October 7, 2021

Voices Envisioned

featuring Rabbi Susan Goldberg, Sandra Guzmán, Jakobi Williams, and Helen Zia

Hosted by Toyin Augustus, Kevin Golden, & Oakwood Students Luke ’23 & Roxanna ’24

Submit questions and discussion topics for the panel here.

Tuesday, October 19 at 6:30pm

There is no justice movement that has succeeded where the victimized group was able to make all the necessary changes alone. Building a coalition of allies strategically has always been a critical component to the success of a movement. As we consider the racial and social justice issues present in our society today, we can look to the past to find models and frameworks that brought change toward justice. And as we look to reimagine a more just future for all, we are reminded that there are present realities such as technological advances, access to information, and ease of transportation that have changed the landscape of our societies. So what does all of this mean for how we endeavor to build coalitions to bring about the changes we want to see at Oakwood and in the world?


Sandra Guzmán

Sandra Guzmán is a pioneering Indigenous Caribbean born storyteller, culture writer, and documentary filmmaker whose work reclaims and re-centers narratives of people and communities outside the margins.

A multi-media artist Sandra began her journalism career as a reporter at El Diario/ La Prensa in New York City. While working as a producer in Telemundo’s local evening news she won an Emmy for a special report exploring the US embargo against Cuba. She worked as a producer on Good Day New York, a local Fox station morning show. She moved to print to lead Latina magazine, then the largest magazine for Latinx women. She launched the bilingual web magazine, soloella.com. She has worked on documentary films that have aired on PBS, Netflix, HBO, HULU, and Sundance. Her writing has appeared on NBC, CNN, Audubon magazine, shondaland among others media outlets.

Sandra is the editor of the forthcoming international anthology of Latin American women writers, Machetes Under Our Beds: An International Anthology of Words and Writings by Daughters of Latin America for Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollins.

Rabbi Susan Goldberg

Rabbi Susan is the founder of Nefesh, an open hearted spiritual community capturing the energy and vitality of LA’s east side. A fourth generation Angeleno raised in Red Hill (that’s Echo Park and Silverlake) she has a special focus on revitalizing LA’s east side Jewish community to again be an active part of the multicultural beauty of these neighborhoods. She led the renewal of the historic Wilshire Blvd Temple in Koreatown from 2013 -2019 and Temple Beth Israel of Highland Park. She serves on the advisory board of New Ground: A Muslim Jewish Partnership for Change and on the Interfaith Clergy Roundtable for the Department of Mental Health. She spearheaded the pilot program of Second Nurture supporting kids in the LA County foster care system. She is a national board member for Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice and Rabbi Susan recently wrapped up as Rabbi consultant for the groundbreaking television program Transparent.

Jakobi Williams

Dr. Jakobi Williams is the Ruth N. Halls Associate Professor at Indiana University-Bloomington. He is Chair of the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies and holds a joint appointment in the Department of History. He is a Civil Rights, Black Power, Social Justice, and African American history scholar. He has provided hundreds of invited lectures domestically and abroad on the subjects of Civil Rights and social justice movements. Dr. Williams has served as an consultant regarding Civil Rights issues and history for the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Southern Poverty Law Center, The National Civil Rights Museum, The Social Justice Initiative at the University of Illinois-Chicago, and the Kairos-Center for Religion, Rights, and Social Justice—which helped to found the New Poor People’s Campaign led by Rev. Barber. His most recent book, From the Bullet to the Ballot: The Illinois Chapter of the Black Panther Party and Racial Coalition Politics in Chicago, was published by the University of North Carolina Press under the prestigious John Hope Franklin Series and the book was the foundation for the script to the Warner Brothers film, Judas and the Black Messiah.

Helen Zia

Helen Zia is an activist, award-winning author and former journalist. In 2000, her first book, Asian American Dreams: The Emergence of an American People, was a finalist for the prestigious Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize. She also authored the story of Wen Ho Lee in My Country Versus Me, about the Los Alamos scientist who was falsely accused of being a spy for China in the “worst case since the Rosenbergs.” Helen’s latest book is Last Boat out of Shanghai: The Epic Story of the Chinese who Fled Mao’s Revolution. Just launched in January 2019, it traces the lives of emigrants and refugees from another cataclysmic time in history that has striking parallels to the difficulties facing migrants today.

Helen is a former Executive Editor of Ms. Magazine and a founding board co-chair of the Women’s Media Center. She has been active in many non-profit organizations, including Equality Now, AAJA, and KQED. Her ground-breaking articles, essays and reviews have appeared in many publications, books and anthologies, receiving numerous awards.

The daughter of immigrants from China, Helen has been outspoken on issues ranging from human rights and peace to women’s rights and countering hate violence and homophobia. She is featured in the Academy Award nominated documentary, Who Killed Vincent Chin? and was profiled in Bill Moyers’ PBS series, Becoming American: The Chinese Experience. In 2008, Helen was a Torchbearer in San Francisco for the Beijing Olympics amid great controversy; in 2010, she was a witness in the federal marriage equality case decided by the US Supreme Court.

Helen received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the Law School of the City University of New York for bringing important matters of law and civil rights into public view. She is a Fulbright Scholar and a graduate of Princeton University’s first coeducational class. She attended medical school but quit after completing two years, then went to work as a construction laborer, an autoworker, and a community organizer, after which she discovered her life’s work as a writer.