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written by Michael J. Gilbert, Founder, NACRJ

The Preening Dove logo of NACRJ is deeply meaningful and symbolic of the core values and principles of community and restorative justice.

The original black outline form served as the logo for the first three National Conferences in 2007, 2009 and 2011.

bird icon

The design depicts a bird preening itself – cleaning and maintaining flight feathers to ensure they are in good condition.  In this way they attend to individual needs, stay healthy and remain prepared to realize their full potential in flight and life.  Their attention to personal needs serves the common good of their species, ensuring a healthier population overall.  Yet, when they attend to personal needs, each bird must let down their guard against external threats.  Before they let down their guard, they first must feel reasonably safe and secure.     

The need for a shared sense of safety and security is also a necessary condition for people involved in restorative practices which require honest, direct, and deeply personal dialogue between stakeholders – particularly those who have been harmed and those who have caused harm.  This foundational condition for effective restorative justice practices, also requires the preservation of respect, dignity, and civility between participants.  

Additionally, the design represents the responsibility of all stakeholders for self-reflection, self-repair, and commitment to personal change needed to repair harm - particularly by those responsible for causing harm.  The focus on repair of harm includes the larger community to support and encourage constructive change by individual stakeholders as well as ameliorate the criminogenic effects of multiple deprivations concentrated in high crime/high victimization neighborhoods. The goals are to resolve conflict, repair harm, find justice, establish peace, and prevent future harm.  The underlying conditions needed to do this are represented by the “Preening Dove” design.  

In 2012 the logo was redesigned to add multi-colored plumage by the planners for the 4th National Conference (2013).  The plumage represents respect and equality for the full range of human diversity – by race, ethnicity, gender, orientation, religion, legal status, and perspective – welcoming everyone.  


The motto - “Shaping Justice for the 21st Century” - was added with the incorporation of NACRJ in 2013.  It refers to NACRJ’s efforts to change the public understanding of what “justice” means, requires, and how it is achieved.  We seek to have relational concepts of justice viewed as options of first choice; and, legalistic approaches to justice reserved as options of last resort. 

NACRJ logo

"Shaping Justice for the 21st Century"

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