Reconnecting With Our Bodies After A Pandemic
As many of us venture back out into the world after a lot of isolation, many feelings are likely to come up. Although we were all born with a deep sense of connection to our bodies, our culture of body disconnection teaches each of us in different ways to see our bodies as separate from our selves. For many of us, the pandemic has been a particularly difficult time to have a body and may have exacerbated our struggles with body disconnection.In this workshop, we will reflect on the ways we became disconnected from our bodies in the first place and how the pandemic has affected that process. We will learn some history of the sources of body disconnection in U.S. culture and practice some strategies for reconnecting with ourselves. We all deserve to heal our relationships with our bodies – let’s do it together!
Don’t Tell Me To Love My Body: Anti-Fatness And Body Liberation
Body image affects all of us, but does it affect all of us in the same way? This workshop encourages all participants to explore their relationship with their own body as well as their relationships with the systems of oppression that shape our relationships with our bodies (e.g. fatphobia, racism, misogyny, etc.). We learn some of the history behind our culture’s current hatred of fat and interrogate the false association between fat and unhealthy. Ultimately, the workshop asks us all: What can we do to make our communities and our world better places to exist in our bodies?
Food, Sex, and Rest: Pleasure As Embodied Joy
Pleasure is powerful; it is healing, informative, and joyful. Yet, some of the most pleasurable experiences are often fraught, making them difficult to enjoy. Our conversations about sex, food, rest, and other pleasurable experiences are often filled with shame and attempts to control and restrict – pleasure is rarely the focus. Western ideals such as “mind over matter” and “I think, therefore I am” cause us to disconnect from our bodies, and see control of bodily desires as “morally good.” In this workshop, we will discuss mind-body dualism and how it has led to a culture that condemns bodily desires and glorifies ignoring, restricting, and controlling them. We will reflect on what we find pleasurable, the barriers stopping us from seeking those pleasures, and valuing a pleasure-filled life.
You Know Your Body Best: A Consent-Based Approach To A Healthcare Visit
We are taught that doctors and other healthcare providers are experts on our bodies and know what’s best for us. In reality, we know ourselves best. We have the right to ask questions, set boundaries, and have our boundaries respected. In this interactive workshop, we will apply a consent framework to healthcare appointments and challenge dominant understandings of how healthcare has to be. We will reflect on our own experiences with healthcare providers, our healthcare values and boundaries, and how systemic oppression interacts with the healthcare system. We’ll also provide a checklist for thinking through a healthcare experience before, during, and after an appointment so we will be more prepared to advocate for our own healthcare needs moving forward.
Beyond “Check Your Privilege”
We may hear the word ‘privilege’ often, but are we talking about it in ways that lead to greater understanding? This workshop provides an opportunity to think intersectionally about a variety of unearned privileges. Participants will examine a multitude of privilege categories, determine how those privileges affect people, recognize how each system of privilege hurts the privilege-holder, and walk away with strategies for dismantling these systems in daily life and professional practice.
Building A Positive Food Culture
How many of us have felt worried about others’ judgment of how we eat? How many of us have judged others? Where do these judgments come from? In this workshop, we explore our values and judgments about food. Which foods do we call “good” and which do we call “bad”? Where did we learn those values? Is the moral language of “good” and “bad” appropriate to describe food at all? (Hint: no.) We critically assess our understandings of “healthy” vs. “unhealthy” and work together to brainstorm strategies for creating a more positive food culture in our communities.
From Eugenics To Mass Incarceration: The Reproductive Justice Framework
Too often our current reproductive rights conversation begins and ends with abortion. Safe access to legal abortion is vital, but true reproductive justice means more than that. In this workshop, we reflect on our own ancestor’s reproductive justice narratives and look at the history of reproductive injustices in the United States from genocide and rape of indigenous communities hundreds of years ago all the way up to the forced sterilizations, inaccurate sex ed, and mass incarceration happening today. Participants will work together to think through how to continue to center marginalized communities when advocating for reproductive freedom.
Discovering And Asserting Personal Boundaries
We hear a lot these days about the importance of setting boundaries. But we don’t always know what our boundaries are! In our individualistic culture, how do we assert boundaries while still maintaining mutualistic, empathetic relationships? In this workshop, we use a series of prompts to explore our emotional and physical boundaries in a variety of contexts. After identifying some of our boundaries, we will work on the important skill of expressing them.
Sexual Shame and Healing
Unfortunately, sexual shame is a pretty universal experience. We have all had times when we’ve felt like something is wrong with us, like we are less than what we are, due to our sexuality. Shame is dangerous; it prevents us from protecting ourselves, caring for ourselves, and valuing ourselves and each other. But healing is possible, and talking about it is the first step. We all deserve the freedom to explore our unique sexualities free from shame, feeling great about ourselves. At this workshop, we will begin to talk about some of our feelings of shame, connect with each other, hopefully laugh a little, and come out the other side a little more free.
Manspreading, Mansplaining, and Walking Alone At Night: The Gender Dynamics Of Taking Up Space
When women talk as much as the men in a room, they are perceived as dominating the conversation. From young ages, we receive messages about how much we should and shouldn’t talk, what we should and shouldn’t wear, where we should and shouldn’t be. These messages are largely determined by our genders (as well as races and class statuses). This workshop explores these gendered messages and the space we take up (physically, verbally, emotionally). In the end, we think about how to begin to shift these dynamics in our individual lives and our culture at large.
