Office of Diversity and Inclusion Lectures

Feminist and Liberation Psychology


Feminist and Liberation Psychology

Streaming Media



This conversation is part of the "Expanding The Frame" series of talks sponsored by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at CIIS.

Publication Date





San Francisco, California


Feminist Psychology; Liberation Psychology


Other Psychology | Social Psychology and Interaction



Alka Arora, PhD is a Core Faculty member of the Women's Spirituality program at the California Institute of Integral Studies. She holds a PhD in Women Studies from the University of Washington. Her dissertation, "The Re-enchantment of Feminism: Countering Fundamentalisms, Encountering the Sacred" (2008) examined spiritual discourses among third-wave feminists in Seattle. Prior to joining the CIIS faculty, she served as director of the Women's Center at UC Santa Barbara. Dr. Arora's current teaching and research interests include multicultural feminist theory, spiritual activism, Buddhism, animal ethics, and integral feminist pedagogy.

Shoshana Simons, PhD, RDT, is Chair of CIIS's Expressive Arts Therapy Program. Shoshana has a rich background in integrating performance and expressive arts structures into multiple contexts of work with children and adults in educational, therapeutic and larger systems. She has a particular interest in the integration of the arts into spiritual practice and socio-emotional development. She is passionate about using the performance and expressive arts as catalysts for healing and social change. Over the last several years, Shoshana has focused on developing an expressive arts-centered approach to narrative therapy. In particular, she has co-developed an innovative narrative collective practice with EXA faculty member, Danielle Drake Burnette called "Laundry of Life" which they have been using locally and globally with groups and communities facing serious life issues and challenges. Shoshana has published in the areas of couples therapy, narrative approaches to leadership and systems change, sustainable leadership and the role of spirituality in children's social and emotional development. She has also presented extensively at conferences nationally and internationally on expressive arts-based approaches to creative and academic writing, queer studies and the role of expressive arts in social and organizational development.

Danielle Drake-Burnette, MA, MFT, Intern, is a graduate of the CIIS Expressive Arts Therapy program and now works as an adjunct/assistant professor in the program. She has eight years' experience working in the nonprofit arena as the program director for Pivotal Point Youth Services and founder and executive director of Creative Cocoon for Girls. She is currently working on a PhD in Clinical Psychology at Fielding Graduate University with her research studies focused on work with African American individuals and families around healing the inter-generational trauma of slavery using expressive arts therapy. As a spoken word artist she was the 2003 Oakland Poetry Slam Champion, is author of a book titled Cast Iron Life: a collection of poems and recipes, and has performed throughout the nation, recently performing in a spoken word tribute to Cornel West.

Feminist and Liberation Psychology