Restorative Justice and Youth
Raised in San Francisco’s Fillmore district, then the heart of the Black community in Northern California, CamishaFatimah Gentry 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.
A Hurricane Katrina survivor who relocated to Oakland, California, Eric Butler 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.