Writing as Alchemy For Healing
Seeking Paths to Heal from Historical & Individual Trauma
As part of our work towards not only equity for students but also human liberation, the Women’s and Gender Studies, African American Studies, and LGBT Studies departments collaborated with Student Health Services at City College of San Francisco to develop an innovative peer mentorship and community-building program in 2015. Designed for students from underserved populations training to work as sexual health peer educators, the program as a whole aimed to strengthen relationships and improve participants’ capacity to cope with stress and even trauma. The Office of Student Equity funded this work, including a yearly series of workshops introducing paths to heal from historical and individual trauma, which were free to all CCSF students, from 2016 to 2019. The Women's Resource Center and Project SURVIVE student club aim to maintain the spirit of this work, particularly the interactive workshops introducing participants to paths to heal from trauma, while we seek other opportunities for funding the full program in the future.
Writing as Alchemy for Healing event transcript
Prompt #1: Write a story/memory about an ancestor. This ancestor doesn’t have to be someone you know. This can be a poem, story, monologue/dialogue or stream of thought piece. Give yourself 10 minutes for this exercise
Opening Songs: Eleggua (Intro) by Ibeyi, Smells Like Teen Spirit on the Robert Glasper Experiment.
Prompt #2: Exhaust the little moment: Write into the details and tiny moments of your present until there is magic. Example: the miracle of getting out of bed (all parts of our bodies work together to push up/hold all of our weight) This can be stream of consciousness, scene, poem, internal monologue, etc.
Song: ‘Tell Me a Bedtime Story’ by Herbie Hancock
Song: Rebel Rebel by Seu Jorge
Song: Joy by Kadhja Bonet
Prompt #3: Write about a future where you are free (whatever that means to you). Write it until you feel what it is like to be there.
Song: ‘…’ by Kadhja Bonet
Song: ‘Naima’ by John Coltrane
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