meet the speaker

fatima mann — counterbalance atx

Fatima was born and mostly raised in Hartford, Connecticut. By her mother and her village, consisting of her grandparents, godmothers, and brother. She graduated high school Valedictorian, and moved to North Carolina to attend college, and received her Bachelor in Arts from the University of North Carolina in Charlotte, in History and Political Science with a minor in Africana Studies. She did not become what many call an activist until 2013 when she joined AmeriCorps VISTA and realized she was either going to stand idle and do nothing while Black people were being disenfranchised Wilmington, North Carolina, or she was going to assist in the fight. Wilmington Police officers were killing unarmed young Black men. One of Wilmington’s finest had also stuffed a police dog the driver's seat in a car, with a Black man who had his hands raised to surrender. She knew had to do something and began organizing with local community leaders, the Department of Justice, and the Wilmington Police Department. She’s been community organizing ever since. Since moving to Austin as an AmeriCorps VISTA, Fatima has testified at Austin City Council advocating for her people. She deems all people oppressed by the system for who they are, as her people. Fatima was main facilitator of the Sandra Bland vigil last summer, July 2015, she is the cofounder of the Austin Justice Coalition which recently facilitated a panel at SXSW, and aided the Austin Police Department write an adequate body wearing camera policy. She also the co-founder and Executive Director of Counter Balance: ATX. She is a rising second year law student attending Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She hopes to act as a bridge between the community and the legal system, practicing in North Carolina when she graduates.