Internationally renowned lecturer, professor and author
An internationally renowned lecturer, distinguished professor, and celebrated author, Dr. Angela Davis has been deeply involved in our nation’s quest for social justice for several decades. She received her bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University, her master’s degree from the University of California at San Diego, and her doctorate degree from Humboldt University.
Professor Davis’ work as an educator has always emphasized the importance of building communities who will work for economic, racial, and gender justice. Her teaching career includes stints at the Claremont Colleges; Mills College; San Francisco State University; Stanford University; University of California – Berkeley; University of California – Los Angeles; and Vassar. Currently, she serves as the Distinguished Professor Emerita of History of Consciousness, an interdisciplinary Ph.D. program; and of Feminist Studies, at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Author of 9 books, Dr. Davis has lectured throughout Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, South America, and the United States. Much of her work focuses on social problems associated with incarceration and the generalized criminalization of those communities that are most affected by poverty and racial discrimination. She draws upon her own experiences in the early 70’s as a person who spent 18 months in prison and was on trial, after being placed on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted List” for a crime she did not commit. She has also conducted extensive research on numerous issues related to race, gender, and imprisonment.
A founding member of Critical Resistance, a national organization dedicated to the dismantling of the prison industrial complex, she is also affiliated with Sisters Inside, an abolitionist organization based in Queensland, Australia, which works in solidarity with women in prison.
Prominent educator, author and activist
A prominent educator, anti-racist author and activist, Tim Wise was recently named one of the “25 Visionaries who are Changing the World,” by Utne Reader. To date, Tim has spoken in all 50 states and over 800 college and high school campuses, and for community groups. Internationally, he has lectured in Canada and Bermuda on issues of comparative racism, race and education, racism and religion, and racism in the labor market.
The author of 6 books, his work has been featured in several popular, scholarly journals and books and on ABC’s 20/20. Recognized for his work, Tim received the 2001 British Diversity Award for best feature essay on race issues, and he is one of the featured individuals in White Men Challenging Racism: Thirty-Five Personal Stories by Duke University Press.
Other accomplishments include training teachers, corporate professionals, government, entertainment, military, law enforcement officials, and health care professionals on how to combat racial inequities. He has also served as a consultant for plaintiffs’ attorneys in federal discrimination cases in New York and Washington.
Tim graduated from Tulane University where he received his bachelor’s degree. As an educator, he has worked with the Fisk University Race Relations Institute, Poynter Institute, and Smith College for Social Work. Additionally, he has served as Youth Coordinator and Associate Director of the Louisiana Coalition Against Racism and Nazism and is a regular contributor to discussions about race on CNN.
Well-known lecturer and educator; Founder, Project Eight youth service organization
A well-known lecturer and educator, Dr. Julius Bailey has been a featured speaker in over 50 prisons and correctional facilities in California, Indiana, Illinois, and Ohio. He uses history to teach life lessons and attempts to assist in the shaping of new mentalities and purposed moralities.
He received dual master’s degrees from Harvard and Howard Universities, and a doctorate degree from the University of Illinois. From 2008-2010, he served as Coordinator of Philosophy and Religion within the Department of Humanities at Central State University and now serves as a professor in the Department of Philosophy at Wittenberg University.
The founder of Project Eight, a youth service organization that focuses on leadership and civic participation, he has received several awards for his community commitment and engagement. A guest on numerous radio shows as a social critic and education advisor, Dr. Bailey has also appeared on ABC’s Nightline, BET, CNN, and Fox.
Filmmaker and racial justice educator Shakti Butler, PhD is a master at inviting people to see themselves as indelibly connected to each other and the world we live in. Dr. Butler is a multiracial African-American woman (African, Arawak Indian, and Russian-Jewish) whose work as a creative and visionary bridge builder has challenged and inspired learning for over two decades. Her work invites her audience to grapple with both the intellectual and emotional complexities of social justice issues. Dr. Butler is the producer and director of groundbreaking World Trust documentaries including The Way Home and Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible. Dr. Butler takes a unique approach to documentary filmmaking. Her core strategy is to harness the power of numerous personal accounts on film. By experiencing an abundance of voices and stories, viewers more easily include their own lived experiences as part of a larger story. In this way, rooted assumptions, which undergird beliefs and actions, are more readily brought to the surface, contemplated and shared through dialogue. This approach, anchored in transformative learning pedagogy, is an uplifting way to catalyze change.
Dr. Theo Gavrielides is the Founder and Director of the UK-based international think-tank Independent Academic Research Studies (IARS). He is also appointed as Adjunct Professor in various institutions including Simon Fraser University, Panteion University and Buckinghamshire New University.
He holds a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics and has published widely, particularly in the areas of restorative justice, human rights, and youth policy. Dr. Gavrielides’ latest book is Reconstructing Restorative Justice Philosophy published by Ashgate.
Educator, leader, poet and writer
A professor in Sociology at Laney & Berkeley City College, and Women’s Studies at California State University, East Bay, Ericka Huggins has built a stellar career as an educator, leader, lecturer, mentor, and political and spiritual activist.
