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This event was part of Reimagine: Grief, Growth, and Action

Table Talk: Grief Among Latino/a/x and LGBTQ+ Communities

Informed by spiritual care and mental health perspectives, this Table Talk peels back the layers of grief from Latino/a/x and LGBTQ+ perspectives

Table Talk, a series created by and for people of color, LGBTQ+ folks, and other underrepresented communities, is an honest, lively, and unscripted conversation among health professionals, spiritual and faith-based leaders, artists, and other creative individuals to address this central question: What does it mean to live and die well in our respective communities?

In this Table Talk, Rev. Dr. Maria Cristina Vlassidis Burgoa and Dr. Wilfred Labiosa provide their responses to these additional questions:

What are we grieving?

How do we grieve?

From a spiritual perspective, how does our community support those experiencing grief or trauma?

What other actions can we take to support ourselves and our loved ones?

Disponible para este evento, Traducción simultánea en Español y/o transcripción en vivo, pedir por adelantado a antes del 20 de octubre de 2021.

Live Spanish-language interpretation and/or live transcription will be available upon request by contacting by October 20, 2021.


Wilfred Labiosa, PhD, (he/him/él) has been a community leader for more than thirty years. He has been working in the public health field for more than 25 years with marginalized communities such as the Latino and LGBT communities in the United States and Puerto Rico. He has published extensively his research with the dually-diagnosed Latino community, mental health and a substance abuse diagnosis; works as a consultant and/ or supervisor on state, national and international projects that focus on mental health, HIV/AIDS prevention, homeless, youth, Latinos, LGBTQ+, people with dual diagnosis or evidence-based treatment modalities. He has worked with LGBT and HIV organizations locally, nationally and internationally for many years, as a mentor, mental health provider or evaluator. Born and raised in Puerto Rico; He graduated with a doctorate degree from Simmons University, School of Social Work, and Master's Degree from Northeastern University's Department of Counseling Psychology, and a graduate certificate from Suffolk University’s management of non-profits. His Bachelor’s degree is from Boston University. He is currently the CEO of Waves Ahead Corp, a non-profit organization in Puerto Rico focusing on the elder and LGBT+ community.

​​Rev. Dr. Maria Cristina Vlassidis Burgoa (she/her/ella) is settled Minister at Starr King Unitarian Universalist Church in Hayward, California. Her approach to Ministry is collaborative, deeply rooted in unconditional love, and intentionally engaged in transformative social justice. Rev. Maria Cristina’s rich multicultural background as a proud Latinx/Immigrant/Two Spirit/Queer/Indigenous person informs her spiritual practice of radical welcoming of people from diverse theological/religious/spiritual beliefs, ages, socio-economic backgrounds, sexual orientations, genders, and gender expressions.

Rev. Maria Cristina received a Juris Doctor degree from the City University of New York School of Law, with a specialty in Immigrants’ Rights. She received a Master of Divinity and a Doctor of Theology degree from Harvard Divinity School. Before coming to Starr King UU Church in Hayward, she served First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church in Brookline, Massachusetts. She is the past President of DRUUMM (Diverse Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Multicultural Ministries), serves the UU Ministers Association as a Dedicated Good Officer, and is on the Faculty of Starr King School for the Ministry.

About Table Talk

We recognize that marginalized communities and cultures -- Black, Indigenous, Latino/a/x, Asian American, Disabled, LGBTQ+, etc. -- have their own unique perspectives and shared truths. All of these groups face tremendous challenges in dealing with serious illness, dying, grief, discrimination. And there is a shared need for platforms to talk about these issues freely in order to connect, learn, heal, remember, and take action.

While individual Table Talks are developed by and for specific communities, we recognize that often these groupings are permeable. Many of us describe more than one group as “home,” and many of us have experienced oppression based on multiple aspects of our intersecting identities: race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability, and more.

Table Talk topics include:


Values, Wishes & Plans

Palliative & Comfort Care

Hospice Care

Ceremonies & Rituals

Living Fully

Reimagine invites people of all backgrounds to join us to witness, listen and learn at Table Talk. Ultimately we are creating space rooted in the principles of Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion in order for everyone to thrive.

Table Talk is made possible with support from the Fetzer Institute and the John and Wauna Harman Foundation.


Talk, Panel, & Conversation
Spirituality LGBTQ+ Grief Social Justice & Race