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Faya Ora Rose Touré Biography - Selected works

founded sanders black rights

1945–

Attorney, civil rights and education activist, songwriter, playwright

Faya Ora Rose Touré is a Harvard-educated Civil Rights activist and litigation attorney who has worked on some of the highest-profile civil rights cases to come before the courts. Touré—who spent most of her career as Rose Sanders until she decided to step away from her "slave name" in 2003—was the first African-American female judge in Alabama and was part of the winning legal team in Pigford vs. Veneman, the largest civil rights case in history. This case led to the payment of a billion dollars in damages to black farmers by the U. S. Department of Agriculture. In addition, Touré is founder of the National Voting Rights Museum in Selma, Alabama, and a founding partner in the law firm of Chestnut, Sanders, Sanders, Pettaway & Campbell, LLC. Intensely passionate about her activism and legal work and the needs of the black community, Touré has founded learning and cultural centers, political and legal organizations, and community initiatives that have benefited Alabamians for three decades. She uses her many talents to further her message and is a prolific songwriter and playwright, as well as the host of a weekly radio show, Faya's Fire.

Touré was born Rose M. Gaines on May 20, 1945, in Salisbury, North Carolina. Her parents, the Rev. D. A. Gaines and Ora Lee Gaines, taught their six children to conserve so they would have something in life to give back to their community. Training the children by word and deed, Rev. Gaines didn't always adhere to protocol, but he got the job done. "He was a trained minister who didn't always fit the image of what society expected," Touré said in an interview with Contemporary Black Biography (CBB). She notes similar traits in her own personality. Touré has the courage to follow her own drumbeat. She speaks frankly on controversial matters of race, injustice, and education, but said in her CBB interview, "I'm not fearless. I just won't let others define me."

Here mother Ora Lee's ways have rubbed off on Touré as well. For 30 years Ora Lee's strength and support helped Touré run the McRae Learning Center, a private community school Touré founded in 1976 to raise children's reading levels. "My mother made the greatest contribution to that school as she traveled back and forth from Birmingham for over 30 years," Touré told CBB. "People always approach me to say how much my mother's work helped their kids. We had them reading at 3 and 4 years old. Many were starting in the 27th percentile. We raised the level to the 74th percentile. We know the kids' greatness. I'd like to see other schools around the country do the same. That's the challenge."

Touré's community work began at an early age when she organized kids in the neighborhood. Through her teens, however, she remained unsure about what she wanted to do with her life. After graduation from George Clem High School in 1962 she entered Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina, graduating Summa Cum Laude in 1966. Still unsure where her career path would take her, she completed a law degree at Harvard in 1969 and was awarded the Herbert Smith Fellowship. That led to an assignment the following year at the National Welfare Rights Organization and the Columbia Center on Social Welfare Policy and Law. In 1971 she worked briefly for the Legal Services Corporation, and opened the law firm of Chestnut, Sanders, Sanders, Pettaway & Campbell, LLC the following year along with her husband, Alabama State Senator Henry Sanders. In 1973 Touré became the first African-American female judge in Alabama, serving as municipal judge until 1977. In 1982 Touré was hired by the Emergency Land Fund for the Department of the Agriculture to conduct a study of black land tenure and document land loss by African Americans.

Through the years Touré's legal skills led her to several major cases. In one important case she teamed with noted attorney Johnnie Cochran to seek reparations from corporations who profited from slavery. Seeking academic reparations for African-American students for what she calls "400 years of miseducation and discrimination" is one of Touré's latest projects. She is also preparing a case on behalf of black women who suffered sexual abuse during slavery. It challenges current laws that, Touré said, "do not offer equal justice from sexual assaults and misconduct towards black women."

Touré's day job never kept her away from her extensive community work. In 1982 she co-founded the Black Belt Arts and Cultural Center, an arts-based community organizing group. She founded the National Voting Rights Museum in 1993 to tell the story of the Voting Rights Movement and founded the Bridge Crossing Jubilee in 1965 to commemorate the Selma-to-Montgomery Civil Rights march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge. She co-founded the Coalition of Alabamians Reforming Education (C.A.R.E.) in 1993. In the 1990s Touré spearheaded a movement against the practice of "tracking" in Selma public schools, a controversial system that can limit education and career opportunities. Touré founded the 21st Century Youth Leadership Movement in 1985. The group educates young people about the political process and encourages their involvement. It has chapters around the United States and in Mali and Senegal, West Africa.

