The Restorative Lab’s Associates and Fellows come from around the world to work and learn together.
Each year the Restorative Lab welcomes a group of Associates and Fellows to work and learn together. Associates are generally connected to the work of the Lab on specific initiatives and projects throughout their tenure. A few Associates have an ongoing relationship with the Lab providing support and leadership on core Lab Activities. Graduate Fellows are invited to join the Lab in connection to a specific area of research or project development generally related to their graduate or post-graduate studies. Each year the Lab welcomes an International Visiting Fellow to support and showcase leading research and practice in the field.
Associates and Fellows will have a profile on the Restorative Lab website (restorativelab.ca). Fellows and Associates regularly gather as a learning community to discuss their work and are invited to events and other activities of the Lab. They also may be invited to present their research and work as part of the annual Associates and Fellows Public Lecture Series.
You can also see our cohorts of Past Associates and Fellows.
Diane Crocker is a Professor in the Department of Criminology at Saint Mary’s University. Her work explores the use of law to address social problems, particularly those that disproportionately affect women. She is currently a member of the Canadian Domestic Violence Prevention Initiative and iMPACTS: Collaborations to Address Sexual Violence on Campus. She regularly advises government and community agencies on projects related to gender-based violence. In the coming years, Dr. Crocker is leading the evaluation of Nova Scotia’s Standing Together initiative which will be developing a provincial domestic violence action plan for the province. She is also working on other projects that work to develop approaches to evaluation that align with feminist and relational principles.
Fania E. Davis is a leading national voice on restorative justice. She is a long-time social justice activist, civil rights trial attorney, writer, restorative justice practitioner, and educator with a PhD in Indigenous Knowledge. Coming of age in Birmingham, Alabama during the social ferment of the civil rights era, the murder of two close childhood friends in the 1963 Sunday School bombing crystallized within Fania a passionate commitment to social transformation. For the next decades, she was active in the Civil Rights, Black liberation, women’s, prisoners’, peace, anti-racial violence, economic justice and anti-apartheid movements. Studying with African indigenous healers catalyzed Fania’s search for a healing justice, ultimately leading her to serve as Founding Director of Restorative Justice of Oakland Youth (RJOY) and Co-Founding Board Member of the National Association of Community and Restorative Justice (NACRJ). Her numerous honors include the Ubuntu award for service to humanity, the Dennis Maloney Award for excellence in Youth Restorative Justice, the Black Feminist Shapeshifters and Waymakers’ Award, the Tikkun (Repair the World) award, the Ella Baker Jo Baker Human Rights Award, and the Ebony POWER 100 award. The Los Angeles Times named her a New Civil Rights Leader of the 21st Century. Fania, who resides in Oakland, California, writes and speaks internationally on restorative justice, racial justice, truth processes and indigeneity. Among her publications is the Little Book of Race and Restorative Justice: Black Lives, Justice, and U.S. Social Transformation.
Alexa Dodge is an Assistant Professor at Saint Mary’s University. Her current research considers restorative responses to digital forms of sexual violence, harassment, and bullying. Alexa’s research and social justice work is informed by her interdisciplinary background in feminist theory, socio-legal studies, critical criminology, and digital criminology. She has published on topics such as: the digital distribution of images of sexual violence, criminal and restorative responses to nonconsensual intimate image distribution, the shortcomings of criminal justice responses to sexual violence, and digital technology’s impact on crime, law, and justice.
Jake MacIsaac is Assistant Director, Security Services at Dalhousie University where he focuses on promoting restorative approaches within campus security and with other campus stakeholders. Previously, Jake worked at Nova Scotia’s largest restorative justice agency, overseeing case work staff and managing 700+ youth justice referrals from police, the prosecution service and the courts annually. Jake was part of a three-person facilitation team overseeing the restorative justice process at Dalhousie’s Faculty of Dentistry in 2015 addressing climate and culture within the faculty.
Melissa MacKay has extensive experience working in higher education administration, specializing in a restorative approach on issues of inclusion, equity, sexualized violence and curriculum development. Melissa believes in, and is dedicated to, the transformative potential of a restorative approach. Melissa’s leadership has contributed to a restorative shift on campuses in residence systems and student conduct, in thinking critically about the conditions necessary to make campuses safer, and in creating more human-centred responses to incidents of sexualized violence and discrimination. Melissa has worked in community here in Nova Scotia and nationally facilitating restorative processes and building capacity through education and knowledge sharing that showcases the difference a principled restorative approach can make for individuals and systems.
