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14:09 PM

GSU Professors to Lead and Present at Aug. 6 & 7 Restorative Justice Seminar

Two Governors State University (GSU)  professors will be featured at the International Webinar on Restorative Justice and the Environment on Aug. 6 and 7, sponsored by the Brazilian Federal Justice System.

The Brazilian based seminar, led by Federal Judge Katia Lazarano Roncada, will offer a series of presentations, including one by Governors State's Dr. Ben Almassi. His  “Justice After the Dam Breaks,’’ was inspired by the 1979 nuclear disaster at Church Rock, New Mexico.

Dr. Joao Salm, a GSU  restorative justice (RJ) professor, is coordinating and facilitating the event, which will examine the impact of sensitive and critical topics such as sustainability, agricultural production, and environmental preservation.

Though RJ is a set of principles and practices commonly employed to heal interpersonal relationships, Salm believes there is an opportunity to engage the same justice model to promote an understanding of environmental sustainability and reverse the impact of climate change.

“Restorative Justice is founded on the idea of interconnectedness and that interpersonal relationships matter,’’ said Salm. “However, it also invites us to think and understand the responsibility we have for maintaining and preserving nature. Restorative justice has this ecological potential, since it has values inherent to our human multidimensionality: among them, that we are also an integral part of nature. We have been looking at environmental harm—pollution, deforestation, cattle raising—through an antagonist lens, both those who degrade the environment and those who want to protect it. We want to create the opportunity to bring these voices together and discuss how RJ can be a tool to engage in dialogue.”

Organizers expect to engage community leaders, judges, lawyers, prosecutors, academics, government agents, non-governmental organizations, environmentalists, and other interest groups to consider their responsibility for nature and the urgent need for ecological living and thinking.

Creating a space to openly discuss different—and divergent—views is the goal of the seminar, which is sponsored by the government of Brazil, country that houses most of the Amazon forest.

Nearly 900 people from more than 15 countries have registered for the free webinar, which will be translated into English.

 For more information or to register, click here