About Corinna J. Moebius, PhD

Corinna J. Moebius, Ph.D., is a writer, educator, guide, catalyst, and advisor to (aspiring) changemakers and changemaking entities. She connects people to each other, to their communities, to their histories, and to the Living Earth. As an urban anthropologist and interdisciplinary scholar-activist, her work straddles multiple sectors (urban planning, civic engagement, community development, cultural heritage tourism, technology) and spans both academic and professional worlds. For decades, she has worked to make cities and communities more equitable, inclusive and ecologically resilient.

She stays true to her North Star: To cultivate a more equitable, loving, and Earth-honoring world.

For speaking and consulting inquiries, drop me a line
or call (305) 814-8884.

Welcome here.

I’m glad you found me. Perhaps you stumbled across this site because you share similar values or because you heard about me through the grapevine.

I like to help people see and understand the world — and themselves — in new ways. My greatest satisfaction comes from inspiring “Aha!” moments:

  • I get you outside and attentive to the natural world around you, including people and places;
  • I bring your awareness to your own body, so you’re learning through all of your senses; and
  • I promote critical thinking by bringing together scientific data, archival documents, maps and multimedia into projects that show you how histories — and places far away — inform the world you experience now.

I do this work because I want to decolonize minds, open hearts, and inspire awareness of our interconnectedness. Now, more than ever, we need to confront and heal our divided world.

One of my greatest passions is teaching beyond the traditional classroom. I lead educational eco-cultural walking experiences and workshops and create engaging multimedia projects that educate, inspire and inform. While I currently teach in the Global & Sociocultural Studies department at Florida International University, my in-person teaching is on hold during the COVID outbreak.

I am also well known for my knowledge about Little Havana in Miami, Florida. I co-authored A History of Little Havana and have conducted extensive research on the neighborhood, where I have lived for nearly 15 years. I started leading tours of Little Havana back in 2006.

I embrace whole systems thinking.

Throughout my career, I’ve played a “changemaker” role, proposing new ideas and regenerative systems, forging creative partnerships, and opening up spaces–online and in person–where people can come together across borders for dialogue, fellowship, deliberation, and creative, meaningful connection.

Leadership and Contributions

I co-authored the most comprehensive book on the history of Little Havana; founded Little Havana’s first alliance of local merchants; directed a regional civic engagement initiative in South Florida; wrote youth civic engagement curriculum piloted an after-school programs across the U.S.; and have spoken about civic engagement, the digital divide, equitable placemaking, and white supremacy at events around the world. I’ve played French horn solos at the Zagreb Opera House and Springfield Symphony Hall in Massachusetts.

Find Me Online

  • Facebook
  • Google+
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn

Media

I’ve been interviewed, quoted or appeared in The New York Times, PBS, NBC, NPR, 60 Minutes Australia, CityLab, National Geographic Traveler, The Atlantic, and The Telegraph (U.K.) among other outlets. For more details, see my mentions in the media

Advising

As a consultant specializing in equity, accessibility and inclusion, I’ve advised a variety of companies, agencies and organizations. These include everything from established companies and city agencies to small startups, non-profits and NGOs to social ventures. As a guide and educator, I’ve also crafted customized workshops and educational tour experiences for a wide range of clients.

Interdisciplinary Education

My academic background has always been interdisciplinary.

I earned my Ph.D. in Global and Sociocultural Studies, concentrating in urban anthropology, critical geography and critical race studies and receiving Graduate Certificates in Africana and African Diaspora Studies and Afro-Latin American Studies. I’ve conducted research on the racial politics of placemaking, memorialization, tourism and community development in the U.S. and Latin America (especially Cuba); I also study the eco-spiritual and religious dimensions of racial politics.

Fellowships have also contributed to my scholarly development. As a Graduate Fellow with the Smithsonian’s Latino Museum Studies Program, I completed my Practicum at the Anacostia Community Museum under the guidance of anthropologist Ariana Curtis. For my practicum, I worked with archival materials from Black Mosaic: Community, Race, and Ethnicity among Black Immigrants in Washington, DC.

