2022 Program Topic:
Saturday November 19
Race Forward’s Butterfly Lab for Immigrant Narrative Strategy was launched in 2020 to build power for effective narratives that honor the humanity of migrants, refugees, and immigrants, and advance freedom and justice for all. This year, the Butterfly Lab rolled out and trained organizations, institutions, and artists in its groundbreaking approach to narrative design and strategy. Utilizing narrative tools the Lab has tested and taught extensively, this breakout session will participants an opportunity to explore beginning and advanced topics in narrative strategy. It will be specifically grounded in our learnings from the scaled immigrant narrative projects of the Chrysalis Lab, original commissioned research conducted this year, and two years of advanced praxis in narrative design. The session is open to all who are interested, including those who have participated in Butterfly Lab work over the past two years, or to those who are new to narrative design and strategy. It will culminate in a process that allows participants to better advance an aligned narrative strategy for the immigrant movement. (Note: While we will be focusing on our work on immigrant narrative, all who are interested in narrative and cultural strategy are welcome.)
"Add Just: Embodied Liberatory Practices" will meld Soyinka Rahim’s BIBOLove signature elements of collective breath, affirmation, and movement meditation with Leah Okamoto Mann’s play-full kinesthetic practices. Buoyed by Soyinka’s drumming, flute, and original compositions, participants will be invited to tend a felt sense of justice in their body - through balanced, respected presence. Gathering the “congregation” of our inner parts, Leah will offer liberatory practices to cultivate a healthy ecosystem, micro to macro / self-regulation for co-regulation. These somatic practices will be sourced in self-observation, improvisation, gesture, and whole body movement, with an intention to increase the frequency of peace. We will explore being in flow with our “body weather” in order to bring more empathy, reciprocity, and generosity into the world, in return for the privilege of each breath. This workshop is inspired by somatic practices of Resmaa Menakem and Nkem Ndefo, as well as writings of Indigenous botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer, and ecologist, Suzanne Simard. All are welcome. No experience necessary.
Soyinka and Leah have collaborated on numerous art and social justice actions over their 15 year friendship, including: Hello/Goodbye Viaduct 2019 (dxʷdəwʔabš / Seattle) and The Human Murmuration at Duwamish/ dxʷdəwʔabš Waterway Park 2017 (dxʷdəwʔabš / Seattle). Soyinka has presented with the Sacred Dance Guild, the Parliament of World Religions, Abby of the Arts, as well as Facing Race. Leah's current projects include: DreamathonATL with Morehouse College & the Andrew Young Center for Leadership and The Indicator Species Project, a BIPOC Centered Art, Science, Eco Festival (Seattle).
"Racism, or discrimination based on race or ethnicity, is a key contributing factor in the onset of disease. It is also responsible for increasing disparities in physical and mental health among Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC)." (Lewsley 2020). When you layer on taking on the charge to initiate change, being a leader in movements, and holding space for healing from race-based trauma, the stress become compounded. Wellness and wellness practices are essential components to counterbalance, heal, and recuperate from the impact of race equity work. Often times, spaces for rest are not accessible, not created, are underfunded, or are not elevated as a crucial component of race equity work. Wellness Through Movement is a session that focuses on understanding the dynamics of self-care and offering space for recuperation for attendees. The objective of the session is for participants to engage in dance therapy techniques, movement, and mindfulness practices for rejuvenation. Participants will be guided through reflections on holistic self-care practices and leave with tools that they can integrate for more balanced and effective living. Participants will learn about components of self-care, the impact of stress on the body, the impact of race-based stress on the body, and methods to create a holistic approach to caring for self. This training is grounded in Audre Lorde's assertion of self-care as a necessary means of self-preservation. "You are a precious resource...you have a right to health and peace of mind." (Romm)