On Being a Revolution
Public Programs

On Being a Revolution

A Conversation With Ijeoma Oluo and Preston Vargas 

  • Online Conversation
  • Register to Access the Livestream and One Week of Ad-Free Replay Access
  • Books are available to add to your order at check-out

In the #1 New York Times bestseller So You Want To Talk About Race, writer Ijeoma Oluo offered a vital guide for how to talk about important issues of race and racism in society. In Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America, she discussed the ways in which white male supremacy has had an impact on our systems, our culture, and our lives throughout American history. But now that we better understand these systems of oppression, what can we do about them? 

In her latest book, Be A Revolution: How Everyday People are Fighting Oppression and Changing the World—and How You Can, Too, Ijeoma aims to show how people across America are working to create real positive change within our structures. Ijeoma looks at many of our most powerful systems—like education, media, labor, health, housing, policing, and more—highlighting what people are doing to create change for intersectional racial equity. She also illustrates various ways in which we all can find entryways into change in these same areas or can bring some of this important work being done elsewhere to where we live. With an emphasis on intersectionality in all forms of activism, Ijeoma provides a critical analysis of society’s systemic institutions, stressing the need for abolition—the fight for freedom—as well as the need to look to the root cause of social issues and the collective responsibility for those issues. 

Join Ijeoma and CIIS Director of the Center for Black & Indigenous Praxis Preston Vargas for an inspiring conversation encouraging all of us to engage with our communities and examine how we can start creating positive systemic change. 

Ijeoma color portrait where she is smiling and posed outside. Ijeoma is a brown-skilled woman with middle-length curly hair. She is wearing dangling earrings and a orange flower printed top.

Ijeoma Oluo is a writer, speaker, and internet yeller. She is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller, So You Want to Talk About Race and, most recently, Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America. Her work has been featured in the Guardian, the New York Times, and the Washington Post, among many other publications. She was named to the 2021 Time 100 Next list and has twice been named to the Root 100. She received the 2018 Feminist Humanist Award and the 2020 Harvard Humanist of the Year Award from the American Humanist Association. She lives in Seattle, Washington. For more on Ijeoma explore her website.  

Director of the Center for Black and Indigenous Praxis (CBIP) at CIIS

Preston Vargas, PhD, carries the blessings, wisdoms, and joys of his ancestors. He was born from the land of his grandmother's ancestral Wampanoag people. It is a place where his liberated Black ancestors found family and home with the local Indigenous communities. It is also the land where his mother's Cape Verdean immigrant ancestors cultivated cranberry bogs and blueberry bushes amidst deciduous forests. Though he lives on the Pacific coast, Preston honors his ancestors, the land-water spirits of Massachusetts who periodically draw him back home.

Preston holds a PhD in Transformative Studies and an MA in Philosophy, Cosmology and Consciousness from CIIS. Preston Vargas has worked in community-based organizations with underserved communities for twenty years. Currently, he is the Director of the Center for Black & Indigenous Praxis at CIIS. His focus is on engaging Black and Indigenous folx as they reclaim their ancestral wisdom traditions, in present-day context, to heal their communities’ souls through oracular art and ceremonial collaborations with their ancestors, deities, and spirits of the Land. He enlivens his passions through his lived experiences as an Ifa practitioner, animistic healer, and Reclaiming tradition community ritualist. Preston is a storyteller and oracular artist. He enjoys exploring how humans navigate through the lenses of their own experiences, engage their creative talents, and re-present these stories for healing and transformation. He weaves the gifts of his ancestral traditions and scholarship with a commitment to anti-oppression, Pleasure Activism, and his embodiment of Decolonial Love. 

We are grateful to our Bookstore Partner

Marcus Books is the nation’s oldest Black-owned independent bookstore celebrating its 60th year. Marcus Books’ mission is to provide opportunities for Black folks and their allies to celebrate and learn about Black people everywhere. Learn more about Marcus Books.


If you need to request accessibility accommodations, please email publicprograms@ciis.edu at least one week prior to the event. For more information, explore our Accessibility web page.

Important Event Information
Access to the livestream event is limited to registered guests. Registered ticket holders will receive the link to watch the livestream, will have access to chat and Q&A, and will have an ad-free watching experience.

Recording Policy
Ticket holders will have access to an ad-free replay of the event for one week after the live event. A replay with ads will be released on our YouTube channel one week after the livestream. Portions of the audio will also be released on our podcast. Only registered ticket holders who choose to watch live can participate in the chat and Q&A.

Refunding Policy
All tickets and donations for this event are nonrefundable.

Related Academic Program
Anthropology and Social Change