Mending Session 5 | The Art of Repair: Harmony & Dissonance

Session 5: The Art of Repair: Harmony & Dissonance


  • Mizan is the Co-Creator of Spearitwurx, an organization that inspires Intergenerational Wellness and Racial Healing through cultural arts, community events, strategic consulting and transformative educational experiences. Mizan is also a certified Healing Centered Engagement Trainer with Flourish Agenda and has a master’s degree in public health. She is an experiential and Installation artist and has exhibited work throughout California. She is the artist and curator of the Experience Sankofa Project Living Museum. See more of Mizan’s artHERE.  Certified Therapeutic Yoga instructor by Niroga, Mizan incorporates creative expression and dynamic mindfulness into her work for social transformation.


  • Sizwe is an Educator, Radical Healer and Mentor and has worked throughout the Bay Area. He has supported African American Wellness through the National Campaign for Black Male Achievement, Oakland Freedom School, Flourish Agenda’s Camp Akili, Oakland Unified School District’s Manhood Development Program, and Determination Black Men’s Group at United Roots, to name a few. As Co-Founder and Director of Cultural Engagement at Spearitwurx, he approaches the work with passion and insight. Sizwe believes that connectedness is our currency and that building authentic intimacy is key to our relationships. The practice of being vulnerable with each other can help us get to a place of transformation and liberation. Sizwe utilizes his skills as a performer to build awareness and connection and open doors to self-mastery. Sizwe, also known as Spear of the Nation, is an MC and producer. Spear has released 11 studio albums, both as a solo artist and with the groups Lunar Heights and Potliquor, and has been featured on a host of songs over the past 20 years of his career. To see more about Spear of the Nation music, see

Part 1: The Art of Harmony & Dissonance

Part 2: What is your favorite or go-to tool for mending/repair?

Part 3: Why is learning to navigate conflict important for leading us to liberation, especially as Black people?

Part 4: How do you build on layers and see the connections or potential for harmony in things that look or sound very different?

Part 5: How has conflict shown up in your artwork, or how have you expressed conflict in your artwork?

Session Recap

Leadership Learning Community, along with Mizan Alkebulan-Abakah, MPH, and Sizwe Andrews-Abakah, who are the co-founders and directors of SPEARITWURX, held a discussion on Tuesday, May 14, about conflict and how it can be mended through the lens of art. Mizan and Sizwe shared their experiences of navigating the space between dissonance and harmony while also exploring innovative art as a way to imagine conflict. The conversation aimed to provide a new perspective on conflict by discussing, viewing, and listening to art.

Mending Session 4 | Mending via Policy: Reparations

Session 4: Mending via Policy: Reparations


  • Brittni Chicuata is the Director of Economic Rights at the San Francisco Human Rights Commission. Her work focuses on policies and programs to eliminate wealth apartheid, build economic equity, and uplift economic opportunities that improve the quality of life for the most marginalized in San Francisco. Her policies have provided guaranteed income payments for Black mothers in San Francisco, improved housing protections, developed standards for citywide racial equity and cannabis, supported the local, state, and national reparations movements, and successfully led first-in-the-nation campaigns.

Session Recap

On Monday, May 6, Leadership Learning Community and Brittni Chicuata explored how we navigate the journey towards mending in policy and community. We delved into the heart of mending relationships, healing practices, reimagining possibilities, and revitalizing faith in collective action.

Mending Session 3 | Intergenerational conflict, power, and liberatory ways forward, together.

Session 3: Intergenerational conflict, power, and liberatory ways forward together.


  • Ericka Stalling, Co-executive director at Leadership Learning Community.
  • Nikki Dinh, Co-executive director at Leadership Learning Community.

Session Recap

On Wednesday, April 17, we hosted a conversation with folks who identify with different generations to move beyond sweeping generational assumptions and explore the intricacies of intergenerational conflict in the social good sector. Through breakout rooms, activities, and even some fun, we shared our experiences, delved into the dynamics of power sharing and its fundamental importance, and uplifted practical and liberatory ways forward together.

Mending Session 2 | Mending Practice Experimental Field Trip

Session 2: Mending Practice Experimental Field Trip.


  • Jessica Marquez is the maker behind Miniature Rhino, a handmade business named after a young cousin’s imaginary friend, a dentist called Dr. Rhino. Miniature Rhino became a symbol of creativity and imagination and seeks to inspire and teach hands-on skills through a line of embroidery kits, patterns, classes, and books. Jessica has taught throughout the country, internationally, and online in classes covering all things hand stitching, from embroidery, mending, sashiko, big stitch quilting, refashioning, and also photography. She earned an MFA in Imaging Arts from Rochester Institute of Technology. Her work has been featured in publications including Grace Bonney’s (Design*Sponge) bestselling book, In the Company of Women, Real Simple, Bust, Country Living, and InStyle magazine. She’s written two books, Make and Mend (Ten Speed, 2018) and Stitched Gifts (Chronicle, 2012).

This video has been edited to protect the speaker’s intellectual property. Some parts may have been modified or omitted to safeguard confidential content. We’ve made every effort to maintain the coherence of the speaker’s message. Thank you for watching and respecting the speaker’s intellectual contributions.