Mothers of Many (MOMS), a group Touré founded for low-income women, has opened three businesses under Touré's direction. Touré founded the Replacing Inequities in School with Excellence Network (R.I.S.E.). Their mission is to fight the practice of tracking and work for better education nationwide. She co-founded the Africans in America Renaissance Project. The organization provides land for purchase and development by African Americans in South Africa. Touré also founded MAAT Leadership High, an all-male school.

At a Glance …

Born Rose M. Gaines on May 20, 1945, in Salisbury, NC; married Alabama State Sen. Henry Sanders, 1970; changed name to Faya Ora Rose Touré, c. 2003; children: Malika, Kindaka, Ainka; four foster children. Education: Johnson C. Smith University, BA, political science and economics, 1966; Harvard Law School, JD, law, 1969; University of Ibadan, Study Internship, 1970.

Career: Herbert Smith Fellowship, fellow, 1969–70; Legal Services Corporation, Huntsville, AL, attorney, 1971–72; Chestnut, Sanders, Sanders, Pettaway & Campbell, LLC, Selma, AL, attorney, 1972–; City of Uniontown, Uniontown, AL, municipal judge, 1973–77; U. S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D. C., attorney, 1982.

Memberships: Alabama New South Coalition; Coalition of Alabamians Reforming Education; National Bar Association; National Conference of Black Lawyers of Alabama; Legal Defense Fund.

Awards: National Conference of Black Lawyer's Lawyer of the Year Award; Bannerman Fellowship Award; SCLC Women Drum Major For Justice Award; Lewis Hines Child Labor Award.

With all of Touré's commitments it's hard to believe she has time to be creative. Yet she has written 40 plays focused on issues facing young people and communities. Although the plays tackle weighty subjects like A.I.D.S., teenage pregnancy, drugs, and war, Touré knows how to get the attention of young people. Having composed more than 200 songs, she taps the power of music to get out her message. A child of the Civil Rights Movement who came of age in the 1960s would know, and although the music has changed, the Movement could use a kick in the pants, Touré told CBB. She finds it "distressing" to see so little activism taking place today. With so many issues facing African Americans it's more important than ever, she contends: "I've seen no real effort to organize since the Million Man March. In order to provide a better education for all children we have to make officials accountable. Otherwise, we are active participants in our own miseducation because we are accepting double standards. We have to keep our eyes on the mission and our life's purpose. We must not fail to serve others or fail to teach. People have to remember that it is about making life better for the community." Touré has done this for three decades. In addition, she and her husband have opened their home to many foster children over the years.

Selected works

Plays

Baby Cakes.
A Matter of Choice.
Black Magic Alley.
Up Above My Head.
Track Me to Freedom.
Big Bad Wolf of Adultom
.

Singles

"The Children of Selma".
"Track Me to Freedom"
"We are the Ones"

Sources

Periodicals

Essence, October 2005.

On-line

"CARE's Story," Coalition of Alabamians Reforming Education, http://care.freeservers.com/ (February 10, 2006).

"Rose 'Faya Ora Rose Toure' Sanders," Tuskegee University, www.tuskegee.edu/Global/story.asp?S=1422858 (April 4, 2006).

Sanders, Rose, "A History to Remember," In Motion Magazine, http://www.inmotionmagazine.com/track.html (April 4, 2006).

Other

Additional information for this profile was obtained through an interview with Faya Ora Rose Touré on March 15, 2006.

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9 months ago

How can I contact Faya Ora Rose, I need to ask if I can use a song she wrote?

Kind regards

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7 days ago

JonasEzekielElijahMa​hdi,..I Henry LangdonJr....Must give you this Invoice,..of Jubilee.....and must need to broadcast,...Major..​Asap...in Humility...by Grace of God..

Every-day,.. The use of the " Zoid " by organizations,.for organizations by Government; both Federal and Mafia/State of the Unions/ Masonry can't be abused. Accordingly,...due to moral principles in this Great Nation...More accordingly, Amendments 1-27; gives each organization fairness, equal,.opportunity,.to exercise their service, and away from the states of immorally reconciled cases for people who are on separate cases from others; due to service. In my forum,..I have no case..and never will..against me...considerably for me,.if there be any,...redress,..in this season and seasons to come...the " Zoid. " ../invisible with a vocal but no mortal body/bodies are the Souls of the Martyrs in Revelation Chapter 6:9-11 of the King James Bible; Black Law Dictionary;Spiritual Tenure Patents...2015-eternity ..copyrights....Social Science/HolySpirit demstratives; revealing derivatives in support of our motions: either it be during sessions giving co-image bearers a virtue as Federals are clealy inside the zoid,..and Government,..too......are inside of the "Zoid"..How much more Mafia,..etc.?


