Panel: What the Black Woman Body Knows, Addressing Trauma through Art Praxis

Saturday, 12/5/2020
11:00 - 1:00
Virtual Library

Online Services
San Francisco, CA 94102
United States

In this panel discussion, Sistar Lorraine Bonner, MD, a sculptor and poet whose work centers on externalizing what is unseen such as the consequences of historic and persistent trauma; Sistar Fania Davis, Ph.D. author, Race and Restorative Justice: Black Lives, Healing, and US Social Transformation (2019), founder of RJOY (Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth) offers tools for those difficult yet necessary conversations centered in the self; and Sistar Amara Tabor-Smith, scholar conjurer’s Deep Waters Dance Theater’s House/Full of Black Women is a reclamation of public space with intentional occupation. House/Full is an uncompromising look at wellness for Black women and girls with rest and safety at the top of the list. Sistar Wanda Sabir, Depth Psychologist, CEO of MAAFA SF Bay Area, moderates.

Zoom Registration

YouTube Live


Sistar Lorraine Bonner turned to art late in life, as a way of dealing with personal trauma. She soon recognized the parallels between the betrayal and violence she had suffered in childhood and the betrayal and violent plunder that form the foundation of our current way of life. Her work has moved from depictions of personal/political betrayal, in the Perpetrator series, to a vision of humanity beyond the limitations of socially defined “color” in the Multi-Hued Humanity series. She is now working on a series she calls the Mended series, in which our scars and broken places take on a new beauty. Lorraine Bonner lives and works in Oakland, California, close to her children and grandchildren. 

Sistar Fania Davis is a leading national voice on restorative justice, a quickly emerging field which invites a fundamental shift in the way we think about and do justice. She is a long-time social justice activist, Civil Rights trial attorney, restorative justice practitioner, writer and scholar with a PhD in Indigenous Knowledge. Davis is the founder and currently Director of Restorative Justice of Oakland Youth (RJOY), she served as counsel to the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers. Numerous honors include the Ubuntu award for service to humanity, the Dennis Maloney Award for excellence in Youth Restorative Justice and World Trust's Healing Justice award. Davis’ research interests include race and restorative justice, social justice and restorative justice and exploring the Indigenous roots, particularly the African Indigenous roots, of restorative justice. Davis is the author of The Little Book of Race and Restorative Justice: Black Lives, Healing, and US Social Transformation

Sistar Amara Tabor-Smith describes her experimental dance theater work as Afro Surrealist Conjure Art. Her dance making practice, utilizes Yoruba spiritual ritual to address issues of social and environmental justice, community, identity and belonging. A San Francisco native and Oakland resident, she is the artistic director of Deep Waters Dance Theater (DWDT) and was the co-artistic director of Headmistress, an ongoing performing collaboration with movement artist Sherwood Chen. Her work has been performed in Brazil, The Republic of the Congo, Judson Church/Movement Research, NYC and many venues throughout the San Francisco/Bay Area and the United States. 

Sistar Wanda Sabir is a journalist, poet and author, moonlighting as a college professor in Alameda, California ( For 30 years, one of her many literary events has been to host “A Celebration of African American Writers and Their Poetry,” 1st Saturdays in February. She is also a Depth Psychologist, with deep roots in the bayous of Louisiana where she was born. Her interests and expertise are historic & persistent trauma and trauma healing—the Maafa, specifically ancestral memories, dream tending, women prisoners and the use of art and appreciative inquiry to stimulate those forgotten conversations, especially among Diaspora descendants. She is co-founder & CEO of MAAFA San Francisco Bay Area, in its 25th Season October 2020, co-founder of the International Coalition for the Commemoration of African Ancestors of the Middle Passage and recent recipient of the Distinguished 400 Award, 400 Years of African American History Commission (2019) She is a Transformative Justice (TJ) or Community Accountability facilitator and believes the true revolution starts at home.  


Sistar Wanda Sabir -  Website

Sistar Amara Tabor-Smith - Website

Sistar Fania Davis - Facebook

Sistar Lorraine Bonner - Website



Learn from world-class designers, artists and experts in their fields. 

From favorite authors to visionary artists to experts in fields as diverse as public health, local history, technology and culture, this series brings voices you want to hear to your home.

This program is sponsored by Friends of the San Francisco Public Library.

Attending Programs

Questions about the program or problems registering? Contact For accommodations (such as ASL interpretation or captioning), call (415) 557-4557 or contact Requesting at least 72 hours in advance will help ensure availability.

Public Notice and Disclaimer

This program uses a third-party website link. By clicking on the third-party website link, you will leave SFPL's website and enter a website not operated by SFPL. This service may collect personally identifying information about you, such as name, username, email address, and password. This service will treat the information it collects about you pursuant to its own privacy policy. We encourage you to review the privacy policies of each third-party website or service that you visit or use, including those third parties with whom you interact through our Library services. For more information about these third-party links, please see the section of SFPL’s Privacy Policy describing Links to Other Sites.

The views and opinions expressed in programs presented by groups unaffiliated with SFPL do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SFPL or the City.