Wednesday, January 27
6:30 – 8:00 pm (Central Time via Zoom)

In this More Than a Single Story event, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color healers discuss the traumas of 2020 and the role that healing plays in communities of color – from the changing needs of clients due to COVID-19 to the murder of George Floyd.


  • Ihotu Jennifer Ali, a founding member of the Minnesota Healing Justice Network
  • Janice Bad Moccasin, traditionally and spiritually based healer from Dakota/Lakota grassroots
  • Didi Koka, MD, poet and Medical Director of HCMC East Lake Clinic
  • Houa Lor, Hmong Shaman
  • Resmaa Menakem, author of My Grandmother’s Hands
  • Sun Yung Shin, poet, biodynamic craniosacral therapist, and Reiki practitioner

This event is funded by Wisdom Ways Center for Spirituality and Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. It is co-hosted by Hennepin County Library.


COST: Free; please RSVP

This session will be held via Zoom and has a total contact time of 1.5 hours.

More Than a Single Story is a series of programs that takes place at different venues across the Twin Cities. Founded and directed by Carolyn Holbrook, the program strives to break down the stereotyping of people of color by celebrating their diverse voices and experiences.


Online Course Expectations + Details:

  • After registering and approximately 24 hours before the start of the session, you will receive an email from Wisdom Ways with the Zoom link and other information. Please check your email’s Spam folder or Promotions tab if you don’t see it in your inbox.
  • Have the technology and internet connection that allow for stable video and audio connection through a computer or a hand-held device (e.g., tablet or smart phone).
  • The Zoom session will include a facilitator from Wisdom Ways, who will help navigate the small groups, and the questions and comments that are shared through the chat function.


Moderator and Panelists:

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Carolyn Holbrook is a writer, educator, and longtime advocate for the healing power of the arts. She is the author of an essay collection, Tell Me Your Names and I Will Testify (University of MN Press 2020), a chapbook, Earth Angels (Spout Press 2020), and is co-author with Arleta Little of MN civil rights icon, Dr. Josie R. Johnson’s memoir, Hope In the Struggle (University of MN Press 2019). Her personal essays have been published widely, most recently in A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota (MN Historical Society Press 2016) and Blues Vision: African American Writing from Minnesota (MN Historical Society Press 2015). She has received awards from the Minnesota State Arts Board and a MRAC Next Step grant. In 2016, she was awarded a 50 over 50 award from AARP/Pollen Midwest. She was the first person of color to win the Minnesota Book Awards Kay Sexton Award (2010). She is Founder and Artistic/Executive Director of More Than a Single Story for which she won a MN Women’s Press Changemaker award in 2015. She teaches creative writing at the Loft Literary Center and other community venues, and at Hamline University, where she won the Exemplary Teacher award in 2014. Learn more at

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Ihotu Jennifer Ali (she/her) is an integrative medicine practitioner, doctoral student, doula, and writer. Carrying mixed race, Nigerian and Polish-Irish ancestry, Ihotu’s work integrates chiropractic care, craniosacral and womb massage, birth and breastfeeding support, nutrition and herbalism, Black spirituality and Afrofuturism, sound healing and transformative justice. She has experience in human rights research under the United Nations, maternal and child health policy, solidarity economics, and is a founding member of the Minnesota Healing Justice Network. Ihotu is the author of self-published “Seven Portal Sky,” a workbook for healing and justice after George Floyd, and writes and consults on culture, medicine, solidarity & liberation.


Janice Bad Moccasin is an enrolled tribal member of the Crow Creek Hunkpati Dakota nation. She is of Dakota/Lakota tribal lineage. She currently lives in Shakopee, MN.  Janice is a lifelong ceremonial Sundancer for over 20 years. She carries the teaching and knowledge forward to Native American communities, specifically to native women and families. She is a healing practitioner with horses and human relationships and facilitates healing with metaphors and her personal ceremonial concepts. One of her passions is healing humans with horse medicine in horse nation teachings. She owns a part-time equine cultural therapeutic practice called Horse Nation Transformations. She loves being a Muay Thai combat sports athlete, which is her thriving force of breaking through life obstacles and challenges.

