Mia Birdsong is a pathfinder, community curator, and storyteller who engages the leadership and wisdom of people experiencing injustice to chart new visions of American life. She has a gift for making visible and leveraging the brilliance of everyday people so that our collective gifts reach larger spheres of influence, cultural and political change, and create wellbeing for everyone. In her book How We Show Up: Reclaiming Family, Friendship, and Community, Birdsong examines community life, reimagines family and chosen family, and points us toward the promise of our collective vitality. Previously, as founding Co-Director of Family Story, Mia lifted up a new national story about what makes a good family. As Vice President of the Family Independence Initiative, she leveraged the power of data and stories to illuminate and accelerate the initiative low-income families take to improve their lives. 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 targeted 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 and solving for tomorrow.
Birdsong is a Senior Fellow of the Economic Security Project. She was an inaugural Ascend Fellow and faculty member with The Aspen Institute, a New American California Fellow, and Advocate-in-Residence with the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice. Mia lives and dreams big on the occupied land of the Chochenyo Ohlone people (AKA Oakland, CA).
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