Growing Social Justice through Arts in Community
The Rivers of Solidarity: Expressive Arts for Social Transformation Certificate will engage participants in reflection, personal practice, and action on issues of identity, relationship, and social transformation. We will explore ways culture, race, gender, sexual orientation, and disability weave through systems of power, oppression, and privilege, as well as ways to engage in social action towards liberation and equity. Participants will be invited to deepen their awareness, understanding, capacity, and skills, working with the lived embodiment of systems and their transformation.
A diverse group of teachers will support participants to explore identity and self in-relation, journeying towards braver and safer creative spaces. Together we will grow capacity to weather the storms of change relationally, deepen our embodied skillfulness to generate solidarity, and weave social justice practices in the midst of all that is turbulent. This is collaborative, creative heART work. We will explore structural and systemic layers, as well as the relational and personal internalized aspects of oppression and change. We will cultivate inquiry into resistance, rebellion, and revolution from a place of love and creativity. In this work we need each other: this is the practice of creative solidarity.
All participants and faculty will be supported to experience their own brilliance and magic in order to step deeply into their own power in ways that enhance and support others’ full becoming. As Warriors and Grandmothers, Poets and Artists, Dancers and Dreamers, Educators, Helpers, and Healers, we envision a world without racism or any form of violence: a world of harmonious relations where we care for each other and Mother Earth. We aim to hold sacred space for new beginnings. Come dream with us and practice loving, inclusive ways of being in the world together through the incomparable power and nuance of the arts.
Pre-Certificate Drop-In Offerings
Reckoning: How our Ancestral Legacies Shape our Collective Liberation
Facilitated by Phoenix Song and Juli Rees
Sunday, February 27th
12 - 4 pm CST
Some of our deepest wisdom comes from our ancestral lands and lineages along with our life experiences. In this workshop with movement, art making, writing, and sharing, you will deepen your connection with your ancestral legacies and reflect on the unique strengths and challenges you bring to collective justice and liberation work.
The Threads We Weave: A History of Our Resistance to Oppression
Facilitated by Amanda K Gross and Sheba Gittens
Saturday, March 26th
12 - 4 pm CST
In this afternoon workshop, we will create an intersectional historical weaving of stories of resistance to oppression. Using intermodal and multidisciplinary approaches, we will integrate movement, breath, storytelling, self-reflection, and fiber art to build a shared foundational analysis for understanding intersectional oppression, movements of resistance, and our personal relationships to ancestral legacies and collective liberation.
Meet Your Rivers of Solidarity Facilitators
Mylinda, MDiv, PhD (candidate), Global Consultant for Training in the Restorative Arts is a lifelong experiential learner leader, working on personal and collective healing at the intersections of art, faith, science, and social justice. She has been mentored and trained by global practitioners in the expressive arts, trauma-informed psychosocial support, theological and experiential popular education, and conflict transformation for peacebuilding. She holds facilitation certificates from Training for Change, Build A Bridge International, Training for Conflict Transformation, EXIT (Expressive Arts in Transition), and the European Graduate School.
Sheba is an anti-racist heArtivist, art educator, and a creative consultant based in this iteration of the world. She is a trained Wellness Practitioner, Anti-Racist Raja Yoga Instructor, and Joy Facilitator. As a creative consultant she has supported numerous organizations and businesses
nationally and internationally in manifesting events, programs, and workshops grounded in equity for humanity and that honor intersectionality. Additionally, Sheba is a PRIDE (Positive Racial Identity Development in Early Education) Project Artist and Artist Educator for the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Education PRIDE Program through the Office of Child Development. She received her BA in Africana Studies with a focus in English Literature and has spent her professional career working with and serving youth of all ages. She spent two years as a Padosi Fellow with the American Friends Service Committee’s Youth Undoing Institutional Racism (YUIR) as an anti-racist art educator, community organizer, and facilitator. As an integrative multimedia heArtist, she uses mixed media to educate and expand the
consciousness of those she serves.
Tereza has been employed as a Family Therapist at New Directions for Children, Youth, Adults and Families since 1995 and has been teaching Mindfulness since 1998. Tereza teaches in the Marriage and Family Therapy Program at the University of Winnipeg and supervised Counselling
Practicums through the University of Manitoba. She studied with Movement teachers Gabrielle Roth and Emilie Conrad and is currently in a 2-year Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Training Certification Program with Jack Kornfield, Tara Brach, and Konda Mason. Tereza has designed and led Mindfulness based groups like. “Restoring yourself, Re-storying yourself and Restoring your Self “, (an art- meditation series), “Delighting in Movement, Overcoming Inertia, (a movement series), and “Sitting with Yourself, Sitting with Your Client”. Tereza has a Master’s degree in Counselling and a Master`s degree in Psychology.
