Workshops for Adults
Reconnecting with Our Bodies after a Pandemic
As many of us venture back out into the world after a lot of isolation, many feelings are likely to come up. Although we were all born with a deep sense of connection to our bodies, our culture of body disconnection teaches each of us in different ways to see our bodies as separate from our selves. For many of us, the pandemic has been a particularly difficult time to have a body and may have exacerbated our struggles with body disconnection.
In this workshop, we will reflect on the ways we became disconnected from our bodies in the first place and how the pandemic has affected that process. We will learn some history of the sources of body disconnection in U.S. culture and practice some strategies for reconnecting with ourselves. We all deserve to heal our relationships with our bodies – let’s do it together!
Don’t Tell Me to Love My Body: Anti-Fatness and Body Liberation
Body image affects all of us, but does it affect all of us in the same way? This workshop encourages all participants to explore their relationship with their own body as well as their relationships with the systems of oppression that shape our relationships with our bodies (e.g. fatphobia, racism, misogyny, etc.). We learn some of the history behind our culture’s current hatred of fat and interrogate the false association between fat and unhealthy. Ultimately, the workshop asks us all: What can we do to make our communities and our world better places to exist in our bodies?
Food, Sex, and Rest: Pleasure as Embodied Joy
Pleasure is powerful; it is healing, informative, and joyful. Yet, some of the most pleasurable experiences are often fraught, making them difficult to enjoy. Our conversations about sex, food, rest, and other pleasurable experiences are often filled with shame and attempts to control and restrict – pleasure is rarely the focus. Western ideals such as “mind over matter” and “I think, therefore I am” cause us to disconnect from our bodies, and see control of bodily desires as “morally good.” In this workshop, we will discuss mind-body dualism and how it has led to a culture that condemns bodily desires and glorifies ignoring, restricting, and controlling them. We will reflect on what we find pleasurable, the barriers stopping us from seeking those pleasures, and valuing a pleasure-filled life.
You Know Your Body Best: A Consent-Based Approach to a Healthcare Visit
We are taught that doctors and other healthcare providers are experts on our bodies and know what’s best for us. In reality, we know ourselves best. We have the right to ask questions, set boundaries, and have our boundaries respected.
In this interactive workshop, we will apply a consent framework to healthcare appointments and challenge dominant understandings of how healthcare has to be. We will reflect on our own experiences with healthcare providers, our healthcare values and boundaries, and how systemic oppression interacts with the healthcare system. We’ll also provide a checklist for thinking through a healthcare experience before, during, and after an appointment so we will be more prepared to advocate for our own healthcare needs moving forward.
Don’t Tell Me to Lose Weight: Navigating and Challenging Medical Fatphobia
The so-called “obesity crisis” is a fatphobic myth that constructs fatness as a disease that needs to be eliminated for the good of society. In fact, fatness is not a disease, and dieting to lose weight isn’t sustainable and is an actual threat to people’s health. On top of that, this misinformation, along with discrimination and shame, prevents people in large bodies from accessing the healthcare they need. In this workshop we will challenge commonplace myths about fatness and health and develop self-advocacy strategies to use when faced with fatphobia in healthcare settings.
How to Talk to Kids About Sex
When is the right time to start talking to kids about their bodies? The answer is: now! This workshop will help parents, teachers, aunts, uncles, grandparents, or anyone with children in their lives, figure out how to approach this tricky subject. Together we’ll explore any discomfort that we as adults feel about this topic. We’ll examine our own values and goals, and then we’ll delve into the details: how to communicate effectively, how to be inclusive, how to encourage consent culture, and more! We’ll end by talking about how to use teachable moments as a more effective alternative to “the talk.”
Beyond “Check Your Privilege”
We may hear the word ‘privilege’ often, but are we talking about it in ways that lead to greater understanding? This workshop provides an opportunity to think intersectionally about a variety of unearned privileges. Participants will examine a multitude of privilege categories, determine how those privileges affect people, recognize how each system of privilege hurts the privilege-holder, and walk away with strategies for dismantling these systems in daily life and professional practice.
Building a Positive Food Culture
How many of us have felt worried about others’ judgement of how we eat? How many of us have judged others? Where do these judgments come from? In this workshop, we explore our values and judgments about food. Which foods do we call “good” and which do we call “bad”? Where did we learn those values? Is the moral language of “good” and “bad” appropriate to describe food at all? We critically assess our understandings of “healthy” vs. “unhealthy” and work together to brainstorm strategies for creating a more positive food culture in our communities.
From Eugenics to Mass Incarceration: The Reproductive Justice Framework
Too often our current reproductive rights conversation begins and ends with abortion. Safe access to legal abortion is vital, but true reproductive justice means more than that. In this workshop, we reflect on our own ancestor’s reproductive justice narratives and look at the history of reproductive injustices in the United States from genocide and rape of indigenous communities hundreds of years ago all the way up to the forced sterilizations, inaccurate sex ed, and mass incarceration happening today. Participants will work together to think through how to continue to center marginalized communities when advocating for reproductive freedom.
Discovering and Asserting Personal Boundaries
We hear a lot these days about the importance of setting boundaries. But we don’t always know what our boundaries are! In our individualistic culture, how do we assert boundaries while still maintaining mutualistic, empathetic relationships? In this workshop, we use a series of prompts to explore our emotional and physical boundaries in a variety of contexts. After identifying some of our boundaries, we will work on the important skill of expressing them.
Sexual Shame and Healing
Unfortunately, sexual shame is a pretty universal experience. We have all had times when we’ve felt like something is wrong with us, like we are less than what we are, due to our sexuality. Shame is dangerous; it prevents us from protecting ourselves, caring for ourselves, and valuing ourselves and each other. But healing is possible, and talking about it is the first step. We all deserve the freedom to explore our unique sexualities free from shame, feeling great about ourselves. At this workshop, we will begin to talk about some of our feelings of shame, connect with each other, hopefully laugh a little, and come out the other side a little more free.
Manspreading, Mansplaining, and Walking Alone at Night: The Gender Dynamics of Taking Up Space
When women talk as much as the men in a room, they are perceived as dominating the conversation. From young ages, we receive messages about how much we should and shouldn’t talk, what we should and shouldn’t wear, where we should and shouldn’t be. These messages are largely determined by our genders (as well as races and class statuses). This workshop explores these gendered messages and the space we take up (physically, verbally, emotionally). In the end, we think about how to begin to shift these dynamics in our individual lives and our culture at large.
Workshop Topics for Kids and Teens
- Healthy Relationships
- Safer Sex
- Sexual Anatomy
- Body Image/Body Liberation
- Bystander Intervention
- Gender Roles
- Gender Identity
- Sexual Orientation
- Street Harassment
- Reproductive Justice
- Anti-Oppressive Nutrition
I offer workshops on many different topics with many different age groups. If you need a workshop on a sexuality, gender, or body topic not on this list, contact me with a request and it is likely that we can make it happen!