Racial Justice and Restorative Justice: From Truth Telling to Reparations


Davis and Llewellyn
Fania Davis is a leading national voice on restorative justice. She is a civil rights lawyer, social justice advocate, restorative justice practitioner, writer and scholar with a PhD in Indigenous Knowledge. The Los Angeles Times named her a New Civil Rights Leader of the 21st Century.
Jennifer Llewellyn is a Professor of Law for the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University and the Director of the International Learning Community on a Restorative Approach. In 2018, she served as the scholar in residence for the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission. 

Fania Davis and Jennifer Llewellyn’s Young Initiative talk on both racial and restorative justice highlighlighted the need for holistic and genuine community reconciliation. Davis emphasized that in order for this restoration to take place, the three R’s of restorative justice must be realized: (1) recognize harm, (2) take responsibility for pain caused, and (3) take reparative action harm to prevent recurrence. Both Davis and Llewellyn explained that it is not enough to say sorry but that offending community members and leaders must “do sorry.” They explained that institutions or individuals issuing public apologies acknowledging their role in the history of the discrimination and disenfranchisement of marginalized communities is alone insufficient but can be valued when offenders take deliberate steps to listen to and improve the conditions of the communities they have previously harmed; the latter is “doing” sorry. Davis and Llewellyn elaborated, that monetary reparations alone do not “do sorry” when they do not abolish the systems that subjugate Black people. Llewellyn urged community members to consider a completely different vision of justice. She explained that truth-telling alone will not set communities free, but rather, Llewellyn stressed the importance of supporting conditions where the uncovered truth has new meaning and place within a community.

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