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The Future of Justice

Restorative Justice Expert sujatha baliga + Justice Robert Yazzie

Wednesday, June 27, 2018
7:00 PM–8:30 PM

We are living in a moment when injustices all over the world are finally coming to the fore and being challenged. People are taking to the streets in response to the violence and conflict that they and their fellow citizens face on a daily basis, from sexual assault, environmental destruction, the shortcomings of public education, the swelling of mass incarceration, and more. But what happens next?

What kinds of frameworks and dreams can we have for an arc of justice that extends beyond the present moment and bears influence on millennia to come? How can we rethink serving justice when it is clear that things are going to change—but not nearly as fast and effectively as we desperately need them to?

sujatha baliga, a practicing Buddhist with a remarkable longstanding commitment to restorative justice, will speak with Chief Justice Emeritus of the Navajo Nation Robert Yazzie about how we can conceptualize the long fight and keep the light burning even at times of great impasse, tumult, and suffering.


This program is made possible by Rasika and Girish Reddy, Manoj and Rita Singh, and the Akhoury Foundation.


About the Speakers


sujatha baliga’s work is characterized by an equal dedication to victims and persons accused of crimes. She speaks publicly and inside prisons about her own experiences as a survivor of child sexual abuse and her path to forgiveness. A former victim advocate and public defender in New York and New Mexico, baliga was awarded a Soros Justice Fellowship in 2008 which she used to launch a pre-charge restorative juvenile diversion program in Alameda County. Through the Restorative Justice Project baliga helps communities implement restorative justice alternatives to juvenile detention and zero-tolerance school discipline policies. She is also dedicated to using this approach to end child sexual abuse and intimate partner violence. sujatha is a frequent guest lecturer at universities and conferences. She has been a guest on NPR and the Today Show, and The New York Times Magazine and The Atlantic have profiled her work. She earned her A.B. from Harvard College and her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, and she has held two federal clerkships.

Robert Yazzie is a citizen of and Chief Justice Emeritus of the Navajo Nation. He served as Chief Justice from 1992 through 2003. He practiced law in the Navajo Nation for sixteen years and was a district judge for eight years. He was formerly the Director of the Diné Policy Institute of Diné College (Navajo Nation), developing policy using authentic Navajo thinking. He is a visiting professor at the University of New Mexico School of Law, an adjunct professor of the Department of Criminal Justice of Northern Arizona University, and a visiting member of the faculty of the National Judicial College. He recently taught Navajo law at the Crownpoint Institute of Technology.

Yazzie earned a bachelor of arts degree from Oberlin College of Ohio and a juris doctor degree from the University of New Mexico School of Law. He is a member of the Navajo Nation Bar Association. He is the author of articles and book chapters on many subjects, including Navajo peacemaking, traditional Indian law, and international human rights law. Yazzie continues a career devoted to education in formal participation in faculties, lectures, and discussions of traditional indigenous law at various venues throughout the world. He has a global audience and frequently visits foreign lands to share his wisdom about traditional indigenous justice and governance.


Image Credit
Chitra Ganesh (b. 1975, Brooklyn, NY); Rainbow Body (still); 2018; digital animation; courtesy of the artist

Tickets: $22.00


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Student Tickets: $10.00

For select programs the museum offers $10 student-rate tickets. These tickets are available in advance of the event and can be purchased online, over the phone, or at the front desk. Tickets must be redeemed in person with the presentation of a student ID. Limited to one ticket per student ID.