“Shame is the thing that keeps us from even admitting that there’s an issue and that we might be complicit in it.” ~Erin Law
I’m back from a brief summer respite with a total buzzkill for some of my listeners: healing from supremacy culture sucks!
There’s no rest for the (white) weary while our Black brothers and sisters continue to fight for their lives. More bad news: not only is our path pot-holed with shame, it never ends. The farther down the road we go, the deeper the cracks we uncover.
Luckily, multidisciplinary artist, somatic movement educator, and bodyworker Erin Law has dedicated herself to mapping this journey. Together with her coworkers at Activist Theology Project, she’s co-creating a process in which fellow white folks can work on healing from supremacy culture’s one-two punch of self-loathing and complacency.
“I’ve been there and, so, if you can just be brave enough to take that first step and admit it, it will be okay,” she says, describing the foundational first step in what she envisions as a 12-step program – only without Alcoholics Anonymous’ legacy of faith-based, patriarchal toxicity.
Erin is a profoundly attuned presence in both the anti-racism educational space and this episode. As a somatic practitioner, she’s witnessed the myriad bodily manifestations of trauma (say hello to my mid-episode mini-release). As a white, mostly cis-gendered queer woman, she’s energized by the potential she sees in a 12-step support group; finally, a program to lessen some of the emotional burdens that victims of racism have had to carry in the name of “educating” those of us who’ve benefited from its influence. It’s a paradigm shift that Erin sees as having far-reaching transformative implications.
Erin is currently launching a new 6-week course: Unraveling Our Whiteness to support an embodied exploration and unraveling of whiteness and white supremacy culture.
“I think as a community, as a country, as a world, we are capable of looking this stuff in the face and saying we want another way.”
Erin Law (they/she) is a multidisciplinary artist, somatic movement educator, bodyworker and emerging politicized healer based in Nashville, Tennessee. She holds a B.A. in Dance from Hobart and William Smith Colleges, a M.F.A. in Dance from Smith College, a Certification in Laban Bartenieff Movement Analysis from the Integrated Movement Studies Program, and is a Licensed Massage Therapist.
Currently Erin is the Embodiment and Somatics Curator at Activist Theology Project where she is focusing her work around the facilitation of social healing especially for folks positioned within the dominant culture who are seeking transformative justice. They also teach Somatics and Improvisation for diverse populations, practice Ashiatsu and Myofascial Release in their Massage Therapy work, and spearhead various creative projects at the intersection of somatic embodiment, social healing, queer theory, and performance art.
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