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Re-imagining and Restoring Justice: Toward a Truth and Reconciliation Process to Address Violence Against African-Americans in the US

The webinar, Re-imagining and Restoring Justice: Toward a Truth and Reconciliation Process to Address Violence Against African-Americans in the US, was hosted by Carl Stauffer and speaker guest, Fania Davis, and occurred March 16, 2016 on Zehr Institute‘s site. In the hour and a half long webinar, Stauffer and Davis discuss the restorative-justice based, Truth and Reconciliation Movement. Davis begins with sharing her personal story and how her path led to restorative justice and the Truth and Reconciliation Movement. In this process, Davis explains, one asks the questions, “how can we tell the truth, promote accountability and transform social structures that are totally different?”. Like the restorative justice frame, participants come together to share their truths, listen to other perspectives, offer support to those affected, and work through the experiences in a way that heals trauma. Throughout the webinar, Stauffer and Davis talk about restorative justice processes around the world and how they shaped the Movement, current Truth and Reconciliation processes going on in the US and finally, the webinar is wrapped up with a Q&A.

You can find the full webinar below or on Zehr Institute’s site here.

From the Zehr Institute…

The recent wave of internationally publicized police killings in the U.S. has sparked a national race conversation and passionate outcry for justice. But the current justice system cannot deliver the justice we seek – it is itself a perpetrator of massive structural harm. Also, killings of unarmed black people are contemporary expressions of centuries of unhealed racial traumas reaching all the way back to the birth of our nation, morphing from slavery to sharecropping and lynching, from Jim Crow to convict leasing, and to mass incarceration and deadly police practices today. Prevailing justice lacks the capacity to redress racialized historical harm. Yet, until we as a nation interrupt intergenerationally-transmitted racial traumas, we are doomed to perpetually re-enact them.  If the justice system as we know it cannot adequately redress the long legacy of racial trauma in this country, can we imagine and engender a justice that can? A more capacious justice: one that promotes truth-telling, accountability, and reparations? Can we envision a justice that transforms relationships and social structures, grounding them in a mutual recognition of one another’s humanity?  A justice that allows us as a nation, racially-fractured for centuries, to heal and build a new future together?

This webinar explores the possibility of a restorative justice-based Truth and Reconciliation Movement as our best hope.

We need to think about justice in a completely different way. How do we envision and imagine justice that can interrupt the historical cycles of racial trauma? How do we transform this historical harms, so that the killings can stop? How do we view accountability? How do we hold system accountable?

Below is the full webinar and it can also be found on Zehr Institute’s site here.

About Dr. Fania Davis
She is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth (RJOY). Coming of age in Birmingham, Alabama during the social ferment of the civil rights era, the murder of two close childhood friends in the 1963 Sunday School bombing crystallized within Fania a passionate commitment to social transformation. For the next decades, she was active in the civil rights, Black liberation, women’s, prisoners’, peace, anti-racial violence and anti-apartheid movements.

About Zehr Institute
The leaders of EMU’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP) announced the founding of the Zehr Institute at the end of the fall 2012 semester. The Zehr Institute spreads knowledge about restorative justice and is a resource to practitioners, while facilitating conversations and cultivating connections through activities like conferences and webinars. The institute is co-directed by Howard Zehr, distinguished professor of restorative justice, and Carl Stauffer, assistant professor of justice and development studies at CJP.

Resource Link: http://zehr-institute.org/webinar/re-imagining-and-restoring-justice-toward-a-truth-and-reconciliation-process-to-address-violence-against-african-americans-in-the-united-states/

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