On June 22nd, 2018 Healing Dialogue and Action partnered with Creative Acts and Words Uncaged to host a Symposium at Cal State LA which featured an art exhibit and restorative justice discussion circles.

State Senator Holly Mitchell, who has championed many bills on criminal justice reform, addressed guests at the event. You sharing your stories, you partnering with one another, you partnering with your elected officials is very important because we still have people who don’t understand and who are working to maintain the status quo every day,” said Mitchell

 

Photos by Anibal Ortiz

Participants included family survivors of homicide, people who returned to society after serving life sentences in prison, youth who live in the inner city, and policymakers in our communities.

Survivor family members, formerly incarcerated citizens, and youth shared their experiences with violence and the criminal justice system with other guests in small circles. Participants walked other guests through their trauma, loss, and healing journeys.

 

Breakout sessions

These powerful stories were transformed into action as conversations shifted to policymaking strategies led by those personally affected by violence. The groups brainstormed action steps to address high rates of violence, incarceration, and recidivism.

Guests and participants of the Symposium were able to connect with one another from the heart and reimagine the process for responding to harm and facilitating healing in California.