...Since 2003, Katy Hutchison has spoken to 350,000 young people in Canada and internationally, about her experiences. Her most recent engagement was last week, here in Victoria, when she spoke at the Victoria Restorative Justice Society’s 2010 AGM. I was there.
Here are some of Katy’s reflections from visiting communities here and far, and as an advocate for RJ:
- We have a moral responsibility to deal with conflict; “part of being human is rolling up our sleeves and taking an active part in repairing harm”
- RJ is a way to break the cycle of violence & abuse (Ryan was bullied as a youth, then became the bully); to live a better life
- On the importance of working with youth; when the classroom bully never fully understands how their actions hurt others, it carries on in their life, into their work worlds
- RJ is a position one takes; a way of thinking & being – a choice one makes every day!
- We need to better harness the media as a force for RJ; for sharing personal stories in a safe and successful way; recognizing the transformative power of RJ, and not just the gory details of the harm that precipitated it
- RJ is becoming more mainstream (with glaring exceptions); as an alternative way to deal with conflict (vs. zero tolerance approach)
- In some fractured neighbourhoods (e.g., in urban core), schools are defacto community centres; the role of RJ is central to the well-being of youth and community