Corinna J. Moebius, Ph.D. – Resume

As an interdisciplinary educator, consultant and scholar-activist, I specialize in work that builds equity (and especially racial equity), reflexivity, understandings of power, and cultural competency. I have engaged in this work for most of my adult life.

Activism & Writing

A resident of Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood for more than a decade, I’ve become recognized for my civic leadership and activism regarding affordable housing and equitable development. I was among the activists who helped prevent unwanted rezoning of the neighborhood (see NPR clip above).

The local bilingual newspaper, Calle Ocho News, recognized me with a Community Champion Award in 2019. I co-founded the Little Havana Merchant Alliance.

Highlights

  • Served on the advisory committee for the Little Havana Revitalization Master Plan (winner of the 2019 Honor Award for Excellence from the Making Cities Livable Conference).
  • As co-founder and Vice Chair of the Little Havana Merchant Alliance, launched a community weekly breakfast series and organized the neighborhood’s first Open House, which brought together more than 100 community residents and other stakeholders to learn about various projects taking place in the neighborhood.
  • Interviewed by All Things Considered (NPR), the Miami Herald, The Atlantic, The New York Times and numerous other outlets based on my work in Little Havana.

Research & Writing

As a researcher, my area of focus has been white supremacy, including transnational white supremacy and the dynamics of whiteness and anti-blackness in Latinx communities. I am currently turning my Ph.D. dissertation into a book: American Dreams

It reveals how Cuban emigre civic elites and militant anti-Castro groups created and used a touristic district to assert white dominance and build Anglo-white Cuban solidarity while portraying “Cuban culture” as colorblind and inclusive.

I’ve co-authored a “people’s history” of Little Havana: A History of Little Havana (The History Press, 2015).

A History of Little Havana

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Creative Engagement

Clipping from El Nuevo Herald

 

Initiated in Cuba as a priest of Santería in 2007 (but no longer active in the religion), I have been actively involved in Afro-Latinx communities of DC and Miami for two decades.

 

Consulting & Facilitation Skills & Experience (Pt. 1)

For more than two decades, I have facilitated and managed complex dialogue among groups diverse in size and sector.

Senior Consultant

A Senior Associate at Justice & Sustainability Associates, LLC (JSA), I lead the firm’s Governance practice.

I’m currently the subject matter expert for a JSA project providing facilitation, documentation and strategic advice services for the Mayor’s Task Force for Racial and Ethnic Equality in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Our team is helping the Task Force identify and address racial/ethnic disparities through education, research of best practices, and facilitation of Task Force and subcommittee meetings as well as public (virtual) Town Halls. My work on this project (including design and content development for its website) has been extremely well received by local stakeholders as well as Mayor Keith James and his staff.

For more than two decades, I’ve engaged in many other projects related to building equity.

Facilitation

I am also trained and experienced in various dialogue techniques including the World Cafe method and Everyday Democracy‘s Dialogue to Change process. I specialize in creating welcoming spaces/moments for meaningful learning and connection.

The conversations I have facilitated spark awareness of intersectionality and interconnectedness while opening opportunities to share ideas and resources; identify assets, opportunities and goals; and develop and decide on plans for moving forward. Participants deepen their understanding and awareness of the dominant narratives and historical and structural forces shaping their understanding of themselves and others. 

My work has helped clients navigate through times of change and benefit from the diversity of voices, ideas and opinions that contribute to more just, inclusive, equitable and resilient organizations, neighborhoods and cities.

Testimonials

“Group synthesis activities are very challenging. You just cannot pop up a PowerPoint and hope your message gets across. You need someone who can communicate to the group and to each individual, in multiple modalities. Corinna has a deep, intuitive sense about different learning styles, interpersonal reactions to group activities, and creating space for individual co-learning and expression. She sees the forest, and each tree at the same time. She can communicate complex material in a form that everyone understands: via word, image, sound, motion, and silence. I would never venture into a group synthesis activity without her wisdom.”

Anthony Olivieri
Owner, FHEED, LLC (Food for Health, The Environment, Economy & Democracy)

It Started in the 1990s: Bridging Digital Divides

  • After working as a Managing Editor for a Los Angeles-based tech startup in the mid-1990s, I began my independent consulting career.
  • My business (Bordercross Communications), launched in 1997, helped clients reach and engage diverse users online.
  • A digital divide activist, I also volunteered for Break Away Technologies, a community technology center in South Central L.A. The director, Joseph Loeb, put me in touch with several other consultants, and together–in partnership with Howard University–we co-produced Internet Opportunities for African Americans, the first national convening focused on the need for online content development (and not just digital access) by, for and/or about people of African descent. It was held at Howard, and it inspired me to move to DC. I recruited presenters for the summit including Clarence Wooten and Philip Emeagwali.

