Rev. angel Kyodo Williams sees the world from a multitude of angles, starting with her viewpoint as a Black, queer woman who had a traumatic childhood. Williams is also an activist whose politicization can be traced back to Freedom Summer ’92—the inaugural event of the Third Wave Direct Action Corporation, created to mobilize women to become more socially and politically involved—where she worked on a cross-country voter registration drive that helped Bill Clinton get elected.
Then there is Williams’ perspective as a Buddhist priest. Rather than renounce the world of politics, political engagement, and activism, she has chosen instead to interweave them into her path as a bodhisattva. “You make an actual vow to hear the cries of the world,” she says, “to step into the experience of awakening to the suffering of the world, and the desire to bring an end to that suffering.”