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Justice as Lived Experience

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Ann Waterman.

Margot Van Sluytman will share her story of healing after violent crime and the importance of restorative justice. She will speak about the rich friendship that has grown between her and the man and the man, Glen, who killed her Father, Theodore, in an armed robbery in Toronto, Canada in 1978. In 2007 after reading about an award she received from the National Association for Poetry Therapy for her work creating and teaching courses in therapeutic writing, Glen contacted her. They learned that they each believed that respect, responsibility, and relationship, the core values of restorative justice, are crucial to how society lives justice. Margot will speak about how a “tough on crime” agenda, far too punitive, has little to do with living justice. She will challenge limiting ideas of the “good” guys vs. the “bad” guys; and, she will suggest that it is vital to come to recognize that the personal and the political are crucial in how society forms, reforms, informs, and transforms public policy, underscoring that a “legal” system is not the same as a justice system.


Margot Van Sluytman is an award-winning writer, speaker, justice advocate, and workshop facilitator. Her talks and workshops are presented in universities, colleges, jails, healing centres, and homeless shelters around the globe. Her Master’s Thesis, Sawbonna: Justice as Lived-Experience, addresses her strong belief in restorative justice and how it can empower victim, offender, our communities, and society. She believes that the personal and the political are symbiotic siblings. Her books include: Sawbonna: I See You a Real Life Restorative Justice Story and The Other Inmate: Mediating Justice-Mediating Hope, which is available in both English and French, Correctional Services Canada, funded the French translation.

This talk is part of the Education, Equality and Development (EED) Group Seminars series.

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