Biographies for Alcatraz Restorative Justice Panel Discussion

We Players is honored to facilitate discussion on the transformation of identity, restorative justice, and the methodology of state produced inmate portraiture are the primary themes for the exhibition on Alcatraz this Saturday.  Bios for our participating artists and practitioners of interpretation and restorative justice are below.  We extend our thanks for their talent and dedication to justice and forgiveness.

Reservations are filled for our exhibition opening event this Saturday, but our experience with offering free reservations is that there is usually space for at least a hand full of wait list admissions.  If you’d really like to join us and haven’t yet made your reservation, just arrive at Pier 33 between 12:30-12:45, follow the We Players signs to our reservations table, and add your name to the waiting list.

Sujatha Baliga

Sujatha’s work is characterized by an equal dedication to victims and persons accused of crime.  Sujatha earned her A.B. from Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges and her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.  She has held federal clerkships with the Honorable William K. Sessions, III, Chair of the U.S. Sentencing Commission and with the Honorable Martha Vázquez. Sujatha has served as a consultant to the Stanford Criminal Justice Center, and taught Restorative Justice at New College School of Law and at the California Institute for Integral Studies. In 2008, Sujatha was awarded a Soros Justice Fellowship, which she used to spearhead a successful restorative juvenile diversion program in Alameda County.

She is the Director of Community Works’ newest initiative, Community Justice Works, where she continues to implement and expand the restorative juvenile diversion program she began through her Soros Fellowship.  Sujatha is also the Founder and Executive Director of The Paragate Project, an organization dedicated to exploring forgiveness. An emerging national voice in restorative justice, she was recently honored as Northeastern University Law School’s Daynard Fellow.  Sujatha’s personal and research interests include victims’ voices in restorative practices, the forgiveness of seemingly unforgivable acts, and Tibetan notions of justice.

Evan Bissell

Evan Bissell is a Bay Area artist and educator whose work is a project-based practice of creating structures of collaborative dialogue and expressions of personal and community truths. Working with groups of people, Bissell facilitates educational, auto-ethnographic and contemplative processes of interviews, research, listening, writing and art-making.  In the last five years he has created and publicly installed over 50 original paintings and murals with Bay Area residents on themes ranging from love, to education to incarceration.  He has had solo exhibitions at SOMArts Cultural Center, Intersection for the Arts and Marcus Books, and created the original set for the play Mirrors in Every Corner. Evan currently teaches art at El Cerrito High School in the Teen Alive program – combining art with critical group discussion on masculinity and violence.

Jim Breeden

Jim Breeden has been an Interpreter on Alcatraz for nearly three years. He has done groundbreaking research in what is described as Alcatraz’s first escape attempt, recasting the event in an entirely different light. He is currently preparing for a future display on Alcatraz, which involves comparing Alcatraz to modern American prisons and illuminating alternative approaches to incarceration such as restorative justice.

Monica Lundy

Born in Portland, Oregon in 1974, Monica Lundy spent her childhood between Oregon, California and Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. She received a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1996. In 2001 she moved to Florence, Italy, where she studied painting independently under the mentorship of Jules Maidoff, founder of Studio Art Centers International.  Monica received a MFA from Mills College in 2010 and was also a recipient of the 2010 Jay DeFeo Award in painting and sculpture.  She currently lives and works in Oakland, California.