Sonya Shah and Richard Cruz

The Ahimsa Collective
Oakland, California

Sonya Shah and Richard Cruz are executive directors of The Ahimsa Collective, which provides a restorative justice approach to cases of sexual, intimate partner, and interpersonal violence, centering agency, liberation, dignity, and transformation.

The Collective facilitates processes that lead to dialogue between people and also works one-on-one with both survivors and those who have caused harm who are looking to heal and explore accountability. Shah is also an associate professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies, a Buddhist, and a first-generation immigrant from India. Cruz has been with the Collective since 2018. He is native American through his mother and is certified as a substance abuse treatment counselor and communications technician.