Come with Me: Skills for Supporting People in Healthcare Settings
Let’s build our skills as support people! We want to normalize the practice of bringing someone to your healthcare appointment. This workshop will apply a full-spectrum doula framework to support us all in developing the skills needed to better support our loved ones in healthcare settings. Doulas are trained to provide emotional, physical, and informational support that is rooted in clients’ boundaries and wishes – we believe we can learn to provide this kind of support to our loved ones. This is a form of mutual aid and a way of taking back power within the healthcare system that can be so disempowering.
Everybody Dies!: A Death Positive Framework for Planning, Preparing, and Feeling OK about Death
In the United States today, the dominant message about death is “Don’t talk about it.” There is a real need for open, honest, and non-judgmental conversations about death that center informed consent of individuals. Steeped in the death positive tradition, we will treat death as a natural and meaningful reality. We will explore our fears and how the the choices we make today can help us make peace with them. We will also seek to empower every participant with a deeper understanding of their death care options. You will leave with actionable strategies to support end of life planning that aligns with your vision of a life well-lived.
Befriending Our Jealousy & Honoring Our Needs
We’ve all felt the heart-clenching potency of jealousy. Because the truth is: jealousy is universal. So why does it feel so lonely, so isolating and shameful? What would it look like to unpack our society’s definition of jealousy? A definition that has been warped into something monstrous, something inherently destructive and potentially life-shattering. And what could it look like to meet that monster head on, to sit down with it and finally listen? Better yet, what could it look like to befriend our jealousy? Instead of dismissing it out of shame, repressing it until it grows out of control, or letting it take the wheel and drive us off a cliff. This workshop explores the answers to these questions and many more!
Deconstructing Toxic Monogamy Culture and Building Intentional Relationships
No matter what your relationship orientation may be (non-monogamous, monogamous, polyamorous, etc.), no one is exempt from the pervasive influence of “toxic monogamy culture”. Unhealthy and archaic narratives about love, sex and relationships are everywhere we look, from our family values, to our music and TV. And once you see it, you can’t unsee it! In this workshop we combat the compulsory, debunk social myths and re-write the relationship script to include more intentionality and expansiveness.
Fertile Wounds: An Exploration of Misogyny in Medicine
“This could be cancerous, but removing it will leave a scar. You need to talk with your husband first.” “Sorry, we don’t have a lot of information about how this disease presents in women.” “Oh, you’re probably just stressed. Just be less emotional and your pain will resolve.” Sexism and misogyny in medicine are far-reaching problems that can have serious, even deadly consequences for women and others who have been targeted by misogyny. In this workshop, we will explore the historical roots of medical misogyny, identify the contemporary consequences, and discuss strategies for navigating a sexist system.
We Need to Talk: Navigating Tough Conversations
Good communication is foundational for healthy relationships of all kinds. An important conversation has the power to strengthen your relationships, protect your wellbeing, and help you enact your values. That said, hearing (and saying!) the words “We need to talk” can be totally nerve wracking! In this workshop, we will identify what makes certain conversations challenging and explore strategies for navigating these tricky talks with compassion and confidence.
Healthy Relationships: A Workshop for Friends, Partners, and Casual Acquaintances
Have you ever read a book or seen a movie that seemed really romantic…then upon closer inspection felt unhealthy and even controlling? We all receive messages about what is ok in friendships and romantic relationships. Friends, family, observation, and even the media can shape our views. But how often do we critically analyze these ideas? In this workshop, participants will identify behaviors and characteristics of a healthy relationship, consider nuanced, real life scenarios, and reflect on their personal experiences. Together, we will explore our own values and strengthen the foundations of happy and fulfilling social connections!
Don’t Tell Me to Lose Weight: Navigating and Challenging Medical Anti-Fatness
The so-called “obesity crisis” is a fatphobic myth that constructs fatness as a disease that needs to be eliminated for the good of society. In fact, fatness is not a disease, and dieting to lose weight isn’t sustainable and is an actual threat to people’s health. On top of that, this misinformation, along with discrimination and shame, prevents people in large bodies from accessing the healthcare they need. In this workshop we will challenge commonplace myths about fatness and health and develop self-advocacy strategies to use when faced with fatphobia in healthcare settings.
White Anti-Racist Work: A Lifelong Commitment
White anti-racist work must be a lifelong commitment that continues past this current moment. In this workshop, white people will have an opportunity to express emotions about racist violence in a space where they will not be burdening people of color and reflect on early memories of race and racism. We will look at some qualities of white supremacy culture and work to identify where those qualities show up in ourselves. We will think through the barriers that often stop “conscious” white people from becoming ACTIVE in the fight against racism and learn strategies for overcoming those barriers. Finally, we will make commitments to continue learning and acting in the short-term and the long-term, and develop strategies to be accountable to those commitments.
Rest is Not a Reward: Examining Our Internalized Capitalism
Raise your hand if you’ve ever been personally victimized by late-stage capitalism! It’s two years into a global pandemic and many of us are feeling the beginning glitches of a socio-economic collapse. As our systems crash around us, our eyes and hearts are opening to new, more sustainable, more egalitarian futures. How do we go about deprogramming the insidious virus that is capitalism? In this workshop we will take a look inside and decode our internalized capitalism together. We will discuss themes such as: perfectionism, individualism, burnout, guilt, self-worth and more.