Megan Longley, KC joined the Schulich School of Law in the fall of 2021 as Executive Director of Dalhousie Legal Aid Service where she is responsible for teaching, administration of the clinic, and representing clients in criminal and family courts. Megan graduated from Dalhousie Law School in 1994 and was called to the Nova Scotia Bar in 1995. After a period in private practice, she joined Nova Scotia Legal Aid (NSLA) in 1999. Megan’s practice was primarily as criminal defense counsel, in the Youth Court for a good portion of her career. She became manager of Nova Scotia Legal Aid’s Youth Justice Office in 2011. In 2015 Megan joined NSLA’s Executive Office as Service Delivery Director and became CEO of Nova Scotia Legal Aid in 2016. Megan is past president of the Nova Scotia Criminal Lawyers’ Association, and recently completed two terms on the board of the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network. Megan has also represented the Association of Legal Aid Plans of Canada on Canada’s National Action Committee on Access to Justice. Megan has been on the Board of the Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice Board since 2021.
Erika Sasson is an attorney and practitioner who designs and facilitates restorative justice processes. Her work is focused on piloting restorative frameworks for complex harm, including for intimate partner violence, sexual assault, and homicide. She also consults on long-term projects with organizations in New York City and around the country who want to create restorative justice programming, or who need to navigate complex dynamics in pursuit of a healthier workplace. Erika’s work is anchored by her experiences learning directly from Native American peacemakers from across North America. Among her current projects, Erika is working with Violence Intervention Program—NYC’s only Latinx-led nonprofit focused on providing culturally-specific services to Latinx survivors of domestic and sexual violence—to create a localized restorative justice program tailored to the needs of their community. Erika is a 2023 recipient of The David Prize for extraordinary New Yorkers. Originally from Canada, Erika moved to NYC in 2009 and is raising a family with her husband Misha in Brooklyn, NY. Learn more or get in touch at erikasasson.com.
Donna Coker is Professor of Law at the University of Miami School of Law (Miami, Florida). She is a longtime advocate and researcher in the field of preventing and responding to intimate partner violence (IPV) and opposing racial and gender subordination in the criminal legal system. Donna began her career as a social worker in victim shelters and community-based programs. Her experiences assisting survivors convinced her that the increased reliance on the criminal legal system response to IPV that occurred in the 1980s-90s did not serve the needs of many survivors, particularly women of color and others most vulnerable to state control. Her interest in finding a different pathway led her to study the work of Navajo Peacemaking Courts. The empirical study that resulted has influenced work in the fields of restorative justice and IPV. Her more recent research has examined restorative responses to campus sexual assault and to building school-based support for girls of color. She served as an advisory board member for A National Portrait of Restorative Approaches to Intimate Partner Violence, a survey of U.S. programmes. She is the co-creator of a public education project, Reimagining the Movement to End Gender Violence, consisting of interviews with leading activists and scholars regarding the need to refocus anti-violence activism to addressing the structural inequalities that maintain violence. In 2015, she was a co-investigator for Responses from the Field, a U.S. survey of service providers regarding their experiences with policing, domestic violence, and sexual assault. She served as an expert consultant and advisory board member for a project of the National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women, Ending Mass Incarceration, Centralising Racial Justice, and Developing Alternatives. Donna holds an M.S.W. from the University of Arkansas and a J.D. from Stanford Law School.
Jacob Glover moved to Halifax since 2009. He has background in ancient philosophy, contemporary continental philosophy, and law. His interest in restorative justice took root in Prof. Jennifer Llewellyn’s seminars when he began thinking about the philosophical overlap between relationality, restorative justice, ancient rhetoric, and network theory. His graduate work focuses on taking a restorative approach to sport in partnership with Sport Nova Scotia and is funded by MITACS and Sport Nova Scotia.
Emma Halpern is the inaugural Graduate Fellow at the Restorative Lab. Emma is a lawyer, activist and advocate who has worked extensively on behalf of vulnerable and marginalized people in Nova Scotia. She is also the Executive Director of the Elizabeth Fry Society of Mainland Nova Scotia an organization that is devoted to improving the lives of women, trans and non- binary people through comprehensive housing supports, innovative programming initiatives, advocacy, justice system reform and through fostering and developing personal empowerment. Prior to this role Emma was the Equity and Access Officer at the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society. She was also a consultant on the provincial government restorative approaches in schools initiative and has conducted extensive research and project development around building a restorative approach to working with children and youth. In 2011, Emma was named one of Chatelaine Magazine’s Women of the Year in the category of “Everyday Hero” for her work on this project. Emma is currently working on her master of laws which focuses on the transformative opportunities born out of the pandemic’s impact on criminal justice in Nova Scotia. In particular, her research interests are in decarceration and relational justice.
Allison (Ali) Kooijman is a PhD Student in the School of Nursing at UBC Okanagan where she studies the contributions that a Restorative Approach stands to make in the healthcare context. Ali experienced harm as a patient which ended her career as a Licensed Practical Nurse. This experience, both as a former healthcare provider and patient, provides her with a unique lens that she brings to this space. Ali believes that transformation and reimagining of our healthcare system requires a collaborative effort and identifying a principled approach to serve as a foundation for doing so. Ali lives on the lands of the Syilx peoples in beautiful Coldstream, British Columbia.