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Fania Davis      

Co-founder & Director of Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth

Fania Davis is a leading national voice on restorative justice, a quickly emerging field which invites a fundamental shift in the way we think about and do justice. Restorative Justice is based on a desired set of principles and practices to mediate conflict, strengthen community and repair harm. She is a long-time social justice activist, Civil Rights trial attorney, restorative justice practitioner, writer, and scholar with a PhD in Indigenous Knowledge.

Coming of age in Birmingham, Alabama, during the social ferment of the civil rights era, the murder of two close childhood friends in the 1963 Sunday School bombing crystallized within Davis a passionate commitment to social transformation. For the next decades, she was active in the Civil Rights, Black liberation, women's, prisoners', peace, anti-racial violence and anti-apartheid movements. After receiving her law degree from University of California, Berkeley, in 1979, Davis practiced some 27 years as a Civil Rights trial lawyer.

During the mid 1990's, she entered a Ph.D. program in Indigenous studies at the California Institute of Integral Studies, and apprenticed with traditional healers around the globe, particularly in Africa. Since receiving her Ph.D. in 2003, Davis has been engaged in a search for healing alternatives to adversarial justice. She has taught Restorative Justice at San Francisco's New College Law School and Indigenous Peacemaking at Eastern Mennonite University's Center for Justice and Peacebuilding.

The search for a healing justice also led Davis to bring restorative justice to Oakland. A founder and currently Director of Restorative Justice of Oakland Youth (RJOY), she served as counsel to the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers. Numerous honors include the Ubuntu award for service to humanity, the Dennis Maloney Award for excellence in Youth Restorative Justice, and World Trust's Healing Justice award. The Los Angeles Times recently named her a New Civil Rights Leader of the 21st Century.

Speech Topics


Ending Mass Incarceration and the School to Prison Pipeline Through Restorative Justice

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