Mi’Jan Celie Tho-Biaz, Ed.D., is a cultural leader, oral historian and documentarian who shares narratives of personal transformation and community change. A Fulbright awardee, works with communities across the themes of sovereignty, transformation, healing and equity.
To say this historian’s own history is distinguished is an understatement: Mi’Jan curated and hosted Unfinished Network’s first 2022 public salon on the theme of multiracial democracy, with CNN’s Van Jones and MSNBC’s Maria Teresa Kumar. She also was the principal oral historian and public art curator for Policy Link’s California BIPOC Liberation Stories’ Project, designed and led the Gloria Steinem Initiative’s public policy digital storytelling pilot at Smith College, and has held Visiting Scholar appointments at Columbia University and New York University. She is and has also served as faculty with renowned institutions like Omega Institute and The Banff Centre in Canada.
In addition to her current appointment in Ecuador as a Fulbright Specialist Program Awardee, Mi’Jan is also a recipient of the Andrew Mellon Foundation fellowship appointment, working with Octavia Butler’s archives.
Mi’Jan is best known for connecting with audiences through her visionary, story-rich talks at a range of institutions, from Carnegie Hall to the Institute of American Indian Arts to SXSW. Her goal? To make the historical contemporary and personal, while surfacing the marginalized stories that need to be heard.
I watched her stand in front of a packed room for a public event, the audience hanging on her every word, fascinated by her work and her presence. Dr. Tho-Biaz knows who she is and what she has to offer – she is grounded. But she is also strikingly open to learning new things and perspectives – this balance is what makes her such an exceptional colleague.
I'm just catching these snapshots and snippets of the ways that we live, love, and labor for positive change across time.
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