Charis is thrilled to welcome Body Talk's editor, Kelly Jensen, as well as Nic Stone, Jerlyn Thomas, Ady Del Valle, Julie Murphy, and Kati Gardner, for a panel moderated by Amy Pence-Brown about bodies, growing up, and all the ways we find a home within ourselves.
We all experience the world in a body, but we don’t usually take the time to explore what it really means to have and live within one. Just as every person has a unique personality, every person has a unique body, and every body tells its own story.
In Body Talk, thirty-seven writers, models, actors, musicians, and artists share essays, lists, comics, and illustrations—about everything from size and shape to scoliosis, from eating disorders to cancer, from sexuality and gender identity to the use of makeup as armor. Together, they contribute a broad variety of perspectives on what it’s like to live in their particular bodies—and how their bodies have helped to inform who they are and how they move through the world.
This free virtual event is geared towards teens and adults and is great for families to watch together. Register here.
This event is free and open to all people, especially to those who have no income or low income right now, but we encourage and appreciate a solidarity donation in support of the work of Charis Circle, our programming non-profit. Charis Circle's mission is to foster sustainable feminist communities, work for social justice, and encourage the expression of diverse and marginalized voices.
We will be archiving this event and adding closed captioning as soon as possible after airing so that it will be accessible to deaf and HOH people. If you have other accessibility needs or if you are someone who has skills in making digital events more accessible please don't hesitate to reach out to We are actively learning the best practices for this technology and we welcome your feedback as we begin this new way of connecting across distances.
By attending our virtual event you agree to our Code of Conduct: Our event seeks to provide a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion (or lack thereof), class, or technology choices. We do not tolerate harassment in any form. Sexual language and imagery are not appropriate. Anyone violating these rules will be expelled from this event and all future events at the discretion of the organizers. Please report all harassment to immediately.
Contributor Bios:
Kelly Jensen is a former librarian and current editor at Book Riot and her own popular book blog, Stacked. She's the editor of two highly-acclaimed YA anthologies, Here We Are: Feminism For The Real World and (Don't) Call Me Crazy: 33 Voices Start The Conversation About Mental Health in addition to Body Talk. Her writing has been featured in Bust Magazine, Fortune, Bustle, and more. When not working with words, she teaches yoga, hangs out with a motley crew of pets, and enjoys all of the black licorice no one else wants. Follow her on Instagram @heykellyjensen and her website
Moderator: Amy Pence-Brown has been a body image scholar & activist for the past 11 years and often uses her body as a political vessel and canvas for her work. In 2015 she stripped down to a black bikini and blindfolded herself with a sign and markers in the farmers market downtown Boise, Idaho in the name of radical self-acceptance and a video of the performance, along with a blog post she wrote, went viral (to the tune of over 200 million views to date!). Her work and voice as a fat feminist mother gained international attention and she continues fighting for self-love and body positivity as a writer, artist, public speaker, educator, leader of the Boise Rad Fat Collective and founder of Be RAD! Be YOU! Body Image Workshops for Girls and RADCAMP: A Body Positive Boot Camp for Feminists & Feminist Teens.
Nic Stone is an Atlanta native and a Spelman College graduate. Her debut novel for young adults, Dear Martin, and her debut middle-grade novel, Clean Getaway, were both New York Times bestsellers. She is also the author of Odd One Out, a novel about discovering oneself and who it is okay to love, which was an NPR Best Book of the Year and a Rainbow Book List Top Ten selection, Jackpot, a love-ish story that takes a searing look at economic inequality and Shuri: A Black Panther Novel based on the much-loved character from the Black Panther comics and film. Dear Justyce, the sequel to Dear Martin, will be published on September 29, 2020. Nic lives in Atlanta with her family. Find her online at or @nicstone.
Jerlyn Thomas is VP, Product Design/Design Director creating rich, attention-grabbing digital experiences that amplify human purpose by concentrating on inclusivity and design accessibility for her advertising agency in NYC. Her passion is bridging the gap between technology and art to communicate with diverse demographics. She is also a digital consultant, a mentor for numerous STEM groups, a speaker, and a published illustrator. Her illustrations have been seen on, ESPN, and in various anthologies and children's books. She's now the author of her first book, Blacks in Portraits. As an ultramarathon runner (her furthest distance has been 50 miles) and triathlete (she completed a 70.3), she's fast, agile and knows the value of training and discipline. Running resonates in every aspect of her life. She has completed over 5 ultramarathons and more than 10 marathon distances while also dabbling in other sports as a lifelong adrenaline seeker. She's from Dominica, The Nature Island of the Caribbean, and grew up in St. Croix, a U. S. Virgin Island. Currently, she lives with her husband, in The Bronx, and trains for the biggest race of her life: Being a mom.
Ady Del Valle is a Model, Co-Author, Speaker, Advocate.
Julie Murphy lives in North Texas with her husband who loves her, her dog who adores her, and her cats who tolerate her. After several wonderful years in the library world, Julie now writes full-time. She is also the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the novels Dumplin’ (now a film on Netflix), Puddin’, Ramona Blue, Side Effects May Vary, and Dear Sweet Pea. Faith Taking Flight, a coming-of-age origin story of a fan favorite superhero, is her latest release.
Kati Gardner is a recovering actor, wife, and mom. She is a childhood cancer survivor and amputee who writes books about disability and kissing. Originally from Atlanta, she now lives and writes in Raleigh, North Carolina. She is the author of Brave Enough and the forthcoming Finding Balance (Sept. 29, 2020) You can find her on Twitter at @AuthorKati, on Instagram at AuthorKatiGardner, and at

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