November GSVLI: Collective Care in the Workplace

Original Broadcast Date: 11/13/20

For part two of this series, Justin Thongsavanh, Iana Malcolm, and Carla Fernandez share learnings from The Dinner Party, a nation-wide movement turning loss from an isolating experience to one marked by community support, candid conversation, and forward motion. From small groups gathering in over 100 cities across the US to now an entirely virtual offering in the COVID-era for individuals and organizations, Iana and Carla will share key lessons learned in 2020, and how they translate to your workplace. They will take you through an interactive work session to design your own loss readiness plan for your organization. Their work has appeared widely in media, from CNN to New York Times, OnBeing and Oprah Magazine, and as a case study in over half a dozen books. Their workplace program has been rolled out in organizations across sectors and sizes, such as Banner Health, Good Shepherd Services, Redfin, Google, and more. For more information, visit

Download the slides HERE.


Speaker Bios:

Carla Fernandez headshotCarla Fernandez, Co-Founder, The Dinner Party Fernandez is the co-founder of the award winning The Dinner Party , which houses Grief At Work. The family dinner table is sacred ground in the Fernandez family - so when her dad passed away of brain cancer, coming back to the table was a natural way for her to connect with others and unpack the experience of life after loss. She is also on the founding team of enso, a mission-driven creative agency working with brands such as Google, Khan Academy, and Nature Conservancy on their impact campaigns. She is an NYU Social Entrepreneurship Fellow, and Senior Fellow at the USC Annenberg School of Communications Innovation Lab.



Iana Malcom headshotIana Malcolm is a community manager & BIPOC lead. At 27, and after 7 years of being her Caregiver, she lost her mother to Breast Cancer. At 31 years old, she lost her father to Brain Cancer. Since then she has dedicated her life to the support of Caregivers and all those managing life after loss. Outside of her work as a Community Manager for The Dinner Party, she is a birth and death Doula, Yoga and Meditation teacher, and leads Wellness retreats worldwide with her company Bliss Out Retreats.



Justin Thongsavanh headshotJustin Thongsavanh, MPA is a community manager for The Dinner Party. Throughout his career, he has worked for a variety of nonprofits and municipalities focusing on the development and implementation of programs for youth. Prior to joining The Dinner Party, he worked for one of the nation’s largest bereavement camps, developing programs and raising funds for children and teens who experienced the loss of a parent or sibling. After the death of his own father at the age of 12, he felt isolated and alone. As an adult he has made it his mission to not only find a community for himself, but to also help create a community for folks who have experienced loss and subsequent adversities. He holds a B.A. in Liberal Studies, a Certificate in Non-Profit Management, and a Master’s in Public Administration all from California State University, Long Beach.



This webinar was one of the sessions of November's Grief Sensitivity Virtual Learning Institute (GSVLI). For more information on how to access resources from September's and November's GSVLI, please click here.

December 1, 2020
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