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adrienne maree brown on Pleasure Activism: A Live Online Conversation

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adrienne maree brown on Pleasure Activism: A Live Online Conversation

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Prevailing ideas around social justice activism tend to focus on 'doing the work', putting in long hours, and facing challenges head-on. Activism is rarely associated with personal joy and pleasure. But can there be a deep connection between activism and pleasure? How do we make social justice the most pleasurable human experience? How can we awaken within ourselves desires that make it impossible to settle for anything less than a fulfilling life?

Author, Black feminist, and social justice activist adrienne maree brown has been talking, writing, and celebrating the intersection of pleasure and activism since her much-lauded 2019 book, Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good. Pleasure Activism is a politics of healing and happiness that explodes the dour myth that changing the world is just another form of work. Drawing on the Black feminist tradition, she challenges us to rethink the ground rules of activism. Through connecting with our inner desires and needs—physical, mental, emotional—we can become better organizers, activists, and social justice workers.

Join Sonya Shah, CIIS professor and restorative justice expert and adrienne for a powerful and joyful conversation exploring how to tap into the full spectrum of our sensual desires and emotional needs while organizing for justice. Whether you’re a seasoned activist or new to supporting social justice movements, adrienne invites you to embrace the idea that activism can feel good.

Please note that this conversation will be hosted live online and includes an audience Q&A. Instructions on how to join the conversation will be included in your event confirmation email. If you need additional assistance finding or joining the event, please email publicprograms@ciis.edu.

adrienne maree brown is a writer. adrienne is the author of the NY Times Bestseller Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good, the radical self/planet help book Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds published by AK Press in 2017. She is also the co-editor of the anthology Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction from Social Justice Movements with Walidah Imarisha, published by AK Press in 2015. She has helped to cultivate work and thinking about Octavia Butler and Emergent Strategy, gathering a loose knit global network of people interested in reading Octavia’s work from a political and strategic framework.

In terms of writing, adrienne blogs regularly, wrote the Pleasure Dome column at Bitch magazine, and is a contributing editor for YES! magazine.

She attended the Clarion Sci Fi Writers Workshop and the Hedgebrook Writers Residency in 2015, and Voices of Our Nation in 2014 as part of the inaugural Speculative Fiction Workshop. She was a 2013 Kresge Literary Arts Fellow and a 2013 and 2015 Knights Arts Challenge winner, writing and generating science fiction in and about Detroit. She was the Ursula Le Guin Feminist Sci Fi Fellow, and a Sundance/Time Warner 2016 Artist Grant Recipient.

adrienne was the facilitator of the founding year of the Detroit Narrative Agency (DNA), supporting Detroiters to shift the narratives of the city towards justice and liberation.

adrienne studied with generative somatics Teacher Training for a decade to deepen her healing, doula, and facilitation work. She is part of the Black Organizing for Leadership and Dignity team, at the intersection of political education, community organizing, somatics, and black love.

She has facilitated the internal healing and visionary development of organizations throughout the movement (most recently BYP100, Movement for Black Lives and Black Lives Matter). She has also worked with Building Equity and Alignment for Impact Initiative, Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health, Chorus Foundation, Correctional Association of NY, Young Women United, Positive Women’s Network, Black Mesa Water Coalition, INCITE!, the Young Women’s Empowerment Project in Chicago, New Orleans Parents Organizing Network, ColorofChange.org and Detroit Summer.

adrienne was a co-facilitator for the Detroit Food Justice Task Force, facilitator for Detroit Future, and the Detroit Digital Justice Coalition, as well as part of the faculty for the Center for Whole Communities. She partnered with Engage to facilitate a year-long Community of Practice on Networks and Decentralizing Leadership, 2011-2012.

adrienne was the executive director of The Ruckus Society from 2006-2010, and sat on their board through 2012. She was also a National Co-Coordinator for the 2010 US Social Forum. adrienne is proud to have spent time on social justice organization boards including The Ruckus Society, Allied Media Projects, Third Wave Foundation, and Common Fire, as well as many others.

A co-founder of the League of Pissed Off/Young Voters and graduate of the Somatics and Social Justice Cohort, Somatics and Trauma year-long, Rockwood’s Art of Leadership year-long training, and Robert Gass’s Art of Change year-long training, adrienne is obsessed with learning and developing models for action, community strength, movement building and transformation.

Sonya Shah is an associate professor at California Institute of Integral Studies in the School of Undergraduate Studies. In 2016, Sonya initiated The Ahimsa Collective– an organization that works to respond to harm in ways that foster wholeness for everyone.   Central to her core values are nurturing community belonging and collective care, healing, compassion, love and transforming harm. Sonya is a Buddhist, a first-generation immigrant from the Northwestern part of India and feels most at home in nature. Sonya has two amazing children who remind her what it means to be in love all of the time. Sonya currently resides in northern California.

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