Fania Davis, national Restorative Justice leader, is 2017 MLK Speaker
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Fania Davis, national Restorative Justice leader, is 2017 MLK Speaker

Fairfield University’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr. observance, "Restorative Justice and the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.," will be held from January 21-30 with a series of events to celebrate and honor the life and contributions of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Fania Davis, a social justice activist, Civil Rights trial attorney with over 27 years of experience and restorative justice practitioner, will be this year’s keynote speaker at the 2017 MLK, Jr. Convocation. The event will be held on Wednesday, January 25 at 7:30 p.m. at the Quick Center for the Arts.

The murder of two close childhood friends in the 1963 Sunday School bombing propelled Fania into career of social justice. She was active during the Civil Rights, Black liberation, women's, prisoners', peace, anti-racial violence and anti-apartheid movements.

Fania founded the Restorative Justice of Oakland Youth (RJOY) in 2005 with Oakland City Councilmember, Nancy Nadel, and community activist, Aeeshah Clottey. Inspired by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, RJOY began with a series of meetings to explore the possibility of bringing a similar program to Oakland. RJOY works to stop cycles of youth violence and incarceration by promoting institutional shifts towards restorative approaches that engage families, communities and systems to provide education, training and technical assistance.

Fania received 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 named her a New Civil Rights Leader of the 21st Century.

Additional Convocation events include:

The ninth annual Poetry for Peace celebration will be held on Tuesday, January 24 at the Quick Center for the arts. For this event, elementary school students from neighboring communities will come to campus to share their award-winning poetry.

On Friday, January 27, 100 local eighth-grade students will participate in the Youth Leadership Academy in the Barone Campus Center Oak Room, where they will learn valuable leadership and conflict resolution skills.

On Sunday, January 29, Danney Gibbs, Minister of Music for The Cathedral of the Holy Spirit Mass Choir, will lead the Gospel Mass at 7 p.m. in the Egan Chapel of St. Ignatius Loyola.

The week will conclude on Monday, January 30 with an Open VISIONS Forum featuring former tennis player, James Blake. Purchase tickets at

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Last modified: Thu, 12 Jan 2017 10:57:16 EST

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