Fyre Jean Graveline
i am a Two Spirited Metis, Resisting and Resilient Survivor of Sacred Heart Mission School in Northern Manitoba, and a descendent of my Mother who was in Residential School at Duck Lake, whose mother was in Boarding School in Wisconsin. i served as a support worker during the unfolding of the IRS Settlement process and was on the National Counselling Team for the TRC events. i am keenly interested in healing the deep wounds of Intergenerational and Collective Trauma. i remain continuously curious about how our trauma and our resiliency can become more visible within our Personal Stories when we name, acknowledge, and resist painful historical and current and still evolving structures of colonial patriarchal domination. As a Metis Grandmother, ceremonial leader, therapist, artist, activist, and educator, i work and play on a daily basis to Challenge Domination in all forms by ReWeaving Connections between Spirituality, Healing, Arts, Mother Earth, and Social Change. i am committed to: ReEstablishing our Sacred Powers as Two Spirited, and as Women; Inspiring Reconcili-Actions between Indigenous and Settler Nations; Enhancing a Sustainable Relationship our with Mother Earth; and Insisting on the Rights of All Our Relations to Be, Believe, Belong and Become. i am an author of several books, Circle Works: Transforming Eurocentric Consciousness (1998, 2012), and Healing Wounded Hearts (2004), as well as many articles and poems, including a poetic inquiry written in response to the IRS and TRC processes:“So i.we. are Still The Problem. What is new? What is known?” Canadian Social Work Review. Vol. 31. #2. 2015. And another poetic inquiry launching soon called “When I Heard the Recent Horrific News” June, 2021 in response to the 215 children recently recovered at what was the site of the Kamloops Residential School. I am currently completing another book on the powers of Healing Arts, potentially entitled LIFE as Medicine, which brings together radical transformative theories and practices in Lived, Indigenous, Feminist, and Ecological frameworks. i am a prolific artist, a social justice and environmental activist, and currently the Lead, Indigenized Healing Arts Programming, WHEAT Institute.
Amanda K Gross
Amanda is an anti-racist organizer and artist. She blogs about the interconnectedness of racism, patriarchy, capitalism, and white womanhood at MistressSyndrome.com and is currently
working on a full-length book on that same theme. A certified yoga instructor trained by YogaRoots On Location‘s Anti-Racist Raja Yoga School, Amanda has taught Anti-racist Raja Yoga classes at Pittsburgh Mennonite Church, at the Kingsley Association, and, since the pandemic, weekly classes online. In addition, she holds an M.A. in Conflict Transformation from Eastern Mennonite University’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding and is in the midst of doctoral studies in Expressive Arts Therapy at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland.
Katriona is a somatic and arts therapist, running an independent healing arts practice: Inner Rhythm in Relation. She primarily works with survivors of trauma, complex trauma, and collective trauma, with women, folks who identify as 2SGLBTQIA+, and IBPOC, through somatic and arts-based therapy and creative community circles rooted in social justice practice, ecopsychology, and neuroscience. Katriona is particularly interested in deepening embodied
resilience, embodied creative resistance, generative community, and creative response ability in the midst of turbulence and collective change. Katriona is a Queer, deaf, white, politicized settler and intersectional feminist living on the ancestral lands of the Qualicum First Nation, committed to antiracist, decolonizing learning and practice. Katriona is a Registered Marriage and Family Therapist in BC and Canada, a Licensed
Marriage and Family Therapist in California, and a Registered Clinical Counsellor in BC; a Certified Art Therapist, Certified Sensorimotor Psychotherapist, Registered Yoga Teacher, and Certified Soul Motion Dance Movement Facilitator. Katriona is a Consultant in Training with the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute, faculty for the Expressive Arts Therapy Summit, teaching
trauma informed art therapy for the Vancouver Art Therapy Institute, and is a thesis/project advisor for the Toronto Art Therapy Institute. Katriona is a student in the Indigenized Dual Diploma in Art Therapy and Expressive Arts Therapy at WHEAT, and in the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Grad Certificate through UBC.
Shabrae, MA, an expressive arts facilitator and practitioner works in diverse communities internationally & domestically - exploring how the arts, play and transformation can meet. She is co-founder of UMBRAL, a Mexican-based organization engaged in psychosocial trauma work in Mexico City and the border. Shabrae is a Director of training for international based groups & organizations and is presently developing the work of Collective Tapestry and Geographies of
Hope, artist collectives for change agents. Shabrae has facilitation certifications from Training for Conflict Transformation and EXIT (Expressive Arts in Transition) and has recently begun her doctoral process at EGS.
