Group Workshop: Shedding Light on Internalized Racism through Meditation, Mindfulness, and Somatic Exercises

An organization must understand racism and the ways in which it manifests if it wants to be a functional, inclusive, fair, and healthy place to work. This imperative applies to employees and leadership alike. The health and well-being of all employees, and the organization as a whole, depends on the ability to both understand the ever-present reality of systemic racism in the United States, as well as how to go about disrupting and dismantling it.

 

Racism is systemic because it is a socially conditioned (and most often unquestioned) assumption of white superiority and supremacy that is, and has been, embedded within the inception, development, activity, and culture of our country's many institutions. Systemic racism touches all our institutions: those in the realm of health, housing, education, employment, criminal justice, government, law enforcement, and others. Because systemic racism is so pervasive, we almost can't help but internalize it. Having steeped in the stew of a racist culture, we unavoidably develop feelings, thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors that corroborate (and maintain) the racist system. Meditation, mindfulness, and somatic techniques can help us start to make sense of our internal landscape. By learning how to examine our minds and bodies, we can start to slow down and see the racism we've internalized: making that which was unconscious conscious. I offer workshops to help build the tools of meditation, mindfulness, and somatic awareness and explain how these could be used on a day-to-day basis to bring internalized biases to the light of awareness.  This is not a "one-time activity," but a life-long practice. But, with dedication, we can develop the muscle of awareness to step away from unconscious reactivity, and instead ground our actions in understanding and skillfulness. 

I always endeavor to present and explore these topics with kindness, respect, and inclusivity. These workshops encourage the cultivation of curiosity and the willingness to risk making a mistake for the sake genuine learning. In this workshop your organization and employees will: 

  • Create an agreement together on how to respectfully engage the important topic of racism;

  • Learn what systemic racism is (and what it isn't);

  • Understand race as a social construct;

  • Learn the differences between prejudice, discrimination, and racism, and the importance and implications of these distinctions;

  • Explore the meaning of "internalized racism" and "implicit bias," and the ways in which these phenomena can show up in our minds and bodies;

  • Practice meditation, mindfulness, and somatic techniques to bring internalized images, thoughts, feelings into the light of awareness; and

  • Discuss ways in which these practices can disrupt systemic racism and help lead to responsiveness as opposed to reactivity, and understanding as opposed to defensiveness.

Workshops are dynamic and involve presentation, somatic and meditative exercises, small group dialogues, large group discussions, guided contemplations, and writing prompts. Questions and comments are always encouraged!

Pricing and Scheduling

Group training sessions typically last between 90 minutes and two hours. Pricing* depends on the number of participants and the type of organization ($40/person for nonprofits and $90/person for other institutions). Depending on public health recommendations, group trainings can be held in-person for Bay Area organizations, or online via group video conferencing. For more information and to schedule a workshop, please contact me for a free 10-minute consultation.

*If the above listed prices are out of your organization's range due to the economic effects of the Coronavirus, please let me know so we can figure out a sliding scale price that works for you. 

More Resources

Stress comes in many forms at the workplace. To help cultivate balance and peace in strenuous work contexts, I also offer group wellness trainings that explore a new way of relating to inner and circumstantial challenges. I also offer focused workshops on meditation and mindfulness, which can help improve attention, focus, and overall mental health. Individual one-on-one sessions are also available for more personalized guidance and exploration of these topics and more. 

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