Johonna Turner

Johonna Turner

Office Phone: (540) 432-4461


Main Campus, Harrisonburg

Office Location: MS 102

Johonna Turner is Assistant Professor of Restorative Justice and Peacebuilding at the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding. For over 15 years, she has worked as part of arts collectives, community organizing coalitions, and other social movement organizations to develop youth leadership, empower disenfranchised people, and cultivate transformational approaches to safety and justice. A thoroughly interdisciplinary scholar, Dr. Turner received post-graduate training in U.S. cultural studies, women’s studies, and biblical theology/urban ministry. Her areas of scholarship, practice and teaching include restorative and transformative justice, youth leadership development and organizing, formation for peacebuilders, faith-rooted peacebuilding, and critical race feminism.

Dr. Turner is an innovative educator with experience teaching a wide range of learners in a variety of settings. As an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland, she taught undergraduate courses in the departments of American Studies and African-American Studies, as well as the Burns Academy of Leadership. During her tenure with the District of Columbia Public Schools, she served as an afterschool program coordinator for 9th-12 grade students, high school special education English teacher, elementary reading interventionist, and school-wide instructional leader. She has also facilitated classes, workshops, and trainings with institutions ranging from D.C.’s Latin American Youth Center to the General Board of Church and Society of The United Methodist Church.

Professor Turner is a former Soros Justice Advocacy Fellow with the Open Society Institute. She is married to the love of her life, Julian Turner.


  • Graduate Certificate, Urban Youth Ministry, Fuller Theological Seminary, 2015.
  • Ph.D. in American Studies, University of Maryland, 2010.
  • Graduate Certificate, Women’s Studies, University of Maryland, 2009.
  • Bachelor of Journalism, News-Editorial Journalism, University of Missouri, 2002.
  • B.A. Interdisciplinary Studies (emphasis in Black Studies. minor in Political Science). University of Missouri, 2002.


Book Chapters

  • Transforming Trauma: Wounded Healing in the Way of Jesus in Making Peace with Faith: The Challenges of Religion and Peacebuilding ed. Michelle Garred and Mohammed Abu-Nimer. Rowman and Littlefield. (Forthcoming, December 2017).

Journal Articles

  • “The Campaign for Nonviolent Schools: Students Flip the Script on Violence in Philadelphia,” (with Nijimie Dzurinko and Jonathan Stith.) Voices in Urban Education Spring 2011, Number 30.

Encyclopedia Articles

  • “Anti-Prison Movement.” Encyclopedia of Activism and Social Justice. Eds. Gary Anderson and Kathryn Herr, Sage Publications, 2007.
  • “Youth Organizing and Activism.” Encyclopedia of Activism and Social Justice. Eds. Gary Anderson and Kathryn Herr, Sage Publications, 2007.

Other Publications

  • “Help Students Embrace a Justice that Restores” (with Mary Glenn), Part 2 of a 2-part series . Fuller Youth Institute E-Journal.March 2016.
  • “Faith Rooted-Practice: Mission with Nothing Left Out.” The Mennonite January 2016. Originally published in PeaceSigns, December 2015.
  • “Help Students to Embrace a Justice that Restores” Part 1 of a 2-part series. (with Mary Glenn). Fuller Youth Institute E-Journal. June 2015.

Scholarly Presentations and Abstracts

  • “Restorative Justice and Student Leadership.” (Keynote Address)
    Restorative Justice in Education Academy, Master of Arts in Education Program, EMU Lancaster. Lancaster, PA (July 6, 2017).
  • “Restorative Justice and Student Leadership.” (Keynote Address)
    Restorative Justice in Education Academy, Master of Arts in Education Program, EMU, Harrisonburg, VA. (June 26, 2017.)
  • “Embodied Art and Narrative as Peace Practices: Conflict Transformation through Feminist-Informed Epistemologies and Pedagogies,” (Session Chair)
    Theorizing Linkages and Practicing Solidarity:Feminist Approaches to Conflict Resolution 5th Annual Research Conference, The Center for the Study of Gender and Conflict, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA (April 6 – 7, 2017).
  • “Plugging the School-to-Prison Pipeline.” (Invited Panelist)
    University of Miami Race and Social Justice Law Review Spring 2017 Symposium. University of Miami Law School,_ Miami FL (Friday, March 3, 2017.)
  • “Can Restorative Justice Make Young, Black Lives Matter in Schools?” (Co-presenter)
    Association for Conflict Resolution – Annual Conference, Baltimore, Md. (September 28 – October 1, 2016).
  • Healing in Community (Invited Plenary Speaker).
    Conversations on Sexual Violence: Cultivating Community Resilience, EMU (March 19 2016).
  • “Wrestling with Justice: Restorative Approaches to Relational Harms”
    Faith and International Development Conference, Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI (February 11 – 13, 2016).
  • Justice from the Margins (Co-presenter)
    Honors Convocation Lecture, Bridgewater College, Bridgewater, VA (November 10, 2015).
  • Vision Is Our Power: A film by and about Black youth ending violence in all its forms (Convenor, facilitator, and co-presenter)
    Peace and Justice Studies Association – Annual Conference, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA (October 15 – 17, 2015).

Other Presentations

  • ‘Leading from Within: ‘Being’ in the Journey toward Justice.” (Keynote Address)
    Summer Peacebuilding Institute: Horizons of Change Lecture Series, Center for Justice and Peacebuilding, EMU, Harrisonburg, VA, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. (June 7, 2017.)
  • “From Margin to Center: Building a Holistic Anti-Violence Movement.” (Invited Lecture)
    PXD 345: Peacebuilding Theory and Action,” Peacebuilding and Development Program, EMU (March 28, 2017).
  • “Leading from Within: ‘Being’ in the Fight for Justice.” (Keynote Address)
    Summer Peacebuilding Institute Community Day, Center for Justice and Peacebuilding, EMU (February 15, 2017).
  • “Justice in the Wake of Wounding,” (Invited Presentation)
    SMCL 561: Ministering in Times of Trauma, Eastern Mennonite Seminary, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. (February 10, 2017.)
  • “Seeking the Peace of the City,” 2017 School for Leadership Training (Co-presenter)
    Eastern Mennonite Seminary, (January 17, 2017).
  • “Faith-Rooted Organizing: Justice from a Firm Foundation.” (Invited Lecture)
    ABP 201B: Ethics in the Way of Jesus, Bible and Religion Dept., EMU, 10:40 – 11:30 a.m. (November 14, 2016.)
  • Healing Legacies of Harm & Everyday Conflicts: Integrating Restorative and Indigenous Justice Around the World (Panel Convenor and Facilitator),
    Zehr Institute for Restorative Justice, EMU, (November 8, 2016.)
  • *Participant Debrief of the Restorative Justice Track * (Facilitator)
    Association for Conflict Resolution – Annual Conference, Baltimore, Md. (September 28 – October 1, 2016).
  • Peoples Day: Creating a Beloved Community Free From the Evil Triplets of Racism, Militarism and Economic Exploitation (Invited Speaker).
    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way Coalition, Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Harrisonburg, VA. (January 18, 2016).

Honors, Awards and Grants

  • Introducing Restorative Justice in Schools and Communities: Taking Steps to Dismantle the School-to-Prison Pipeline in Jackson, Mississippi (Planning Grant: Funded). W.K. Kellogg Foundation. D. Byler and K. Evans Co-PIs. $60,623, March 2016 – July 2017.

Professional Memberships

  • Christian Community Development Association (CCDA)
  • National Association of Community and Restorative Justice (NACRJ)