Syra Smith is an engaged artist, activist, community organizer, sharing cultivator and mindfulness educator interested in deep ecology and manifesting a culture where we can turn toward fearless abundance and generosity. Syra is Founder and Curator for Oakland’s Dana Cafe, a monthly gathering offering transformational teachings at no cost to participants. In 2014 she launched and served as Lead Organizer for Oakland’s East Bay ShareFest. This decentralized open collaboration highlighted a collective calendar of events spanning the month of May and brought together 30 sharing projects and organizations in solidarity. Syra is currently developing a food sharing and harvesting collective in the East Oakland neighborhood where she lives as well as a localized online resource portal to further support pathways to sharing for her neighbors and surrounding area.
A long time organizer, Syra has pioneered and provided accessible space for the voices of women, people of color, youth, and the LGBTQ community. She has worked to support such agencies as The Mosaic Project, Maya Mountain Research Farm, Inward Bound Mindfulness Education, East Bay Meditation Center, Vallecitos Mountain Refuge, outLoud Radio, Weapons of Mass Expression, Diversity Works, Mandela Arts and others by educating, raising funds, mentoring young people, and organizing community. Syra co-organizes and leads EBMC’s Teen Sangha, a weekly meditation group serving urban youth in the Bay Area California at no cost. She has recently joined the team at the Mind Body Awareness Project, providing transformational tools to at-risk and incarcerated teens. Syra is passionate about connecting to the planet and one another in more sustainable ways and supporting the effort to create more equitable access toward transformation in Oakland. She plans to further grow the organizing coalition for East Bay ShareFest 2015.