150+ Canadians Day 07: Eva Marszewski

Image Credit: Centre for Social Innovation Toronto

Eva Marszewski contributed to peace through efforts promoting a restorative approach to preventing and addressing youth conflicts.

She was the founder of the group Peacebuilders in 2002 as the action plan of youths and adults who were conflict resolution trainers and practitioners from Bosnia, Canada, Colombia, Jamaica, Macedonia, Northern Ireland, South Africa and the United States. Their vision was to promote respectful, equal relationships based on positive values despite ethnic, religious, or other differences. They decided to use Talking Circles as their core methodology to include diverse participants and give them an equal voice.

In 2004 the Peacemaking Circles Pilot Project was launched with funding from the Law Foundation of Ontario. In 2006, she established Peacebuilders International (Canada), known as “Peacebuilders,” as the Canadian Charity that would continue Peacebuilders International’s mission and vision. With funding from Justice Canada, Peacebuilders launched the Youth Circles project, a restorative justice clinic that works with youths from priority neighborhoods across Toronto.

Since April 2009, Peacebuilders’ own fundraising has supported the Youth Circles Program and the development of additional programs that have led to partnerships with schools, jails, and various community organizations, as well as the establishment of the very first restorative justice clinic in Toronto.

Eva E. Marszewski is currently an Adjunct Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School.  She was the recipient of the prestigious Law Society Medal from the Law Society of Upper Canada, the YMCA Peace Medallion in 2006, the Canadian Congress on Criminal Justices’ Crime Prevention Award in 2007, the Dianne Martin Medal for Social Justice Through Law in 2009, became a Fellow of the Ashoka Foundation in 2010 and on October 3, 2013, became the first recipient of the Roy McMurtry Community Service Award. Eva was most recently awarded the 2015 Order of Ontario.