HEALING CYCLES OF HARM
This 9-week healing workshop is geared towards those who have been impacted by violence, caused harm, enabled harm, and those who find themselves in cycles of physical and emotional harm who want to explore their participation in such cycles. Our work as facilitators engages our first-hand experiences in being impacted by harm as people who have caused, enabled, and survived it.
We provide a safe, compassionate, and structured space to address and heal what enables and gives rise to acts of harm.
We utilize somatic healing arts which address how the body, impacted by violence, records that violence, and externalizes it onto others and onto the self.
We utilize creative arts to get around our logical exterior and guide ourselves to act, move, and respond from the heart.
We interrogate the notion that vulnerability is a state of weakness, and remember it as a source of powerful strength.
Individual journaling, paired and group work, movement, visual art, reflective homework, and psycho- / political- education are some of the tools we will use throughout this journey.
This is a confidential and consensual group. While participants will be supported through risk-taking, participants will share according to their needs for safety.
Our facilitators are not mandated reporters and are not legally required to report acts of harm to authorities.
Summer Sessions Forthcoming:
Applications for our BIPOC Cohort exceeded our capacity by about 2x!!
We are gearing up for another cohort (Fall 2020) to roll over some of our applicants. This speaks to the urgent need for this work.
Wondering if this is the right experience for you?
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Co Facilitators and Curriculum Developers
Facilitator and Curriculum Developer
A Harlem native, born to Dominican parents, and a single mami living in Oakland, CA. Her published works online and in print explore motherhood, sexuality, Black feminism, and survivorship. In 2017, she founded Reclaiming Our Own Transcendence to increase communities’ healing capacity. Her previous work as a rape crisis counselor and her own personal experiences healing from domestic violence, sexual violence, and intimate partner violence while attempting to love informs her teaching, writing, and healing work. She holds an MFA in Creative Nonfiction Writing from Mills College, MS in English Education from University of Rochester as an Urban Teaching Leadership Fellow, and a BA in Black and Latino Urban Studies from San Francisco State University. She has taught English in New York City and Oakland high schools for a total of 5 years. Currently she teaches English at Chabot College and founded InkRise, a writing workshop for survivors of violence in 2012.
Left eBay Europe in 2011 to co-found Gratitude Alliance after 14 years of working in finance, operations, project management, accounting/tax in the U.S. and Europe for Deloitte, SAP, eBay, and the US Embassy in Berlin.
Once an orphan herself, Amy is passionate about creating spaces for healing and transformation for children who have lost their mothers and for trauma survivors who most need to reclaim their inner mother. She's served in the non-profit sector as a volunteer, international program manager, finance manager, and board member focusing on projects benefiting orphaned and vulnerable children in the US and abroad.
Based in San Francisco, Amy serves as CEO at Gratitude Alliance where she also facilitates community education workshops and healing circles. She holds a Master of Science in Nonprofit Management with a concentration in Global Studies from Northeastern University and a certificate in Trauma-Informed Interventions (UC Berkeley). Back in the day, Amy earned her BS in Business/Accounting and is a licensed CPA (inactive) in California.
Amy is also working on her first book, The Wound Myth, about her journey as a transracial, transnational adoptee, reuniting with her birth parents, and learning to embrace gratitude as a powerful catalyst for change.
Facilitator and Curriculum Developer
A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, he received a BFA in fine art painting from UC Berkeley, and completed post graduate studies with curricular emphasis on the performing arts of theatre and music at CSU East Bay. He has enjoyed a 42 year career of teaching visual and performing arts, primarily at Saint Mary’s College High School in Berkeley, California, and being the Artistic Director for 60+ theatrical productions. In addition, he has developed and directed multiple performance programs for many schools and community organizations throughout the East Bay with the Theatrical Directors for the City of Oakland Dramatic Arts program, through the Oakland Parks and Recreation Department for a total of 10 years since 1980. As a performer he is a recipient of a Bay Area Theatre Critic’s Circle Award for acting, and a National College Theatre Award winner as Performer, Musical Director, and Composer of Original Music for a production of “OEDIPUS REX,”performed at the Kennedy Center for the Arts in Washington D.C.
Sal Tran is a queer Vietnamese filmmaker and touring speaker based in the San Francisco Bay Area. They are one of the co-founders of SunKissed Productions - an independent queer Asian film collective. Sal’s work is rooted within the power of storytelling in film, visual and performative art. They focus on mental health advocacy work within queer trans Asian Pacific Islander (QTAPI) communities. Their work has been featured in UC Berkeley's Queer & Asian Conference, National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI), Seattle Transgender Film Festival, National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) Conference, NYC Queer Asian Short Films, As[I]Am Magazine, UC Santa Barbara - Queer Trans People of Color Conference and many more.
Vic Aguirre is a CA Certified Massage Therapist and Health Educator serving the SF Bay Area for the last 6 years. Their mission is to prioritize the empowerment of Queer Trans and POC’s reclamation of their bodies by sharing knowledge and experiences in anatomy, physiology and the effects of living within systems and cycles of violence as an individual with intersectional identities.
Session One: Safety and Identity
Exploring Our Edges Around Self-awareness
Developing Cohesion + Models for Communicating
Session Two: Strength Building
Locating our Resilience
Exploring Somatic Memory
Uncovering Wisdom Latent in Emotional Discomfort
Session Three: Speaking to the Wound
Exploring our Protective Responses
Exploring the Impact of Trauma on Self + Community
Deepening Tools for Generative Dialoging with Discomfort
Session Four: Cycles of Harm
Embodying Compassion in the Face of Real + Perceived Threat
Examining Intergenerational Responses to Harm
Observing Our Cycles of Inner and Outer Harm
Exploring Our Relationship to a Culture of Violence
Session Five: Healing
Complicating Our Relationship to Trauma
Softening Our Attachments to Harm
Inscribing New Healing Patterns Into Our Bodies
Session Six: Compassion, Acceptance, Accountability
Defining Self, Interpersonal, and Community Accountability
Compassion: A Key Ingredient in Effective Accountability Work
Emotional First Aid + Self Regulation In the Face of Conflict
Session Seven: Values, Intentions, Commitments
Fortifying Our Commitment to Self-Accountability and Healing
Setting the Conditions for Continued Growth
Calling Up Our Internal and External Resources
Session Eight: Gratitude, Reflections
Charting of Progress
Observing Ingredients of Collective Healing Work
Session Nine: Building Forward, Closing Ceremony
Envisioning and Building a Forward Movement
Taking and Letting Go
"RooT Healing Cycles of Harm circles offered me a sense of hope and clarity around how I can change the patterns of harm I’ve been repeating." (2019)
"Attending Healing Cycle of Harm introduced me to a different way of living. I realized how triggers carried out actions which hurt no one but me. This work has allowed me to understand the cause, accept, and overcome my depression, addiction, anxiety, and discomfort as I can now transform it into true happiness..." (2019)