• April 22, 2021
  • 7:00 pm
  • Online (U.S. Pacific Time)
Add to Calendar 04/22/2021 7:00 pm 04/22/2021 America/Los_Angeles Reclaiming Connection and Community Join author Mia Birdsong and CIIS Director of Diversity and Inclusion Rachel Bryant for a conversation on reclaiming family, friendship, and communities. Online (U.S. Pacific Time) false MM/DD/YYYY

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This event was recorded and is available to watch on our YouTube channel and portions of the audio will be released on our podcast.

The American Dream as it has been defined for more than a century is about the well-paying job, the nuclear family, and upward mobility. But what both clouds and defines that dream is the distance between us, our neighbors, and that we, our communities, are defined by the dichotomy of winners and losers. What has been lost in many people’s day to day and in the larger American Dream is the key element that helped many of us to succeed in the first place—community. 
Join author and activist Mia Birdsong and CIIS Director of Diversity and Inclusion Rachel Bryant for a conversation on reclaiming family, friendship, and communities. Sharing insights from her book, How We Show Up, Mia shows that what separates us isn’t only the ever-present injustices built around race, class, gender, values, and beliefs, but also our denial of our interdependence and need for belonging. Mia highlights how we can return to our inherent connectedness to find strength, safety, and support in vulnerability and generosity, in asking for help, and in being accountable.  
Discover how showing up–literally and figuratively–points us toward the promise of our collective vitality and leads us to the liberated well-being we want.  

Mia Birdsong 
Mia Birdsong is an author, activist and facilitator who steadily engages the leadership and wisdom of people experiencing injustice to chart new visions of American life. In her book How We Show Up: Reclaiming Family, Friendship, and Community (Hachette, 2020), Mia charts swaths of community life that point us toward the promise of our collective vitality. She is creator and host of the podcast “More Than Enough” from The Nation, which expands the current guaranteed income movement by tapping into the voices and visions of low-income people. Previously, Mia was founding Co-Director of Family Story and Vice President of the Family Independence Initiative. 

Mia is a Senior Fellow of the Economic Security Project. She was an inaugural Ascend Fellow of The Aspen Institute and a New America California Fellow. Mia lives in Oakland, CA on the occupied land of the Chochenyo Ohlone people.

Rachel Bryant
Rachel D. Bryant serves as the Chief Diversity Officer for California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), San Francisco, where she earned a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Community Mental Health. Rachel is pursuing a doctorate degree in Educational Leadership at Mills College, Oakland.  Her passion and research interests situate her life-work and scholarship at the intersection of social justice, education, and psychology.  She is working to facilitate closure between knowledge production in institutions and the need for knowledge in communities traditionally excluded. She serves as an Adjunct Professor in the Master’s in Counseling Psychology and Undergraduate Studies Programs at CIIS.  Rachel is also a Core Member of the Healing Clinic Collective, which provides loving traditional healing sessions to people from especially traumatized populations in the Bay Area.  As a teacher-student, Rachel honors the wisdom and intelligence of everyday people, the human body, and the natural world.  She confidently believes that all people have the innate wisdom and intelligence to serve as healers and educators in their communities. When Rachel is not working, you can find her creating multimedia artworks, gardening, or in the kitchen experimenting with soul food from around the world. She lives in East Oakland with her daughter. 

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