Restorative Justice Practitioner | Mediator | Trainer | Consultant
Yuko is committed to the practice of justice, liberation, and healing. She brings over twenty years of experience working with communities and organizations to transform conflicts, understand secondary trauma, wellness, and self-care. She combines intellectual engagement with embodied practice, using knowledge from her decades of martial arts training. She invites her participants to explore the connection of mind and body to understand the deeper impact of conflict and build the kind of resilience necessary to navigate challenging situations. Her practice extends to New York City public high schools where she works with students and staff to integrate restorative justice into the community and teaches peacemaking for students. In addition, she serves as a consultant for MPG Consulting, a firm committed to supporting organizations create an antiracist, equitable environment.
Yuko holds a bachelor’s degree from Brown University and a master’s degree in education with a concentration in conflict resolution from Columbia University. She is a fourth degree black belt in Goju-ryu Karate and is a practitioner of Qi Gong. Her training in mediation is through the Center for Understanding in Conflict and she is a certified mediator with the New York State Unified Court System. She trained in Restorative Justice with the Red Hook Community Justice Center, Kay Pranis, and Elizabeth Clemants.
Conflict is complex and one of life’s worst stressors. It can also be a catalyst for change. How we engage with it matters. We often have a “fight flight or freeze" reaction when faced with conflict, but these reactions may escalate the situation and fail to address the complexity of the conflict.
If the dispute involves people with whom we share a past, present and future, how do we preserve the relationship and move forward? How do we begin to understand one another across differences? How do we part in peace, allowing one another to leave with strength and dignity?
Using Restorative Justice Practice, Mediation, and Trainings, OpenTalk supports and empowers those in conflict to get to the heart of the issue, shift the dynamic, and create pathways to transformation and healing.