Phoenix Rising: Models of Grief, Growth, and Action
“The Egyptian phoenix was said to be as large as an eagle, with brilliant scarlet and gold plumage and a melodious cry… As its end approached, the phoenix fashioned a nest of aromatic boughs and spices, set it on fire, and was consumed in the flames. From the pyre miraculously sprang a new phoenix.”
In conjunction with Reimagine’s Fall 2021 season “Grief, Growth, and Action”, Phoenix Rising explores opportunities to emerge from the ashes and transform from the source of our loss. Guest speakers from diverse fields such as psychology, art, and activism will address the scientific phenomenon of trauma-related growth in conversations and workshops. The series will shed light on how some people can actually flourish through and from a difficult experience. Perhaps our transformations won’t be as dramatic as the death and rebirth of the mythical phoenix, but we all have the capacity to take small, sweet steps towards growth and action.
In this session, we learn from two experts about growing and transforming from trauma and loss: one whose practice is rooted in the arts; the other in scientific research. Author and performance poet Natasha T Miller will perform her poetry and share how sometimes a story of loss might actually save a life. Psychologist Dr. Richard Tedeschi will explain five areas of post-traumatic growth theory that he developed and offer insights on his current work with veterans.
Natasha T Miller
Natasha T Miller is a Detroit, MI native, author, performance poet, LGBTQ activist, film producer, and founder of the “Artists Inn Detroit”. Natasha has been a member of four national slam teams, starred in a national Sprite commercial and a Shinola CNN ad, and a three-time, top-five finalist for the Women of the World Poetry Slam. She has awed audiences across the world at more than a hundred universities, and venues, performing in stadiums for as many as thirty thousand people. She has been featured in magazines such as Vogue, Entrepreneur, and many more. Recently published by Button Poetry, Natasha’s full-length manuscript Butcher is a collection of poems dedicated to the loss of Natasha’s brother Marcus, grief, sexual identity, and success. Natasha currently (digitally) tours the world using her words to enlighten, create equality, and most importantly spread truth, and forgiveness in the tradition of so many great leaders before her.
Richard Tedeschi, Ph.D. is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Psychological Science at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and Distinguished Chair of the Boulder Crest Institute for Posttraumatic Growth, in Bluemont, Virginia, where he has been one of the developers of programs based on posttraumatic growth principles to help combat veterans and first responders. He has published several books and numerous professional articles on posttraumatic growth, an area of research that he developed while at UNC Charlotte. Dr. Tedeschi serves as a consultant to the American Psychological Association on trauma and resilience, is a Fellow of the Division of Trauma Psychology and the Division of Psychotherapy, and is Past President of the North Carolina Psychological Association.