64 minutes | Sep 28th 2020

Erin C. Law and Dr. Robyn Henderson-Espinoza on Orienting Toward Resilience: Taking a Somatic Approach to Anti-Racist Work

Many of us have experienced stress and tension in relation to the unrelenting racist violence and oppression. There has been an explosion in public dialogue around white supremacy, whiteness, and racism and some are beginning to view this as “cultural trauma.” Dr. Robyn Henderson-Espinoza and Erin C. Law do a Sex Out Loud Takeover this episode, where host Tristan Taormino hands over the mic for them to have an important conversation. Robyn and Erin offer a different inroad to approach anti-racist work looking at whiteness and racism through a lens of somatic methodology, and drawing on the work of Tada Hozumi, Dare Sohei, (and their joint work through the Ritual as Justice School), My Grandmother’s Hands by Resmaa Menakem, Ibram X. Kendi, Robin D’Angelo, Kenneth Jones and Tema Okun, Politicized Somatic Experiencing, Generative Somatics, and others. What does it mean to be trauma bonded? How does our disconnection from our bodies affect how we respond to hard conversations, to criticism, to trauma? “If we are always activated, we can’t access anything beyond our lizard brain. Nothing can take root and change when our nervous system is freaking out,” says Erin. How do we get more connected to our bodies and each other to do the work of composting supremacy culture together? Robyn says, “When we get into our bodies, we can affect the larger body of culture, and that can change democracy.” Erin is offering a 6 week online emergent interactive process, “Unraveling Our Whiteness” for white and white-passing folks. They say: “We are going to dive into this really charged topic. We will feel our feelings, get into our bodies, witness each other, discover how our bodies communicate with us, and what we need to heal.” It starts October 5 at 3 pm PT/6 pm ET. Find out more at erinlawembodiment.com/events. This show is sponsored by Pour Moi by Intensity.

Erin Law is a somatic movement educator, politicized healer, and multidisciplinary artist based in the southern US. Erin consciously engages in antiracist, feminist, queer, disability, and embodied intersectional analysis, advocacy, and activism to contribute to the transformation of systemic oppression/supremacy culture, toward the construction of a more resilient and whole humanity. Erin is indebted to her family, and all of her teachers, students, and colleagues who have challenged and inspired her.

Dr. Robyn Henderson-Espinoza is a Transqueer Activist, Latinx Scholar, and Public Theologian. Dr. Robyn travels the country doing activist theology and continues to write for both the academy and the public square. Whether speaking to faith communities, universities, or communities, writing for HuffPost or Religion Dispatches, Dr. Robyn uses tools learned in both academy and activism to stand in the hybrid space of faith communities, academy, and movements for justice curating activist scholarship with deep intention of bridging with difference. This work is important to Dr. Robyn because their own life has been lived with the ongoing challenge to be grounded in the center of their own difference as a non binary Trans mixed-raced Latinx. This has required the thoughtful intention of bridging with their white ancestors and Mexican ancestors and with those in the queer community. As a result, their life’s vocation is one that is committed to the deep relationality of bridging with difference. They are the author of Activist Theology.