generative somatics (gs)

I began studying politicized trauma healing with Generative Somatics in 2004 and became a teacher and strategy team member with gs in 2010. We teach courses on embodied leadership and trauma healing for social justice leaders throughout the country.

The mission of gs is to support social and climate justice movements in achieving their visions of a radically transformed society. We do this by bringing somatic transformation to movement leaders, organizations, and alliances. Our programs engage the body (emotions, sensations, physiology), in order to align our actions with values and vision, and heal from the impacts of trauma and oppression. We aim to advance loving and rigorous movements that possess the creativity, resilience, and liberatory power needed to transform society.

Solidarity Days, Highline High School

In Spring of 2019, I brought together students, staff, and community members for a four month organizing process that culminated in a school-wide, daylong event focused on student empowerment, community building, and creating change. This first-of-it’s-kind event in the District mobilized and engaged the entire student body (1000) and staff (100), and trained 72 student facilitators to lead workshops, assemblies, and a large-scale art project on building a more healing and just school culture.

The goals of this program were:
  1. To affirm and elevate the voices of HHS students.
  2. To support students to become leaders - and partners with staff - in building a more just and loving culture at HHS.
  3. To encourage students and staff to understand root causes of conflict and to build solidarity with one another.
  4. To open possibilities for ongoing, collaborative approaches to building community and solving problems within the school community.

Collective Justice

In 2020 I joined Collective Justice as their Healing Justice Coach. I hold space with collective members/staff to metabolize the impacts of their work and to deepen their relationships, sustainability, and power. I also facilitate a bimonthly restorative justice group through the HEAL Program with a group of humans who are incarcerated at Washington State Reformatory.

Collective Justice aims to reduce harm caused by violence and mass incarceration by building effective, trauma-informed healing responses that reflect healing justice principles. We operate a restorative justice project in Washington Department of Corrections institutions that offers a 52-week trauma healing and resilience-centered accountability circle process for incarcerated individuals. Simultaneously, we offer community-based healing circles and facilitate group and individual dialogues for people who have been impacted by interpersonal violence.

Youth Worker Institute

In 2017 I adapted my Trauma Informed Youth Work training for use with the Youth Worker Institute. Over the course of 3 years, I provided 10 daylong trainings to youth workers from participating organizations and trained YouthCare’s Training Program Manager to facilitate the trainings on their own.

The Youth Worker Institute (YWI) is an innovative pilot project focused on training and professional development for service providers working with homeless youth and young adults in King County. The YWI is led by YouthCare and includes Friends of Youth, Nexus Youth and Family, the Accelerator YMCA, New Horizons, Street Youth Ministries, ROOTs Young Adult Shelter, TeenFeed, and Peace for the Streets by Kids from the Streets (PSKS).

Powerful Voices

Since 2017 I have been working with the staff of Powerful Voices to integrate trauma-informed and healing practices into their programming and their staff culture. I have facilitated regular staff trainings and provided strategic advising. In August 2018, I gave a panel keynote during their Reframing Healing and Resilience Season Salon, entitled, “Transforming Trauma-Informed Practice: 5 Key Pivots Towards Healing Justice.” In July 2019, I took on a related, but new role as their Healing and Leadership Coach. In this role I meet with each staff member for monthly coaching, and facilitate monthly and quarterly retreats focused on embodied leadership, healing, and conflict repair.

Powerful Voices creates brave spaces with girls* of color to take charge of their own power as leaders, igniting their abilities to confidently express themselves, build community, and act against injustices affecting their lives. Since 1995, they have created gender-specific, social justice programs for 11-19 year olds so that they can be equipped with communal knowledge and platforms to speak up.

Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative (SYVPI)

In 2016 I was asked to lead the Trauma Informed Youth Work training cohort through SYVPI, which brought together managers and direct service workers from 16 youth-serving organizations in Seattle for a 6 month learning cohort. Along with my foundational Trauma Informed Youth Work curriculum, we addressed issues of suicide, dating violence, and commercial sexual exploitation of youth.

Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative was established in 2009 as a comprehensive, city-wide approach to reducing youth violence in Seattle. The project focused on youth 12-17 years old who were most likely to both experience and commit violence. Through partnership with local organizations throughout Central, Southeast, and Southwest Seattle, SYVPI provided both prevention and intervention services.

Domestic Abuse Women’s Network

From 2011-2016, I was the Prevention Program Manager at DAWN. In these five years, I built partnerships with these South King County Schools: Highline HS, Tyee Campus/Odyssey HS, Evergreen Campus/AAA, TEC, HS3, Mount Rainier HS, New Start HS, Cascade MS, Showalter MS, Nelsen MS, Lindbergh HS. Through these partnerships I facilitated healing and skill-building groups with ~120 youth per school year.

Additional Partners

  • Restorative Community Pathways
  • Hennepin County Library
  • Interagency Academy
  • Youth Intervention Programs Association
  • Leadership Tomorrow
  • Renton High School
  • University Beyond Bars
  • The Freedom Education Project Puget Sound
  • Global Visionaries
  • Team Child
  • Highline Public Schools
  • Seattle Central College
  • Southwest Youth and Family Services
  • Coalition of Anti-Racist Whites
  • New Horizons Ministries
  • YouthCare
  • South Seattle College
  • Upward Bound
  • FEEST Seattle
  • Youth Development Executives of King County
  • Eagle Rock School
  • Schools Out WA
  • Asian Counseling and Referrals Service
  • People of Color Against AIDS Network
  • Friends of Youth
  • YMCA of Greater Seattle
  • United Indians of All Tribes
  • Neighborhood House
  • Sea Mar Community Health Centers
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound
  • Boys and Girls Club of King County
  • Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle
  • Horn of Africa Services
  • Therapeutic Health Services
  • Seattle Union Gospel Mission
  • Seattle Public Library
  • Center for Children and Youth Justice
  • Renton Area Youth & Family Services
  • Neighborcare Health
  • Lutheran Community Services Refugee & Immigrant Children’s Program
  • Pioneer Human Services
  • Seattle Parks and Recreation

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