Wednesday, 24 September 2014


Justice as a lived and living experience means that as many voices as possible should be shared, should be heard, should be Sawbonna-ed. Recently I listened to two inspiring womyn, my friend and colleague,  Ardath Whynacht, and my sister Poet, El Jones. Both womyn spoke about justice as, Radical Compassion. Ardath  is in her first year as professor in Sociology at Mount Allison, NB. I had the gift of meeting her when we both gave talks about the impotence of the prison system, in Ottawa this past June. El is a warrioress, whose poetry and talks, and prison work, provokes, ignites, and fires. We recently met at a Radical Imagination gathering here in Halifax. In our conversations about how prisons are not victim services, are not in fact service for anyone in our communities, we each recognized the pulsating thread that is Sawbonna's voicing. The thread is the simple understanding that to embody justice by thinking not only with the head via the terrain of retribution and revenge, but rather with the heart, with Wisdom, via the terrain of respect, responsibility, and relationship, is to live Radical Compassion. Radical Compassion is in fact the simple act of not living from an us vs. them stance, but from an us with us vision. Us with us means that we do not scapegoat or allow ourselves to be scapegoated. Us with us means that we live the changes we wish to see in society. Changes contoured in the potent crucible that is Sawbonna's Wisdom, Sawbonna's invitation to let our hearts be our compass when it comes to living justice with and for and because we know that each of our voices matter.

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