Testimonial

“Corinna is a bright star, and it is hard to just sum up what a valuable asset she was to our startup. She was not only effective and detailed, producing more work than her peers in less time, she produced outstanding quality day-in and day-out. She contributed far beyond what was expected of her with ideas and insights that were always aimed at improving content and business processes. She is all that, as well as forthright and honest, the kind of person and employee you can count on at all levels, a bright star.”

— Jeff Morrow, Owner
Career Marketing Online, LLC (former VC, Content Development, Luckman Interactive)

1998-2006: Building Equity "Offline"

  • After moving to Washington, DC in 1998, and working as director of interactive media for youth journalism nonprofit and director of communications for a DotCom aimed at women professionals, I decided to return to consulting, but with a focus on material–and not just online–communities.
  • In 2000, Mencer “Don” Edwards recruited me as a contract consultant for his new firm, Justice & Sustainability Associates, LLC. Don trained and mentored me in facilitation. I developed a model for inclusive constituency development that Don adopted as a core methodology of JSA. It was foundational to our biggest project: the public engagement process for revision of the DC Comprehensive Plan.
  • I developed key aspects of inclusive and transparent decision-making processes for other city and community planning projects, too.
  • Concerned about the lack of Latinx/Latino participation in land use decision-making, I launched a collaboration between the DC Office of Planning and DC’s Office on Latino Affairs. It led to DC’s first roundtable of planners, local Latinx community leaders, and outreach workers, and was aimed at building meaningful Latinx engagement in local planning efforts.

Testimonial

Mencer Don Edwards“Corinna is the architect of the famous ‘Quadrangle Strategy’ that is the foundation on which ALL the rest of what we did for public involvement rests. I recall the first time Corinna sketched it out for us at HNTB’s office. It was like ‘Damn, that’s brilliant!’ So on behalf of everybody on the project team and all the residents who will never know how they came to be informed, educated and engaged as well as they did, Corinna, ‘thank you for everything.'”

– Mencer “Don” Edwards, CEO
Justice & Sustainability Associates, LLC

Based on the success of my work as a consultant and facilitator, I was profiled in the public participation chapter of Becoming an Urban Planner: A Guide to Careers in Urban Planning (Wiley & Sons).  

Consulting in DC

  • In Washington, DC, I grew and expanded my consulting business, guiding clients through processes of strategic planning, online content development, and stakeholder engagement.
  • My clients included city and federal government agencies, tech startups, nonprofits, foundations and both small businesses and large corporations.
  • I volunteered as Chair of the Economic Diversification committee for Adams Morgan Main Street, helping small businesses owned by people of color and immigrants learn how to survive gentrification.
  • I also directed the 2006 Adams Morgan Day Festival, DC’s largest neighborhood festival, adding a participatory dance plaza that remains one of the most popular features of this annual event.

Consulting & Facilitation Skills & Experience (Pt. 2)

Living and learning in Miami, Florida has helped me take my consulting and facilitation skills to another level.

2006-2020: Move to Miami

  • In 2006, I moved to Miami After working as director of a Little Havana-based arts organization, I was hired in 2007 as director of Imagine Miami, a South Florida civic engagement initiative of the Human Services Coalition, now called Catalyst Miami. 
  • In my new role, I designed and directed Miami’s first Summit on Arts, Culture & Civic Engagement and a series of very popular Changemaker conferences, facilitating dialogues at each event. See a Flickr feed of the arts conference.

Changemaking

The video in this slide documents the Changemaker summit I directed in 2009.*I invited local black filmmaker Devin Browne to co-produce the film screened during the conference (details in the video).

A separate video clip captures the World Cafe I facilitated at the summit. Learn more about the agenda here.

Reaction to these events was overwhelmingly positive. One person wrote: “You wanted to create a network of collective voices with ‘making Miami-Dade a better place’ as the goal … you saw how many people were ready to the same. I think they all found new ways to realize those goals after your event.”

* I asked not videotaped for the documentary, as I was going through a year-long religious initiation in Santería, when it is taboo to be recorded. I no longer practice the religion.

Consulting

  • While working at Catalyst Miami, I also served as one of the lead consultants for Miami NICE, a nonprofit capacity building program of the C-One Center for Nonprofit Effectiveness. My consulting project with the Black Visitors was considered so effectiveness it was documented as a case study for the capacity building program.
  • After leaving Catalyst Miami, I continued to serve as an occasional consultant and facilitator for nonprofits and government agencies.
  • Broward County hired me as an instructor for an annual workshop on Arts and Civic Engagement, which I have taught for the past ? years (online in 2020).

Testimonial

Dr. Moebius recently conducted a
workshop at our annual Summit that was attended by over 230 non-profits, financial institutions,
elected officials, government staff and community leaders. Her workshop, Racial/Spatial Orders: Making
Race & Making Space in Mortgage Lending was very well received.

