Calling social workers, therapists, body and energy workers, counselors, wellness educators, sex liberators, and other diverse healers to the first-ever Wellness and Healing Justice Jam — a gathering for people working at the intersections of healing arts, community advocacy, and counseling. We’ll come together to share our challenges and breakthroughs in our work; nurture ourselves; support and inspire each other; explore our identities as practitioners, healers, and whole people; figure out ways to be more sustainable; find intersections for future collaborations; build a more resilient network; and much more!
Priority Deadline: May 25, 2018
Final Deadline: July 1, 2018
What is a Jam?
In music, a jam is a creative, live gathering of musicians who together spontaneously create a new sound, where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Like that, YES! Jams are places where diverse leaders and visionaries bring together their passions, openness, and unique perspectives. In spontaneous connection, we weave layers of experience, wisdom, heart, and spirit to create some real magic. The Jam asks that all the players are present and ready to listen deeply to each other.
YES! Jams have been happening since 1999. YES! collaborates with other like-hearted peers around the world to co-create Jams where diverse visionaries and social changemakers combine their inspirations and skills to create something greater than the sum of their parts. To date, more than 135 Jams have been held on six continents, bringing together young and intergenerational leaders from more than 80 nations.
The Jam is not a conference, seminar, or a typical meeting — it is something unique. The Jam is dedicated time at a beautiful retreat center to think and feel deeply about social change in this field, in our world, in our communities, and in ourselves. There are transformative conversations and there is a lot of fun, art, and creativity. There is dancing and embodiment, group explorations, and co-creations, as well as solo time and internal reflection.
The Jam works on 3 three levels:
- On the personal level, we enter into an open space to reflect on our life journeys and what makes us who we are today. Here, we have an opportunity to deepen our purpose, ask meaningful questions, eat nourishing food, unlearn our fears and blocks, access our hearts, and open our minds to move more boldly in the world.
- On the interpersonal level, we come together to share our cultures, our creativity, our collaborative spirits, our stories, and our struggles so we can deepen in our understanding of and connection to each other.
- On the systemic level, we become clearer about the importance of our work in the world and its potential for even deeper, more meaningful impact.
Every Jam is an open space where the gifts and needs of the people who show up can emerge.
For the Wellness and Healing Justice Jam, we anticipate exploring and deepening into these questions:
- How did I come to be a practitioner in this field? What does healing mean to me?
- How do we work with and/or through existing institutions, especially if they don’t align with our values all the time?
- How are we to be sustainable and valued in the field?
- How do we collaborate and create flexible co-learning communities as healers/practitioners across mediums, modalities, and issue focuses?
- How do we create an enduring support network of people using their healing passions for social change?
- How do we manage burnout and vicarious trauma -, individually, collectively, and intergenerationally?
- How can we co-create different and visionary systems of care, locally and beyond?
And what questions are you bringing to the Jam? Your questions are ALL welcome.
Who is this Jam for?
Because we seek to bring together as diverse a group of healers and practitioners as possible, we are looking for a range in:
- Healing modalities (micro and macro, western and traditional)
- Years of experience (from ‘a couple years into the journey’ to ‘been at it for a good part of your life’);
- Issues or work focuses (i.e., social justice, community, intergenerational, cross-cultural, holistic)
- Identities and world-views (i.e., class, ethnicity, race, disability, religion, culture, gender, sexuality, age, etc.)
- Work with clients and community populations (i.e., single mothers, elderly, folks experiencing homelessness, incarcerated youth, macro-level systems change, etc.)
When, where and how much is the Wellness and Healing Justice Jam?
The Jam will be held from Wednesday, August 22, to Sunday, August 26, 2018, at the Farm of Peace Retreat Center, in Warfordsburg, Pennsylvania (about 1.5 hours from Washington, DC, and Baltimore, MD).
