Restorative Justice and Repairing Ancestral Harm, with David Ryan Castro-Harris

When David Ryan Castro-Harris talks about restorative justice, it’s not only a practice, but also a philosophy and way to connect with our ancesotrs.  So what does restorative justice really mean to him?

David Ryan Castro-Harris is the founder of Amplify RJ and host of the This Restorative Justice Life Podcast.


Jackie Ferguson: Hi, and welcome to season five of the Diversity Beyond the Checkbox Podcast sponsored by The Diversity Movement. I’m your host, Jackie Ferguson equality advocate and certified diversity executive. On this show, we discuss how diversity, equity and inclusion benefit our workplaces, schools, and communities by sharing the stories, insights, and best practices of game changers, leaders, and glass ceiling breakers that are doing the work to make our world a more understanding, welcoming and supportive place for us all.

Jackie: Hello listeners, and thank you for joining Diversity Beyond the Checkbox Podcast. My guest today is David Ryan Castro-Harris. David is the founder of Amplify RJ, speaker, and facilitator. David, thanks so much for joining us. 

David: Yeah, thank you for having me. 

Jackie: So, David, I always like to try to start by asking a little about you, you know, whatever you’d like to share, whether that’s your background, something about your identity, your family. What would you like to share?

David: And I think a good place to start is just my name. Right? David Ryan Barcega Castro-Harris. Barcega is my middle name, which is my mom’s maiden name, and I think names are important for a lot of reasons. David is also my father’s name. So Ryan is a name that, on the surface might just seem like, oh, it’s a name, but because I’m half Filipino, Filipino culture, they do interesting things with names sometimes.

So R Y A N are letters taken from Ruth, my maternal grandmother’s name. Y A N from Yolando, my maternal grandfather’s name. That’s that, Barcega is my mom’s maiden name in Filipino culture. we often just slide that in as the child’s, middle name and then Castro-Harris is the name of that both my wife and I have. Right. we both decided to hyphenate and, you know, Castro has Italian roots. Thinking about the explorers who quote unquote explorers, colonizers, if you will. if you came to central America her family has roots in El Salvador and immigrated here as refugees.

And then thinking about Harris, a name that has Scottish roots, right. but that was given to my dad’s family, probably by the people who enslaved us and quote unquote bought us after we were brought here against our will as cargo from west Africa. And so when I think about. Who I am and whose shoulders I stand on, if you will.

My name encompasses so many of those things beyond that I use he him pronouns. I’m a brother, son, grandson, partner, soon to be father, nervous about that and excited. But yeah, 

Jackie: that’s me.

That’s fantastic. Thank you for sharing that, David, you know, I want to dig in a little bit on the name because very often in our culture, our society really, we kind of skim over that or mispronounce stuff and like, oh, they know what I mean or people feel a need to even shorten their names to make it easier for other people to pronounce. You know, tell me a little bit about, you know, if you’ve talked to your parents about like where your name comes from, cause you’ve got all of this amazing information, like what was their thoughts around being very deliberate in how to name you, right. Did you have a conversation with them about that? 

Full Episode Transcript

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