Dr. Moebius’ research, personal experiences, candor and ease of which she disseminates facts,
policy and opinion makes her the perfect speaker. CRASF plans to have her speak exclusively as soon as
possible.

Cornell Crews, Executive Director

Community Reinvestment Coalition of South Florida

Testimonial

“Corinna is a bright star, and it is hard to just sum up what a valuable asset she was to our startup. She was not only effective and detailed, producing more work than her peers in less time, she produced outstanding quality day-in and day-out. She contributed far beyond what was expected of her with ideas and insights that were always aimed at improving content and business processes. She is all that, as well as forthright and honest, the kind of person and employee you can count on at all levels, a bright star.”

— Jeff Morrow, Owner
Career Marketing Online, LLC (former VC, Content Development, Luckman Interactive)

1998-2006: Building Equity "Offline"

  • After moving to Washington, DC in 1998, and working as director of interactive media for youth journalism nonprofit and director of communications for a DotCom aimed at women professionals, I decided to return to consulting, but with a focus on material–and not just online–communities.
  • In 2000, Mencer “Don” Edwards recruited me as a contract consultant for his new firm, Justice & Sustainability Associates, LLC. Don trained and mentored me in facilitation. I developed a model for inclusive constituency development that Don adopted as a core methodology of JSA. It was foundational to our biggest project: the public engagement process for revision of the DC Comprehensive Plan.
  • I developed key aspects of inclusive and transparent decision-making processes for other city and community planning projects, too.
  • Concerned about the lack of Latinx/Latino participation in land use decision-making, I launched a collaboration between the DC Office of Planning and DC’s Office on Latino Affairs. It led to DC’s first roundtable of planners, local Latinx community leaders, and outreach workers, and was aimed at building meaningful Latinx engagement in local planning efforts.

Testimonial

Mencer Don Edwards“Corinna is the architect of the famous ‘Quadrangle Strategy’ that is the foundation on which ALL the rest of what we did for public involvement rests. I recall the first time Corinna sketched it out for us at HNTB’s office. It was like ‘Damn, that’s brilliant!’ So on behalf of everybody on the project team and all the residents who will never know how they came to be informed, educated and engaged as well as they did, Corinna, ‘thank you for everything.'”

– Mencer “Don” Edwards, CEO
Justice & Sustainability Associates, LLC

Based on the success of my work as a consultant and facilitator, I was profiled in the public participation chapter of Becoming an Urban Planner: A Guide to Careers in Urban Planning (Wiley & Sons).  

Consulting in DC

  • In Washington, DC, I grew and expanded my consulting business, guiding clients through processes of strategic planning, online content development, and stakeholder engagement.
  • My clients included city and federal government agencies, tech startups, nonprofits, foundations and both small businesses and large corporations.

“Corinna, Thank you very much for working with us on the overall process [for engaging the Latino community]. Obviously, you know that some things are essential in events with the Latino Community. Mil Gracias.”
— Lillian Perdomo, Executive Director, Multicultural Community Services

Corinna, I want to say that you are really an incredible consultant. I love working on projects with you and the way you add your own creativity and intelligence to every little task.

Thank you for all your work for CTCNet and the many communities you touch. You’ve done such great work on this project.

John Zoltner

Senior Advisor of Technology for Development and Innovation, Save the Children

Corinna is the architect of the famous “Quadrangle Strategy” that is the foundation on which ALL the rest of what we did for public involvement rests. I recall the first time Corinna sketched it out for us at HNTB’s office. It was like “Damn, that’s brilliant!” So on behalf of everybody on the project team and all the residents who will never know how they came to be informed, educated and engaged as well as they did, Corinna, “thank you for everything.”

Mencer "Don" Edwards

CEO & Founder, Justice & Sustainability Associates, LLC

Corinna Moebius is the embodiment of talent, passion, compassion, boundless generosity and above all action.

I have enjoyed working with her and have watched all of her community empowerment projects grow into networks of proactive communities and successful civic engagements.

Evelin Ramirez

Community Liason, U.S. Census Bureau

Corinna designed and implemented an online marketing strategy for an online community and resource website we created at the Morino Institute, YouthLearn. She did a fantastic job. Was thorough, quick, personable, on time and on budget, brought lots of expertise and creativity to the task and presented it all very professionally. She was a pleasure to work with and I would recommend her without reservation.
Victoria Vrana

Deputy Director, Policy, Systems and Giving by All, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Instructional & Multi-Modal Information Design

I have decades of experience in multi-modal information design:
text, visual design, graphics and data.

