Arisika Razak

Arisika Razak, CNM, MPH

Women's Spirituality

Office 412,4th Floor
CIIS Main Building
1453 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

Arisika Razak, CNM, MPH (Health Care Administration, UC Berkeley 1978, Certified Nurse Midwife, UC San Francisco 1980), is a Professor of Philosophy and Religion and Women's Spirituality, and past Director of the Women's Spirituality MA and PhD program at the California Institute of Integral Studies. She is also Director of Diversity at CIIS. Arisika is an African-American healer, ritualist, spiritual dancer, and educator who practices an eclectic mix of Earth-based spiritual traditions.

She has worked with indigent women as an inner-city nurse-midwife for more than 20 years, focusing on the lives and cultures of women of color, which has led to her research interest in feminist, womanist, mujerista, and postcolonial epistemologies and worldviews, and in women's health.

Arisika is a diversity trainer and spiritual dancer who leads spiritual and healing workshops. She has performed nationally and internationally; she was the 2008 American Association of Religion-Western Region's conference chair and vice president, and she is the organization's 2009 president.


She has an article "Embodying Womanism: Notes Towards a Holistic and Liberating Pedagogy" that is part of the anthology Ain't I a Womanist Too?: Third Wave Womanist Religious Thought (February 2013). This anthology is available on Fortress and Amazon.


"Make Medicine Out of Suffering" in the anthology Into These Hands: Wisdom from Midwives.


"Her Blue Body: A Pagan Reading of Alice Walker Womanism"


"Sacred Images of African and African American Women"



Arisika’s dance was performed as part of the CMCC’s 2014  Day of Remembrance and Celebration of Life.

 The Charlotte Maxwell Complementary Clinic has been founded to provide access to alternative complementary modalities of treatment for women with cancer.

 CMCC’s annual celebration of their community and remembrance of the women in the community who they love and cherish, who passed away in 2013.

 Music is by Amy Carol Webb

Arisika dancing:



Arisika Razak alongside Earthlyn Manual,  Linda Compton, and Aya de Leon are interviewed by Sandy Miranda (WSE Alumnae), as part of the KPFA series "Women, Spirit, and Peace" (October 6 2003).


She is interviewed on womanism in the film "Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth" (Spring 2013).


Her film credits include Fire Eyes (on female genital cutting), A Place of Rage (which profiles Alice Walker, JuneJordan and Angela Davis), and Who Lives Who Dies (on health disparities in the U.S.).