On Tending Grief
Public Programs

On Tending Grief

A Conversation With Camille Sapara Barton and Michelle Cassandra Johnson


  • 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 for pick-up from Marcus Books in Oakland, California or delivery within the United States 


Majority cultural norms in the United States suppress our ability to truly feel our grief—deeply, safely, and on our own terms. But each person’s experience with grief is as unique as the grief itself. Writer, somatic practitioner, and artist Camille Sapara Barton’s take on grief speaks directly to the ways that BIPOC and queer readers disproportionately experience unique constellations of loss. 

In their work, Camille honors every experience: The loss of displacement from homelands, severed lineages and ancestral ways of knowing. The grief of colonization and theft. The deep heaviness that burrows into our bodies when society tells us our bodies are wrong. Drawing upon their new book Tending Grief, written specifically to center and hold the grief of BIPOC communities, Camille shares how to reconnect to what’s been lost, to find community in grief, and to tend to our own suffering for our individual and collective well-being. Camille shows how we can tend to our grief both alone and in community through sharing circles, nature-based rituals, dancing your grief, and offers tools for peer support and integration. 

Join Camille for a unique and gentle conversation with author, spiritual teacher, social justice activist, intuitive healer, and Dismantling Racism educator Michelle Cassandra Johnson exploring how BIPOC communities—and all of us—can tend to our grief. Camille and Michelle invite you to feel your grief, honor what comes up, and move forward in healing.

Camille Sapara Barton color portrait. Camille is a brown skinned non-binary person with their head shaved along the sides and curly brown hair create bangs over their forehead. They are smiling, wears silver earrings, and posed in front of a wall of bamboo.

Camille Sapara Barton is a writer, artist and somatic practitioner, dedicated to creating networks of care and liveable futures. Rooted in Black feminism, ecology, and harm reduction, Camille uses creativity, alongside embodied practices, to create culture change in fields ranging from psychedelic-assisted therapy to arts education. Their debut book Tending Grief: Embodied Rituals for Holding Our Sorrow and Growing Cultures of Care in Community, was published in April 2024 by North Atlantic Books. 

Based in Amsterdam, Camille designed and directed Ecologies of Transformation (2021–2023), a master's program exploring socially engaged art making with a focus on creating change through the body into the world. They curate events and offer consultancy combining trauma-informed practice, experiential learning and their studies in political science.

Michelle Cassandra Johnson color portrait. Michelle is a Black woman, with curly, dark brown hair that ends before her shoulders. She is seated and has her hands resting on each other as she looks towards the camera.

Michelle Cassandra Johnson is an author, spiritual teacher, social justice activist, intuitive healer, and Dismantling Racism educator. She approaches her life and work from a place of knowing we are, can, and must heal individually and collectively. As a Dismantling Racism educator, she has worked with large corporations, non-profits, and community groups, including the ACLU-WA, Duke University, Google, This American Life, Mercedes, Yoga Alliance, Kripalu, Eno River Unitarian Universalist Church, Lululemon, and many others. Michelle published the first edition of Skill in Action: Radicalizing Your Yoga Practice to Create a Just World in 2017; and the 2nd edition of Skill in Action in November 2021, published by Shambhala Publications. Her second book, Finding Refuge: Heart Work for Healing Collective Grief, was published by Shambhala Publications in 2021. Her newest book, We Heal Together: Rituals and Practice for Building Community and Connection, published by Shambhala Publications, explores the deep knowing and truth that we are interconnected; we belong to one another. We Heal Together offers rituals and practices meant to dream us into a new way of being to benefit the highest and fullest good. Michelle teaches workshops and immersions in organizations, and spiritual, yoga, and community spaces nationwide. 

Michelle moves and leads from the heart, and healing and wholeness are central to how Michelle approaches all she does in the world.  

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.

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