Monday, April 13, 2009

A Conversation with your Neighbor: Daphne Muse

On March 25, 2009, Northgate was fortunate to have a conversation with Daphne Muse about social justice and the meaning of community.

Ms. Muse shared her views on the environmental infrastructure of social justice, pointing out that we cannot continue to fertilize social justice with toxic soil, water it with rising sea levels, or sustain it with polluted air. "It is incumbent upon us to provide a truly sustainable infrastructure, in order for us to cultivate social justice in our everyday lives." We shared ideas and inspirations about how to get involved in your neighborhood, how to learn about historical ecology from your neighbors, how to share technical information with non-technical folks, and the importance of taking pride in your community.

Ms. Muse considers Oakland an unpolished jewel in the crown with elements of beauty that rival the splendor of Italian villages where she's spent time.

Daphne Muse has served as the director of the Women’s Leadership Institute (WLI) at Mills College since 2004. There she works with Student Fellows to provide co-curricular programming and projects that enrich learning, inquiry and scholarship while supporting local, national, and global activism focusing on women and women's rights. In May 2008, she graduated the first cohort of WLI Roundtable Fellows. Conducting cutting-edge work in media, gender studies and environmentalism, those Fellows are now positioning themselves to make remarkable inroads across the country and around the globe.

Ms. Muse is the author of four books and more than 300 feature articles, essays, reviews, and commentaries for major newspapers, academic journals and online zines. Her work has been published in the San Francisco Chronicle, Black Scholar, San Jose Mercury News, and the Washington Post, and has been aired on NPR, Radio One, and Pacifica. In 2008, Muse was nominated for a National Women's Book Association Award and also nominated by President Janet L. Holmgren for a Civic Ventures Purpose Prize. She has been a guest speaker and served on panels at Google, the McNair Scholars Conference, Case Western Reserve University, UC Berkeley, and Rutgers University.

For twenty years, Muse served as president of the Fruitvale San Antonio Community Association in and conjunction with that role developed the Annual Halloween Book Giveaway. For more than 25 years, Muse gave away new children's books, some of them autographed by award-winning authors including Gwendolyn Brooks, Thatcher Hurd, and Virginia Hamilton, to children in the community and sometimes their parents, too.

Thank you, Daphne, for taking the time out of your busy schedule to have what we hope will be the first of many conversations with us!

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