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Thank You to Our Featured Guests:
Raina J. León, PhD, Poet, Writer, Artist,Educator
Dr. Norma Thomas, LCSW, Educator
Thank Your to Our Forum Host:
Susi Stader, Architect, Executive Director At Home With Growing Older
Norma and her daughter Raina are frequent collaborators. They recently put forth and co-wrote a piece about afro- and age-futurism in a recent issue of Generations. What can be learned from afro-futurism, which visualizes a future where people of African descent are liberated fully and integrally as part of society with full equity, for the concept of age-futurism? How can the effort of one movement support another? What would a future look like in the United States, where we do not pit people and generations against one another but integrate them? Norma and Raina are the perfect role model of bridging this divide.
About Our Featured Guests:
Raina J. León, PhD is Black, Afro-Boricua, and from Philadelphia. She believes in collective action and community work, the profound power of holding space for the telling of our stories, and the liberatory practice of humanizing education. A poet and writer, she is the author of Canticle of Idols, Boogeyman Dawn, sombra : (dis)locate and the chapbooks, profeta without refuge and Areyto to Atabey: Essays on the Mother(ing) Self. She has received fellowships and residencies with Cave Canem, The Obsidian Foundation, Vermont Studio Center, among others. She is a member of the SF Writers Grotto and the Carolina African American Writers Collective. She also is a founding editor of The Acentos Review, an online quarterly, international journal devoted to the promotion and publication of Latinx arts, which has published over 900 Latinx voices in its history. She educates current and future agitators/educators as a full professor of education and frequent guest speaker nationwide. She is an emerging visual artist and digital archivist, particularly with StoryJoy, which she co-founded with her mother, Dr. Norma Thomas. She is the lead coordinator for Nomadic Press in Philadelphia and a senior researcher and editor on various grants in education and literature. You can find her on all the platforms @rainaleon.
Dr. Norma Thomas has been a dedicated social worker and leader in the field of gerontology for over 40 years. Dr. Thomas, after a long academic career including the Widener University Center for Social Work Education, retired from the California University of Pennsylvania in January 2017 with a full professorship. She is currently an online instructor for the Center For Social Work Education, Widener University. She is the recipient of many community service awards including most recently: 2021 Outstanding Fellow for Pennsylvania State University-Eberly Campus-Fayette County, Pa; 2016 Dr. Caryl Sheffield Award for Excellence, California University of Pa.; 2015 Spirit of CARIE Award-Philadelphia, Pa.; 2010 Woman of Distinction Award, Southwest Women’s Ministry of the Pa. Baptist State Convention, among others. She is a licensed clinical social worker in the State of Pennsylvania (LCSW) and is a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers (ACSW). She is a lifetime member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. (Gamma Chi Omega member).
The original, live conversation was recorded on: Thursday, May 12, 2022 at 5:30 PM PST.