Her political activism began in the 1960s, including her leadership, at the age of 18, in the Los Angeles chapter of the Black Panther Party. A widow at a young age, she moved to New Haven, CT, where she opened a new Black Panther Party chapter.
Through the next decade, she endured arrest, time in prison, and solitary confinement. During that tumultuous period, she taught herself to meditate as a means of survival. She would later incorporate this spiritual practice into her community work, teaching meditation as a tool for change.
A poet and writer, her published works include Insights and Poems, co-authored with Huey P. Newton of the Black Panther Intercommunal News Service, several periodicals, and If They Come in the Morning, with fellow political prisoner Angela Davis.
As an educator, Ericka has served as Director of the Oakland Community School, a groundbreaking community-run child development center and elementary school that is the predecessor to the charter school movement. Other accomplishments include developing the After School Academy which met the recurring student need for teacher/mentor connectedness, academic enhancement and cultural nurturance. In 1976, she became the first woman and the first black person to be appointed to the Alameda County Board of Education.
Her resume also includes teaching Hatha Yoga and meditation through the Siddha Yoga Prison Project, working with youth in public schools and colleges, and mentoring foster and adopted children, and pregnant teens. She also championed public awareness for HIV/AIDS and developed a volunteer support program for women and children with HIV in the Tenderloin and Mission districts in San Francisco, in addition to several city-wide programs she helped develop to support gay, lesbian, bisexual, and questioning youth with HIV/AIDS.
State Representative, District 18, Colorado
Lynn Lee, Chair, Pikes Peak Restorative Justice Council
Sharletta Evans, Founder, Red Cross Blue Shield Gang Prevention Inc.
Pete Lee, Colorado State Representative, District 18, and his wife Lynn have long been supporters of restorative justice. A former attorney, small business owner, corporate executive, and philanthropist, Representative Lee sees his role akin to how Thomas Jefferson viewed his work – being a “citizen public servant” – bringing real-world experience to a public office for the benefit of the community.
Pete’s philanthropic work in the community includes serving as a board member and chair for Workout, Ld., a local juvenile justice program that focuses on finding jobs for young people with legal troubles. Under Pete’s leadership, the organization was able to return 80% of the teens’ wages to their victims. In total, more than 10,000 young people participated with $2 million returned to the community over a 30 year span. In addition, the re-arrest rate for these individuals has been less than 7%.
Lynn Lee serves as Chair of the Pikes Peak Restorative Justice Council and has received the John Gallagher Restorative Justice Volunteer of the Year award for her work as a trained facilitator of victim offender conferences.
One of Pete’s accomplishments since becoming a State Representative in 2011 is the establishment of Colorado’s Restorative Justice Bill. Through this initiative, victims and their families are given the opportunity to meet with their offenders. One of the individuals who spoke in support of this legislation was Sharletta Evans.
A Certified Addiction Counselor, Sharletta lost her three-year old son Casson in a drive-by shooting in 1995. To help herself through the grieving and healing process and to address the need for restorative justice initiatives, Sharletta founded the Red Cross Blue Shield Gang Prevention Inc., a non-profit, faith-based organization offering an alternative to gangs and activities for youth in the Aurora and Denver, CO areas.
Some of the organization’s programs include summer camps, after school tutoring, community and youth outreach, gang prevention education, and parenting workshops. The programs focus on mind development, self-awareness, role playing, and making better choices.
Katherine van Wormer, Ph.D.
Author, and Professor of Social Work, University of Northern Iowa
A Professor of Social Work at the University of Northern Iowa, Dr. van Wormer has also taught English in Northern Ireland. Having worked extensively in the field of substance abuse counseling in Washington and in Norway, she has authored or co-authored 16 books.
Among her recent written works is Restorative Justice Today: Practical Applications, which offers a variety of restorative justice applications in schools and prisons; working with clergy, families, criminal justice offenders, and national groups seeking reparation.
Dr. van Wormer received her master’s degree in social work and her doctorate degree from The University of Georgia. Her graduate work focused on sociology, criminology, and social work.
Chief Justice Emeritus, Navajo Nation; with Ruthie Alexius, Navajo Peacemaker
The Honorable Robert Yazzie is a member of the Navajo Nation Bar Association, and practiced law for 16 years, having served as Chief Justice for the Navajo Nation from 1992 until his retirement in 2003. He now holds the position of Chief Justice Emeritus.
Chief Justice Yazzie received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Oberlin College, and his juris doctorate degree from the University of New Mexico School of Law, and served as a district judge for eight years. Past appointments include a stint as the Director of the Diné Policy Institute of Diné College in the Navajo Nation. In this role, he developed policy using authentic Navajo thinking and applied the Fundamental Laws of the Diné to contemporary problems.
Author of several articles and book chapters on Navajo peacemaking, traditional Indian law, and international human rights law, Chief Justice Yazzie teaches law at the Navajo Technical College. Other educational positions he currently holds include Visiting Professor at the University of New Mexico School of Law, Adjunct Professor of the Department of Criminal Justice at Northern Arizona University, and Visiting Member of the Faculty for the National Judicial College.
A well known lecturer, he regularly leads discussions of traditional indigenous law at various venues throughout the world, and has frequently visited foreign lands to share his wisdom about traditional indigenous justice and governance.