Building Community: A Conversation with Michelle Cassandra Johnson
Join us to hear Michelle Cassandra Johnson in conversation with Phoebe Zerwick about Johnson's new book, We Heal Together: Rituals and Practices for Building Community and Connection.
This is a free event, and registration is requested on Eventbrite. Registration options:
- Book with Ticket: Includes admission to the book discussion and a copy of We Heal Together: Rituals and Practices for Building Community and Connection
- Free Registration: Includes admission to the book talk and access to the signing line
Additional books will be available for purchase at the event.
Register for the event on Eventbrite today! *Free registration available at the door once online registration closes.
To ask questions about accessibility or request accommodations, please contact Bookmarks at email@example.com or (336) 747-1471 x1001. At least two weeks' notice will allow us to provide the best experience possible for you and your guests.
About Michelle Cassandra Johnson
Michelle Cassandra Johnson is an activist, social justice warrior, author, anti-racism consultant and trainer, intuitive healer, and yoga teacher and practitioner. She has led dismantling racism work in many corporate and nonprofit settings for over two decades and she was a social worker for twenty years. She is the author of Skill in Action, and Finding Refuge.
About We Heal Together: Rituals and Practices for Building Community and Connection
A hopeful, wise, and practical guide to help us move into spaces of individual and collective healing, community, and relationship building—with practices to shed our isolation, connect, and thrive.
In times of isolation, heartbreak, and brokenness, reaching out to each other, being in conversation, finding ways to connect with compassion and openness can help us heal, and thrive. This powerful, positive guide coaxes us to go beyond our individual and collective grief, and courageously re-enter and reclaim our sense of community—which then further strengthens our spiritual practice.
Through spiritual teachings drawn from the Bhagavad Gita, mindfulness practices, rituals, resources, and journaling prompts in each chapter, Michelle Cassandra Johnson shows us how we can heal and facilitate healing; reclaim what it means to hold space and build community; find joy; connect to and summon support from our ancestors; connect with nature to strengthen and restore ourselves; and love, alchemize, dream, and conjure in community.
Examples of practices include journaling on what community means to you; meditation with a ritual object; progressive muscle relaxation; Yoga Nidra; and many more—all adapted for use alone or in a group. Includes simple, evocative line drawings by Vashon Island, WA-artist, Ivan Moy.
About Phoebe Zerwick
Phoebe Zerwick is an award-winning investigative journalist, narrative writer, and college teacher. Her writing has appeared in O, The Oprah Magazine, National Geographic, The Nation, Winston-Salem Journal, and Glamour, among other publications. Her work has been recognized by The Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University, Investigative Reporters and Editors, the Society of Professional Journalists, Columbia University, and the North Carolina Press Association and featured in the HBO documentary The Trials of Darryl Hunt. She is the director of the journalism program at Wake Forest University.
About Beyond Innoncence: The Life Sentence of Darryl Hunt
A deeply reported, gripping narrative of injustice, exoneration, and the lifelong impact of incarceration, Beyond Innocence is the poignant saga of one remarkable life that sheds vitally important light on the failures of the American justice system at every level. In June 1985, a young Black man in Winston-Salem, N.C. named Darryl Hunt was falsely convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the rape and murder of a white copyeditor at the local paper. Many in the community believed him innocent and crusaded for his release even as subsequent trials and appeals reinforced his sentence. Finally, in 2003, the tireless efforts of his attorney combined with an award-winning series of articles by Phoebe Zerwick in the Winston-Salem Journal led to the DNA evidence that exonerated Hunt.
Three years later, the acclaimed documentary, The Trials of Darryl Hunt, made him known across the country and brought his story to audiences around the world. But Hunt's story was far from over. As Zerwick poignantly reveals, it is singularly significant in the annals of the miscarriage of justice and for the legacy Hunt ultimately bequeathed. Part true crime drama, part chronicle of a life cut short by systemic racism, Beyond Innocence powerfully illuminates the sustained catastrophe faced by an innocent person in prison and the civil death nearly everyone who has been incarcerated experiences attempting to restart their lives. Freed after nineteen years behind bars, Darryl Hunt became a national advocate for social justice, and his case inspired lasting reforms, among them a law that allows those on death row to appeal their sentence with evidence of racial bias. He was a beacon of hope for so many--until he could no longer bear the burden of what he had endured and took his own life. Fluidly crafted by a master journalist, Beyond Innocence makes an urgent moral call for an American reckoning with the legacies of racism in the criminal justice system and the human toll of the carceral state.