SpeakOut Ed Talks - Race and Restorative Justice: Black Lives, Healing, & Social Transformation

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In this historic moment of heartache - the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, COVID 19, and white nationalism in the White House - Dr. Fania Davis explores how the nation is reckoning with the terrible truths of our history like never before - considering reparations, abolishing structures that systematically brutalize Black people, and building anew.

Systems of policing and public safety have terrorized Black people for 401 years. Fania asserts that history asks us to not only upend and reimagine systems of policing and public safety but to also re-envision justice. Addressing the intersectionality of race and the U.S. criminal justice system, she explores how restorative justice has the capacity to disrupt patterns of mass incarceration through effective, equitable, and transformative approaches. The multiple appeals today for truth and reconciliation gesture toward a new, more capacious justice that requires a collective reckoning.

Fania asserts, truth and reconciliation processes cannot be top-down. They must be homespun, informed but not defined, by truth and reconciliation processes from other times and places.

Our best hope, she argues, are restorative justice-informed truth processes that are bottom-up, radically-inclusive, community-driven, and rooted in Indigenous insights about humanity, collectivity, responsibility and the earth.