- May 5, 2022
- 7:00 pm
- Online (PDT)
Each person has a unique, ever-changing relationship to hope. Hope alone can be transformational—but in moments of despair, or when you’re up against profound injustice—it isn’t enough on its own. Hope without action is, at best, naive. At its worst, it tricks you into giving up the power and agency you have to change systems that cause suffering.
Enter transformative learning and social justice educator Kari Grain’s concept of critical hope: a spark of passion and an abiding belief that transformation is not just possible, but vital. This is hope in action: a vibrant, engaged practice and a commitment to honoring transformative potential across a vast spectrum of experience.
In her latest book, Critical Hope, Dr. Grain asserts that hope is necessary but hope alone is not enough. She advocates instead for critical hope, which is not something you have—it’s something you practice. Critical hope is messy, uncomfortable, full of contradictions, and intimately entangled with both the body and the land. Her vision of critical hope requires bearing witness to social and historical trauma and requires interruptions and invitations. And, when practicing critical hope, anger and grief have a seat at the table.
Join Dr. Grain and CIIS Chief Diversity Officer Rachel Bryant for a conversation introducing the seven principles for practicing critical hope and explore how hope isn’t something you have—it’s something you do.
Kari Grain, PhD, is a university educator whose work centers on global engagement, transformative learning, and social justice. Throughout her writing and teaching (as well as her everyday life), she weaves a love for relational, embodied, and experiential ways of knowing the world. Her professional path has included waitressing for nearly 10 years; running diversity and human rights education programs; and leading in-school learning opportunities for immigrant and refugee youth. Dr. Grain earned her PhD in Educational Studies at the University of British Columbia, where she is a faculty member in the Adult Learning and Global Change master's program. She teaches courses on community engaged research, leadership, and social change, and is currently collaborating as a co-editor of a volume on these topics. Dr. Grain also consults with organizations to enhance their community engagement practices and equity and inclusion strategies. Her work has been featured in various academic journals, podcasts, and websites.
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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