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Mia Birdsong on Reclaiming Family, Friendship, and Community

In a divided America, where only a quarter of us know our neighbors, we’ve forgotten the key element that helped us make progress in the first place: community. In her new book, How We Show Up, activist Mia Birdsong shows that what separates us isn’t only the injustices built around race, class, gender, and values, but also our denial that we are interdependent on one another. Through research, interviews, and stories of lived experience, the inspiring author returns us to our inherent connectedness where we find strength, safety, and support. On July 28, Birdsong joined Aspen Ideas: Health for a book talk, with Veronica Chambers of the New York Times, to discuss how we can reclaim family, friendship, and community, in order to achieve a more liberated well-being. Watch and share!

About the speakers:

Mia Birdsong

​Activist; Author, "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 book How We Show Up: Reclaiming Family, Friendship, and Community, Mia charts swaths of community life and points us toward the promise of our collective vitality. In her podcast “More Than Enough,” she expands the current guaranteed income movement by tapping into the voices and visions of low-income people. Her public conversations, like the New America series centering Black women as agents of change and her 2015 TED talk “The Story We Tell About Poverty Isn’t True,” draw attention to the stories of people who are finding their way into leadership roles despite myriad barriers, while also highlighting the vibrant terrain of all marginalized people who are leading on the ground. Mia is a Senior Fellow of the Economic Security Project and was an Aspen Ascend Fellow and a New American California Fellow.


Veronica Chambers

Author, Senior Editor, New York Times

Veronica Chambers is a senior editor at the New York Times. She’s also a prolific author whose work spans genres. She’s co-written four New York Times best-selling memoirs and is the author of her own critically acclaimed memoir, Mama’s Girl. She’s the author of two new children’s books publishing in summer 2020: Shirley Chisholm is a Verb and Finish the Fight: The Brave and Revolutionary Women Who Fought for the Right to Vote. She is a 2019 James Beard award winner for her work with chefs JJ Johnson and Alexander Smalls on Between Harlem and Heaven, an Afro-Asian cookbook. Born in Panama and raised in Brooklyn, her work often reflects her Afro-Latina heritage.

The views and opinions of the speakers are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of The Aspen Institute.

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