President's Corner is a regular column from President Deep Saini.
Dear Dal Community,
Last week, I had the opportunity to visit the new home of the Restorative Research, Innovation & Education Lab in the Medjuck Building on our Sexton Campus. The Restorative Lab, as it is colloquially known, is both a physical space as well as a virtual change lab where researchers, partners and communities can come together from around the world to collaborate on a restorative approach.
For those unfamiliar, a restorative approach focuses on human connections and relationships. It responds to needs and impacts to find meaningful solutions for individuals and communities. Not only will the Restorative Lab help transform systems of justice and human services in Canada, but it will also further opportunities for international partnership in the field as the first international lab focused on restorative justice. In fact, it is already doing all of the above. It also hosts and supports the continued development and work of the Restorative International Learning Community, a network of leading experts, policymakers, community leaders, and practitioners supporting jurisdictions around the world that are committed to becoming restorative.
The Restorative Lab is led by Director Jennifer Llewellyn, Donald R. Sobey Foundation Chair in Restorative Justice at the Schulich School of Law. I had the privilege of meeting Professor Llewellyn in my previous role as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Canberra, where she has collaborated with researchers in Australia on a restorative approach to health care. If you have not yet had the opportunity, I encourage you to watch an episode of The Deep Dive that features Professor Llewellyn and long-time colleague from University of Canberra, Dr. Holly Northam.
The leadership of the lab and its partners here in Nova Scotia are already making an impact on a global scale. Its work is firmly in line with Dalhousie’s new strategic plan, Third Century Promise, and our commitment to being a civic university with global impact.
When I visited the Restorative Lab last week, I was joined by the private sector donors who have supported the critical work of the lab. Namely, The Donald R. Sobey Foundation, Bank of Montreal, and Wagner’s Law. The work of the lab would not be possible without their support, and we are grateful for their commitment to this globally significant work.
The Restorative Lab serves to illustrate the excellence that is enabled by partnership with government, community members and donors. It also showcases the power of international collaboration.
To learn more and connect with the work at the lab, visit restorativelab.ca.