Letter writer: Asheville has chance to hear restorative justice expert Friday

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Asheville has the remarkable opportunity this week to sit down with Dominic Barter, a fellow who’s been turning people all over the world on to the possibility of recreating our communities in the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, Eleanor Roosevelt, Vandana Shiva and others invested in a world of peacemaking. On Friday night, June 5, Barter will address an audience of social activists, community organizers, legal professionals and others in the fields of conflict facilitation from all over the U.S. at Odyssey Community School in Asheville.

It took facing the hopelessness in places like the favelas (shantytowns) of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil — where families and gangs, drug lords and police were facing extraordinary homicide statistics — that helped Barter’s vision evolve into government-sanctioned programs in restorative justice. Now, when his travels take him away from his family in Rio, Dom likes to stack functions and respond to more than one community’s invitation, which is how this remarkable chance for him to be in Asheville came about. (He will have participated in a conference on restorative justice in Fort Lauderdale prior to coming up to the mountains.) This opportunity to meet him and hear from the source about the Restorative Circles process he’s developed should be celebrated at the four corners of our bioregion!

Barter speaks at Odyssey (90 Zillicoa St.) at 7:30 p.m. on Friday. There is no admission charge for this event, although a conference he will attend, Restorative Circles in Our Communities, at Earthaven Ecovillage over the weekend, has some donations associated with it. Please visit www.culturesedge.net (or call 828-669-1965) for more information. Let’s get more comfortable with our conflicts, y’all!

— Arjuna da Silva
Black Mountain


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