The Alliance for Unitive Justice

The Alliance for Unitive Justice (AUJ) is a Virginia non-profit headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, dedicated to cultivating and sustaining communities that are connected, creative, supportive and restorative.

We educate, support and advocate about Unitive Justice Theory and its application as a path to creating Unitive Communities in our schools, churches, businesses and other places where people come together.


Our mission is to cultivate and support connection and a recognition of our shared humanity in our communities through programs and services that are guided by Unitive Justice Theory. 


Our vision is a world where people act from a place of lovingkindness towards one another, and where open, honest communication occurs in safe, supportive environments.



When Sylvia Clute and Donna Chewning met in 2010, Sylvia had been working on Unitive Justice Theory for over 20 years, and Donna had long been committed to love, dignity and respect for all as an integral part of organizational design. From her work with special needs children, Donna had a heightened awareness of the negative effects of exclusion. Soon after they met, they had an the opportunity to implement a pilot Restorative Justice program in an urban school.

As they say, the rest is history.

The Alliance for Unitive Justice (AUJ), originally called Restorative Youth Services of Virginia, was founded by Sylvia and Donna in 2011 in order to implement this Restorative Justice school program. By bringing Restorative Justice practices together with Unitive Justice Theory, they created a unique model that has the power to transform communities and produce system change. This new system strengthens community values so values guide behavior instead of rules enforcing compliance. It also fosters inclusion without exception and heals conflict by getting to the root causes using Restorative Circle practices. This first school program formed the foundation that guides the creation of Unitive Communities today.