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.
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.
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.