Virginia (she/her) is an artist, intersectional hood feminist, expressive arts therapist and
transformative justice facilitator tuning in from Tkaronto. Virginia has a strong interest in rhythmic poetry, arts empowerment, community building, and social justice. She is inspired by liberation healing and is invested in deeper understandings of colonial impacts on mental health and identity. Virginia values the intersectionalities and breadth of human identities, dis/abilities, experience, and creative expressions. Her work is centred around relationships and using the arts and dialogue as catalysts for personal inquiry, discovery, and growth.
Lucy is a Certified Canadian Counsellor, a Registered Canadian Art Therapist, Registered Art Therapist and clinical supervisor for art therapy students and graduates. Lucy has over 10 years of experience working with individuals and families in urban Indigenous and culturally diverse communities. Her areas of specialization for supervision include working with children and adults who have experienced complex trauma, inter-generational trauma, intimate partner violence/family violence, attachment issues, being in care, addictions, anxiety and depression and cultural/inter-generational family dynamics. Lucy works from a feminist, culturally centred, trauma-informed framework. Her eclectic practice incorporates art therapy, play therapy, movement, sandplay, mindfulness-based practice, solution-focused therapy, and trauma intervention.
Dr. Valerie (Vimalasara) was one of the lead facilitators who inputted into the creation of Dr. Gabor Mate's Compassionate Inquiry year long course. She is an accredited Mindfulness teacher and co-founded Mindfulness Based Addiction Recovery MBAR an 8-week course, as well as train the trainer. And co-founded 8 Step Recovery Using The Buddha's Teachings to overcome addiction with meetings in several continents and is also an award-winning book. An award-winning author of 9 books, including editing the first national anthology of African Canadian poets, The Great Black North Contemporary African Canadian poetry, and this year launched her social justice poetics collection of prose and poetry, I Am Still Your Negro, An Homage to James Baldwin, a timely book which speaks to racist deaths of black and brown bodies. She trained in Mime and Physical theatre, Augustus Boal Forum Theatre, and Gabriel Roth Five Rhythms and had several box office sell-out plays and one-woman shows. In the UK she was part of a team of artists who created a program for challenging behavior, and bullying that was delivered in schools, youth offending teams, and with the homeless. She is now training in the Internal Family Systems as taught by Richard Schwartz. She works as an international public speaker - and is a Compassionate Inquiry Facilitator and Practitioner.
Pankwa’las (Ruby Peterson) is an Indigenous clinical therapist from Namgis First Nation, with 26 years experience in the field of community counselling. She received her BSW and M.Ed (Aboriginal community Counselling specialization) at University of Victoria. Ruby’s research and
advocacy focus is to tell the trauma story within the context of colonial history and integrating indigenous knowledge into therapeutic healing to decolonize and reclaiming Indigenous knowledge and strengths. She does this work with guidance from her elders and indigenous
knowledge holders and has co-authored chapters and articles on these topics. She has developed her practice to integrate Indigenous ways of knowing and western clinical models that honour Indigenous cultural values and has taught this in First Nation communities and educational institutes. Ruby presently has a private practice.
Juli Rees is a popular educator, EXA facilitator, social justice arts activist, dancer, mother and grandmother who offers her creativity, wisdom and skills in service of creating a socially just world. Juli is a white settler of Welsh, Irish descent who lives and works on the traditional uncededterritory of the Xwméthkwyiem (Musqueam), səl̓ílwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) Coast Salish peoples. She has worked with Labour Unions for over 30 years and is the Director of Education and Human Rights with the Hospital Employees’ Union. Juli holds a Certificate for Conflict Resolution, Negotiations and Mediation with the Justice Institute in BC, Canada, a Certificate in Expressive Arts Teacher Training with the Tamalpa Institute and Master’s Degree in Expressive Arts for Conflict Transformation and Peace Building (2017) with the European Graduate School in Switzerland.
Phoenix Song is a queer, non-binary, Korean American adoptee teacher, facilitator, performer, and sound healer based in the Bay Area, California, featured in SF Magazine's Best of the Bay for yoga music. Phoenix started out as a community organizer and now bridges art and activism for personal and collective transformation. They are a Tamalpa Associate Teacher of expressive arts and a Somatic Voicework, the Lovetri Method™ level 3 graduate. Phoenix specializes in helping people free their voices and sing, sound and speak their truths with confidence. They co-facilitate a number of courses on collective emergence, ancestral legacies, and the art of solidarity. Phoenix also holds grief rituals, offers sound healing, and performs live improvisational music. They offer both private and group classes online and in person. https://phoenixsongmusic.com/