- March 8, 2023
- 6:00 pm
In-Person and Livestream California Institute of Integral Studies
1453 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
- This event was livestreamed Wednesday, March 8, 2023 6:00 p.m. PST
For Livestream attendees, find the start time in your time zone.
- This event was in-person and live online.
- This event was recorded and is now on our YouTube channel.
- Portions of the audio will be released on our podcast.
The contemporary definition of a “good” or “healthy” body has been centuries in the making, but as eating disorder specialist and storyteller Jessica Wilson writes, “the pure, moral, rule-abiding body has never, ever, been a Black woman’s.” Every day, Jessica sees how the pressure to conform to white supremacist ideals of health and beauty constrict and harm women of color. As a registered dietitian specializing in eating disorders, as a social justice activist, and as a woman with multiple marginalized identities, Jessica’s goal is to end this harm.
In her latest book, It’s Always Been Ours she uses social and historical analysis, her own learning and unlearning about nutrition, and contemporary storytelling that centers Black women to make the case that “Health” with a capital H and “Wellness” with a capital W are exclusive social constructs that don’t serve anyone. Through her work and writing, Jessica examines the ways that ideas about respectability and restriction have harmed Black women, challenges what it means to have the “right” body, and helps all women understand that a radical reimagining of body narratives is a prerequisite for vibrant well-being.
Join Dean of Faculty Development, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at CIIS Danielle Drake for a conversation with Jessica that challenges us to rethink the politics of body liberation by centering the bodies of Black women in our cultural discussions of self-image, food, health, and wellness.
Jessica Wilson is a registered dietitian nutritionist and a consultant/activist centering the voices and experiences of those most marginalized in the eating disorder field. She is the co-founder of the #amplifymelanatedvoices movement to elevate content creators—including dietitians, therapists, and body liberation advocates—who are Black, Indigenous or other People of Color. With more than 120,000 followers, her Instagram (@jessicawilson.msrd) has become a clearinghouse for unpacking racist and damaging conceptions about food and bodies.
Danielle Drake, PhD is Dean of Faculty Development, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at California Institute of Integral Studies. Dr. Drake is also an Associate Professor and former chair of the Counseling Psychology, Expressive Arts Therapy MA program. She earned her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Fielding Graduate University with her dissertation study focused on the use of creativity and spirituality among African Americans. As a result of her dissertation research she developed and conducted an initial validation of the Black Spiritual Creativity Scale (BSCS) which is now in use in several research projects and studies. As a mental health therapist at Rafiki Coalition, Dr. Drake focuses on holistic health and psychospiritual wellness of clients in the Bayview / Hunters Point community of San Francisco. Dr. Drake’s clinical work as an Expressive Arts Therapist engages clients individually and groups in creative writing, music, and visual arts processes. She uses a liberatory informed theoretical approach that incorporates Womanist, and Black/African-centered psychologies with Narrative Therapy, Emotion Focused Therapy, and contemplative practices. As a spoken word artist Dr. Drake is a former Oakland Poetry Slam Champion, and author of Cast Iron Life: A collection of poems and recipes.
*All patrons must present a vaccination card along with a matching photo ID. We will follow the best practices laid out by CDC and San Francisco County to minimize the spread of COVID and will continue to revise our policies as the situation changes.
For verification purposes you are considered to be “fully vaccinated” two weeks after completing the second dose of a two-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or two weeks after receiving the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
By registering for this event, you are agreeing to abide by any masking or social distancing requirements we may implement at a later date to ensure the safety of our guests and staff. All guidelines will be communicated by email to event attendees in advance of the event.
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.