Session Recap

On Tuesday, April 9, The Leadership Learning Community hosted Mending #2: Mending Practice Experimental Field Trip. During the session, we wanted to create a space for practicing visible mending and reflect on how this hands-on practice intersects with our conflict, healing, and transformation concepts. Drawing from our previous grounding conversation, we recognized the need to break away from conventional responses to conflict. This session offers an opportunity to practice a new skill, explore alternative approaches, and self-discovery. 

Why Sashiko? We chose Sashiko for its unique ability to address conflict or tears with hope and intention for repair. This traditional Japanese method emphasizes acceptance of the rift and the transformative power of mending, turning imperfections into part of the story and beauty of the piece.

Mending Session 1 | Why Conflict Matters: A Grounding Conversation

Session 1: Why Conflict Matters: A Grounding Conversation.


  • Aida Cuadrado Bozzo, based in Lansing, MI, by way of Puerto Rico, is a queer Taina/Boricua, a cultural, transformational organizer, facilitator and trainer. For over 15  years, she has worked for social justice across a spectrum of cultures, communities, movements, and sectors. She specializes in designing and implementing leadership development and capacity-building initiatives in organizing, strategy, leadership development, generative conflict communications, racial equity, and innovative program and curriculum designs to serve local, regional, and national organizations, networks, and campaigns. Aida is an auntie, middle child, amiga, and partner.


  • Marquita James’s work as a conflict transformation consultant and coach is animated by her passion for empowering people to be agents of their own change. Her consulting practice ranges from helping organizations design healthier dispute-resolution systems to helping individuals navigate murky situations. Marquita provides impact-driven, equity-immersed consulting services using innovative solutions to help social change organizations transform the world. Her work centers on the growth, learning, and development of organizations and the individuals within them. Marquita delights in helping organizations embrace healthy, sustainable approaches to conflict transformation, strategy, organizational change, leadership development, and deep exploration of “why are we here doing this thing in this place at this time?” She has facilitated difficult conversations and provided training and coaching since her time with the Harvard Mediation Program at Harvard Law School. When Marquita is not elbows deep in the consulting and coaching worlds, you’ll find her hunting for live music, attempting to dance bhangra, or pining for gumbo from her home state.

Session Recap

On Monday, March 11, the Leadership Learning Community launched the first session of the Mending Series: Why conflict matters: A grounding conversation. We had a wonderful session that explored the complexity of conflict and generative transformation within movement work. Aida Cuadrado Bozzo and Marquita James guided us through a conversation about the transformative possibility of conflict resolution and liberation. Inspired by the ethos of visible mending arts like Kintsugi, we explored conflict as a pathway to growth and connection, embracing imperfection and incompleteness as catalysts for transformation. As we discussed, conflict is not to be feared but embraced as a portal to deeper understanding and alignment. Through self-awareness, empathy, and embodied practices, we can navigate conflict with grace and resilience, turning moments of tension into opportunities for learning and growth. As we continue this journey together, let us hold space for authenticity, curiosity, love, fear, and respect, guided by our want/need for collective liberation.

Play as a Liberatory Practice

Play as a Liberatory Practice

On November 8-9, 2023 Leadership Learning Community participated in the Living Liberation Conference 2023 by CTWO. LLC discussed several concrete ways you can incorporate play into your work. Embracing play allows us to rediscover the happiness and liveliness we once experienced in childhood. When we reintroduce play into our professional lives, we not only reclaim moments of creativity and rest but also infuse our work with innovation and discover new avenues to freedom. Despite the current challenging and disheartening state of the world, it is important to remember that we are on the right side of history. With this in mind, play can serve as a means to introduce breathing space and relief into our routines, stimulate curiosity, and recapture the joy that oppressive systems, structures, and experiences constantly try to steal from us. By integrating play into our work, we can retrieve some of the joy that these systems have taken from us. 

Learn about how does play relate to work and the rules of play by Ericka Stallings.

Learn about how to put into practice the rules of play by Ericka Stallings.

Learn how the LLC’s team has incorporated play into their work through the Liberatory Playground Series by Ericka Stallings.

Learn how to incorporate playfulness into virtual meetings by Iman Mills Gordon.

Learn how to incorporate playfulness into virtual meetings and gamify tedious tasks by Iman Mills Gordon, Sadia Hassan, and Ericka Stallings.

Learn how to incorporate playfulness into virtual meetings to build community and relationships and how play is essential to this work by Sadia Hassan and Nikki Dinh.

Session 2 | Liberatory Leadership Playground

Liberatory Leadership Playground

Session 2: Recapture Play


  • Ericka Stallings and Nikki Dinh

On June 6, 2023, we hosted a virtual session called “Recapture Play” with Ericka Stallings and Nikki Dinh with a call to action in mind: Recapture Play in your workplace. Here’s what we learned from the conversation and audience members about what we mean by recapture play and how to start. 

Read Session’s Recap Here

Session 1 | Liberatory Leadership Playground

Liberatory Leadership Playground

Session 1: Seriously. Play!


  • Vu Le and Belma Gonzalez

Session Recap

On May 23, 2023, we hosted a virtual session called “Seriously, Play” with guests Belma Gonzalez and Vu Le. In this conversation, we unpacked some of the benefits but also privileges, responsibilities, and rules of play.