Co-Director, Family Story : Oakland, CA
Mia Birdsong is co-director of Family Story. She has spent more than 20 years fighting for the self-determination and pointing out the brilliant adaptations of everyday people. Most recently, she was the Vice President of the Family Independence Initiative (FII). Under her leadership the organization expanded and achieved national recognition. Through FII, she created and curated the Torchlight Prize, an award for groups of everyday people working together to strengthen their own communities.
Mia comes from a diverse family of writers, artists, and quiet, passionate do-gooders. She brings to her work at FII a wide-range of experiences from her time in the publishing world, her on-going practice in prenatal health and folk medicine, and a decade as a volunteer and organizer for the prison abolition movement builder Critical Resistance. Mia also spent ten years as a trainer and educator in the fields of youth development and health education. Working from a critical anti-oppression framework, she strived to highlight the voices, experiences, and wisdom of youth of color, LGBTQIQ youth, and other marginalized young people. Mia co-founded BirthCircle, a grassroots collective making pregnancy and birth choices more accessible to families in California’s Central Valley. Mia sits on the Board of Directors of People's Grocery, the Advisory Board of the Tannery World Dance & Cultural Center, and volunteers in her neighborhood and community. She holds a B.A. in Black Studies from Oberlin College. Mia is an occasional runner, enthusiastic gardener, and pretty good cook. She lives with her husband and two children in Oakland.