when available), but can be a good way to prepare for that course or identify if you want to go deeper. The TJ mini-class was put together with accessibility in mind and is the equivalent of about a half day training on Transformative Justice. We know that not everyone has the time or the money to invest in a 6-week intensive course on Transformative Justice. Where that course is designed to give you all the tools you need to begin engaging with TJ in community with your peers, the mini-course is intended more as a handshake or an appetizer, to help you get to know our healing and liberation work and invite you to join us in it.

In this course you will learn:

  • How to define transformative justice and distinguish between transformative, restorative and punitive approaches to harm
  • The history and roots of transformative justice
  • How care is distributed in our society, how to create more equitable, sustainable systems of mutual care and care for those who are caring for others (including ourselves!)
  • Why consent is an important practice of transformative justice and how we can practice consent in a range of relationships
  • Practices to define and redefine your boundaries
  • Practices to connect with your body as you relate to others and navigate conflict
  • An overview of the theory and practice of accountability, with invitations for how to bring more accountability into your life

This is for you if...

  • You feel the need to deeply connect with people in your life, communities you are a part of, and the land you are living on.
  • You are wondering how you can show up for someone when they are hurt without overextending yourself
  • You have heard the words Transformative Justice, Restorative Justice, abolition and/or liberation and you would like just a little more info but don’t have much money and time to spend right now
  • You have heard the word consent and feel like there’s more to it than just saying yes and no
  • You are wondering how to make your work and/or care practice more sustainable

Your Instructor

Spring Up Team
Spring Up Team

Spring Up is a collective of care workers, transformative justice practitioners, liberatory educators, and coaches practicing and teaching the liberatory arts here at bluelight academy. We cultivate a culture of consent and liberty for all through storytelling and popular education.

Course Curriculum

  Values + Roots
Available in days
days after you enroll
  Care Practices
Available in days
days after you enroll
  Consent + Conflict
Available in days
days after you enroll
  Shame + Accountability
Available in days
days after you enroll
  Thank You
Available in days
days after you enroll

Get started now!

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
What is Transformative Justice and what does it do?
Transformative Justice is a philosophy of being and relating that touches on the spiritual, social, political and emotional, the personal, interpersonal and systemic. It provides a framework of thought and everyday practices that allow us to build new ways of relating and open pathways for unconditional love, for deeper connection, trust and care. Transformative Justice seeks to transform the conditions that enable harm in our relationships, communities and societies. For example, when harm occurs, transformative justice asks that we find a way to stop the harm, to facilitate healing for the survivor and accountability for the perpetuator, and to shift norms and resource our community so that this harm cannot happen again.
What does Transformative Justice look like?
Personally: Not beating yourself up if you made a mistake, holding your imperfections and learning to navigate shame in a healthier away. Interpersonally: Supporting someone within your emotional and physical bandwidth and respecting their boundaries. Systemically: Not relying on the criminal legal system, or other carceral responses, to handle instances of harm in our communities.
Who practices Transformative Justice?
Everyone can practice TJ in some capacity. It is important to keep in mind that many people and communities have practiced TJ as a mode of survival as a response to various dangerous conditions they were and are forced to be in. For example, queer and trans folks, women of color, sex workers, disabled folks and indigenous folks -- all of whom have often been unable to rely on the criminal-legal system for safety or justice -- have practiced transformative justice in our own communities for centuries (whether or not we were calling it “transformative justice”). But yes, TJ can be practiced by everyone and can be practiced by anyone. You are probably already practicing TJ in different areas of your life -- whether it’s being open to difficult discussions or helping someone who has been hurt.
Where can one apply Transformative Justice?
Bring it into whatever realm of your life. Whether you’re working for people, with people, having people work for you, whether you have friendships, romances, lovers, kids, etc., TJ frameworks and practices can be applied anywhere. For example- Work: establishing networks of accountability to respond to harm in more generative ways when it happens, communicating your boundaries to your boss and co workers, handling conflict with a client in a generative way. Friendship: If your friend does something hurtful and is feeling guilty about it, listening to them, affirming that they are still worthy of love and talking through how to prevent this from happening again. Parenting: Modeling healthy boundaries and respecting your child’s voice.
Who is this specific class for?
This class is meant for people who have little to no prior experience learning about TJ frameworks and who might not have and/or might not want to spend much time and money learning about this right now. It is meant to provide a “taste of TJ”, welcome you into the frameworks and provide some core language to munch on.
Are there any requirements to participate?
bluelight academy of the liberatory arts is a meditation on liberation designed to center the freedom of everyone involved: from students, to curriculum designers, to teaching artists and coaches. Outside of our website terms of agreement, privacy policy, and citation policy which are all included in the first module of the course - there are no content or participation requirements in any of our courses because your journey of unlearning and evolving is dependent on your choice to embrace it at the pace that aligns with your capacity and commitment. These courses are Spring Up's ode to liberty and consent, each one encompasses a collective vision and song that we invite you to join us in.
How do you strive to meet access needs?
We offer sliding scale registration and all of our videos include captions or a transcript. The class can be accessed from any location as long as you have internet access, and you can even download the content on your phone to be used offline by getting the teachable application. Unfortunately we do not have the ability to offer the content in any languages other than English at this point in time. Email us at [email protected] if you have specific questions about any additional access needs.