Teaching gives meaning to my life. I challenge my students at GSU, as one of them puts it, "to reach the stars" as they challenge me to do. I derive happiness in reading students' reflections and contemplations on ideas such as community, distributive, social and restorative justice. I like to strengthen in my students the idea that education involves more than being skilled and trained in certain areas of knowledge. Education is intrinsically related to the opportunity to achieve their full potential as human beings, to express curiosity about the world and to live their humanity. My role as an educator is to encourage students to understand the fundamental ideas and concepts that guide our sense of humanity.
I call my students to their duty, as citizens, to think, reflect and act, humanizing and transforming injustice to justice in the world, through action based on their universal ethic. It might be clear by now that I am a Paulo Freire reader. Indeed, I subscribe to Freire, Morin and Illich and others, to the idea that education not only trains people for producing goods and services, but also serves to provoke their social and political dimensions.
I completed my Ph.D. in the School of Justice and Social Inquiry at Arizona State University, where I pursued interdisciplinary research on the practices of restorative justice principles in court settings (formal bureaucracies) and community and indigenous organizations (substantive organizations). I also hold a Master's Degree in Public Administration and an undergraduate degree in Law. The focus of my Master's degree was a critical discourse analysis of the legislation that regulates the nonprofit sector. Both studies allowed me to work with marginalized populations in the urban slums of several cities. My principal research agenda continues to focus on the public and nonprofit administrative contexts of various criminal justice practices, with an emphasis on the principles of restorative justice. I managed the Mediation and Restorative Justice Centre in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Currently, I am an Assistant Professor at the Criminal Justice Department at Governors State University, in Chicago. I continue to be a member of the steering committee of the Centre for Restorative Justice at Simon Fraser University, in Vancouver, Canada. I am also involved in international cooperation between Canada, the United States and Brazil in the area of Restorative Justice.
Attuned with GSU's commitment to Global Citizenship, my work on Restorative Justice extends throughout the world. Since March 2014, I have worked as a consultant for the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Fiji and the Solomon Islands, providing tailored technical support to public and non-profit organizations in the area of social and restorative justice. Since 201o, I have worked as a consultant to the Supreme Courts of the three main states in Brazil: Sao Paulo, Minas Gerais and Rio Grande do Sul. I have organized two of the main international symposiums on restorative justice in Brazil in 2010 and 2012. Additionally, I have been invited as the main speaker to the upcoming World Juvenile Justice Congress, Geneva, Switzerland's preparatory meeting in Fortaleza, Brazil, in November 2014, where my talk will focus on Restorative Justice: Co-Produced Strategies for Juvenile Justice Systems.
I have also collaborated with national, regional, and international organizations, including the Organization of the American States, the Association for Conflict Resolution, San Francisco Community Boards and the school of judges and supreme courts of Porto Alegre, Minas Gerais and Sao Paulo in Brazil.
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