Didi Koka

Didi Koka is a poet, physician, and practitioner. She has been a family physician in community medicine in the Twin Cities for 20 years, serving as Medical Director of Hennepin Healthcare East Lake clinic for 10 of those years. She holds a MFA in poetry from Hamline University and has participated in many readings about town, including Heal the Earth Poetry Collective, Cracked Walnut festivals, and Literary Peace Series. She is part of the Red Bird Chapbook board and community.  She is a Buddhist practitioner. She was a children’s practice teacher of mindfulness and meditation for many years and currently helps facilitate BIPOC meditation sitting groups. She has published poems in the Red Bird Broadside series and Minnesota Medicine Magazine.

Houa Lor

Houa Lor was born in Thailand and raised in the US. Her awakening started in 2017 when she began her shaman journey into a world where the spirits and the living meet. In 2019, she raised her altar and fully committed herself to healing others. Her passions also include writing, reading, photography, and filmmaking. She is the author of three published books and the founder of Houa Productions, a film company in Minnesota where she directed two feature-length modern Hmong films. She is the mother of 7 children and currently resides on the east coast with her children and her husband, Ko Vang.


Resmaa Menakem is the founder of the Cultural Somatics Institute and author of the New York Times bestseller My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies. He is a leading voice in today’s conversation on racialized trauma and Somatic Abolitionism. As a presenter, trainer, consultant, therapist, and trauma specialist, Resmaa helps communities, organizations, and individuals to heal the trauma of racialization, build stamina and discernment, and encourage emergence.

Sun Yung Shin 2020 photo

Sun Yung Shin is the author of three books of poetry, including the Minnesota Book Award-winner Unbearable Splendor; the editor/co-editor of two anthologies, including A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota and Outsiders Within: Writing on Transracial Adoption; and the author/co-author of two books for children. With fellow Korean immigrant poet Su Hwang, she co-directs Poetry Asylum. She is a full-time artist, cultural worker, and educator and lives in Minneapolis with her family. Her forthcoming books include What We Hunger For: Refugee & Immigrant Writers on Food & Family and Where We Come From, a children’s book co-authored with John Coy, Shannon Gibney, and Diane Wilson. She is a biodynamic craniosacral therapist and Reiki Level III practitioner at United Bodyworkers & Artists Studio in St. Paul.

This Program’s Calendar Entries

Click on the day you’re interested in attending to access the “Add to Calendar” feature. Or if you plan on attending all these events, use the “Subscribe to filtered calendar” button at the bottom of this event list.


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Writing from a Place of Deep Listening: A Path to Healing

We often view healing as an external, outside remedy that is given to us. However, in this workshop we will explore writing as a tool for listening deeply to ourselves and others. Deep listening can serve as a way of seeing more fully, leading to a path of healing. We’ll start with examining healing and all its varied external meanings and perceptions. Then we will hold the space of quietness and meditate to clear our minds and see what emerges from our stillness. What is the story that the quiet tells us? We’ll write from this space as well as generate lists and prompts that can be used later for writing and creative exploration. In the middle, we’ll hear from other BIPOC writers who have delved into their truths and shed light on their healing and that of our collective healing in general. Led by Didi Koka.

WHEN: Tuesday, February 16, 6:30 to 8:30 pm CT; limited to 20 participants.

LEARN MORE/REGISTER: Hennepin County Libraries


Poetry Holds our Multitudes

In this supportive poetry workshop, learn how poetry can be used as a tool for  healing through the use of language, symbols, moments, and visions. Poems by Native American writers and writers of color will be shared to examine our contemporary struggles, wounds, and ways of connecting with the wholeness of ourself and others. Writing prompts will be offered as well as time for voluntary sharing of poems. Led by Sun Yung Shin.

WHEN: Thursday, February 25, 6:00 to 8:00 pm CT; limited to 20 participants.

LEARN MORE/REGISTER: Hennepin County Libraries

Both of these events are More Than a Single Story events that are funded by Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.