The Emerging Field of Restorative Justice with Fania Davis and Sonya Shah
Restorative Justice is quickly emerging as a desired set of principles and practices to mediate conflict, strengthen community, and repair harm in multiple contexts. It is currently practiced in schools, community groups, and along the entire continuum of the justice process, whether as an alternative to incarceration, an in-custody education program, or for re-entry. It is used by social workers, students, justice advocates, professors, school teachers, psychologists, community activists, and others in the U.S. and around the globe, most notably in South Africa and New Zealand. This is a two- day workshop of experiential learning about restorative justice theory and applications in school, justice, and community settings. Opening the weekend workshop with a Thursday evening presentation will be Fania E. Davis, long time activist and civil rights attorney, who is today a leading voice in the field. In this workshop you will also hear from a few cutting edge practitioners in the field who have successfully used Circles and other restorative practices to change the culture of their schools, as well as those doing restorative conferences as an alternative to mass incarceration strategies. This is an exciting opportunity to learn about these principles and explore how you might apply them in your own personal and professional contexts.
*This course is available for one unit of academic credit to CIIS students
|Fania E. Davis is a long-time civil rights attorney and activist who came of age during the segregation era in Birmingham, Alabama. Growing up in Birmingham and losing two close friends in the Sunday School bombing imbued in Fania a burning passion for social justice. She has since been involved in a multiple social movements, from the civil rights to the Black Power, women's rights, prisoners' rights, peace, socialist, anti -racial violence, and anti-apartheid movements and others. Having studied with traditional healers during the late nineties in Africa and elsewhere and as part of her own journey toward healing and wholeness, Fania has most recently been drawn to the restorative justice movement. Today Fania serves as Executive Director of Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth (RJOY), whose mission is to promote a cultural shift from punitive responses to youthful wrongdoing that exacerbate harm to restorative approaches that heal it. RJOY believes that restorative justice has the potential of dismantling the school to prison pipeline and of providing alternatives to racialized mass incarceration. Fania also writes and speaks on these topics and about race and restorative justice. She still practices civil rights law on a limited basis.|
|Sonya Shah, MFA has been an assistant professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at the California Institute of Integral Studies for six years. She has been teaching in traditional and non-traditional learning in environments for the past 18 years. She believes that education should be a liberatory, creative and transformative process for the individual and a mechanism for social change for the collective. She is most interested in creating learning environments that reflect values of equity; that nurture the unique perspective of each student; that build collective and community-based knowledge; that challenge oppressive assumptions and structures; and expose learners to new and expansive ways of thinking. Her personal and professional interests lies in understanding the interpersonal, structural, social and historical causes of violence and being part of collective movements that wish to unlearn harm and understand the root causes of violence. For last two years she has been teaching in a restorative justice program at San Quentin and is currently a community producer with San Quentin Prison Report, a radio and television station being built from the inside of San Quentin. She holds a BA from Brown University and an MFA in Film and Video from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.|