Talk of the Bay from KSQD
Talk of the Bay from KSQD
Alaya Vautier and Abi Mustapha on restorative justice, racial healing, and seeing the "other"


Alaya Vautier is the Restorative Justice Programs Director at the Conflict Resolution Center of Santa Cruz County (CRC). The CRC has been providing restorative justice services, mediation, training, facilitation and other conflict resolution services in the county for over 35 years. Alaya directs the Parent-Teen Mediation Program, the Victim Offender Dialogue Program, the Reconciliation Project, the Space for Change program – a collaboration with Walnut Avenue Family and Women’s Center, and designed the Neighborhood Courts Program for the District Attorney’s Office. She recently co-organized an event in collaboration with the MAH called “Lets Talk About It” where the general public was invited to sign up for a 30 minute 1-on-1 dialogue with someone of a different identity, such as a formerly incarcerated person, a transgender person or a police officer. The concept is that it is harder to see someone as “other” when you have had an opportunity to connect with them as a human being, therefore through these simple conversations, deep divisions can begin to be healed. Alaya grew up here in Santa Cruz County and is a lifelong surfer and artist.

Abi Mustapha is a Sierra Leonean/American contemporary artist and social justice advocate.  She holds a BA in Political Science with an emphasis in sustainability from Indiana University.  Abi has been creating murals and exhibiting her work in the bay area since 2013. She was the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History 2020 artist in residence.  In 2020 she initiated the Santa Cruz Black Lives Matter Mural and was a co-founder of the Santa Cruz Equity Collaborative.