My name is Miles Tokunow. I'm a community organizer, gardener, artist, partner, and friend. I've set this fund up to assist in my professional and personal development.
I am an economic justice organizer in Albuquerque, NM mainly focusing on better employment practices (like inclusive family sick leave, scheduling issues and raised wages). For so many POC and working families, capitalism is violence. My work is to try to lessen that violence through narrative and policy based campaigns. Everyday I feel/hear the traumas that my community deals with. While working on state/city levels, I think it's important to deal with those traumas incurred in our bodies as well. We must heal in action, not after. This program will help me gain the tools to hold space for this important healing within my community.
The Somatics and Social Justice certficate program is a perfect fit for me as I will be able to dive deeply into where oppression lies in the body, body-mind centering (so we can all show up/participate fully) and techiques to address power and privilege through the body. The program takes place in Philly, for two summer months this year, and two more next year. I'll have the privilege of spending 500 hours doing this necessary work. Some of my coursework will include: Facilitation Skills and Process Work, Facilitation Skills and Conflict Resolution, Dance Ability, Bartenieff Fundamentals, Laban Movement Analysis, The Feldenkrais Method, Contemplative Movement, and Authentic Movement.
You can find out more about the program and their incredible list of educators, here:
I am most excited by this work to address toxic masculinity. As I know from experience, men can talk circles around our toxic behaviors, but our bodies don't lie.
On a personal level, this program will help in quite a few ways. First, I feel GOOD about myself and my path. I have been able to work with critical lenses and theory, DIY media making, and have been lucky to be able to intersect those frameworks in my community organizing practice. The last thing left is the body.
This program feels like the capstone of my path. I've always been connected to movement/the body (in high school I would try to dance answers I didn't have the words for, this continued in undergrad). It's time for me to dedicate myself to the profundity of the body.
Secondly, I would love to be able to offer social justice informed and a POC-centered body practice for a QTPOC artist residency program Naima and I are planning to launch in 2 years at our little half acre compound.
The Institute for Somatics and Social Justice has generously offered my a full tuition scholarship, which in part will make this work possible. Naima and I have saved so that my absence (and lack of paycheck) won't negatively impact our lives and financial wellness (she'll be able to pay bills, mortgage and live while I'm gone). The next part of this journey is only possible with your support.
So, I ask for your help. Help me realize this dream. The Somatics and Social Justice certificate program is a perfect intentional space for the organizing/community building work I envision and dedicate myself to.
Who benefits from my donation?
+Working families in ABQ striving for a better city
+Young Men of Color in ABQ
+Black folks in ABQ in the Black Political Justice group
+QTPOC artist from around North America
+the ripples of ripples...
Where do the funds go?
+Money for food and travel expenses during the 2 months I will living in Philly (my job has generously extended me a leave of absence, but I will not be receiving any paychecks during this time)
+These funds will be used from mid-June to mid-August
What do you get in return?
+ Deep gratitude from me & Naima
+After the program, I would love to offer an hour-long consulation/mind-body centering working session, in person, or remotely
+A postcard while I'm in Philly
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- Sarah Ashkin
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