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Transformative Justice in an Unjust World – Narratives from Women Who Have Lived Experience Within Our Justice System

February 29 @ 12:00 pm 2:00 pm

Panel Discussion with

Alex: Is a member of Walls to Bridges since 2014 and is an apprentice with the local 27 Carpenters Union. Alex is a certified peer worker; and an accountability coach with ‘Building Up,’ an organization which supports people facing barriers to employment. Has recently won the Toronto ‘Woman of Distinction’ award for the YWCA 2023 and Canada’s Top 100 Black Women to Watch 2023.

Tasha W: I am a mixed women Black Jamaican, Nova Scotian and Native origin. I was born in Toronto. I am a mother to a lovely daughter whom I admire and I love with all my Being. I work for a Non-Profit Organization as a Youth Coordinator. I love me job, which I have been doing this from 2019 to present day. I am proud of the fact that I can have my dream job and that I could beat the odds. A lot of people said that I couldn’t do so because of my past. I am not my past, I am my story; only I can tell it, only I have walked this journey. I am so proud of what I have become and of what I still have to do on my journey. My work is my passion, being able to tell my story and help change lives makes it all the better for me. 

Elizabeth: Is a dedicated social justice advocate with firsthand lived experience who has devoted the past twelve years to championing the rights of Canada’s most marginalized, victimized, criminalized, and institutionalized individuals. Her core belief is that trauma and severe life stressors can lead to the unraveling of lives. Driven by a deep passion for raising awareness of social justice issues, Elizabeth actively shares her personal encounters with criminalization. Her impactful work includes active participation and collaboration with the Walls to Bridges Program and Collective, where she has co-facilitated numerous university courses and workshops. Through these educational endeavors, she aims to foster a greater understanding of the challenges faced by those entangled in the criminal justice system. Elizabeth’s commitment extends to her role on the Board of Directors for Rittenhouse: A New Vision (RaNV), where she plays a vital role in guiding the organization’s mission and initiatives. Her involvement underscores a comprehensive approach to effecting positive change in the lives of individuals impacted by systemic injustices. Elizabeth’s journey as a social justice advocate is marked by both hands-on experience and strategic leadership, making a profound impact on the lives of the disenfranchised while contributing to the broader societal conversation on justice and equity.

Questions to consider for participants:

  1. What are your thoughts on the criminalization of women?
  2. What do you think are the merits or deficits of each of these societal responses to “unlawful behaviour/criminality”: punishment, helper and rehabilitation?
  3. Why did you choose to work in the field of justice and/or social services?
  4. How do you envision transformative justice?
  5. How do you envision an equitable/inclusive restorative justice?
  6. What does rehabilitation look like to you?