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Collective Thriving: Reclaiming our Spiritual, Healing and Ancestral Wisdoms in Social Justice Movements

Tuesday, December 3rd
9:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Imagine what would be possible for social justice movements if we as advocates, activists, and allies reclaimed, named, and operated out of our spiritual, healing, and ancestral wisdoms. If we created space to listen deeply to and draw from the deep reservoir of wisdom and knowledge within our own beings, the difference it would mean to our health, well-being and wholeness – both individually and collectively – could change the trajectory of social justice movements and usher in a new world reality where thriving for all is the given. If you want to discover what is possible when we show up in movement space in an embodied way; spiritually alive; emotionally and physically attuned to our bodies; and generationally connected then this pre-conference is for you. Many of the presenters will be sharing embodiment practices during their sessions that will give you the opportunity to begin to open to and integrate your own wisdom.



8:00 AM – 9:00 AM Registration & Breakfast
9:00 AM – 9:15 AM Welcome by ML Daniel, Spiritual Alchemy – Simplot D
9:15 AM – 10:30 AM Breakout Sessions

Defense Against the Dark Arts: Embodied Practices for Protecting Your Energy and Projecting
Your True Power – Rebeka Ndosi, Healing Illumination – Simplot D

Yoga and meditation practices for protection from and healing of the wounds of racism, microaggressions and historical trauma, (This session will involve embodied practice activities, please wear comfortable clothing and shoes)

Soul Playground: Putting the Reclamation of our Spiritual, Healing and Ancestral Wisdoms Into Practice – Simplot B

Visit this sacred space for restorative self-care and healing to support you in feeling grounded and centered throughout the conference. Enjoy Reiki, massage, healing crystals, tarot, medicines, essential oils, and much more. Reclaim your spiritual, healing, and ancestral wisdoms in a space hosted and curated by compassionate leaders and healers offering loved-drenched activities, techniques and a quiet space for all community participants share.

10:30 AM – 10:45 AM Break
10:45 AM – 12:00 AM Breakout Sessions

Reclaiming Our Spirituality: Uprooting White Supremacy with Our Ancestors – Ed Heisler, Men Peace Makers & Bryan Lyda, Idaho Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence – Simplot D

For many generations, white people in the United States have built and benefited from systems of colonization and white supremacy. This two-part experiential workshop will focus on the essential role ancestors play in white people’s responsibility to uproot white supremacy while participating in the creation of interdependent communities where all people can thrive. Participants will use storytelling to practice locating ourselves in the present moment, and (re)connecting to ancestors as part of shaping a collective, interdependent future.

Soul Playground: Putting the Reclamation of our Spiritual, Healing and Ancestral Wisdoms Into Practice – Simplot B

Visit this sacred space for restorative self-care and healing to support you in feeling grounded and centered throughout the conference. Enjoy Reiki, massage, healing crystals, tarot, medicines, essential oils, and much more. Reclaim your spiritual, healing, and ancestral wisdoms in a space hosted and curated by compassionate leaders and healers offering loved-drenched activities, techniques and a quiet space for all community participants share.

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM Luncheon – Jordan D
1:00 PM – 2:15 PM Breakout Sessions

The Healing Power of Dance – Estefania Mondragon, Idaho Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence Farah Tanis, Black Women’s Blueprint – Jordan A

This workshop introduces participants to the mind, body and spirit medicine of dance within sacred practice. In Dancing as Spiritual Practice, movement is used as a portal for transcendence, personal transformation and community practice towards healing. This workshop explores the infinite possibilities of connecting somatic, body practice, to spiritual, ritual practices from various cultural traditions. This workshop honors the rhythms and methods of ancestral sound and movement-scapes, in order to deepen our Liberatory potential. The workshop is a journey of the senses, breathwork, and somatic dance concepts, and centralized cultural techniques of the African diaspora through not only the sacred, healing art of dance, but also an understanding of how intuitive moment speaks the language of our freedom. In this workshop, participants will study, witness and practice movement, explore and experience dance as a practice of healing and liberation, and break existing boundaries of intergenerational trauma that may be blocking their current movement and embodied practice.

