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 Fania 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, Fania practiced almost 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, Fania 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. She writes and speaks on these subjects.
The search for a healing justice also led Fania to bring restorative justice to Oakland . A founder and currently Director of RJOY, Fania also serves as counsel to the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers. She recently received the Ubuntu award for service to humanity. Fania’s research interests include exploring the indigenous roots, particlarly the African indigenous roots, of restorative justice. Fania is also a mother of two children, a dancer, and practitioner of yoga.