On September 4, we held Where We Are Now: Mindfully Navigating Difficult Emotions On Our Path Towards Liberation as part of our Direct Address program. We are grateful to our panelists Lauren Spencer (theatermaker, educator), Fresh “Lev” White (East Bay Meditation Center, Affirmative Acts), Michael Robertson (artEquity), Jasmin Hoo (#Asians4BlackLives, APIENC), and Meredith Smith (People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond) for their insight and courage as we explored grief and how it relates to allyship and anti-racism.
As part of the evening, panelists and participants split up into small breakout sessions to discuss the following questions:
How does grief show up for you?
What does grief mean to you?
How do you know when you are working with and through grief?
How do you know when you are avoiding grieving?
These sessions lead to a further conversation on how to actively continue the inner engagement of getting into right relationship with our grief. After the event, panelist Lauren Spencer shared a few questions she is asking herself and her loved ones so that she can show up better for them.
- Have I acknowledged the grief I am working with today?
- How am I holding my grief today?
- What is my grief practice? How can I create one that serves me?
- What would make me feel held? How do I want to be held when I’m in grief?
Below you will find a list of resources mentioned during the conversation or later recommended by our panelists as well as a few suggestions from our wonderful participants.
A full recording of the event—excluding the breakout sessions—will be available shortly (pending panelists’ approval).
Resources/Organizations Mentioned By Panelists:
Sogorea Te’ Land Trust – an urban Indigenous women-led land trust based in the San Francisco Bay Area that facilitates the return of Indigenous land to Indigenous people. To support their work, you can pay the Shuumi Land Tax—a voluntary annual contribution that non-Indigenous people living on traditional Lisjan Ohlone territory make to support the critical work of the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust.
Native Land – a Canandian non-profit that offers resources (including a searchable map) to learn more about local Indigenous territories and languages.
The Smell of Rain on Dust by Martín Prechtel – a book quoted by panelist Meredith Smith by indiginous author Martín Prechtel about the relationship between grief and praise. “Grief is natural…It is the art of all art. It is the art behind all real art.””
We Are Worthy of Support – a series of programs mentioned by Jasmin Hoo curated by APIENC on how to help and how to ask for help.
Pods – a word mentioned by Jasmin Hoo referring to a “relationship between people who would turn to each other for support around violent, harmful and abusive experiences, whether as survivors, bystanders or people who have harmed. These would be the people in our lives that we would call on to support us with things such as our immediate and on-going safety, accountability and transformation of behaviors, or individual and collective healing and resiliency.” Used by Mia Mingus (Introduction to Accountability Webinar) and the Bay Area Transformative Justice Collective.
My Grandmother’s Hands by Resmaa Menakem – a book mentioned by Michael Robenson which “examines the damage caused by racism in America from the perspective of trauma and body-centered psychology.”
BIPOC Surviving Predominately White Institutions – Resources gathered by artEquity as part of a series of the same name.
Becoming Human: Matter and Meaning in an Antiblack World by Zakiyyah Iman Jackson – a study of how “humanity” is a eurocentric concept and an exploration of “posthumanism.”
Resources Mentioned in the chat by our wonderful participants:
“The Guest House” by Rumi. –
This being is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
“Bigger” by Beyonce
“March March” by The Chicks