Tuition to participate in the Jam is offered on a sliding scale of $400 – $1000. The actual cost of participation is $850, of which $425 covers program materials and your food and lodging costs at Farm of Peace for four nights, and $425 covers program costs, which includes organizing time, honoraria for facilitators, and childcare. We invite you to give what you can and to give generously; any surplus supports partial scholarships for other participants. If you pay more than the at-cost $850 amount for tuition, that extra amount is tax-deductible. Note: this tuition does not include travel to Farm of Peace, but we can help with rides to and from the local airports.
Money should never be a reason to not apply: partial scholarships are available on a limited and first-come, first-serve basis. We also invite work trades and monthly payment plans. We aim to figure out with each applicant the right combination of tuition, work trade, and scholarship that can work for you. The sooner you apply, the sooner we can figure out with you a plan that works and the better your chances are of receiving a partial scholarship if you need one.
Children are also more than welcome to come to the Jam. We will work out specific childcare plans with you, after getting a clearer sense of the needs of your family.
Who is organizing the 2018 Wellness and Healing Justice Jam?
We are lucky to have an amazing team of organizers and facilitators for the first Wellness and Healing Justice Jam:
Chetna Mehta is a folk mixed media artist and mental wellness mystic based in Chicago, IL. Her work is rooted in self-actualization and interconnection. She creates to realize, heal and grow parts of self and others, and to remember our intrinsic connectedness will one another, the planet, and a universal force beyond us all. Currently, she’s bringing arts and self-reflective workshops to high schools for behavioral health treatment, and creating more community spaces for exploratory and creative healing.
Anna D. Hirsch is a writer and artist, editorial consultant, certified coach, facilitator and public speaker, and a registered associate marriage and family therapist in the state of California, practicing under the auspices of Grateful Heart Holistic Therapy Center. Anna’s writing and editing (ActivistEditor.com) have moved funding toward social good projects, helped shape international progressive storytelling, and supported explorations at the intersection of personal and public well-being. Her work has impacted a breadth of wellness and movement entities, including Loving Way Midwifery, Dr. Cameron Quillian’s chiropractic practice, Dr. Jacoby Towery’s psychiatry practice, Black Lives Matter, SumOfUs, and NoVo Foundation. Anna’s psychotherapy practice (LiveLikeLove.com) focuses on supporting healthy relationships of all kinds. Anna envisions a world in which relationship psychotherapy practice and curriculum everywhere are inclusive and supportive of all romantic relationship models, and that psychological knowledge of and practice in compersion, or joy resonance, is common. Anna holds a BA in history and English, an MFA in creative writing, and an MS in clinical psychology. You can read Anna’s blog series, An Exploration of Joy Resonance in Psychotherapy Practice at GratefulHeartTherapy.org/blog.
Hyoyoung Minna Kim has found herself back in her home-state of Maryland, after teaching in elementary public schools for six years, in New York City. She has also worked with youth and young adults in other capacities, such as facilitating yoga and mindfulness experiences for teenagers and inquiries of social justice in an undergraduate business course. During her last year in a social work graduate program, she has been working to bridge partnerships with immigrant merchants and residents of disinvested, predominantly Black communities of Baltimore City. Recently, she has initiated an exploration of grounding her mindfulness practices in a restorative justice framework. She is big believer of radical honesty, body-wisdom, community-driven initiatives, and children’s literature.
Sarah Grove does healing labor and facilitation at the intersection of psychotherapy, spiritual care, and anti-oppression activism. They are deeply committed to liberation movements, to consciousness-raising, power-generating practices, and to the healing spirit of abolition. These commitments are present in Sarah’s work as a licensed therapist, where they serve individuals, couples, and families in Nashville, TN. Sarah offers trainings to health care practitioners, therapy interns, and students about best practices when working with queer folx. They also spend time in radical spaces exploring the ways we can organize well, bringing our whole selves to the movement. They are passionate about community care, community-based decision-making processes, and community visioning.
