Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Matthew Johnson holds an MA in Peace and Conflict Studies from Hacettepe University (Turkey) and a BA in Journalism from the University of Maryland.
He has served as an educator in a variety of contexts including teaching literacy to elementary school students, chess to middle school students, and human rights issues to high schoolers, He first learned about restorative justice while working full time in a youth detention center, where he introduced a popular Saturday school class on peace, and decided to devote himself almost exclusively to studying and building alternatives to retributive justice and adversarial problem-solving. Most notably, he is working to apply restorative justice methods to instances of sexual violence within leftist organizations and social movements, such as Occupy, and has made this the subject of his Master’s thesis.
He has experience in numerous conflict-related practices including nonviolent third-party intervention/unarmed human accompaniment, cross-cultural dialogue facilitation, transformative justice, community conferencing, Restorative Circles, Nonviolent Communication, and crisis counseling for trauma victims.
He is passionate about anything related to social justice.