Charles A. Bonner was born in Selma, Alabama. In 1963, at age 16, he joined the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), training, sitting in and peacefully marching for equal rights, and community organizing for the right to vote. He became a field director for SNCC’S Voter Registration Project in Wilcox County in 1965, conducting voter education and voter registration drives. He was one of hundreds who were beaten on Sunday, March 7, 1965 by Alabama State troopers, rushing the marchers on horseback, and on foot, wielding whips, nightsticks and tear gas on the Edmund Pettis Bridge during the “Bloody Sunday” Selma to Montgomery March for the right to vote. Now a trial lawyer and author, Mr. Bonner is still fighting against discrimination, environmental injustice, violence and slavery in the world.
Forever changed by his early “direct-action” in the civil rights movement, Mr. Bonner has remained committed to environmental, civil, and human rights locally and globally, including working for the rights of farmworkers. Fleeing from Selma at age 19, he arrived in San Francisco with a couple of dollars in his pocket and the ambition to make a difference. In 1972 he earned a degree in Anthropology at Sonoma State University, finishing his last 12 units studying Kiswahili in a Tanzanian village and obtaining a Certificate of Fluency from the Government of Tanzania.
Mr. Bonner returned to the U.S. to further his education, first enrolling in Stanford in the Education Department, leaving to pursue his law degree from the New College School of Law in San Francisco, CA.
Charles Bonner has been practicing law as a Civil Rights and Environmental Attorney for more than 36 years and has been the lead attorney in over 100 jury trials, involving civil rights cases, police misconduct cases, employment discrimination and personal injury cases.
Cabral Bonner graduated from Stanford Law School in 2006. While in Law School, Cabral cut his teeth as a plaintiffs’ advocate by participating in the Stanford Community Law Clinic, where he helped represent employees who had been terminated or were seeking unpaid wages. In July 2006 Cabral took the California Bar and was admitted to practice Law in November 2006. He joined forces with his father Charles Bonner in their practice focused on civil rights, employment discrimination, personal injury and mass tort.
Cabral Bonner has participated in more than 15 jury or bench trials as either co-counsel or lead trial counsel. He has tried cases in Alameda County, Marin County, Monterey County, and Contra Costa County superior courts. Additionally he has tried cases in the Northern and Eastern District of California, District of Colombia District Court, and the Northern District of New York. Cabral has argued before the Ninth Circuit and before the California Court of Appeal.
Cabral Bonner lives in Oakland with his wife and two daughters.