WHAT IS EMBODIED EQUITY?
Embodied Equity is an experiential approach to justice, accountability, and transformation. We help white people take meaningful action toward dismantling racism—from the structural level down to our physical bodies, minds, and hearts.
We cannot undo oppression simply by learning and talking about it; we must have environments in which to ground, breathe, feel, and unravel from white male supremacy—in ways that welcome the complexity of our emotions and the innate intelligence of our bodies. We assist people to remain in grounded, stable relationship with themselves, one another, and the work of dismantling oppression—especially when they are triggered and emotionally activated.
When people are able to experience the vitality and complexity of their emotions (which includes internal conflicts, intense physical sensations, and emotional vulnerability), they move into deeper states of community engagement, humanity, and emotional intelligence. In learning to empathize with our triggers and be with our discomfort, we experience more personal aliveness and authentic human relating. Embodied Equity challenges white people to access their full life force in service of being useful, engaged, and accountable in the struggle for collective justice.
We understand that systemic violence can only occur if people in the dominant group have accepted and embodied it on a unconscious physiological and emotional basis. We believe all Americans are influenced by elements of the dominant culture in our language, habits, beliefs, reactions, and somatic state. Consequently, there is an often-unacknowledged disconnect between what we believe and what we embody.
Embodied Equity engages people with the internal work that is necessary to build their social justice skills, and we challenge them to do their work in the “real world” by partnering with organizations and allies outside of our organization. We support them with feedback and explicit accountability structures that keep them emotionally, intellectually, and somatically invested in the struggle to end oppression.
We believe in accountability (practicing responsibility in all areas of our lives with respect to social justice) rather than disposability (dropping people who make “mistakes” or ending the journey toward justice because of personal discomfort). Embodied Equity emphasizes our interconnectedness and the fact that liberation is a shared, collective experience. We inspire participants in our workshops, groups, and coaching practice to acknowledge how racism perpetuates collective trauma not only among people of color, but also among white people—often on an unconscious level. We demonstrate why living the principles of anti-oppression is crucial for everyone. If one person is not free, none of us are—and inaction that perpetuates oppression is unacceptable.