Skills for grounded and rooted empowerment
A feeling of disempowerment, being deprived of our collective power and personal power often puts limitations on our actions and bringing the best of ourselves into the world. This course is a an opportunity to look for ways of empowerment that invites connection and respect for others, and in the same time enables us to stay engaged and rooted in our desires and aims as well as with our communities and groups.
The course will offer tools for empowering our voices and our presence, both physical and on psycho-emotional level.
The training will offer basic physical self-defence techniques and assertive communication tools, deriving from feminist methodologies. The self-defence techniques will focus on equipping the participants with quick, easy solutions for situations of boundaries crossing, which do not require physical agility. The course will also focus on the psycho-emotional element of self-defence and assertiveness, enabling the participants to be better prepared and empowered to claim their space and position. We will open up the space for exploration of boundaries – discovering, connecting to our needs, identifying obstacles to have and maintain boundaries, setting boundaries up and training the ability to let go of them when we want to and feel safe enough to do so. We will explore our conditioned responses to threats, perceived threats and identify where they come from and how they can be helpful or unhelpful.
We will look at the frameworks of anti-discrimination work, discuss concepts and explore its limitations, as well as look for ways to to work with allies in a way that is empowering for those experiencing discrimination and not resulting in shame and blame dynamics.
The course will offer:
– tools for empowerment
– physical self-defence methods
– assertive communication
– resilience and regeneration
– understanding anti-discrimination frameworks and its limitations
– political body awareness and identifying how our bodies are shaped by the systems of oppression.
Any levels of physical fitness are welcomed, though take into consideration that the centre is not fully accessible (although we are working on changing that).
The course is for women, non-binary and trans folks, to be able to explore shared experiences of certain kinds of discrimination and disempowerment.
The Society of Anti-Discrimination Education (TEA) (Polish: Towarzystwa Edukacji Antydyskryminacyjnej), was founded in 2009 by people involved in anti-discrimination education in Poland. The Society brings together dozens of people who specialise in this area, including coaches, trainers and creators of projects which promote equality and diversity, as well as working to support groups and individuals who are vulnerable to discrimination. They develop and disseminate anti-discrimination educational activities so that everyone can co-create a world free of discrimination and violence.
As a social activist and trainer, and a member of SPINA trainer’s for social change collective and European Action for Youth (EYFA) network, Ilaj is project lead for Ulex’s LGBTQI+ psycho-social resilience and holistic security programme. Ilaj works with grassroots groups involved in social and environmental struggles, and also NGOs in the areas of social and environmental justice. As a WenDo trainer – a self defense and self assertiveness method for women and trans* people – they are passionate about working with body awareness as a radical means of deconstructing internalized systems of oppression. Ilaj is a member of the Ulex core team.
Do is an anti-discrimination and WenDo* trainer, based in Poland. She dedicates a huge part of her professional work to Anti-discrimination Education Society, delivering workshops and trainings for a wide range of audience. She is also associated with Rural Development Foundation and Feminist Fund in Poland, and a member of Kopacze-Diggers collective which is a self-organized queer-feminist, activist and collective living project that hosts workshops, retreats and events around social and environmental struggles. *Self-defense and empowerment training methodology for women and trans* people.
Kinga is an anti-oppression facilitator connected to the Anti-discrimination Education Association (TEA) in Poland, for nearly two decades active in prevention of discrimination in the formal and nonformal education. Involved in many national and international projects she has been working with youth workers, teachers, school psychologists and pedagogues on issues connected to gender and sexuality (e.g. combating trans- and homophobia, supporting nonheteronormative kids and their parents). Also working as a sex educator with teenagers and a WenDo trainer – a self-defence and assertiveness method for women, girls and trans* people. In recent years focused mostly on empowering people from discriminated groups through working with body, voice and self reflection on internalized oppressions.
building collective agency - theory and practice
a holistic approach
1. A thorny-evergreen flowering shrub, with a high capacity for regeneration and resilience. Its seedpods open in contact with fire and it reshoots from charred stumps. A successionary plant that grows well under challenging conditions. It improves soil fertility through nitrogen fixing, preparing the way for renewed biodiversity.
2. A traditional choice for igniting fires. Burns hot and bright.
3. A networked project adding nutrition and fertility to European social movements through training and capacity building. It kindles the realisation of social justice, ecological intelligence, and cognitive vitality.