Tania Israel invited speaker for “Aspen Ideas: Show Up” digital forum on civic engagement, October 20-21

Tuesday, October 13, 2020
Aspen Ideas: Show Up logo

Tania Israel from UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz School will be one of the speakers for “Aspen Ideas: Show Up,” a digital forum on civic engagement produced by the Aspen Ideas Festival team of the Aspen Institute. The free, two-night offering is aimed at young adults (18-30) and will explore the many powerful ways, both big and small, to participate in and rebuild a healthy democracy.

The program will air October 20-21st from 7 pm - 9 pm ET, with the pre-recorded segments running between 7 – 8 pm ET (and also on Aspen Ideas’ social channels leading up to the air dates). This event builds off of the all-digital Aspen Ideas Festival, which took place online for the first time in 16 years this summer.

Participants may register online.

Israel’s presentation will highlight her work focusing on having constructive conversations especially during recent years of deep political divide, featuring the research she has presented in her recently published book Beyond Your Bubble: How to Connect Across the Political Divide, Skills and Strategies for Conversations That Work (APA 2020). Beyond Your Bubble is a practical, politically neutral book that offers concrete skills for holding meaningful conversations that cut across today’s intense political divide, showing readers how to connect to the people in their lives.

“Show Up” will explore the many powerful ways to participate in and rebuild a healthy democracy. It will compel young people to imagine how they might become more civically engaged, and equip them with the tools to do so. Across the two nights, there will be a mix of short conversations with major leaders, civics lessons, performances from young artists, and impact statements from amazing do-ers. The forum also offers opportunities to engage in live webinars, seminars, and workshops on subjects like activism, how we can build better civil discourse, lessons learned from the Civil Rights movement; and what the Constitution tells us about our freedoms. Other speakers for the event include pundit David Brooks, voter advocate Brita Filter, CEO of Citizen University Eric Liu, WNBA player Candace Parker, CEO of Common Sense Media James Steyer, Tribal Liaison for the Lakota People’s Law Project Madonna Thunder Hawk, and more.

Dr. Tania Israel is a professor in the Department of Counseling, Clinical and School Psychology at UCSB who has provided leadership in the Santa Barbara community and beyond for decades. U.S. Congressman Salud Carbajal, who represents California’s 24th District, chose Israel as one of the 2019 Congressional Women of the Year. Israel leads dialogue skill-building workshops to help people connect across political differences and teaches about helping skills, leadership, and community collaboration. She has also facilitated educational programs and difficult dialogues on a range of topics, including abortion, law enforcement, religion, and sexual orientation.

Dr. Israel’s scholarship focuses on interventions to support the mental health and well-being of sexual and gender minorities (LGBTQ people); bisexuality; privilege and oppression; intersections among gender, ethnicity, and sexual orientation; and social justice. She has received honors for her research and advocacy from the American Psychological Association, the California Asian & Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus, and her local LGBT community.

She is engaged in professional organizations and activities. She served as 2010-11 President of the Society of Counseling Psychology (Division 17 of the American Psychological Association), as a member of the American Psychological Association’s Committee for Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, and as Lead Coordinator for the 2009 National Multicultural Conference and Summit.

Dr. Israel’s scholarship is relevant to policy, practice, and community. She delivered a TED Talk on “Bisexuality and Beyond,” participated in the first White House Bisexual Community Policy Briefing, and presented at a Congressional briefing on the Violence Against Women Act. Dr. Israel is the Director of Project RISE, a research team at UCSB that develops and studies interventions to support the psychological health of LGBTQ individuals and communities.

[Tania Israel is available for interviews; contact George Yatchisin at george@education.ucsb.edu]