Welcome! I’m Patricia Billings and I do a lot of things:
~ I write and publish to contribute to greater equality in the vital sites of language and literature, hence the site name equal language.
~ I do wisdom work as an adviser and mindfulness guide for organizations and individuals focused on equity at different intersections.
~ I advocate for justice and liberation for all beings as a multifaceted activist.
News: In December, I introduced an awesome seminar on translated children’s literature with the University of Reading, England. In November, the wonderful website Arabic with Nichole published an interview with me about my Arabic learning journey. In October, I began holding weekly mindfulness sessions for the brilliant, dedicated staff at the Western Center on Law & Poverty. For mindfulness guiding, advising, seminars, panels, interviews and readings, please contact me!
Please read my bio below and then all my pages. I am grateful to you for visiting. Please keep connecting with me here and on IG @pbillings02.
In one of my main professional roles, I am an author, publisher and editor for Milet Publishing. I founded Milet with Sedat Turhan in 1995 and directed the company with him for 15 years, based in London, Izmir Turkey and Chicago, growing it into a leading independent publisher of multilingual books, with a list of over 1000 titles in English and 25 languages. Over the years, we have broken barriers and uplifted readers and creators through our dedication to diverse languages, audiences, writers, illustrators, art and themes. Milet is a leader in world literature for adults too: Since 2000, we have published over 20 volumes of Turkish literature in English translation, in a rich list that includes many women, queer and radical writers.
I have curated, organized and hosted many literary festivals and events; guest lectured and given addresses at universities, including a commencement address; presented at numerous academic, professional and community conferences; and served on policy advisory committees on literature, language and education. I am a trustee of Outside In World, an organization that promotes children’s literature in translation. As a freelancer, I have developed, written and edited primary, secondary and higher education resources, and I have edited scholarly texts. I also taught adult literacy for years in Chicago and Los Angeles.
Prior to starting Milet, I worked in Washington, DC – with the International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (EAFORD) and Without Prejudice, the EAFORD international review of racial discrimination; with the North American Coordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine; and with the Jordan Information Bureau, where my jobs included: research, writing, editing, communications, policy analysis, media analysis, lobbying and advocacy. I worked with the Palestinian and Jordanian delegations to the Middle East peace talks in Washington. And I was an editor at The Jordan Times newspaper in Amman.
I have worked in film and media too – with the independent production firm NDF International in London, the London Film Festival, and the International Film Festival in Izmir. I helped establish the Human Rights Watch Los Angeles Film Club and was a lead organizer of the club for several years. I am a long-time board member and judge of the Social Impact Media Awards (SIMA).
As an activist as well as in my formal work roles, I have been a dedicated advocate for justice and liberation, starting in university with the anti-apartheid Divest Now movement and Palestinian rights through to my recent work in Los Angeles fighting against criminalization and incarceration and for prison abolition and community care, with coalitions like Reform LA Jails and JusticeLA. In 2019, I moved to New York City and am continuing my activism here. A vegetarian for 25 years and a vegan for the last 15, I am now doing more direct advocacy for our kindred beings on earth as a member of Voters for Animal Rights and Farm Sanctuary.
I studied political science with a concentration in Middle East politics at Northwestern University and the University of Sussex; Arab studies at Georgetown University; film and media studies at the University of London; and adult education teaching and mindful awareness practices at the University of California, Los Angeles. I draw from these fields and all my wisdom domains when guiding organizations, groups and individuals in my wisdom work.
I grew up in Chicago in a family of ten, in a strong community. I have been guided by that ethos of the collective and the community. My commitment in everything is to show up, show love, and do the work.