One of our greatest joys in this work is bringing organizers together in deep relationships of learning and exploration. This happens in our trainings and our Learning and Action Circles. We are excited to further this approach through our new Movement Matters Circles of Practice. The 2024 Circle of Practice will engage a cohort of organizers from 6-8 organizations in the DC/MD/VA region to deeply explore membership development and base building through the lens of cultural organizing and popular education.
With all of the demands of organizing, we can often overlook the critical need to create regular places and spaces where our communities can exercise their membership. This active engagement requires structure, intentionality, and strategy. In addition to onboarding and orienting new members, we have to scale participation to create meaningful and sustainable ways for members to contribute at all levels and, over time, to deepen their engagement. This process needs to be connected to seasoned long-time members taking on leadership roles in both the thinking and doing of our organizing work.
At Movement Matters, cultural organizing and popular education also mean building culture within our organizing work―spending time on the integration of arts, ritual, and community healing to define and highlight the values of our organizing group, what we are fighting for, and how we are being with one another while growing our numbers. This can also include how we develop and transmit the stories about our work and our organizing.
All of these elements provide vehicles for deepening leadership and membership. We are looking forward to spending 7-9 months with a motivated cohort of organizers experimenting with and implementing new ways to do this. We look forward to embodying these approaches so that they become an integral part of how this cohort does their work during and beyond this first Circle of Practice!
For more information on our new Circles of Practice, connect with us.
Movement Matters is based in Washington, DC.
We work regionally with various communities and with national partners.
Resmaa Menakem is a healer, therapist, trauma specialist, and author of My Grandmother’s Hands and The Quaking of America among others. Resmaa is also the originator and key advocate of Somatic Abolitionism, an embodied anti-racist practice of living and culture building that centers the healing of historical and racialized trauma we carry in our bodies and in our spirits.
We have been learning with Resmaa for over three years, deepening our work around somatic trauma therapies and the regulation of the nervous system. We thoughtfully incorporate this knowledge into our work with organizers and community members so that we can cultivate resourcing and shared healing practices, decolonize our bodies and minds, and move to collective action.
Somatic Abolitionism is demanding and requires the commitment of a daily practice and high levels of self-awareness. Resmaa is a direct and compassionate teacher whose brilliance and heart illuminate this hard, necessary work. This is a key study for popular educators, organizers and facilitators working with multi-racial communities that have experienced high levels of individual and community trauma.
Resmaa also introduced the term "bodies of culture" to refer to all human bodies not considered white.
Read more about Resmaa Menakem.
Watch Resmaa discuss racialized trauma.
Upcoming Foundations in Somatic Abolitionism sessions.