Claiming our Power, Creating Our Future: Healing & Wisdom Sharing Circle for Young People – Aparna Shah, Power California & Rebeka Ndosi, Healing Illumination – Jordan B

In this session we will learn and use tools and practices of storytelling, deep listening, healing, and centering; affirm our greatness as individuals and young people as a whole; and imagine and begin to create a shared future. This session will involve embodied practice activities, please wear comfortable clothing and shoes.

More than Beads and Feathers: An Intro to Indigenous Wellness – Cristine Davidson, Minnesota Indian Women’s Sexual Assault Coalition & Tai Simpson, Idaho Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence – Jordan C

Everyone is indigenous to somewhere, and our collective power is in our ability to get connected to and grounded in our own indigeneity. Come and experience some of our indigenous practices and reconnect to your own indigenous practices that may have been squeezed out, silenced, invisibilized, and or killed off by assimilation.

Energy, Spirit & Masculinity (A session for all who identify as Masculine) – Ed Heisler, Men As Peacemakers & Pheng Thao, ManFoward – Jordan D

Join this round table discussion about deconstructing the violence from Men and Masculine folks spiritual energy. Explore what it would mean to redefine the spirituality embedded with violence through how men show up, the energy they embody and or the roles they enact to claim more power or to appear more important. Collaborate with others to determine how does a Masculine spirit show up without harm and violence?

Creating Sacred Spaces: The Power of Altares (Altars) – Micaela Ríos Anguiano, Idaho Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence – Simplot D

Curanderos/as (traditional healers) use altares (altars) as their primary “work bench” in their healing practice and are set up in many Latinx households. Learn how altares create a personalized sacred space that commemorate our ancestors, set healing intentions, or ritualize a practice that connects our inner wisdom with mind, body, and spirit. Through this Mexican folk healing ritual, learn how you can create your own sacred altar using personalized symbolic elements for healing, connection and spirituality.

Soul Playground: Putting the Reclamation of our Spiritual, Healing and Ancestral Wisdoms Into Practice – Simplot B

Visit this sacred space for restorative self-care and healing to support you in feeling grounded and centered throughout the conference. Enjoy Reiki, massage, healing crystals, tarot, medicines, essential oils, and much more. Reclaim your spiritual, healing, and ancestral wisdoms in a space hosted and curated by compassionate leaders and healers offering loved-drenched activities, techniques and a quiet space for all community participants share.

2:15 PM – 2:30 PM Break
2:30 PM – 4:00 PM Plenary Panel: Reclaiming Ancestral Wisdom in Movement Work- Moderator: Alexis Flanagan, Resonance Network – Jordan D


Alexis Flanagan portrait Alexis Flanagan is a queer Black feminist DC girl whose heart pumps to the beat of “the Pocket” that holds down DC go-go music and culture. She is a cultural worker, writer, artist, healer, and organizer working at the intersection of art and activism in the DC Metropolitan Area. For the last 12 years, she has led programs and organizations working to end sexual and intimate partner violence, most recently serving 5 years as the Assistant Director of HopeWorks, a comprehensive sexual assault and domestic violence program in Columbia, MD. Now, Alexis dedicates herself to deepening practice and embodiment of liberation and transformation within communities she loves. She currently collaboratively leads Resonance Network — a network of activists, movement builders, artists and more who want to live in a world where violence isn’t the norm, and who believe this world is possible. Together, participants in the network are boldly reimagining and practicing what is possible and necessary to transform society from a culture of violence to one of interdependent worthiness and thriving.


Aparna Shah portrait Aparna Shah has worked to co-create and catalyze transformative social change for over 25 years. She leads the reset project at Power California, which leads with cultural strategy and embodied practice to cultivate imagination and build power toward inclusive and participatory governance. The reset project advances governance that centers people and the natural world by holding interdependence, self-determination, and sustainability as sacred. Previously Aparna was Co-Executive Director of Power California (formerly Mobilize the Immigrant Vote and YVote). Under her leadership over the last 10 years, PowerCA/MIV organized statewide campaigns reaching 500,000+ young, immigrant, and refugee voters of color and Indigenous voters, built the long-term infrastructure and capacity of grassroots multiracial and intergenerational organizations across the state to run electoral and issue campaigns, and established a sister organization, PowerCA Action (formerly MIV Action Fund). She has also worked to advance the self-determination and reproductive justice of women, people of color, and queer communities and spent several years working to transform a public middle school into a vibrant youth and community center in San Francisco’s Mission District. Aparna sits on the Board of 18 Million Rising and holds a Master of Health Sciences degree from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. She was born in Manila, grew up in Mumbai, and lives with her family in Oakland, CA.