In God,..We Trust: Hebrew 13:1-25/...and by Revelation 6:9-11; Keeps the Souls of each organization in Humidification,..away from convictions/tearing of the Souls..truth, gives Humidification;restitution to the Soul and peace to the Souls..in its ordinances,..decently. Making sure no-one falls short of the grace of God and that no-one falls short of yielding the fruit of peace and righteousness who have been trained by it, measurements in and outside of the " Zoid." ...be large, small, great, or varies,.and etc. The manifested manifolds, of all remaining common...in which we've commonly recognize to be as we know the practices of commonsense.


All documented,..cases,..or if there be any against me still,..be a case of abuse and Miscarriage Of Justice...My entire life. By, organizations I've trusted,..as well...without governing over them,..who stand by Government, since I was a ministering toddler at the alter of the Lord..and now adult. A, flower of the field/ManOfGod servant of the Most High God of Abraham Isaac,..Ishmael,..and Jacob/Israel. All of the National securities of the world are very well aware of who I'am as a humble celebrity...and another thing,..that is definitely truth...Daniel 12:4,...Daniel 11:35,...Daniel 12:9-11 gave foundation for the "Zoid"...for the state of Unity to remain one,..where-ever we may be... Deuteronomy 18:17-22/1-22,...Deuteronomy 13:1-5/1-18 Deuteronomy 17:8-13,.. Genesis 9- Deuteronomy 14:26..



I'am,...SignOfJonas spoken of by Jesus the Messiah,...of Israel..and no other Jesus outside of the KingJamesBible..which is not detestable..before the entire world...commonsense....I'am the,..SignOfJonas.. I'am who I say that I'am..and all that I say that I'am,..and the HolySpirit,..as a witness,..Black Law dictionary,..Spirtual Tenure,....by HolySpirit,..commonsense....out of Judah,...Revelation 22:16,...the very celestial. 2Corinthians 12:12..2Corinthians 5:7,...1Corinthians 12:3-4.... Matthew 12;and 12:7 has given reason to engraft ourselves into this oneness.. 2Corinthians 14:12,..15:40...



Revelation 2:11 gave and will never stop giving consolation and substance,..beneath our universe,..as great as our universe or more is.. The Glory of Revelation 6:9-11,...unto, totally,..unto....the " Zoid." peace of mind/Souls...greatness unto the Soul...peacefulness,..derivately of God and always acceptable from our Lord God of Abraham,..Isaac,.Ishmael and Jacob/Israel and Jesus/Yeshua.......Amen....and Amen....


I,..personally,..need the benefit and show of respect of equal, opportunity awarded unto me given,..freely...and to others as well,...according to 1st-27th Amendments....A SignOfJonas Act/TheSignOfJonas Act,..an Act of Congress,...for my innocence,...for Redress. Black Law Dictionary,...Spiritual Tenure,....copyrights,..patent,..HolySpirit....by HolySpirit..... In,..all conclusion showing need for empathetic,..imminent for, non-wavery,...Show of settling the score for code of honor/Golden Rule,..by through,..redress.


This,..letter was written,..in the city Jail,..of Birmingham,...Alabama,...the same,...jail,..as Martin Luther King Jr. I was,...falsely,..arrested and sentenced to 19 days in jail,...and released,...today,...Arrested,..March 2,..2015,.. and released ...March 19th,..2015. Clearly,..another miscarriage of justice.....all,..of the security systems,..of the world,..are aware/away of this,....even,..during basket ball game events,..by HolySpirit.....alone....in the name of Jesus...yes.......Amen....


I'am,...he,...spoken,..of in the Book of Daniel,....the coming prince....who can't be copied as a prophecy by the Dajjal in the Islamic/Muslim apocalyptic literature..,... I'am he,.....the coming prince,...who is here now,... And the people of the prince who is to come

Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.
The end of it shall be with a flood,
And till the end of the war desolations are determined.
Then he(HenryLangdonJr/JonasEzekielElijahMahdi/Revelation 22:16) shall confirm a covenant/Micah 4:3 with many for one week;
But in the middle of the week
He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering/Ezekiel 12,-18 reasons..why..
And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate,
Even until the consummation, which is determined,
Is poured out on the desolate.”



This,..is who,...I 'am...



Cordials,...

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over 1 year ago

Do you have a paypal account that we can deposit money into for your defense?
Anusha Amen-Ra, CNC
www.sacredspaceretreats.com
707-987-0673

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over 4 years ago

Rose 'Faya Ora Rose Toure' Sanders Help me in doing my studies in a universirt but i lost her contact number I'm from South Africa my number 0721944823