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Dear White Women

Sep 2, 2020

Today we’re chatting with Mia Birdsong, a woman whose TED talk has been viewed over 2 million times, and who can best be described as a bright light. She’s also one of those people who shows you how to believe in true change, and what role you can play in doing that within your own spheres.

Listen in to hear us talk about white supremacy, capitalism, trust circles, the role of community (hint: it’s pretty much everything), and so much more.  We can’t wait to hear what part most resonates with you.  

Have questions, comments, or concerns?  Email us at

What to listen for: 

  • The title of her new book, How We Show Up, and what she thinks it means to truly show up for one another.
  • How tenets of white supremacy show up in the values and aspirations we have for ourselves. Enter perfectionism. 
  • The fallacy behind the American Dream.
  • How we can’t have safety without community, what it means to be each other’s first responders, and how we need to ask for help.

Twitter @miabirdsong


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. 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 (Hachette, June 2020), Mia charts swaths of community life and points us toward the promise of our collective vitality. In “More Than Enough,” her podcast miniseries from The Nation, she expands the current guaranteed income movement by tapping into the voices and visions of low-income people. 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.

Believing that, taken collectively, we are the guides we most need, Mia has made an art out of inviting people into rich explorations of how we map paths forward. 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.

Mia 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 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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