Speakers’ Bureau

Personal stories of reconciliation and renewal are at the heart of The Forgiveness Project and are central to its aims. The Project has collected over 140 personal stories since its launch, and many people who share their stories are part of our Speakers’ Bureau. Some of these stories make up our acclaimed exhibition, The F Word which has travelled widely and has been staged at over 350 venues worldwide.

We are frequently asked by schools, prisons, conferences and organizations hiring our exhibition for speakers to share their story in person.  Hearing someone speak first hand and being able to ask questions, is the most powerful form of story-telling.

We have speakers all around the world, including:

Our speakers in the UK

Natalia Aggiano – renewed her relationship with her father despite his murder of her mother

Salimata Badji-Knight – campaigns against FGM after her own childhood circumcision

Jo Berry – founder of Building Bridges for Peace after her father Sir Anthony Berry was killed in the Brighton bomb

Madeleine Black – raped as a young teenager but has rebuilt her life using forgiveness

Rosalyn Boyce  – survived rape in her own home then found the strength to meet her rapist face to face

Camilla Carr – writes and speaks on her experience of being taken hostage in Chechnya

Julie Chimes – attacked at her home by a stranger, now works to promote compassion

Hanneke Coates – finding peace through forgiveness after surviving a Japanese concentration camp and domestic abuse

Anne-Marie Cockburn – as part of a Restorative Justice process she exchanged letters with the young man who sold her 15-year-old daughter lethal MDMA (ecstasy)

Jacob Dunne – through Restorative Justice he met the parents’ of a young man he had fatally knocked to his death in an unprovoked attack

Tracey Ford – founded the JAGS Foundation after her son was murdered in South London

Margaret Foxley met the burglar of her home as part of a restorative justice conference, inspired by her late daughter’s empathy

Mike Haines – his brother David Haines was a British aid worker who was beheaded by ISIS

Sue Hanisch – found forgiveness transformative after she survived an IRA bomb attack in London

Mark Hendersontaken hostage in Colombia and later returned to interview his captor for a documentary

Grace Idowu – found strength in faith to forgive the teenager who murdered her young son

Matthew James – had a positive experience of restorative justice when he met the man who had burgled his home

Norman Kember – a pacifist taken hostage in Iraq who saw the humanity of his captors

Kathleen Key – found some closure through restorative justice after her husband was killed by a dangerous driver

Richard Levy – a survivor of the  7/7 attacks on London underground now seeking to understand the bomber

Richard McCann – overcame adversity after his mother was murdered by Peter Sutcliffe

Pat Magee – the former IRA activist responsible for planting the Brighton bomb, now supporting the work of Jo Berry

Barry and Margaret Mizen rejected revenge in favour of compassion when their teenage son was murdered in London

Marian Partington – pursuing forgiveness for Frederick & Rosemary West after their murder of her sister

Kemal Pervanic – imprisoned during the Bosnian war, but found release years later through forgiveness

Will Riley – met with former criminal Peter Woolf at an RJ conference, and went on to found organisation Why me? 

David Rogers – channeling grief after his son was killed in a random attack into positive action

John-Paul Samputu – lost several family members in the Rwandan Genocide but forgave friend who killed his father

Martin Snodden – a former UVF (Ulster Volunteer Force) paramilitary now aiding the Conflict Trauma Resource Centre project

Geoff Thompsonleft a life of violence to become a martial arts instructor, teacher and author

Elizabeth Turnerrebuilding life for herself and her son after her husband was killed in 9/11

Jude Whyte – continuing the legacy of his mother who was killed in a bomb blast outside the family home

Simon Wilson – survived a hit & run accident and has since trained for ordained ministry

Peter Woolf – a former career criminal transformed through restorative justice

Dave Dineen – suffered abuse throughout his childhood but chose forgiveness and founded LÁMH Healing Foundation

Jo Nodding – survivor of rape who met her rapist through a Restorative Justice scheme

Magdeline Makola – survived abduction and imprisonment through her decision to reject anger and hatred

Margaret McKinney – at peace after the return of the body of her son, who was abducted and killed by the IRA

Charlotte Maude – chose not to sue the NHS after a failure to recognise her daughter’s severe life-threatening illness

Marina Cantacuzino – founder and director The Forgiveness Project

Our speakers in the US

Brenda Adelman – found release from hate for her father who killed her mother, and now helps others to do the same through transformative workshops

Stacy Bannerman – her husband, Lorin, returned from the Iraq war with severe PTSD and his violent behaviour eventually destroyed their marriage. Stacy now dedicates her life to helping individuals, organizations and communities develop initiatives of peace and reconciliation.

