Facing Race: A National Conference in St. Louis, MO — November 20-22, 2024

Leah Okamoto Mann

Co Director | Lelavision
Pronouns: she, her, they, them, ya'll

Leah Okamoto Mann is a dancer, choreographer, somatic practitioner, and arts educator, focusing on embodied social justice. They are Co-Director of Lelavision, a performance and production company based on Vashon Island, WA, that combines kinetic sculpture, dance and music, simultaneously. Leah is Artistic Director Emeritus of Moving in the Spirit, a youth mentorship program, utilizing the praxis of dance to develop life skills (Atlanta, GA). They work to cultivate community through the common denominators of the human experience, focusing on STEAM collabs, social and environmental justice actions, and inclusive art experiences.


Presentations from Facing Race 2022

Add Just, Embodied Liberatory Practices

"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).

Speakers: Leah Okamoto Mann, Soyinka Rahim