Workshops

Workshops
All workshops are meant to be deliberate experiences for the attendee. What that means is that, once you indicate an interest in a specific workshop, we will discuss what you're desired outcome is and map out a schedule that makes sense for your life. I'm a mama, I know what busy is. If you are interested in participating in a workshop please provide me with an email address so we can get the ball rolling. Here's to writing, and healing, and the exclamation of your name....
                                     
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN? This workshop is an intensive course that focuses on language as an agent for change by exploring etymology and the ways in which meaning and definition are often confused. It further seeks to provide educators with the necessary tools to be able to translate this information to even the youngest student because to understand language is a step toward understanding the world. It is more than a dictionary class and more than a vocabulary class. The real conversation is one that connects language and its usage and (misuse) to ideologies and institutions. 
Blues Ain't No Mockingbird: This workshop, named after a short story written by Toni Cade Bambara in 1971 which is told through the point of view of a young black girl whose family's privacy is invaded by two white cameramen who are making a film about the county's food stamp program, is a conversation about the spectaclizing of the black experience, the fetishization of the black experience, the white male gaze as experienced by black girls and women, and a celebration of how humanizing and expansive Toni Cade's consideration of black girlhood was; how it legitimizes AAVE, and permissions black women to trust that their legacies and their lens is sufficient. 

SPEAK AND SPEAK AGAIN This course is focused and organized around poetry and spoken word as a means for social change as well as a profound opportunity to give voice to our experiences in a way that is meaningful and intentional. Particular attention is paid to those poets and spoken word artists who informed and enhanced those genres and the risks a great many of them took to speak their truths so that we might speak ours. The culminating event will be in the spirit of a dinner theater with participants sharing their original work with their families and the community. 

WOMBS, WARS, AND WISDOM This seminar explores woman-ness from an archetypal standpoint. Informed by deliberate considerations of the space women occupy and most specifically, the space I occupy in the face of hetero-normative homogenous systems. To look at the histography of women and speak to the experiences of the womb, the overwhelming number of violations women and girls suffer, the ways in which those violations exist in the body and become what Carl Jung referred to as shadows, and the ways in which women can reclaim themselves and determine their own emotional, physical, and mental health and wellness. When available this seminar will culminate with a sacred woman circle and retreat in Estes Park. Conversations around being an "other" will be expansive here. 

CAKE BAKERS AND RAIN MAKERS  This workshop examines the ways in which women struggle to balance their creative inclinations with motherhood as well as the ways in which their own sacred identities are often relegated to the margins of their thinking in order to facilitate the passage and experiences of their children. The outcome here for every participant is to first recognize and acknowledge how that happens by exploring the ways in which women are conditioned and the ways in which motherhood is defined by a patriarchal society and then to learn important skill sets and methods in order to set intentions for their own dreams as well as those they hold for their offspring without having to sacrifice one to negotiate the other. This workshop does provide free child care as well as opportunities for women to work directly with their children on several creative projects.

ON BEING AND BECOMING JEZEBEL This intensive is organized around the exploration of Jezebel, this Biblical, mythical, figure that caused such consternation and the ways in which her “story” has become a means for telling women into disempowered spaces of knowledge. The conversation is grounded in the notion that women who are not easily compartmentalized are often victimized. The dissection of Jezebel, what she was and what that means today is intended to point the feminine back toward the sacred by disarming the misrepresentations of her that have been historically and contemporarily prevalent. Participants will create a slide show from images that represent a more developed awareness and understanding of Jezebel and the free woman.

WITH THESE HANDS I CAN…   What is art but a thing that heals? This course is intended to reintroduce women to their creative energies as a means to heal and provide socio-emotional therapies to combat stressors that may be unavoidable. Art therapy is not a new concept but it is one that requires closer attention paid to its intention in that women and children are the vulnerable in our society as well as the creative spirits of our society. Helping women understand how to explore their feelings through art is a profound conduit for enlightenment and healing. 

WE REAL COOL: The Institute The late poet Gwendolyn Brooks’ celebrated poem “We Real Cool” tells an unfortunate reality for children of color. A reality that is replete with gang violence and poverty and neglect and parentless-ness and fast living and early dying. These are the children that the school systems refer to as “at risk”. These are the children who have been failed by their homes, their communities, their schools. These are our children. This course is designed to provide interventions for young people who would otherwise fall through the cracks. The practice of restoring children is one that, though daunting, should be the work to which we are most dedicated. We explore shadow work as a means of, first, owning, and then overcoming our stories so that the future can be a thing to be planned for and looked forward to. 

BECAUSE ANCESTORS LIVE These workshops are principally a celebration of those who came before us but more specifically those who are standing in eldership now and do not receive opportunity enough to tell their experiences to those who would best benefit from the lessons therein…the young. This is a collaborative effort that brings elders together with elementary school children to share their histories that they might be remembered. But in addition to remembering we will also be recording by creating scrap books that visually describe the journeys of both groups as well as creating video diaries wherein participants speak their thoughts, feelings, notions, judgments, questions, and experiences into existence. These diaries, combined with photographs taken throughout the process, will become a living work of art that will be available for display to the public as an exhibit for the culminating event.