Reflections on the Healing Centered Education Summit
Reflections on the Healing Centered Education Summit

Reflections on the Healing Centered Education Summit

Rosemary McMullen recently included the text below as a part of a longer piece, “Positionality, Fugivity, and Epistemic Humilty,” on her blog, Liminal Weaver.

This is an brief overview of our multi-month processing of the Healing Centered Education Summit from Fall 2021. What we shared are neither “positions” nor “answers.” They are what, at that time, was resonating most for each of us as individuals. The core team gathers to share with each other our living perceptions of readings, events, and experiences, to notice and acknowledge them and to ask what importance they hold for our work. They inform our programs and our research as we continue our own journeys toward Healing Centered Education. 

We have deep appreciation for Dr. Angel Acosta and all who contributed to the Healing Centered Education Summit. For information about the ongoing workshops, classes, and events go to Angel’s website. – Jennifer

The Source School core all attended and sponsored the Healing-Centered Education Summit, an online event October 7th to 11th 2021 created and hosted by Dr. Angel Acosta and team. Individual experts interviewed by Angel Acosta, panels, ceremonies, and plenums were aired via Zoom. Most of the sessions included Q & A and conversation with the participants. The content ranged widely over the four days and will be referenced in much of our future practice. Participant interaction and events took place via other dedicated platforms. 

Each Source School core member shared significant experiences with the Source School core team, who then reflected back. Here are reports from that process. 

Rosemary McMullen, 20 October:  Angel modeled and invoked tenderness, gentleness, ease, no game-playing. He and his team had facilitated a “healing remedy” for white supremacist scholarly gatherings. De-colonizing and living fugitively amid the dominant dying culture were key refrains of the Summit. When Angel Acosta said in the closing ceremony that there had been “so many moments of people being broken open.” I see a variety of transformative breakthroughs, probably as many as there were participants. Some of the ones I can think of: 

  • breaking the bonds of social conditioning; 

  • white-bodied attendees [forced to be] present in wholly new ways;

  • waking up to the truths of historical and ongoing trauma in society and schools; 

  • living “the sacredness of who we are” in the words of indigenous elder Jerry Trueda; 

  • planning how to “operate as spiritual beings,” in the words of Dr. Yolanda Seeley-Ruiz.

Lisa Sattell, 27 October:  I appreciated being part of the virtuous feedback loop: a lemniscate of limiting myself, my agency, while immersing in other perspectives. Angel was evaluating and reframing the process and participants through the days. I learned to be sensitive to others also going through new experiences in this slowed-down well-being gathering. We were seeking new social forms, co-creating the warm container where crimes, trauma, toxic residue of old systems imprinted in us—thinking, speaking, body language—are in upheaval. 

The Summit thus was an example of autopoesis, conscious self-creation. 

Jennifer Chace, 18 November: I lived into awareness of “the conjoined twins of white supremacy and racialized capitalism” as ever-present and ongoing.  The issues are so urgent we must slow down to act deliberately. Quickness is superficial, not equal to the moral responsibility we face.  Actually this is what children do. I am part of an ongoing  Maine group, supporting an effort to create an Indigenous cultural center and school, where this also happens. We have to live into it as we do our healing work.

Joan Jaeckel, 7 December:  Two transformative processes for me:  (1) recognizing and unraveling remnants of former ignorant lazy white-bodied days;  (2)  appreciating the new social arts in practice led by people of color. They were able to “become the other person.”  Also striking and noteworthy for me is the joyful capacities so many brought forward: hip hop, “ratchedemics,” “walking each other home.”  There was a joy that could not be suppressed —granted the presenters are in relatively safe spaces. They demonstrated through generative listening their deeper understanding and skill in practicing the social artistic process. 

Following Joan’s debrief, Lisa invoked the metaphor of jazz, where riffing off the others is continuous and autopoetic. Jennifer brought up a local facilitator of “Creating Cultures of Connection” who has the guideline: “let the suffering speak.”

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