Curriculum Design

For my client CTCNet, I designed and wrote the curriculum for a 6-month youth civic engagement and multimedia training program implemented in after-school programs nationwide: “Youth Visions for Stronger Neighborhoods.”

Participating youth identified local assets, analyzed media representations (and their racial messaging), conducted interviews, and crafted proposals.

Youth participants culminated their projects by organizing and facilitating youth meetings with mayors and other decision-makers, presenting at community meetings, producing documentaries, and forming youth councils.

Web Site & Presentation Design

I recently designed and developed a website for the Mayor’s Task Force on Racial & Ethnic Equality (West Palm Beach), and researched and wrote all the content featured in its five policy areas, including Real Estate & Housing, Health, and Criminal Justice.

I compiled racial disparity data and linked it to policy . The History section, under development, illuminates links between present-day disparities and historical root causes, while also recognizing decades of struggle for justice and civil rights.

I also developed a multimedia presentation for a recent virtual Action Summit attended by nearly 200 West Palm Beach residents, which received extremely positive reviews from participants.

Online Guides & Storytelling

I’ve created numerous online guides, including a website called LittleHavanaGuide.com (no longer live), which had nearly a hundred original articles about the neighborhood. My most recent independent project, AfroLittleHavana.com (under development), is an interactive website highlighting the histories and contributions of Afro-descendants in Little Havana.

LittleHavanaGuide article

Teaching Internet Strategies

In the early 2000s, I taught classes in online content development, website strategies, and Internet marketing for Georgetown University’s extension program.

“Corinna’s class was the most productive two hours I’ve ever spent with any kind of Internet training. I learned more about the marketing power of the Internet in two hours than in all of my conversations with self-described computer-gurus and readings of web media combined.”

— Debra Cohen, Ph.D, Senior Social Science Analyst

Teaching, Speaking, Tour Guiding

I educate using a variety of modalities.

Educator Centered on Equity

I teach online classes on cultural competency, feminist theory and critical race theory in the Global & Sociocultural Studies department at Florida International University in Miami.

I have facilitated numerous conversations on race in intersection with gender, class, ethno-nationality and other social vectors, as well as the nuanced shifts of social constructs within specific historical, spatial and social contexts.

These classes include the Sociology of Gender and the Anthropology of Race & Ethnicity.

Teaching Outside the Box

I have earned an international reputation for my
educational walking tours of Little Havana.

My tours contradict dominant narratives, highlight structural and systemic inequality in Miami and Latin America, and celebrate the voices and contributions of Afrodescendents and others typically excluded from the “Cuban success story.” I use the built environment as a teaching tool to discuss links between race-making and place-making.

Workshops & Panels

I have also led workshops and served on panels that address racial equity and inclusion, most recently at the annual meeting of the Community Reinvestment Alliance of South Florida and at the National Synergy Summit for Cultural & Heritage Tourism.

The photo to your left features an enthusiastic participant in my workshop on systemic racism in the real estate industry. 

 

Educational Background: Crossing Interdisciplinary Boundaries

Ph.D. in Global & Sociocultural Studies

My dissertation committee.

In 2019, I earned my Ph.D. in Global & Sociocultural Studies (concentration in Anthropology) from Florida International University (FIU) (2019), with Graduate Certificates in Afro-Latin American Studies and African & African Diaspora Studies.

The name of my dissertation is Commemorative Bodies: (Un)Making Racial Order and Cuban White Supremacy in Little Havana’s Heritage District.

During graduate school, I was a Teaching Assistant and received the university’s prestigious Dissertation Fellowship. I also served as a Graduate Fellow in the Smithsonian’s Latino Museum Studies Program in Washington, DC and a Goizueta Graduate Fellow with the University of Miami’s Cuban Heritage Collection.

M.A. in Speech Communication

I received an M.A. in Speech Communication from California State University, Northridge–specializing in organizational communication, critical theory and Cultural Studies.

My thesis, “Where We Are From, Where We Are Goin’ To: Placing and Black Students’ Discursive Construction of Community,” illuminated the stories of black students, including Afro-Latinx students, and their efforts to create a welcoming gathering space on campus. It highlighted the intersectional dynamics, tokenism and racial bias students faced, along with forms of systemic and structural racism, as well as the resilience of black placemaking. I earned the university’s Spirit of Educational Equity award.

B.D.I.C. in Communications & Anthropology

As an undergraduate, I designed an interdisciplinary, self-designed B.A. in “Communications and Anthropology,” with a Minor in Geography, from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (Bachelor’s Degree with Individual Concentration).

As an undergraduate, I worked part-time as a cartographer and researcher for the Historical Atlas of Massachusetts, gathering and analyzing data for the chapter on Race and Ethnicity.

Other Certifications

I am certified in Permaculture. I also received a Certificate in Visionary Leadership from the Center for Visionary Leadership in Washington, DC.