Walking the Talk When We'd Rather Flee

EMU Restorative Justice in Education Conference:
Closing Keynote with Dr. dorothy vaandering

Resources, Graphics, Quotes, Links

"to make hope practical and despair unconvincing" - Raymond Williams
(see also: Paulo Freire, Henri Giroux)

"The Talk"

How do I get ahead? How do I get more than others?
Who is benefitting? Who is bearing the burden?


Interconnected people
Interconnected life

Dignity in the midst of conflict

Colonization is the “extended process of learning to deny relationships” and the "intentional imposition of a particular way of understanding life and living, understanding human beings, understanding knowledge and knowing” (Dwayne Donald, 2020)

"All persons, regardless of rank or social class, have an equal intrinsic worth or dignity. Human dignity is an innate worth or status that we did not earn and cannot forfeit"

"worth that has no substitute" (Immanuel Kant, 1700s)

"We live in and through relationships with others" (Jennifer Llewellyn), thus, we understand each other through each other.

The "people I disagree with are not my enemies, but my fellow human being" (Anonymous) 

Understanding each other through each other looks/sounds like:

Relationship Ripples in Education (vaandering, 2014) 

Restorative Justice in Education Venn Diagram
(Evans & vaandering, 2016) 

Relationship Triangle (vaandering, 2014)
adapted from Morrison (2007) and Hopkins (2011) 

"The Walk"

Do I honour myself and see myself as worthy and interconnected? Or do I measure myself?
What message am I sending?

Framework Questions:

What is happening?
What am I thinking and feeling?
Who is being impacted? How?
What's the hardest thing for me?
What do I need [to do] to go forward?

“Injustice is about hurt and pain so that brings in parts of our body, including the heart and soul. [This talking] includes body language [and] knowing someone is listening and caring. If you are listening from your core, you will understand the telling of these stories of justice and injustice.” (Joe, vaandering, et al., 2022)

"two-eared listening is a work of hEARt"
(Anne and Rachel Cortez, Corner Brook, NL, Canada)

"When we thought of two eared listening, we visualized two ears joined together that forms a heart. We actively listen not only using our ears but our heart, with open-mindedness that will always work towards equality and reconciliation. The hands around the hEARt is a gesture that symbolizes the sharing of what we have understood and learned" (Anne & Rachel Cortez, Corner Brook, NL).

Dr. dorothy vaandering
Associate Professor & RFNL Director
G.A. Hickman Building
Faculty of Education, Memorial University
St. John's, NL Canada A1B 3X8


Donald, D. (2020). Homo economicus and forgetful curriculum: Remembering other ways to be a human being. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VM1J3evcEyQ

Evans, K. & Vaandering, d. (2022). The Little Book of Restorative Justice in Education. Skyhorse Publishing. 

Freire, P. (1970) Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York, Continuum.

Freire, P. (1994) Pedagogy of Hope. New York, Continuum. 

Giroux, H. (2022). Without hope, there is no political action. Podcast: Public Good. Hosts Shannon Moore & Stephen Hurley. https://voiced.ca/podcast_episode_post/without-hope-there-is-no-political-agency-with-guest-dr-henry-giroux/

Joe, M., vaandering, d., Ricciardelli, R., Giwa, S., Moore, S. (2022). Two-eared listening is essential for understanding restorative justice in Canada. The Conversation.

McNutt, C. (2020) Unpacking “neoliberal” schooling. Human Restoration Project. https://medium.com/human-restoration-project/unpacking-neoliberal-schooling-aa3a2add66e8#:~:text=Build%20alternatives%20to%20standardized%20testing,%2C%20and%20social%20well%2Dbeing

Moore, S., Rodway, J., vaandering, d. 2023). Decolonization through Two-Eared listening: The integral role of listening to Indigenous community voices and stories. Education Canada.

O’Brien, Dani & Nygreen, Kysa (2020) Advancing Restorative Justice in the Context of Racial Neoliberalism: Engaging Contradictions to Build Humanizing Spaces. Equity & Excellence in Education. 53:4, 518-530, DOI: 10.1080/10665684.2020.1791768

Williams, Raymond (1963). Culture and Society. New York: Columbia University Press.

Relationships First Newfoundland and Labrador: www.rfnl.org

Two-Eared Listening: www.twoearedlistening.com