Type: Public event
Host: Ford School

Interrupting systemic violence, restorative accountability and reparative policy frameworks: A comparative conversation on race, gender and the urban economy of place in South Africa and the U.S.

Date & time

Apr 7, 2016-Jun 24, 2024, 5:00-1:03 pm EDT


Weill Hall, O'Neill Classroom (1230)
735 S. State Street Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Free and open to the public.


About the panel:

The social, structural and systemic violence prevalent in poor urban and peri-urban communities continues to have devastating consequences for the human beings—men, women and children—who live there. These communities, designated commonly as poor “Communities of Color,” find themselves living in vicious sets of circumstances, having to contend with captive and destructive social and economic conditions of existential emergency from which very few escape. This comparative panel conversation will critically engage discourse approaches that blame poor ‘black, brown, red’ and other ‘communities of color’ for the violence they experience socially, without addressing the complex historical, political and policy legacies of pain. It will engage how dominant global public opinions, attitudes and interpretive narratives act to depoliticize and essentialize responsibility for reparative and restorative accountability in urban economies of shared geographic location. The panel conversation will examine how spatial and relational accountability in shared urban space is communally and systemically linked.  How is interrupting systemic violence, sharing the burden of building peaceful society, and repairing the legacies of political oppression a shared social experience and responsibility?



Dr. Troy Harden (Director, School of Social Work - Northeastern Illinois University)

Yazier Henry (Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy - University of Michigan)

Student Moderators, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy - University of Michigan: Matthew Alemu, PHD Candidate  and Peter Haviland-Eduah, MPP

Secondary Moderators and Student Respondents: Carlos Robles MPP, Mohammed Hamdan, Sharolynn Arnett MPP, Megan Blair MPP, Mary Alice Truitt MPP, Demar Lewis MPP, Cortney Sanders MPP, Eduardo Garcia MPP, Anna Lemler MSW, Jenna Engquist MPA, Edgar Morales MPP, Frank Cousin MPP



Dr. Troy Harden has over 25 years experience serving and consulting in social services and community settings. Dr. Harden currently serves as the director for Northeastern Illinois University’s Master of Social Work Program, where he is also an Associate Professor.  Specializing in trauma and traditional and non-traditional interventions within community settings, he has worked as a clinician, administrator, educator, intellectual, activist and community practitioner in the USA and many other parts of the world.  Dr. Harden has served as a consultant with a range of institutions such as the City of Chicago, Chicago Public Schools, the Illinois Department of Human Services, and the Illinois African American Coalition for Prevention.  He is currently a Co-Principal Investigator with DePaul University’s Multifaith Veterans Support Project, an initiative in the state of Illinois to build capacity in support of veteran communities and their families. 

Yazier Henry teaches at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan. He is a scholar, writer, strategist and professional human rights advocate. He has written and published on the political economy of social voice, memory, trauma, identity, peace processes, Truth Commissions, and international transitional justice. His current research and writing projects focus on how structural and administrative violence come to be institutionalized during post-colonial transitions. He studies and has in-depth experience in social and political movements, social and political systems, strategic communications, political strategy and conflict management. He has in depth experience in developing and implementing pyscho-social interventions in the context of at risk communities in South Africa and elsewhere.