"Whimsical, upbeat, and
generally good for your health."
- The Nation

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April 14, 2015 Announcement:  I am concluding my work on race/racism/social change within the next two years.
If you want to bring me to your community to address these issues > schedule now.
To join me on my new joy-filled journey of creative expression > join this list
Thank you for your support over the years, and for all you do to make our world a better place.



How can my stories serve you?

It’s time for a new approach to activism, social change, and tough topics. We have to conquer fear and work from a place of love. I am invested in making this shift in our culture. My presentations and the way I share my experience honors the whole human being. I share stories about how we think, how we feel, how we learn, how we fight, how we love, and how we fight for what we love—and most of all—how we are transformed. My presentations share my journey as an artist, writer, and activist who grew from a place of fear and anger into a place of courage, love, and transformative action. I help everyone I meet find that journey within themselves and latch on to hope, affirmation, and a positive way forward into the future we create not alone, but together.

"damali is the most real person I have ever met."
"I had so many epiphanies during her visit."
- Holy Cross College


“damali is so completely genuine
and refreshingly real and human.

It is uplifting and rejuvenating to be reminded that others are going through the same struggles.”
- John Peña, Professor and Artist

“The lessons damali has distilled from her experience have truly transformative potential.
Also she is hilarious and charming
-Executive Director, Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse

"We are still talking about it! It was amazing.
Nothing else was like this." - Colgate University

Schedule Today

Current Offerings:

This fun keynote presentation inspires activists of all ages to be creative in the way they challenge people and advocate for change, while avoiding burnout by creating a support system, implementing self-care techniques, and cultivating a sense of humor.
Video: the "Flesh Tone" exhibit
Learn More

Making art about race both launched and limited my career. Funding and press rallied to the cause but so did hate mail, threats, and stifling expectations. This keynote asks: What happens when we support and fund artists or even students of color to focus primarily on their race? Is this advancing our progress or re-enforcing racism?
Learn More


“I appreciated the language damali used—
ideas presented in an accessible way
to an audience of folks with varying degrees of knowledge on the topic.”
- Joseph Hall, Producing Director, Kelly Strayhorn Theatre

We will be transformed by this experience."
- Colby College

"damali took the time to really talk and listen to our students...
Having damali here helped empower students
in a very different way than we have been able to in the past."
- Sarah Lawrence College

All presentations are multi-media and use art, audio, video, as well as readings and a collection of stories from my personal journeys. Any presentation can be paired with a workshop, or “tea time” where participants can ask in-depth questions and get specific insight and help with their personal challenges.

This game-changing 2-day intensive helps participants make a deep and sustainable connection with social change. It moves beyond academic language into feelings and experiences. It strives to connect the "whole human being" with the issues they want to addresss and the people affected by our cultural challenges. Thinking vs. Feeling, Uncovering Fears, and Core Belief Clarification are central tools.
Learn More


Upcoming Appearances

NorCAN Northern California Area Nonprofits • 2 Workshops on communicating through difference and building effective community.

Colgate University • Three-day Intensive: "Going All In: Your personal commitment to social change"

University of Arkansas • Keynote: "Race-girl: Artistically Pigeon-holed: How an Artist Tackled a Touchy Subject, and How It Tackled Her." + Galleru Show

Portland Metro • Workshop and Keynote on Unconscious Bias

Recent Events

Grand Rapids Non Profit Association Conference • Keynote

Minnesota Philathropy Partners • Keynote, Facing Race Awards

DePaw University • Keynote: "You Can Fix Racism"

Lower Columbia College • Keynote: "You Have to Mess with People (but don't let them mess with you): The Art of Social Change"

Penn State University • Keynote: "You Can Fix Racism"

Bucknell University • Keynote: "Race-girl: Artistically Pigeon-holed: How an Artist Tackled a Touchy Subject, and How It Tackled Her."

Memphis TN • University of Memphis
Keynote: "Race-girl: Artistically Pigeon-holed: How an Artist Tackled a Touchy Subject, and How It Tackled Her."

Pittsburgh, PA • Pittsburgh Arts Council
Keynote Presentation: "Artistically Pigeon Holed: How one Artist Tackled Race and How it Tackled Her"

Urbana, IL • University of Illinois • Scholar-in-Residence • September 2013

Ann Arbor, MI • Univeristy of Michigan • Visiting Professor • Keynote Speaker, Small Groups, Class Visits, and Tea Time


Schedule a presentation today:
Call 213-290-2037
or Fill out the request form.


A ten-point solution based system for addressing interpersonal racism, thereby changing the people who create our institutions. A seventeen page leave-behind guidebook helps continue the discussion in classrooms and discussion groups for long-term follow-up after the keynote presentation.
Video: Preview
Video: damali's creative approach to racism
Download the guidebook


This optimistic and inspiring keynote helps any audience member know that no matter what the struggles they have faced in life, there is a resilience inside themselves that, if nurtured, will sustain and inspire them for a lifetime. It inspires everyone hold on to the spirit with in them…and also to let that spirit out into the world with confidence.
Learn More


Graduation Keynotes
Launching a new crop of graduates into the world is so important and so much fun. A good graduation speaker will impact your students forever. I draw upon my own educational and post-educational adventures of finding my own path in work, relationship, and within myself to inspire your students to enter into the next phase of their life with courage, commitment, whimsy, and passion.

What does your community need?
I am always willing to tailor any one of these talks or design a specific talk to suit the specific needs of your community. Schedule a phone consultation to discuss the issues you need help with and I will be inspired to lend a hand.

"damali’s presentation was so helpful.
Her stories and approach to the topic
were compelling, engaging, and thought provoking."
- Clackamas Community Land Trust