Healing Dialogue and Action holds Transformative Justice Symposiums that bring up to 100 participants together for two-day gatherings inside prisons. Participants include survivor family members, incarcerated individuals serving life sentences, policy makers, law enforcement, and prison officials. On the first day, survivors and offenders share their stories with one another while advocates and others bear witness to their stories and the ripple effects of crime. On the second day, the conversation shifts to action and the group works collectively to brainstorm and strategize around specific policy issues.
“I had the opportunity to attend a recent Transformative Justice Symposium at San Quentin Prison where I participated in a circle with both offenders and families of victims… what I took away from this experience was the value of having the opportunity to express feelings without judgement, the art of active/compassionate listening, and the significance of healing and validation. I hope to participate in future “circles” or similar events.”
Nolice Edwards, Chief CDCR Office of Victim and Survivor Rights and Services
“The Transformative Justice Symposium changed the trajectory of my life. The survivors in my group helped me unlock a side of myself that I had never instigated. Their lives of heartache, torment, despair, and grief unintentionally exposed my remorse. I couldn’t have recognized and felt that intensity until after our two-day event. The courage of these powerful, extraordinary and beautifully endearing women hit me in my core. I changed.”
“I participated in these circles to help me continue to live, to ease the demons that visit after my son was killed. It has been one of the most therapeutic ways to find peace- who would have thought. To be in a circle with those who have committed homicide and those who have been on the receiving end, and at moments realizing we could all have been in each other’s shoes, we are all imperfect humans sharing our common humanity. We don’t have that opportunity much in the everyday world.”
Healing Dialogue survivor participant