Embodying Racial Justice:

A Multi-Racial Four-Day In-Person Somatics Intensive

Friday  |  Saturday  |  Sunday  |  Monday
May 3 through May 6

9am – 5pm

In-person at a venue in Spokane, Washington

Embodying Racial Justice offers a pragmatic, healing-oriented way to feel for our purpose and organize ourselves towards what we care about, even under increased pressure. This in-person, interactive course will build participants’ capacity, embodiment and understanding of ourselves as organizers/ activists/ community workers inside of liberation movements in the US at this time.

Through interactive practice, personal reflection, sharing of frameworks & concepts, discussion and more, participants will leave with an increased awareness of how to listen to their body when under pressure, how to re-center and respond from purpose, and how to bring these practices into their racial justice work.

Instructors Dara Silverman, Maura Bairley, Viveka Chen, Briana Herman-Brand, Erica Lyla, and Tyler Grillo are embodiment teachers and race equity consultants whose work is based on their community experience in community, environmental and racial justice movements and training within the Strozzi Institute and generative somatics.

The course is four days at a local venue in Spokane, Washington and is hosted by the Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane. Because of wonderful partnership from Empire Health Foundation, we are able to offer this course to 40 people at no cost to Spokane-area participants; 60% of participant spots are for BIPOC community members in the Spokane area.

“Somatics feels into how, in a collective or group, patterns of pain can indicate the mass, or intergenerational, trauma people are surviving. And how each of us has the power to help each feel more, heal, and move toward our longings for liberation and justice together.”

adrienne maree brown |

Pleasure Activism

Somatics or embodiment is based on the Greek word soma, meaning the body in its living wholeness. By building somatic awareness, we start to grow our understanding of sensation and let it inform our actions. Somatic practices allow us to feel what’s happening in our bodies and make the connection with the impact on our lives.

This form of embodiment is a pragmatic way for us to feel for our purpose and organize ourselves towards what we care about, even under increased pressure.

“If you aren’t in your body, someone else is. The systems of this world have everything to gain from your disembodiment.”

Cole Arthur Riley |

Black Liturgies

This course is for you if:

  • You want to deepen in your embodied awareness, practice and learnings from the body up
  • You are interested in bringing your body/Somatics into action in your work and life
  • You want a community of practice which will support you to keep exploring, letting your body reveal more depth, and unearthing your longings
  • You are an organizer, consultant, trainer, coach, or activist. This is a place for you to be deepening and building your commitment to racial justice.

Course Promises/ Takeaways:

  • More access to aliveness- sensation- temperature, pressure and movement and how it informs your actions
  • Greater groundedness in your work, clarity about your purpose and how to take focused action in the midst of the noise of the world
  • Moving towards more choice under pressure and through the contradictions of this current moment
  • Deeper understanding of embodied race equity and liberation frameworks
  • Access to deeper resilience and mutual support under the increased pressures of the world
  • Moving from old shape to new shape in current political conditions
  • Becoming more congruent; aligning embodiment, words, and actions with your longings

Structure of the Program:

  • Four days of in-person practice in Spokane County: Friday, May 3rd – Monday, May 6th, 2024, 9am – 5pm each day.
  • Pre-work and curated reading list
  • Embodied daily and weekly practices to take home
  • Up to 40 participants, 60% BIPOC

What people are saying about the course:

“I’m so grateful for the way that I was able to learn and be stretched by Dara’s workshop in ways that I hadn’t known I needed. It especially challenged the ways that white supremacy culture has taught me to separate myself from my body,  to the detriment of myself and those around me. Months later, I still find myself coming back to lessons learned in the workshop and putting them into practice both in the context of social justice and my day-to-day life. A specific takeaway that was big for me was that I can work to hold different, conflicting perspectives in the context of social justice work while still remaining settled and present in my body. If I don’t do that consciously, I might make other (oppressed) people feel responsible for managing my feelings and take away from the actual work being done.”

Hannah Nelson |

SCAR and PJALS member, participant in Spokane 1-day training July 2023

“Being part of this cohort has felt like finally coming home, as I’ve discovered a missing piece in my journeys of racial justice and undoing white supremacy: the body! MY body! Our bodies, together! I feel more hopeful, feeling the palpable change that becomes more possible as we work with our literal cells and tissues, making room for new and more liberatory ways of being. And, what a tremendous gift to get to do this work in community, helping me to break through the lies white supremacy has told me about being all alone, getting to feel instead my belonging in this collectivity.”   

nicole bauman |


“I found it nourishing to be physically present with a group of people committed to anti-racism and to examining and lovingly transforming our own conditioned responses in the world. Practicing grounding exercises with others and exploring my own responses with partners, often with physical connection, opened my full body awareness more deeply than was possible through online training or individual practice. I appreciated the exercises around assessments and will be bringing learnings from that practice to my work within teams. I experienced a sense of collective commitment and community support with our workshop group. In particular, taking the workshop with two colleagues deepened my sense of connection and support with them in our anti-racist and generative conflict work.”

Teresa McHugh |

Sierra Club, Central Region Organizing Director

To apply


Participation is by invitation only and priority will be given to Spokane-area applicants. Since you have received this invitation, you are invited to apply here. With 40 spots, the course will fill up, so we encourage you to apply as soon as possible. Please only apply if you are able to attend the full 4 days of the program: Friday May 3 through Monday May 6. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.

Cost of attendance:

  • We are offering this course at no cost to Spokane-area participants, thanks to partnership with Empire Health Foundation. Spokane-area participants will receive priority for the 40 participant spots.
  • Donations and sponsorships are always welcome.
  • The true cost per participant is $1250, which includes: paying living wages to the team of five trainers, shared breakfast and lunch as well as snacks, drinks, and treats. PJALS is providing organizing, administrative work, and materials in-kind.
  • For out-of-area applicants, we are offering this sliding scale for tuition:
    • Sustainer Rate– $3,000-$4,000+: for those who have generational or inherited wealth.
    • Supporter Rate – $2,000-$2,999: for those comfortably paying their rent or mortgage and those being sponsored by an organization with sufficient budget.
    • True Rate – $1,000-$1,999: for those who have a regular income and are paying their mortgage or rent.
    • Equity Rate – $750-$999: for those who are challenged to make ends meet.
  • A minimum of 20% of funds will be redistributed to support The Black Lens, the Salish School of Spokane, and Black Organizing for Leadership and Dignity, a national training intermediary focused on transforming the practice of Black organizers. In 2023, Embodying Racial Justice redistributed over $50,000 to Black Organizing for Leadership and Dignity from course fees.

COVID Protocols:

You can see our COVID protocols here: https://tinyurl.com/rjsomaticscovid


Please don’t hesitate to email us: Union Carter [email protected], Liz Moore  [email protected], or  Dara Silverman [email protected]