Movement: SSJ Programming

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The mind and body are as inseparable in people’s experiences as the social context in which we live. generative somatics integrates this understanding in our work. SSJ programming supports participants to understand the impact of multiple forms of trauma and oppression on an individual’s mind and body (or psycho-biology), relationships and actions, including their own. In SSJ Intensives, we explore how our conditions and experiences “shape” us, from our identity and reactions, to our worldview; and how we “re-shape” ourselves, our communities and the systems and institutions around us by working through the individual and collective body, de-armoring, supporting resilience, feeling and building power, and developing new practices and ways of being. We believe personal and social change are interdependent and that somatic methodology has a radical contribution to make to the effectiveness and transformative capacity of individuals and groups working to change relations of power in the world. 

Our SSJ programming is designed for organizers, movement builders, activists, and other folks working within the social justice movement who are looking to develop a more embodied leadership style, who want to reflect on conditions and experiences that have shaped them and their communities, who want a more felt sense of somatic transformation, and who want to learn and embody transformative methodology in order to inform strategy, vision, and action. SSJ Intensives are short, in-depth trainings that expose participants to somatics. They take “transformation” from a good idea to a felt and lived experience that deeply informs our social and environmental justice work. We believe somatics is not a set of practices that people try on and then just change by. We know it as a path, and the SSJ Intensives are a first step on that path. In the next two years we will offer further steps along a developmental path in somatics & social justice, including a year-long course for organizers and movement builders.  

Over the next five years we are also prioritizing developing teachers of this somatic path in order to bring a quality somatics to social justice movement work. In 2011, we launched the generative somatics Teacher Training with a group of twenty-eight incredible, committed participants that we identified as leaders and future teachers of somatics in social movement work. Teacher Training is an invitation-only process based on someone’s years of somatic training, individual healing work, experience in the social justice movement and community organizing, and commitment to personal and social transformation.

We imagine a cultivated cadre of teachers that can help spread somatics to social justice organizations and alliances, organizers, community members, and leaders, in service of systemic transformation.  We see that some of the teacher cadre can also hold the politicized healing process of Somatics and Trauma.  We see politicized healers and coaches as having an important role to play as we bring transformation more centrally to movement practice.  Lastly, as we grow local practice collectives around the country, we see members of this cadre facilitating these spaces.  Many of participants are in their own social justice organizations and political projects. The gs Teacher Training is built to help them bring somatic theory and practice more cohesively into their programs, while being an integrated part of the broader political project of practicing transformation within movement work.