I also received a prestigious Goizueta Graduate Research Fellowship with the Cuban Heritage Collection at the University of Miami, which allowed me to spend a month gathering archival data for my dissertation. My dissertation focuses on the racial politics behind the historical development of Little Havana’s heritage district.

I give credit to the outstanding teachers who have taught me over the years: Anthropologists and Africana studies scholars Jean Muteba Rahier and Andrea Queeley; communications and Asian Studies scholar Gordon Nakagawa; historians Greg Bush and Jessica Adler; performance studies scholar Christie Logan; geographers Richard Wilkie, Benjamin Smith, Ulrich Oslender and Gail Hollander. In various ways, all expanded my understanding of race and racialization in the U.S. and Latin America.

Barbara Schaffer Bacon taught me the power of arts for civic engagement; Mencer “Don” Edwards, Juanita Brown and David Isaacs trained me in community dialogue and facilitation. From Koreen Brennan I received excellent training (and certification) in Permaculture design. And for many years now, Marisol Blanco and Ezequiel Torres have helped build my embodied wisdom through teachings of Afro-Atlantic philosophy, music and dance.

For decades I have studied and received training related to Afro-Atlantic and European-derived eco-spiritual traditions, including the study of sacred and medicinal plants, geomancy and the creation of sacred space, and sacred arts. I am initiated as a priest of Santería but am no longer active in the religion, and I am currently a Druid Candidate with the Ancient Order of Druids in America. I received some of my training in mystery teachings from the Center for Visionary Leadership in Washington, DC, where I earned a Certificate in Visionary Leadership.

For religion, the idea of God is at the beginning; for science, the idea of God is at the end. Only those who think by halves become atheists; those who go deep with their thoughts and see the marvelous relationships among universal laws recognize a creative power.

MAX PLANCK

“Callings” Close to my Heart

  • RACIAL EQUITY: Particularly in terms of access to community decision-making, urban planning/community development, tourism and public space;
  • PUBLIC SPACE: Celebrating and protecting (from privatization and commodification) the spaces where we encounter strangers and become inspired: the street, parks and public spaces, farmer’s markets;
  • ECOLOGICAL REGENERATION: Regenerative ways of living on earth. Reconnection to land and place and natural world; putting our hands in the soil, learning about native plants, growing our own soil, local food systems;
  • PARTICIPATORY AND COMMUNITY ARTS … versus the hyper-commodified spectacle, as well as arts for social change;
  • SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP: Creative changemaking, community resilience, social entrepreneurship, contributions to community, resident/citizen-driven projects;
  • STORYTELLING AND DIALOGUE: Learning from griots; dialogue vs. debate, community conversations;
  • ALTERNATIVE EDUCATION: Learning beyond the traditional classroom or “training”/alternative. education, promoting critical thinking;
  • RE-ENCHANTING THE WORLD: Restoring a sense of wonder and awe for the Living Earth. Acknowledging the sacred as a part of our daily lives;
  • RESTORING WHOLENESS IN OUR BODIES: De-colonizing our bodies and not just our minds.
  • PARTICIPATORY DEMOCRACY.

A human being is a part of the whole called by us “universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.

Albert Einstein

Coda

I live humbly in Miami’s Little Havana/Shenandoah neighborhood, where I have fabulous neighbors who like to drop by and share food with me. My favorite things to do (before COVID) included impromptu conversations with everyone I knew on Calle Ocho, mingling and shopping at Miami’s farmer’s markets, taking free yoga classes, going to Afro-Cuban and Cuban casino (“salsa”) dance classes, participating in a good rumba, and walking on the boardwalk or the beach (in Miami Beach).

Now I’m spending time doing other activities I love, like reading and writing, enhancing my knowledge of my bioregion and the natural world, and going for long walks outside (and laying in a hammock — I love hammocks). I’ve even returned to old pastimes like whittling wood, drawing and painting, and weaving with a backstrap loom, like my grandmother taught me.