Presenter Bios

This year we are excited that angel Kyodo williams and Beth Berila will join us as resident scholar-practitioners!  Read more about them below.

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angel Kyodo williams

Called “the most intriguing African-American Buddhist” by Library Journal, angel Kyodo williams has been bridging the worlds of spirit and justice since her critically acclaimed book, Being Black: Zen and the Art of Living With Fearlessness and Grace. Her book was hailed as “an act of love” by Pulitzer Prize winner Alice Walker and “a classic” by Buddhist teacher Jack Kornfield. In 2016, Rev. angel published her second book, Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love, and Liberation.

Now one of only three black women Zen “Senseis” or teachers, she applies wisdom teaching to social issues and is a leading voice for Transformative Social Change.  In recognition of her work, angel Sensei received the first Creating Enlightened Society Award from Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. Both fierce and grounded, she is known for her willingness to both sit with and speak uncomfortable truths. angel notes, “Love and Justice are not two. Without inner change, there can be no outer change. Without collective change, no change matters.” Whether in writing, teaching or speaking, her voice is unique.

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Beth Berila

Beth is Director of the Women’s Studies Program, and Professor in the Ethnic and Women’s Studies Department, St. Cloud State University. Beth is also a 500-hr registered yoga teacher and an Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist.  She is the author of the book Integrating Mindfulness into Anti-Oppression Pedagogy: Social Justice in Higher Education (Routledge, 2016). She co-edited Yoga, the Body, and Embodied Social Change: An Intersectional Feminist Analysis, with Melanie Klein and Chelsea Jackson Roberts, Ph.D. (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016). She served on the leadership team of the Yoga and Body Image Coalition for two years and is now a community partner. Her current projects merge yoga and meditation practices with feminism and mindful education to create a form of socially engaged embodied learning. Learn more at bethberila.com.

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