Welcome! I’m Patricia Billings ~ author, publisher, wisdom worker, mindfulness guide and activist. Please read my biography below, then the pages on my work, which comes together like this:
~ As an author and publisher, I contribute to greater equality in the vital sites of language and literature, hence the site name: equal language.
~ As a wisdom worker and mindfulness guide, I advise and guide organizations and individuals focused on equity at different intersections.
~ As an activist, I advocate for equality, justice and liberation for all beings.
~ I introduced this online seminar on translation outreach in schools in Britain. This was the second seminar in a series coorganized by Outside In World, an organization I advise, and the Centre for Book Cultures and Publishing at the University of Reading, England. It featured amazing speakers and resources and you can watch the recording here!
~ My book Love received a lovely review from Arabic with Nichole IG @arabnicles: “There’s a great variety of things to consider as love…a beautiful display of our true diversity…” And: the wonderful Arabic with Nichole website published an interview with me about my Arabic learning journey! For reviews, interviews and readings, please contact me!
I am grateful to you for visiting. Please keep connecting with me here and on IG @pbillings02. Thank you!
In one of my main professional roles, I am an author and consulting 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 23 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.
As a publisher and editor for over three decades, I am expert at cultivating authors, guiding them and honing their voices. 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 books for university presses. I am expert at cultivating authors, guiding them and honing their voices. 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; adult education teaching and mindful awareness practices at the University of California, Los Angeles; and Buddhism and mindfulness at many meditation retreat centers in the US and Europe. I draw from my knowledge and experience in all of these fields in my wisdom work and mindfulness guiding.
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.