Mia Birdsong has spent more than 30 years fighting and loving for social justice and liberation. She is the Co-Director of Family Story, an organization working to expand our understanding of what makes a "good" family to include a diversity of arrangements. Before Family Story, Mia was Vice President of the Family Independence Initiative (FII), which uses data to illuminate the initiative low-income families take to improve their lives. At FII, she created and curated the Torchlight Prize, an award for groups of regular people working together to strengthen their own communities. Birdsong also co-founded Canerow, a resource for people dedicated to raising children of color in a world that reflects the spectrum of who they are.
An avid generalist, Birdsong's wide-range of experience includes volunteering and organizing for the prison abolition organization Critical Resistance, years spent in the publishing industry, working in the youth development and health education field as a trainer and educator, apprenticing as a midwife, studying and practicing herbal medicine, building houses, and performing country music.
A frequent speaker and writer on low-income families and communities, social capital, and collective self-organizing, Mia has been published in the Stanford Innovation Review, the Huffington Post, On Being and The Good Men Project. She has also guest lectured at UC Berkeley.
She is a graduate of Oberlin College and an Ascend Fellow of the Aspen Institute. She sits on the Board of Directors of the Tannery World Dance & Cultural Center and the North Oakland Community Charter School.