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Community Building

Western Justice Center Partnership

The Azusa Unified School District is proud to partner with the Western Justice Center (WJC) as part of our ongoing commitment to school safety and community building. 

The Western Justice Center works to equip AUSD students with the tools to confront, embrace the complexities of, and resolve conflict to become leaders who can shift school culture and climate. 

Our partnership with WJC puts students in the driver’s seat at their schools – as community leaders and builders. students learn how to become peer mediators and lead restorative justice circles. Students are challenged to link their work as mediators to movements for social change, encourages them to initiate student engagement projects at their schools, and connects them to careers in mediation.

Students learn core social and emotional skills, such as self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship building and responsible decision-making. These skills are critical building blocks to success in school and in their careers. Through the arts, students are invited to reimagine their classrooms as peacemaking spaces, to see themselves in places the world tells them they do not belong, and to own their power as mediators, artists and activists.


The purpose of AUSD’s collaborative work with WJC will be to: 

  1. Reduce conflicts that impede student success. 

  2. Reduce the number of behavioral citations, suspensions, expulsions and unexcused absences resulting from more traditional forms of school discipline. 

  3. Improve student social and emotional learning.

  4. Improve school climate, including methods that foster student safety and support. 

  5. Collect demonstrative evidence of program impact and effectiveness 

  6. Use conflict resolution education as an avenue for academic and career advancement

WJC Programs and Services

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Dorothy Wright Nelson Peacemaker Award

In 2023, the Western Justice Center presented their inaugural Dorothy Wright Nelson Peacemaker Award to three recent AUSD graduates to honor their work as the founders of Azusa's Student Union. 

View their stories below. 

Natalie De La Cruz

Althea Ito

Andrea Mendez