Exploring identity

These workshops aim to help you gain confidence in being an active bystander, Upstander or ally from an authentic and compassionate place within you. The workshops and study groups are suitable for adults and mature teens, and are offered online (on Zoom) for easier access. 

Why do you think or feel the way you do? 

How do you find the courage to speak up to power, or take action in spite of fear?

Can you be who you really are, despite all of the outside influences?

Can you become more understanding about the impact various life experiences have ​on the behaviors of others and of yourself?

In order to be accepted by others, many of us have molded ourselves, hold beliefs, and live the lives we were told to live by family, peers, teachers and mentors, friends, lovers, co-workers, as well as by our culture, the media, and the social forces and systems we encounter every day. Understanding which parts of your identity are uniquely yours, and which parts are elements you have adopted, can liberate you – from the inside out – into a life of greater authenticity and fulfillment.

Exploring Identity – a 2-hour workshop 

was developed in response to the growing demand for training about how to be an effective active bystander or “Upstander” for social justice, understanding, and helping to dismantle racism and other oppressive systems we encounter. 

In this workshop, you will name your various social and essential identities and bring to your awareness other identities you have but may not actively engage with. As you become more aware of how truly complex you are as a human, this awareness will enable you to be more empathetic and accepting of others.

Understanding JABSS – a 2-hour workshop

JABSS – Judgments, Assumptions, Beliefs, Spells and Secrets – are mental tools that are constantly present and usually go unnoticed. They feed our fears and influence our perceptions and reactions to others. They shape how we perceive the world, and can contribute to interpersonal conflicts and misunderstandings, and block our compassion for self and others. 

This workshop helps us uncover the elements that support obliviousness (e.g., ignorance about oppression and privilege; unconscious bias; micro-aggressions, acceptance of status-quo). As we increase our understanding, we can reduce conflict, learn to ask more insightful questions, and become more open and understanding.

Core Essence Study Group: 6-10 committed explorers meet for six 90-minute sessions, to go deeper in exploring our JABSS and our true authenticity. Attending the 2-hour introductory workshops above is highly recommended.