Mia Birdsong is a family activist, facilitator, storyteller, and senior fellow of the Economic Security Project. She is author of the book How We Show Up.
After almost every presentation activist and writer Mia Birdsong gives to executives, think tanks, and policy makers, one of those leaders quietly confesses how much they long for the profound community she describes. They have family, friends, and colleagues, yet they still feel like they're standing alone. They're "winning" at the American Dream, but they're lonely, disconnected, and unsatisfied.It seems counterintuitive that living the "good life"--the well-paying job, the nuclear family, the upward mobility--can make us feel isolated and unhappy. But in a divided America, where only a quarter of us know our neighbors and everyone is either a winner or a loser, we've forgotten the key element that helped us make progress in the first place: community. In this provocative, groundbreaking work, Mia Birdsong 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. In response to the fear and discomfort we feel, we've built walls, and instead of leaning on each other, we find ourselves leaning on concrete.Through research, interviews, and stories of lived experience, How We Show Up: Reclaiming Family, Friendship, and Community (Hachette, 2020) returns us to our inherent connectedness where we find strength, safety, and support in vulnerability and generosity, in asking for help, and in being accountable. Showing up--literally and figuratively--points us toward the promise of our collective vitality and leads us to the liberated well-being we all want.Mia Birdsong is an activist, facilitator, and storyteller. A Senior Fellow of the Economic Security Project, she was also an inaugural Ascend Fellow of The Aspen Institute and New American California Fellow. She was founding Co-Director of Family Story and Vice President of the Family Independence Initiative, Mia speaks widely at conferences and gatherings across the country. She lives with her loved ones on the occupied land of the Chochenyo Ohlone people (AKA Oakland, CA). Read more about her work at miabirdsong.com.Dr. Christina Gessler’s background is in anthropology, women’s history, and literature. She works as a historian, poet, and photographer. In seeking the extraordinary in the ordinary, Gessler writes the histories of largely unknown women, poems about small relatable moments, and takes many, many photos in nature. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Alicia Garza is joined this week by author and activist Mia Birdsong, whose 2015 TED talk has been viewed more than 2 million times. She recently published her book, HOW WE SHOW UP: Reclaiming Family, Friendship, and Community. Garza and Birdsong cover everything from gardening to defunding the police. Plus, Garza’s weekly roundup of all things great and awful known as Lady Don’t Take No! Mia Birdsong on Twitter and at InstagramLady Don't Take No on Twitter, Instagram & Facebook.Alicia Garza on Twitter, Instagram & Facebook.Support the Black Organizing Project. This pod is supported by the Black Futures LabProduction by Phil SurkisTheme music: "Lady Don't Tek No" by LatyrxAlicia Garza founded the Black Futures Lab to make Black communities powerful in politics. She is the co-creator of #BlackLivesMatter and the Black Lives Matter Global Network, an international organizing project to end state violence and oppression against Black people. Garza serves as the Strategy & Partnerships Director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance. She is the co-founder of Supermajority, a new home for women’s activism. She shares her thoughts on the women transforming power in Marie Claire magazine every month. Her forthcoming book, The Purpose of Power: How We Come Together When We Fall Apart (Penguin Random House) will be published in October 2020, and she warns you -- hashtags don’t start movements. People do. 
I had such a nice talk with author Mia Birdsong, who wrote How We Show Up: Reclaiming Family, Friendship, and Community. Mia is a pathfinder, community curator, and storyteller who steadily engages the leadership and wisdom of people experiencing injustice to chart new visions of American life. In her work on guaranteed income as senior fellow at the Economic Security Project, she tapped into the voices and visions of low-income people to reimagine the American social contract, which she focused on in her TED talk. Mia and I talked about her work around social justice, the human need for interdependence, and what exclusion from practicing the American dream looks like. How We Show Up is powerful, as is our conversation, and I hope you take away as much from it as I did.    
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Creator Details

Oakland, California, United States of America
Episode Count
Podcast Count
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2 hours, 24 minutes
Podchaser Creator ID logo 256910