INW Fireside Chat: Intersectional Justice & Antiracist Practice
Time & Location
About the Event
We will be bringing in IDEAS experts to discuss important, relevant, and engaging topics! This space is purposefully curated to be open, inquisitive, and perfect for learning. Take your development in the IDEAS world to the next level and join us!
Dr. Afiya Mbilishaka
Dr. Afiya earned a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and was a full time therapist at Columbia University. She is now a professor and head of the Psychology Program at the University of the District of Columbia. Dr. Afiya is a natural hairstylist at N Natural Hair Studio in Silver Spring, Maryland where she loves creating art with locs, twists, and afros.
Dr. Afiya innovated the practice and research of, "PsychoHairapy," where she uses hair as an entry point for mental health services in beauty salons and barbershops, as well as through social media. Dr. Afiya has provided engaging multi-media talks at universities throughout the country, and in the intimate setting of hair care spaces. She has now gone international, leading cultural and mental health focused trips to Cuba and to various African countries. Dr. Afiya’s favorite hair product is water!
Barbara Ofosu-Somuah is a Ghanaian-American activist and interdisciplinary social scientist from Accra, Ghana, and the Bronx, New York. Barbara believes in the foundational importance of considering and centering equity in all aspects of justice work. As a Thomas J. Watson Fellow and as a Fulbright Researcher, Barbara investigated the racialized lived experiences of Black people across the African Diaspora. Currently, she is co-translating a book of writings by Afro-Italian women writers titled Future. Il domani narrato dalle voci di oggi in . Barbara has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, Psychology, and Italian from Middlebury College.
In 1994, Taylor Paul was sentenced to life plus 26 years in which he served 23 consecutive years before being granted parole in 2017. While on the inside, Taylor co-facilitated all of the Virginia Department of Corrections state-mandated programs in the re-entry cognitive community for over five years. He also created his very own programs called S.A.N.I.T.Y (Standing Against Negative Influences Towards Youth) as well as (with co-founder Jawad Abdu) the RVA league for safer streets. Taylor is also an advocate for Restorative Justice and strong community engagement, believing that "unconventional behaviorism causes for unconventional strategies."
Daveon Coleman currently serves as the Associate Director of Program Communications at the nonprofit environmental law organization Earthjustice. He holds a bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Legal Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Throughout his six year career as a Communications Expert with Earthjustice, Daveon has always sought to improve the community he is a part of. He served as a service team leader for the Green PoC employee resource group at Earthjustice for two years. Daveon created frameworks and policy recommendations to track and improve the recruitment, retention and employee experience of staff of color at the organization. Daveon also served on the Mission Vision and Values task force at Earthjustice. The task force revisited and revised the organization's Mission, Vision and Values to align with diversity, equity, and inclusion goals, and had a primary role in drafting and editing the final documents. He also developed and executed the employee rollout plan which solicited feedback on the Mission, Vision and Values documents and incorporated feedback from staff and then developed infrastructure to educate staff and integrate the revised values into Earthjustice organizational practices. Daveon works diligently every day to incorporate the value of inclusion and partnership into the storytelling of the communications department to highlight and authentically tell the stories of clients and partners fighting for justice and inclusive environmental policy across the country and the world. Growing up in a working class home in Milwaukee exposed him to the realities of systemic racism and segregation in ways he never fully understood until he was an adult. His personal experiences influenced his sense of equity and justice in many ways.