Bryan Lyda portrait Bryan Lyda is a cultivator of wholeness and social change, who believes we as a human family can do better. Through the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence, he works to connect all of us across generations, and challenge ourselves to show up for the world we want to see. Bryan strives to use fierce compassion and courageous truth telling to foster thriving communities with leaders of all ages and experiences. His core purpose is to move towards wholeness with fellow men and discover new ways of being rooted in love, connection, and interdependence. While gardening and exploring Idaho keep him grounded, he chooses to take many paths in life and hopes at least a few of them are made of dirt.


Cristine portrait Cristine Davidson is in her 13th year at the Minnesota Indian Women’s Sexual Assault Coalition. MIWSAC is a statewide tribal coalition and national technical assistance provider that works with individual and organizational members across Minnesota, and with tribal grantees and allies nationwide to end sexual violence against Native women and children. She is also a Movement Maker, selected for Cohort 3 of Move to End Violence, a 10-year capacity building initiative of the NoVo Foundation. Her role at MIWSAC includes providing training and technical assistance to sexual assault advocates such as a Native focused 40-Hour Sexual Assault Advocacy Training/Train the Trainer, Strengthening Sovereignty by Enhancing Tribal Response to Sexual Violence Project, Engaging Native Men and Boys in Sexual Violence Prevention, Community Advocacy Training for Praxis International, Moving Upstream Prevention Collaborative, Prevention with Native Youth Through Culture Program, The Barrette Project: A living memorial with beaded barrettes and stories of survival, and the Solidarity Shawl Project: Red, teal and purple shawls worn at events and pow-wows to honor survivors of domestic and sexual violence. Cristine is a survivor of multiple incidents of sexual violence, as well as long-term child sexual abuse by a self-proclaimed medicine man. She has committed her life to amplifying the voices of survivors and deepening community involvement in ending sexual violence in all its forms. She grew up in Red Lake, Minnesota, served four years in the Marine Corps, and now lives on her home reservation in White Earth, Minnesota.


Ed Heisler portrait Ed Heisler is Co-Executive Director (with Sarah Curtiss) of Men As Peacemakers (MAP), an organization dedicated to the primary prevention of sexual violence, domestic violence, and commercial sexual exploitation. Ed specializes in developing and implementing innovative community-driven strategies to promote equality and prevent gender based violence. Additionally, he has seven years experience as a Core Trainer for A CALL TO MEN, co-facilitated batterer’s intervention classes for ten years, published research on men’s involvement in ending violence against women, and is a member of the 3rd Cohort of Move to End Violence. Ed is grateful to work with a community of people committed to radical hope for a “new normal” that protects everyone’s interconnected wellbeing and ability thrive.


Estefania Mondragon portrait Estefania Mondragon “I change myself, I change the world.” -Gloria Anzaldua. Estefania is a daughter of immigrant parents from Tarandacuao, Guanajuato, Mexico. She brings awareness, both of her languages, heart, and imagination to her work. She wholeheartedly believes that change starts from the inside out and is passionate about building power within the intersections. She hopes to raise community consciousness, shift culture, and bringing an anti-oppression lens to the conversation. She imagines a world where everyone is honored and every living being thrives. Estefania is also a community organizer at PODER of Idaho.


Farah Tanis portrait Farah Tanis is a New York City–based transnational Black feminist, human rights activist and co-founder and executive director of the Black Women’s Blueprint and of the Museum of Women’s Resistance. She is the chair of the US Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Black Women and Assault, a 2012 U.S. Human Rights Institute Fellow. Founder of the Museum of Women’s Resistance (MoWRe), Creator of Mother Tongue Monologues, Contributor to several grassroots documentaries, development and teaching of curricula and human rights policy advocacy and organizing in the U.S. and the Caribbean. She attended the 2017 Women’s March to raise awareness on the trafficking of black women. Having experienced physical and sexual abuse as a child, Tanis began working in activism on behalf of women around 1993, running a women’s shelter before founding Black Women’s Blueprint. She was one of the organizers of the 2017 March for Black Women in Washington D.C.


