About Us



ELAINE SHPUNGIN, PH.D., is the founder and director of Conflict 180.

Elaine is passionate about contributing to a future in which we address conflict more constructively and restoratively.


Her dream is: “Restorative Circles in Congress!”

Her journey towards her own Restorative Shift has led her to be a student and teacher of effective communication, deep listening, and equity for more than two decades.

Since 2009, she has been supporting justice systems, schools, university units, organizations, and communities in making their own Restorative Shifts by incorporating best practices from multiple fields, including restorative practices, justice, leadership, and diversity science.

Elaine’s writing has appeared in academic journals, scholarly books, web magazines, popular books on psychology, and her RestorativeRevolution blog.

She is also the proud parent of two kids, 14 and 9, who give her lots of opportunity to practice constructive (and destructive) conflict approaches at home.

In 2016, Elaine founded Conflict 180, with the goal of supporting schools, families, and communities in finding constructive ways to address conflict and restoring dignity and cohesion following acts of harm.

You can reach Elaine by emailing Elaine@Conflict180.com




MIKHAIL LYUBANSKY, PH.D., is Elaine’s partner in life and in Conflict 180. He is involved in training and evaluation of the Conflict 180 interventions, supervising Conflict 180 students and interns, and running the Conflict 180 social media accounts.

He is also a member of the teaching faculty in the Department of Psychology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where among other courses, he teaches Psychology of Race and Ethnicity and graduate-level practicum courses on restorative justice.

Since 2009, Mikhail has been bringing his two decades of experience in teaching and writing about racial justice to learning, facilitating, evaluating, and sharing Restorative Circles, a restorative practice developed in Brazil.

In addition to multiple book chapters and peer-reviewed articles, Mikhail recently co-edited an academic text Toward a Socially Responsible Psychology for a Global Age and regularly explores racial justice and restorative justice themes in his Psychology Today blog: Between the Lines.

Born in the former Soviet Union, Mikhail immigrated with his family to the United States as a child in 1977.

You can reach him at lyubanskym@gmail.com.


STUDENT MEMBERS: Our team also includes a diverse group of trained undergraduate and graduate students with a commitment to social justice, restorative solutions, and community collaboration.



Our work stands on the shoulders of many mentors. We owe particular gratitude to:

dominicbarter2016       kitmiller2013     baynvc_lp



Our beautiful logo was created by Kate Ross. 




Please note: Conflict 180 does not pay indirect costs.