Stephanie Cassatly – forgiving her mother’s killer brought peace and release

Rebecca DeMauro – let go of her anger and vengeance towards the man who brutally murdered her daughter

Zak Ebrahim – his father, El Sayyid Nosair, is a convicted terrorist, who was found guilty in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing trial which killed six people and injured over 1,000 others

Lynette D. Grace – has built a relationship with her friend’s son, 20 years after he killed his mother and attacked Lynette

Pardeep Kaleka – co-founded Serve 2 Unite after having lost his father in mass shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin

Azim Khamisa – works with the grandfather of his son’s murderer to prevent youth violence

Gayle Kirschenbaum – decided to take her mother to task about her deeply unhappy childhood, by making a documentary about their difficult and painful relationship

Eva Kor – has forgiven those who harmed her and her twin in Auschwitz

Scarlett Lewis – founded the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Foundation after her son was killed in the Sandy Hook school shooting

Debbie McLeland – working to educate young people about the dangers of drinking and driving with the drunk driver who caused her son’s death

Arno Michaelisformerly a while supremacist now working as a mentor with Serve 2 Unite

Andrew Rice – rejected narratives of revenge after his brother was killed in the 9/11 World Trade Center attack

Phyllis Rodriguez – met the mother of an al-Qaeda extremist after her son was killed in 9/11

Sammy Rangelformer gang member now working to prevent gang violence

Victoria Ruvolo – asked for amnesty for the thrill-seeking teenager who caused her life-threatening injuries

Chuck Sandstrom – offering help to the family of the stranger who assaulted him and caused a life-altering traumatic brain injury

Aqeela Sherrills – a former member of LA gang working for peace even after his son’s murder

Mathew Shurka – survivor of conversion therapy and prominent activist working to end the practice

Judith Toy – found forgiveness for the killer of three members of her family through Zen Buddhist practice

Bud Welch – took a public stand against the death penalty after meeting the family of the Oklahoma bomber who killed his daughter

Matthew Boger and Tim Zaal – working together to share the story of their reconciliation years after Tim as a young skinhead attacked Matthew when he was living on the streets

Mary Johnson – working to end violence between families through her organisation From Death to Life after she forgave her son’s murderer

Samantha Lawler – forgave her father in prison for the murder of her mother

Cathy Harrington – exploring forgiveness and campaigning for a fairer judicial system after her daughter was brutally murdered in her own home

Lorenn Walker – let go of resentment towards her attacker who attempted rape and murder

Linda Biehl – set up the Amy Biehl Foundation in memory of her daughter who was killed in Cape Town, and now works alongside the perpetrators.

Our speakers in Australia

Kelly Connor – working to forgive herself for causing the death of a woman in a road accident when she was a teenager

Ray Minniecon – has dedicated his life to supporting members of the Stolen Generations of Aboriginals

Gill Hicks – survivor of the 7th July terrorist attacks in London now working for peace with her not-for-profit organisation M.A.D.

Ginn Fourie –forgave those who killed her daughter in the Heidelberg Tavern massacre in South Africa

Our speakers in New Zealand

Susie Lomax – encouraged the young man who she caught breaking into her car to start afresh when she met him at a Family Group conference

Our speakers in Canada

Tony McAleer – a former organiser for the White Aryan Resistance (WAR), now director of Life After Hate

Anne Marie Hagan  – works as a motivational speaker after forgiving her father’s murderer

Katy Hutchison – helped the youth who killed her husband to transform his life by offering him forgiveness

Shannon Moroney – forgave her ex-husband who is serving a prison sentence for crimes against women, and now advocates for restorative justice

Our speakers in Israel

Yulie Cohen – wounded in the 1978 El Al airline terrorist attack and now lobbying for her attacker’s release

Robi Damelin – works for the Parent’s Circle to support reconciliation and peace after her son was killed by a Palestinian sniper

Rami Elhanan – works with the Parent’s Circle after his daughter was killed in a suicide bombing

Our speakers in Palestine

Bassam Aramin – wished revenge on Israeli troops but then sought dialogue in prison, later co-founded Combatants for Peace and joined the Parents’ Circle after his daughter was killed by border police

Our speakers in Lebanon

Assaad Emile Chaftari – asked forgiveness from the Lebanese people for his part in the Civil War and has since dedicated his life to peace-building

Our speakers in Norway

Bjørn Magnus Jacobsen Ihler – a survivor of the July 2011 attacks on Utøya island in Norway, now working against extremism and hatred

Our speakers in Rwanda

Jean-Baptiste Ntakirutimana – met the man who killed his mother in the Rwandan genocide and found the restorative justice process transformative

Our speakers in South Africa

Father Michael Lapsley – severely injured by a letter bomb sent by the apartheid government and now runs the Institute for Healing Memories

Christo Brand – previously a warder for Nelson Mandela on Robben Island, he now works at the Robben Island museum alongside ex-prisoners of the apartheid regime

Easy Nofemela – former member of the Azanian People’s Liberation Army and now working with the Amy Biehl Foundation


To book a speaker and find out prices contact: info@theforgivenessproject.com