Micaela Ríos Anguiano portrait Micaela Ríos Anguiano is a social justice advocate and activist who works across issues of race, class, gender, and sexuality. She commits to uplifting the voices and histories of those impacted by generational trauma, violence and oppression. Micaela takes pride in her Mexican roots, history, culture and ancestral healing wisdom. She’s on a journey toward grounding her own truth and power and serves as a vessel in others’ healing and liberation.

ML Daniel portrait M.L. Daniel is the Founder of Spiritual Alchemy which empowers organizations and individuals to rediscover, embrace, and activate their spirituality. In addition to being an attorney for over 25 years, M.L. is an ordained minister and trainer who has worked with organizations specializing in the areas of domestic violence and sexual violence. Working from the principle that everyone has a connection to Spirit, ML acts as a guide, creating the conditions in which her clients can reconnect to their own deep knowing. She ministers through retreats, workshops, facilitation, speaking engagements, and coaching. ML is devoted to helping justice seekers in both the nonprofit and business worlds. She has had the honor to work with many wonderful organizations, including California Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence, The Resonance Network, and Move to End Violence, a program of the NOVO Foundation, and with individual justice seekers from a broad scope of industries and non-profit leaders seeking to align their lives and work with their purpose.


Pheng Thao, MLS, MA portrait Pheng Thao, MLS, MA actively builds the Southeast Asian community as a visible pioneer in developing new masculine expressions and male practices that will not marginalize women, girls, LGBTQ/gender non-conforming folks and limit boys and men’s full potential. He has done numerous keynotes, trainings and technical assistances to diverse local, national, and international organizations on gender-based violence, manhood and masculinity. He is the founder and director of ManForward, a grass-roots group that uses community organizing models to activate men, boys and masculine folks to practice new forms of masculinity that promote gender equity. Pheng also coordinates the Minnesota statewide engagement of the Men and Masculine Folks Network, a collaborative network of many community organizations and individuals. As a mental health practitioner, Pheng supports and works with — LGBTQ and gender non-conforming youth; families and couples; men who have committed sexual violence; and founded a domestic violence Hmong men’s program called Txivneej Yawg. Lastly, he serves as a trustee on the MN Women’s Foundation; is a 2018 Bush Leadership Fellow; and 2019 Rockwood Leadership – Leading from the Inside Out Fellow.


Rebeka Ndosi, L.AC, M.S., RYT-200 portrait Rebeka Ndosi, L.AC, M.S., RYT-200 is a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist, certified teacher of Kundalini Yoga & Meditation and Radiant Child Youth and Family Yoga, and a certified Community Coach in Healing Justice. She is creator of Warriors of Light:Tools & Techniques for feeling healthy, happy and whole featuring youth of the african diaspora and founder of the Youth Healing Justice Network. Dedicated to building a culture of mind, body and wellbeing practice for youth of color and the adults in youths’ everyday spaces and places, her work recognizes, honors and nurtures the individual and collective wisdom that we hold and is driven by the firm belief that lasting, revolutionary change and healing starts from within. She focuses on practical, relevant and integrative healing modalities to support children and youth, especially indigenous youth and youth of color, and the adults and communities who surround them in relieving stress, processing and healing from trauma, and affirming their greatness.


Tai Simpson portrait Tai Simpson is “The Storyteller” in the indigenous language of the Nimiipuu nation (Nez Perce Tribe of Idaho). She believes indigenous “old ways” are the principles on which many communities build their social and political narratives. As an antiracism activism and community leader, she uses contemporary and traditional Indigenous storytelling to depict the lens of “old ways” and how it is used to protect the sacred, build strength in the community, and keep nature in balance. She is a direct descendant of Chief Redheart of the Nez Perce tribe. Tai’s academic background is in Political Philosophy & Public Law at Boise State University. Tai is supported by her amber-eyed staffy “Gunner” who is in turn supported by his grey-eyed staffy “Lola.” Tai loves wine, wilderness, and sunshine.