- August 18, 2016
- 6:30 pm
California Institute of Integral Studies
1453 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
Join author and activist Sil Lai Abrams for a conversation about her life and upcoming memoir, BLACK LOTUS: A Woman's Search for Racial Identity. BLACK LOTUS is a unique and exquisitely wrought story of one multiracial woman's journey to discover and embrace herself in a family that sought to deny her black heritage. Sil Lai Abrams shares her story in an account that will undoubtedly ignite conversation among readers on race, racial identity, and the human experience.
Abrams was born to a Chinese immigrant mother and a white American father. Out of her family, Sil Lai was the only one with a tousle of wild curls and brown skin. When she asked about her darker complexion, she was given vague answers. At fourteen, the man she knew her entire life as her birth-father divulged that Abrams was not his biological child, but instead the daughter of a man of African descent who didn't know she existed.
This shocking news sparked a quest for healing that would take her down the painful road to reclaim her identity despite the overt racism in her community and her own internalized racism and self-hatred. Abrams struggled with depression, abuse and an addiction that nearly destroyed her. Over time, she found a way to leave behind the shame over her birthright and moved toward a celebration of her blackness.
In BLACK LOTUS, Abrams takes you on her odyssey filled with extreme highs and lows and the complexities of not only the black experience, but also the human one. This vivid story reexamines everything you think you know about racial identity while affirming the ability of the human spirit to triumph over tragedy. Ultimately, BLACK LOTUS shines a light on the transformative power of truth and self-acceptance, and the importance of defining your personal identity on your own terms.
Sil Lai Abrams is a NABJ award-winning New York City-based writer, inspirational speaker, and domestic violence awareness activist. She has appeared on ABC, CNN, MSNBC, TV One, Al Jazeera, FOX, BET, Court TV, and TruTV as an expert on relationships and domestic violence, and been featured in national magazines such as Modern Woman, Oprah, Redbook, EBONY, Black Enterprise, and Sister 2 Sister. Abrams is the founder & CEO of Truth in Reality, a social advocacy organization committed to changing the media's depiction of women of color in an effort to reduce the rates of gender-based violence in the black community, and also serves on the national Board of Directors for the National Domestic Violence Hotline. She lives in New York, New York.
Dedicating over two decades to the art of communication, interpersonal dynamics, and inclusion, Alison Kay Raby has facilitated numerous seminars in the Bay Area and at Esalen Institute, served as a strategic advisor to Inspiration Campaign, as Partner Cities Manager for It's Time Network, and co-produced SHIFT2016 as well as Inclusion 2.0. She also served as the Volunteer Coordinator for Wisdom 2.0 and is currently the Founder and CEO of Mariposa Search, a search firm focused on socially conscious businesses in addition to Co-Founder of Wisdompreneurs, a global organization of transformational leaders. Alison is an Ambassador for Emerging Women and Co-Chair of the Bay Area Recruiters Association. Her newest venture is Digital Raign, a search and solution firm utilizing 'reality' platforms as a vehicle for impact initiatives.
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