Beatriz Martinez is a social worker with In Home Support Services with Alameda County. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Women Studies and a Master’s degree in Special Education. Beatriz is also a member of the East Bay Thrive Choir and performs as a backup and lead vocalist for fun. Beatriz was a lead special education teacher in East Harlem where she worked with a team of psychologists, occupational therapist, counselors, and family member.
Sky Yardeni is a Social Worker and Wilderness Therapist originally from Israel and is based in Boulder, CO. He works in the Middle East and the U.S. creating and facilitating programs centered around meaningful personal, interpersonal, community and systemic change. His therapeutic and educational approach directly connects to his passion for the natural world and Social Justice. Sky sees nature as a setting, tool, framework, playground, healing place and an opportunity for exploration and growth. He is a rock climber, adventurer and thrives on being a dirty silly mountain goat.
Natasha Jeswani bridges the realms of holistic and somatic healing with the institutional practice of social work. Natasha is currently gently exploring the wonderful world of dialectical behavioral therapy with the hope of paving the way for individuals to show up fully in all parts, uncensored, and in love. Natasha looks forward to continued exploration of the relationship between spiritual (awareness of divinity), healing, and experiences of systemic oppression.
Roan Coughtry is a writer, facilitator and healing artist based out of Atlanta, GA. With a background in social work, integrative energy work and social justice organizing, they’re passionate about kindling the connection between healing, embodied practice and liberation. For 7 years they’ve served as a gender and sexuality consultant for the UN, where they write and research on violence prevention. They’re a lead producer of Sex Down South, a sexuality conference in Atlanta spearheaded by and centering folks of color and queer folks, and they’ve helped organize conferences such as Facing Race and Money for our Movements. They’re a co-founder of the national Sexual Liberation Collective, and they provide weekly livestreams on comprehensive sex education for the innovative platform O.School. They facilitate conversations around the country on gender, race, sexuality, spirituality and violence prevention, and they also provide coaching and healing sessions for clients. You can find out more about their work atwww.roancoughtry.com
Lillian Hanan Al-Bilali has been inspired to deepen her understanding of how diverse communities can become more interconnected and, particularly, how shared experiences create space for dialogue — ever since she participated in the 2010 Leveraging Privilege for Social Change Jam. Since her college years, one of her most consistent passions has been issues of youth empowerment. Her student activism at Hampton University focused on societal inequalities especially in regards to substandard education and high incarceration rates for youth of color. Following graduation, Hanan became an administrator at Children’s Arts and Science Workshops (CASW), a non-profit agency in New York City. Here, she mentored young people from the Washington Heights and Harlem communities by preparing them for college and for the work force. Currently living in New York City, Hanan received her Masters in Social Work from the University of Michigan. Her concentration in Social Policy and Evaluations allowed her to focus on strengthening services offered through the non-profit sector at the state and local levels. She continues to make people her priority as a committed collaborator with organizations and initiatives that support underrepresented communities.
Shilpa Jain is currently rooting herself in Oakland/Berkeley, CA, where she serves as the Executive Director of YES!. YES! works with social changemakers at the meeting point of internal, interpersonal and systemic change, and aims to co-create thriving, just and balanced ways of life for all. Prior to taking on this role, Shilpa spent two years as the Education and Outreach Coordinator of Other Worlds and ten years as a learning activist with Shikshantar: The Peoples’ Institute for Rethinking Education and Development, based in Udaipur, India. Shilpa has researched and written numerous books and articles, and facilitated hundreds of Jams, workshops and gatherings in over a dozen countries and on topics including creative expressions, ecology, new economies, and innovative learning and unlearning. She is also co-author of “Connect. Inspire. Collaborate”, a highly sought-after facilitation manual. Shilpa has been using tools like self-awareness, listening, appreciative inquiry, speaking from the heart, eye contact, breathing, and more, to support individuals and communities in reclaiming their own healing powers.
If you have any questions, please write to us at healingjusticejam[at]gmail.com
Looking forward to receiving your application and jamming with you!