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Meet Rusia Mohiuddin

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rusia Mohiuddin.

“My grandfather was the founding father of the Bangladeshi Independence struggle. He was an organizer & politician popularly known as ‘Jadu Mia’ (Magic Man). He would often tell his children.”

‘The people are the source of all power!’ My mother raised her children with this as a foundation for understanding the world & what united peoples were capable of doing.

Rusia, based in New York, is a master trainer, facilitator, somatic coach, and artist who pioneered the integration of somatics into an organizing framework. Her current mission, through Universal Partnership, has been developing a holistic model for social justice change work that places in its center the necessary transformation of social change agents. Rusia brings a unique style to creating pathways for individuals to bring their best selves forward when enacting social change in their organizations & communities using innovative and creativity to ground individual and collective leadership.

Over the last 22 years, Rusia has primarily worked in non-profit, community-based organizations across the U.S. Her organizing career started with 8 years as a street-level community organizer, & grew to leading organizations, notably helping to establish Families United for Racial & Economic Equality & co-founding the national intermediary, Social Justice Leadership. Through this experience & her many years as a trainer, coach & consultant, Rusia brings a well-grounded expertise of basic to advanced organizing training as well as organizational & leadership development.

Rusia is also a proud nerd & a skilled in graphic designer, photographer, website developer, video editor, & has worked with many organizations across the country as an IT specialist.

Please tell us about your art.
In my life and in my work, I use art to reset and fortify, to create and literally birth something that did not exist in the world. art serves the key self-care practice I use to ground myself and reconnect myself to what I do in the world and why.

I primarily enjoy portraits of people which makes sense since all my work is in service of people and communities. I use a mixture of wax-based color pencils and alcohol-based markers to create my art. in many ways the sketching and bringing to life with color process is a deeply intimate experience. I often feel as the I have spent lifetimes knowing and loving the people I draw and they inevitably take their place as part of my life’s story. I also do a lot of calligraphy, both modern and classic, sometimes integrating this into creative lettering designs.

What do you think about conditions for artists today? Has life become easier or harder for artists in recent years? What can cities like ours do to encourage and help art and artists thrive?
art has always been at the center of any transformative change work in society. art drives and thrives for change and literally changes hearts and minds where other tactics just cannot. art is a critical part of our humanity.

Unfortunately, art and artists are not as valued and revered as they once were in our cultures. I believe this is largely due to the growing disparities between the haves and have not’s, where more materialistic and tangible ways of making a living is far more important.

Integrating art into everything we do is a vital responsibility for communities and society at large. the more we do it, the more we talk about it, the more it will remain woven into the very fabric of how we live and orient to the world. We have the ability to reach many people across many lands and seas. we can raise money and support folks for just about anything these days. creating intentional and sustainable structures, both formal and informal, to support and cultivate artists and art in every corner of every community is vital to centering our humanity and values in all that we do.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
I have an Instagram account, @rooster47, and an etsy store, 1119art (

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Rusia N. Mohiuddin

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