sujatha baliga’s work is characterized by an equal dedication to crime survivors and people who’ve caused harm. A former victim advocate and public defender, baliga was awarded a Soros Justice Fellowship in 2008 which she used to launch a pre-charge restorative juvenile diversion program.
In her most recent position as the Director of the Restorative Justice Project at Impact Justice, sujatha helped communities across the nation implement restorative justice alternatives to juvenile detention and zero-tolerance school discipline policies. Today, she’s dedicated to using this approach to end child sexual abuse and intimate partner violence. sujatha is a frequent guest lecturer at universities and conferences; she speaks publicly and inside prisons about her own experiences as a survivor of child sexual abuse and her path to forgiveness. She is currently on sabbatical, working on her first book.
sujatha earned her A.B. from Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges, her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, and has held two federal district court clerkships. sujatha has taught a seminar on restorative justice at Berkeley Law School; her personal and research interests include the forgiveness of seemingly unforgivable acts, survivor-led movements, restorative justice’s potential impact on racial disparities in our justice system, and Buddhist notions of conflict transformation. She was named a 2019 MacArthur Fellow.
sujatha’s faith journey undergirds her justice work. A long-time Buddhist practitioner, she’s a lay member of the Gyuto Foundation, a Tibetan Buddhist Monastery in Richmond, CA, where she leads meditation on Monday nights. She makes her home in Berkeley, CA, with her partner of 23 years, Jason, and their 14-year-old child, Sathya.