Public Lecture Series 2023: Donna Coker


Delivered on March 27, 2023 at 7pm at Dalhousie University in collaboration with the Criminal Justice Coalition of the Schulich School of Law. 

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.

Read more of Donna’s work:


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