kristi brian (kaj), PhD
It’s an honor to share my curiosities and determination for social justice with the members of the Collective and our partners. I bring to the Collective over 15 years of teaching experience and 20 years of loyalty to grassroots movements for social change. I cut my teeth on community organizing in Chicago in the 1990s where I became involved in various efforts to confront the damages of mass incarceration. I continued this work in Philadelphia primarily as a member of Reconstruction, Inc. In addition to doing prison-related organizing in Philadelphia, I completed my PhD in cultural anthropology at Temple University and conducted ethnographic research on adoption activism, white privilege and the use of multiculturalist rhetoric in the promotion of transnational adoption. (Reframing Transracial Adoption: Adopted Koreans, White Parents and the Politics of Kinship, Temple University Press, 2012) I began integrating methods of Intergroup Dialogue into my teaching based on training I received through Temple’s Center for Social Justice and Multicultural Education and the University of Michigan’s National Intergroup Dialogue Institute. In Charleston, I teach classes at the College of Charleston where I have previously served as the Director of Diversity Education and Training and currently serve on the steering committee of the Gender and Sexuality Equity Center and other campus committees. I have organized with Southerners on New Ground (SONG) and aim to do my part in making Charleston a city known for its leadership in ending racism and building queer-friendly, immigrant-friendly, inclusive communities. I am the mother of two courageous young feminist daughters who have taught me some of my most profound lessons on curiosity and creativity.