Itoro Udofia creates Zines as a form of healing and self-empowerment. Zines become a creative way of resisting oppression, unlearning internalized oppression, and finding one’s own voice. “I think if we’re going to talk seriously about social justice we’re going to have to get frank about the role of radical healing and doing our internal work to reconcile the ways in which these systems of exploitations have hurt us and the people we love. We must also take the magnifying glass to our spirits and see how we have internalized some of the destructive habits that have disfigured the way we show up in the work. Are we overly concerned about being perfect? Do we have tendency to shut down the emotions and perspectives of those that are often shut down and ignored in larger society? Do we shut down our own feelings without a constructive way to address them? Do we even know what we feel? Do we run ourselves ragged in the pursuit of justice? Do we assume that social justice has to look and have a particular delivery to be right? Do we have issues with conceding power and giving up control? Do we care about making the world safer for each other, or do we just concede that since society at large is unsafe this gives us carte blanche to pass on such brutality in our organizing and academic spaces? What are you willing to let go of to heal?”
This Body Scan Meditation will help us become aware of the sensations we hold in our bodies. Like most meditations, the idea is to witness without judgment. In a Body Scan Meditation, we also learn to work with our breath, which yoga philosophy calls prana. By directing our breath to particular places throughout our body, we can become more aware of what we are experiencing and learn to soften certain sensations.
If you haven’t heard: it has been a challenging year to inhabit a Black body as social media and cyber-activism have allowed us to witness the ongoing assaults against Black bodies on American streets, in parks, in the aisles of big-box stores, during traffic stops and in an array of public and private spaces.
Oppression causes deep wounds, both individually and collectively. It results in deeply held grief and sadness, much of which emerges when we discuss issues of oppression in social justice classrooms. Part of healing as individuals and as communities is to acknowledge those wounds and begin to heal that grief. Doing so will take time and many different paths, but pretending that it isn't present in our classrooms only makes it stronger.