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Contact Watani Stiner at (Subject: CPF Speakers Bureau)

Revolutionary elder and Cointelpro survivor, Watani Stiner, grew up in the Jim Crow South. In 1969, after two Black Panthers were killed at UCLA, Stiner and his brother were sentenced to life in prison for conspiracy to murder. Five years later, leaving behind his two small sons, Stiner and his brother escaped from San Quentin and fled to South America. Stiner lived in exile for twenty years and raised seven children. In 1994, concerned for the safety and welfare of his family, Stiner voluntarily walked into the U.S. Embassy in the country of Suriname and negotiated his surrender. Despite the US government’s failure to honor their side of the agreement, Stiners was returned to San Quentin in 1994.

In 2009, Watani entered into a restorative justice dialogue with Ericka Huggins, the widow of  one of the Black Panthers killed at UCLA. He has remained involved in restorative justice work ever since.

Stiner shares his experience reintegrating into society and back into the lives of his children since getting out of prison in 2015, after spending a total of 26 years in prison for a crime he did not commit.

Stiner is a Board member of both California Prison Focus and Root and Rebound, and is the Associate Editor of the California Prison Focus Newspaper, Prison Focus. He is a member and resident of Cantacle Farms, an intentional community in the Bay Area. Stiner is currently working on his memoir, and committed to fostering community dialogue with youth, and others, addressing critical current issues.  

Areas of Focus

  • Home Base: Oakland, California. Willing to travel.
  • Availability: Flexible. A minimum of 2-weeks notice is preferred.
  • Fees: $50 - $800, plus travel expenses. (Sliding scale available)
  • Areas of Focus:
    • History of the Black Power Movement and lessons learned
    • Storytelling
    • Restorative Justice
    • The impact of mass incarceration on individuals, their children, families, communities and society as a whole.

NOTE: Mr. Stiner and his eldest son, Larry Jr., are also available for joint presentations. Together, through spoken word and performance, they recount their journey through those long years of separation, each with their unique, intertwined and heartfelt perspective. (Larry Jr. lives in Los Angeles and is only available for paid events that include travel costs.)