Courses

Embodied Activism: Navigating the Intersections of Embodiment & Social Justice

About the Course

As social conditions around the globe galvanize us to do the work of dismantling oppression, it can sometimes be difficult to know where to start and how to sustain ourselves through the long and complex journey towards freedom and deep connection. For those who bring a somatic perspective to our work in the world (and even for those who don’t), it is helpful to understand how the body is rooted in social justice work, and how to engage our bodies in the process of activism. 

This experiential, participatory course explores how the body is political, how politics are (or can be) embodied in and through our everyday experience, and how to bring the body to our collective movements. Drawing on neuroscience, somatic theory and practice, liberation psychology, trauma-informed and anti-oppressive education, and lived experience, participants will learn practical strategies for reclaiming, resisting, and interrogating the political realities of their everyday lives using the felt experience of their bodies as the ground of their social justice work.

Using the metaphor of social justice as a journey, this module begins with the assumption that we are fellow travelers, and that sharing our maps helps us build a movement that is inclusive of a range of experiences and perspectives. We begin by exploring some common terms and concepts to co-develop a shared language, and attend to resourcing and basic capacity building through the body.
In this module, we discuss some of the problems with disembodied activism and depoliticized somatics, reframe spiritual bypassing as both a form of privilege and a protective strategy, and explore how our bodies can help us move through some challenging relational terrain – including experiences of shame, blame, and being triggered. We also explore some of the hidden pleasures of embodied activism, including reclaiming joy and sensuality, and learning to rest.
This module focuses on the small but important ways we unconsciously perpetuate inequitable social structures through our bodily interactions with one another. We will interrogate nonverbal communication as a key channel for conveying implicit bias and explore how the conscious reclaiming of our body image can become a potent form of everyday activism.
The final module spotlights the integration of embodiment into collective change work. We will examine specific examples and approaches to building embodied resilience in support of organizational and community healing and development for potent, creative, and sustained activism.

Students who take this course will:

  • Make a meaningful contribution to social change efforts in an embodied, authentic way
  • Identify the problems with disembodied activism and depoliticized somatics
  • Strengthen the body’s capacity for difficult conversations on oppression and privilege
  • Appreciate the impact of spiritual bypassing in somatic processing and social justice work
  • Use nonverbal communication to shift unjust power dynamics
  • Reclaim body image as a form of embodied activism
  • Notice and celebrate connection, joy, pleasure, and success in social justice work
  • Bring embodiment into community and organizational change work 

About Nkem Ndefo

Nkem Ndefo is the founder of Lumos Transforms and creator of The Resilience Toolkit, a model that promotes embodied self-awareness and self-regulation in an ecologically sensitive framework and social justice context. Licensed as a nurse midwife, Nkem also has extensive post-graduate training in complementary health modalities and emotional therapies. She brings an abundance of experience as a clinician, educator, consultant, and community strategist to programs that address stress and trauma and build resilience for individuals, organizations, and communities across sectors, both in her home country (USA) and internationally. Nkem is particularly interested in working alongside people most impacted by violence and marginalization.

About Rae Johnson

Dr. Rae Johnson, Ph.D., RSMT, is a scholar/activist and registered somatic movement therapist who chairs the Somatic Studies in Depth Psychology doctoral program at Pacifica Graduate Institute. The author of several books, including Elemental Movement, Knowing in our Bones, and Embodied Social Justice, Rae teaches and trains internationally on embodied activism, somatic research methods, and the poetic body.

$149.00one-time payment

This Course Only

  • Access to This Course
  • LIVE Monthly Courses
    Top-quality education from premier faculty in both Yoga Philosophy & MindBody Studies.
  • 70+ On-Demand Courses
    Certificate of completion available for all courses (+ earn Yoga Alliance credits & CEs on select offerings)
  • EPTV Streaming Video Library
    Includes 250+ hours of our original series, lectures, talks & workshops—accessible on the website or through our App (Apple TV, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire, Roku)
  • Premium Web Content Access
    Premium articles, curated content, mini-trainings & practice resources.
  • Tarka Journal Digital
    Quarterly issues that include: original artwork and translations + scholarly, devotional, and introductory articles on contemplative studies, wisdom teachings & practices.
  • Private EP Community
    Engage in conversation with other Embodied Philosophy Members!
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Wisdom School Membership

  • Access to This Course, PLUS…
  • LIVE Monthly Courses
    Top-quality education from premier faculty in both Yoga Philosophy & MindBody Studies.
  • 70+ On-Demand Courses
    Certificate of completion available for all courses (+ earn Yoga Alliance credits & CEs on select offerings)
  • EPTV Streaming Video Library
    Includes 250+ hours of our original series, lectures, talks & workshops—accessible on the website or through our App (Apple TV, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire, Roku)
  • Premium Web Content Access
    Premium articles, curated content, mini-trainings & practice resources.
  • Tarka Journal Digital
    Quarterly issues that include: original artwork and translations + scholarly, devotional, and introductory articles on contemplative studies, wisdom teachings & practices.
  • Private EP Community
    Engage in conversation with other Embodied Philosophy Members!
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