Nov 16, 2022
David Lewis-Peart on restorative circles and bridging community divides
In what ways have reactive activist efforts at restorative community work furthered divide between ‘marginalised’ communities and groups characterised as ‘oppressors’? How can we reimagine reparative work in community so that it holds space for reflection and pause, both integral for long-term systemic change but also acceptance of the multiplicities and complexities that make up our individual and collective bodies?
Today we are joined by David Lewis-Peart, a Toronto-based writer, educator and former TedX speaker whose work looks at identity, race, masculinity, mental health and the concept of the GRACE Principle.
He holds a diploma in Human Services Counselling - mental health and addictions, with certification in Life Skills Coaching, and additional training in Facilitating Restorative Circles, and Family Group Conferencing. He has previously been a member of faculty in both Child and Youth Care and Social Service Work programs in Toronto, Brampton and Oakville.
David has been a founding lead on a number of community service and arts-based initiatives supporting Black and other groups. A former minister, David was co-founder and former coordinator of the spiritual-arts community Sunset Service Toronto Fellowship, honoured by the Canadian Race Relations Foundation in 2014, and again in 2016. In 2015 NOW Magazine Readers Choice Awards recognized Sunset Service as Best Activist Religious Group - Runner-up, with David later being appointed by the Chicago-based Parliament of the World's Religions as Co-Chair of the Next Generation Task Force in 2017.
David has been the recipient of several awards for his work in community-building including the TD Canada LGBT Youthline Award for Achievement in Social Services, the Toronto Community Foundation – Vital People Award, and the inaugural Walden New Thought Awards recognizing socially conscious leaders globally in 2019.
He has regularly contributed to national publications such as Canadian Broadcast Company (CBC), Huffington Post Canada, and Global News, engaging as a thought leader on issues of race, identity, restorative practice and working across difference.
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