Fania E. Davis, J.D., Ph.D.
Co-Founder and Executive Director
RJOY Board Member
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.
Camisha Fatimah Gentry
RJOY School Coordinator, West Oakland Middle School
Raised in San Francisco’s Fillmore district, then the heart of the Black community in Northern California , CamishaFatimah as a teen was caught up in the street life. After conversion to Islam and other experiences which helped to get her life back on track, CamishaFatima enrolled in Bennett College , the first African-American women’s college in the nation’s history, where she earned a Bachelor’s in Communications. Travel to South Africa and Saudi Arabia during this time broadened her horizons even further. She later pursued graduate studies at Mills College and received her Masters’ in Educational Leadership in 2009. While a graduate student, CamishaFatima facilitated a self-help course for San Quentin inmates with ‘Keepin’ It Real’, a self-development training group. CamishaFatima has also worked as a counselor and facilitator for the Oakland Parks and Recreation Office’s Radical Roving Recreation program, an initiative that focuses on Oakland ‘s most at-risk street youth. Since the fall of 2009, CamishaFatima has been employed by RJOY as a School Coordinator, assigned to Street Academy , a continuation high school in Oakland . She is responsible for implementing restorative processes at the school site, both in response to conflict and as a means of creating a stronger, healthier, and more caring school community. She demonstrates by example that it is possible for youth to turn their lives around and become effective and powerful forces of positive change in their communities. Camisha is the mother of three girls.
RJOY School Coordinator, Bunche High School
A Hurricane Katrina survivor who relocated to Oakland, California, Eric successfully facilitated Grief Circles in response to homicide and extreme violence in Oakland area schools as part of Catholic Charities’ crisis response program. He has also worked with Youth Uprising as a lead mediator. Eric was affiliated with the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts’ football team in the nineties and discontinued due to injury. He is gaining increasing renown for his restorative justice work with youth in West Oakland.
Project Director RJOY COSA
Katherine Culberg, RN, PHN, began her career as a registered nurse who quickly developed a passion for working in public health and social justice. Her focus has been impacted, adolescent youth in urban, under served, under resourced areas. She has worked in remote areas of Nicaragua with teen mothers. She has been active in developing and managing school based health centers in Oakland as well as providing direct service to youth as a school nurse. After years of feeling that traditional intervention and prevention models were limited, she began to look for additional ways to best met the healing needs of those youth she worked with and loved . Over the last few years , she has studied, trained and participated in Restorative Justice work ultimately resulting in a position with RJOY directing the COSA re-entry program at Camp Sweeney and facilitating Victim Offender Education groups at San Quentin State Prison with Insight Prison Project. She is also a COSA facilitator for youth coming back into community from Camp Sweeney. Her passion for and commitment to Restorative Justice continues to grow.