Our Past Cohorts of 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 a Hill Postdoctoral Fellow in Law, Justice, and Society at Dalhousie 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.
Nancy Ross is an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work, Dalhousie University. Following twenty years of work in addiction and mental health settings she completed a PhD in Peace Studies. Her research aims to explore ways communities can better support people who have experienced violence in their relationships by incorporating a peacebuilding lens. Her work has examined the effectiveness of pro-arrest policies as a response to domestic violence within the Criminal Justice System, the experiences of women in Domestic Violence Courts and explores ways in which healthcare can become culturally responsive to reduce gender-based violence in the African Nova Scotian Community. She also researches the impact of childhood adversity and trauma experiences and ways in which communities can promote resilience and prevention.
Kai Butterfield, OCT, MT is pursuing their PhD in the Social Justice Education department at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. Their work as a research assistant on the Digital Oral Histories for Reconciliation project (DOHR) informs their interest in the critical examination of restorative justice and its role in education. Kai’s current research focuses on the ways that restorative justice has been co-opted by the Ontario education system and weaponized against Black and Indigenous students. They contend that there is an immediate need to address settler colonialism, white supremacy, and carcerality as structural issues that drive the appropriation and misuse of restorative justice in education.
Daniel Del Gobbo is a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow at the McGill University Faculty of Law, where his research focuses on the possibilities of restorative justice and transformative justice in promoting equality for women, LGBTQ2 peoples, and other historically marginalized groups. Daniel earned his S.J.D. from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law in 2021, where he was a Trudeau Scholar, SSHRC Doctoral Fellow, and CBA Viscount Bennett Fellow. Previously, he earned his LL.M. from Harvard Law School in 2015 and J.D. from Osgoode Hall Law School in 2011. He has published widely in the areas of civil procedure, human rights, access to justice, and critical theory. Previously, Daniel served as an Adjunct Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School from 2015 to 2019, where he taught two courses in ADR and restorative justice and received several awards for teaching excellence. His legal commentary has appeared in such major media outlets as The Globe and Mail, Policy Options, the Toronto Star, CBC Radio, the National Post, CP24, Lawyer’s Daily, and The Conversation. In addition to his work at the Restorative Lab, Daniel is retained as a consultant with the Cambridge Negotiation Institute, a U.S.-based think tank that focuses on new frontiers in ADR, restorative justice, and dispute systems design theory and practice.
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.
Dr. Holly Northam OAM is the inaugural Visiting Fellow at the Restorative Lab, (Fall 2021) from the Faculty of Health at the University of Canberra, Australia. Holly has a strong social justice focus underpinned by her professional identity as a nurse and midwife. Her PhD study, ’Hope for a peaceful death and organ donation’ identified healthcare communication failures led to preventable death and suffering.Holly’s research and teaching are framed using restorative practice and hope through two synergistic research arms. The first, experiences of organ donation and transplantation. The second, First Nation’s healthcare experiences. Holly is part of the ACT Restorative Community and the International Learning Community on a Restorative Approach.