We strive to nurture the places we live, learn and grow. Our vision is a future cultivated from the roots of equity and radical love.

Our Mission

We uplift restorative mindsets in adults to co-create thriving spaces for youth and communities through equity, wellness and radical love.

Our Values

Community: Equity and mutuality co-create deeper belonging and togetherness.

Curiosity: Learning, deep attentiveness, constant investigation and knowledge-sharing promotes reflection, possibility and wonder.

Dignity: Care, empathy and respect drives the way we seek to collaborate with the community to empower individuals and restore spaces.

Relationship: Human-centered connections define how we relate and meet one-another with sincerity, joy and humanity.

Radical Love: Honesty, justice, compassion and acceptance guide how we work externally with our partners and operate internally with our colleagues and supporters.

What We Offer

Thoughtfully tailored coaching and training solutions that meet partners where they are, develop social-emotional wellness, and cultivate stronger roots and healthier spaces for youth and future generations.

Our Roots

Over the past two years, NewRoot has supported and engaged 50+ schools annually, through district-wide Restorative Practice Training and affiliative programming, while focusing on whole-school customized support including Strategic Planning, Racial Justice Professional Development + Team Coaching, and Culturally Sustaining Curriculum.
  • 1

    NewRoot, formerly named Umoja, started its journey toward a lasting impact on young people over twenty years ago in the halls of Manley Career Academy High School on the West Side of Chicago.

  • 2

    Focused on developing authentic, people-centered relationships with adults and young people, NewRoot began inviting youth to explore the many possibilities after high school. A processed approach to college and career readiness was developed across our partner schools.

  • 3

    Interested in aiding and building the capacity of adults to provide meaningful and relevant learning opportunities for students outside of the traditional learning format, NewRoot began developing and leading advisory curriculum facilitated by school staff across Chicago.

  • 4

    Seminar classes and Peace Rooms supported by NewRoot staff emerged across Chicago, stepping up to meet the rising need to respond to the social-emotional and restorative justice demands in schools.

  • 4

    NewRoot has supported and engaged 50+ schools annually, through District-Wide Restorative Practice Training and affiliative programming. While focusing on whole-school customized support including Strategic Planning, Racial Justice Professional Development + Team Coaching, and Culturally Sustaining Curriculum.

Setting Students Up for Success

Frequent conversations with students about plans for after high school catapulted NewRoot into the post-secondary space. Though initially focused on exposure to post-secondary options, NewRoot began to design a processed approach to ensuring every student completed the steps necessary to have options available for their next steps in life. NewRoot created a network of colleges and alumni who were ready to aid NewRoot students in every way possible.

Expanding Impact

A small but mighty team, NewRoot began to contemplate how they could have more impact on students. Realizing the need for and limitations of direct service, NewRoot began developing resources that were reflective of the support NewRoot staff would provide to students. This curriculum became the basis for advisory curriculums that allowed NewRoot to accelerate its reach and expand its impact by building adult capacity to engage with students using NewRoot techniques and practices.

Justice and Healing

The restorative justice initiative was born out of NewRoot’s observation that young people needed advocates for their development more than they needed discipline. Peace rooms were established to change school culture by providing students with a safe space to process their feelings and conflicts. NewRoot believes that with the proper support and guidance, young people can think critically about their decisions and take control.

Social Emotional Learning

NewRoot partners with districts and schools that share a vision for whole school SEL. NewRoot’s trainings, workshops, consultation and coaching address the desire to create a school culture and climate reflective of what students need to be successful in the current world. Assisting our partners’ shift to restorative mindsets, NewRoot helps establish a school dynamic where students’ realities are seen, heard and considered as critical levers in their development as authentic humans. NewRoot also provides an SEL Seminar Curriculum; an equity centered Tier 1 MTSS approach to post-secondary preparation, transition and academic reflection.

Cultivating Nurturing Spaces

Initially, a safe space where students could drop in and receive the support they needed from caring adults. NewRoot provided homework assistance, tutoring, a listening ear, fun activities, and a gentle nudge of encouragement.