If anyone has the capacity to end racism, it's Nanci Luna Jiménez.
We were so profoundly affected by Luna Jiménez Seminars and Associates this past August. Thanks to the grant-writing prowess of Ani Samaha, TOF program facilitator, many of us in the extended circle of TOF had the pleasure of working with LJS through a workshop called Transformational Communication: Tools for Cross-Cultural Understanding and Inclusion. Below is a piece from TOF board member and licensed psychotherapist, Jeanette Rothweiler, about her experience:
"I can firmly say that having the opportunity to participate in the Luna Jimenez Seminars & Associates workshop along with my community of The Ojai Foundation has been a life-changing experience. The conceptual framework for the etiology and processes of social oppression, complex as they are, were taught with clarity and non-judgment. Taking us through a process beginning with our common experience of adultism [in our childhoods] was a brilliant way to unite us and approach the larger and very painful issues of racism and other forms of oppression. Essential to the process was the psychological understanding of our hurts and how these are deeply connected to what we express and see expressed in the world. Nanci Luna Jimenez simultaneously taught complex concepts, held the group social/psychological process, and was able to meet individuals in a personal therapeutic space, all the while showing up with her own vulnerability, authenticity, powerful leadership, and unwavering commitment to social justice and love. I personally take away a more integrated understanding of the psychological and social processes at work in the various manifestations of oppression, a framework, a language, tools, a deeper commitment to social justice and love, and a renewed hope in humanity."
It was through LJS's workshop that we were able to uncover and "unpack" patterns of oppression, both in our personal lives and in society. Laughter, crying, and sharing past personal experiences of oppression all led to "discharge" or the processing of emotions, as LJS would explain. Here are some other things we learned:
1. Tears are high in protein. It's good to cry.
2. Relationships are an act of revolution. They prompt us to do things we wouldn't normally do, to speak up (especially for others!) where we may usually be silent.
4. Yawning cools your brain.
5. How we listen to others is often a projection of how we wanted to be listened to in the past.
Our minds are still buzzing. We look forward to seeing how these concepts may be implemented into the practice of council, both at The Ojai Foundation and beyond.