Breeshia Wade is a grief expert, visionary, anti-racism consultant, and author of Grieving While Black, An Antiracist Take on Oppression and Sorrow. Brilliant and engaging, she brings her unique skillset, academic rigor, and dynamic voice to contemporary critical discussions about race, justice, grief, and healing. Her approach and signature workshops have been formed by her own personal journey, work as an end-of-life (EOL) caregiver and birth doula, prolific and growing body of work, and substantial academic foundations.
Central to her practice is an expanded Buddhist model of grief that encompasses fear of future loss, not as something only experienced after suffering a tangible past loss. She helps clients uncover the ways that this fear of future loss and avoiding the reality of impermanence shapes their lives, impedes personal growth and stunts the broader social imagination. She posits that when advocating for diversity, equity, and inclusion, the fear of loss faced by those who are losing the benefits of privilege (e.g. white, male, gender privilege) for the sake of equity must be addressed. Likewise, the deep grief of the systematically marginalized must also be confronted. In this way, she charts a new path towards progress.
Wade has embarked on an exhaustive journey in her study of grief and trauma. This includes work as a birth doula, lay ordained Zen Buddhist EOL caregiver, and as an ordained chaplain in challenging settings including a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the Cook County Jail, and others. She has outlined her grief-informed framework in a series of articles and workshops delivered in various publications over the last 6 years and culminating in the 2021 publication of Grieving While Black, which was well received and is quickly becoming required reading in the field. Her foundations are equally as impressive and formative. Making an unlikely journey from her childhood in the rural South to Stanford University where she received her BA in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity. From there she received an MA in Religious Studies and Philosophy from the University of Chicago and later completed a 2-year training to become an Ordained Buddhist Chaplain at the Upaya Zen Center in Chicago.
Wade’s training, experience, and profound aptitude for resilience and creative reflection in the face of life’s most challenging experiences and traumatic transitions make her a truly singular voice in future-focused conversations about creating space for acceptance, reflection, action, and healing.
Today, she works with corporations and private institutions as an anti-racism consultant and leadership coach presenting workshops, giving talks, and consulting on company culture and policies. Signature workshops include: How Your Current “Diversity Initiatives” Fall Short, Navigating Fear of Failure & Shame (Fighting Burnout), Redefining Accountability with Sustainable Practices, and more.
Today, I call Los Angeles home. I’m the author of the Grieving While Black: An Anti-Racist Take on Oppression and Sorrow (North Atlantic Books).