Qtbipoc (W)holistic Mental Health Series

In partnership with the Centre for Women and Trans People (CWTP) and the Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG) at the University of Toronto, Lukayo Estrella (MSW), presents the following free (w)holistic mental and spiritual health workshops for queer and/or trans folks that are racialized along the lines of Indigenous and/or Black and/or People of Colour (QTBIPOC):

*The Soul Wound (Wed Dec 12, 6-9pm)*

Based on works by Grace Nono, Eduardo Duran, and Renee Linklater, this workshop will explore both Western and non-Western approaches to healing trauma, or “soul wounds”/ “wounds of the spirit”. Lukayo will also be drawing upon their background in peer support, co-counselling, and somatic experiencing trauma counselling, as well as traditional healing practices of Bikol and general Filipino peoples. The goal of this workshop is to explain Western and non-Western approaches to trauma while also focusing on somatic, psychological, and/or spiritual techniques and sources of strength and resilience against the daily effects of colonialism, capitalism, and other forms of oppression. The first hour will be a go around and check in with all participants, creating group guidelines together on healing and sharing space. The second hour will be a discussion and sharing with each other on soul/spirit wounds, where they come from and how colonization / racism / heterosexism / cisgenderism creates and perpetuates them, their effects on our lives, and Western and non-Western approaches to healing. If oppression are personal and systemic demons that are haunting us, then what kind of things do they whisper to us, causing pain and uneasiness? How do they force us to compromise our own values and needs? What are the ways we can build resistance to them and peace for ourselves and loved ones even as they seem to be in every aspect of our lives? The third hour will introduce some techniques folks can practice on their own.

*Protect Your Energy (Wed Dec 19, 6-9pm)*

_Prerequisite: The Soul Wound Workshop_
This workshop is a sequel to The Soul Wound workshop, with the first hour for check-in and guidelines, and the last hour for techniques. However, in the second hour we delve into the concept that “anxiety” and “depression” can also be a form of energy that gets trapped inside us, thus causing harm to our body and spirit. What are the ways these energies enter or grows inside of us? How does this energy get trapped? How do we release it without causing further harm and distress to ourselves and others? The goal of this workshop is to focus on somatic, psychological, and/or spiritual techniques and strategies of grounding and mindfulness that builds on folks’ already existing strengths and practices.

*Registration Process:*

Please email lukayo.estrella AT gmail DOT com using the subject title “Soul Wound Workshop Registration” with the following information by Friday, November 30th, 2018:
– your name
– do you identify as queer and/or trans?
– do you identify as Indigenous (to this land) and/or Black and/or a Person of Colour?
– why you’re interested in the workshop series
– dietary restrictions
– your access needs
We can still accept late registrations, but we cannot guarantee that your access needs will be met the later you apply. The workshops will be capped at 20 people, due to space restrictions.

*Accessibility Notes*

The CWTP is fully wheelchair accessible and we strive for a scent-free environment. There is one gender neutral and accessible bathroom around the corner. The OPIRG Toronto office can be left open to be used as a chill out space if needed. Tokens, ASL interpretation, and food will be provided. The venue is near the intersection of College and Spadina, and can be accessed using the 510 streetcar or the 506 streetcar/bus. For parking, if you cannot find street parking, you can park at the McLennan Physical Laboratories parking lot on Russell Street for a flat rate of $10 for the evening, or at the Kensington Medical Building Parking Lot on 340 College Street West for $4 on the surface or $5 underground.

*Note on Land, Space & Institutions*

Lukayo seeks to uphold the Two Row Wampum Treaty and Dish With One Spoon Treaty as they are not indigenous to these lands and hold Canadian citizenship. As such, it is not enough to acknowledge that we are on the lands of the Haudenosaunee, Anishinabe (Mississaugas of New Credit and Anishinabek), Wyandot, and Tionontati, but also be in active reparations for previous violations of those Treaties under the Canadian government. Indigenous folks will be centred in this discussion as knowledge keepers of their own traditions, and money will be donated to Indigenous causes or individual Indigenous participants as scholarships to attend if requested. In addition, the decision to have the event at the University of Toronto was for ease of access in regards to ASL interpretation funding, centralized location, elevators, ramps, automatic doors, gender neutral and accessible washroom, and transit. However it is also understood that non-profit and academic institutions continue to perpetuate various forms of colonization and oppression on QTBIPOC, and folks may not feel comfortable or safe to attend due to this. If this is the case for you, please contact Lukayo and they can arrange a free teaching or workshop at your living space, work space, or community space that would be safer for you and/or your people.

*Note on Privacy/Confidentiality & Community Conflict*

The guest list for the event is private in case folks do not want to out themselves as trans and/or queer, however, I cannot guarantee that your attendance to the event will not show up in other people’s Facebook feeds if you click interested or attending. Secondly, if you’re concerned that an ex, person who has harmed/abused you, or person you’re in conflict with will attend the workshop, please email lukayo.estrella AT gmail DOT com and we can chat about ways to support your safety. If needed, we can do individual one-on-one teachings.

*About Lukayo:*

A wordslinger and healer from the Bikol diaspora, Lukayo is based on the territories of the Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee, and Wyandot, and currently resides and travels between the cities of Toronto and Ottawa, Canada. When not daydreaming of starting a school for land defenders and priestesses, Lukayo is probably playing Dungeons & Dragons or cuddling their four-legged feline child, Anino. Check out Lukayo.com to know more.

Partial or full proceeds of all of Lukayo’s workshops go to grassroots collectives that support Pilipino/Pilipinx liberation, Indigenous sovereignty (in recognition of the territory and land), and Black liberation (in recognition of the historical and ongoing roots of spoken word and many forms of healing in Black culture). If you’d like to know specifically which groups are being donated to, please ask me.

If you are not a QTBIPOC and want to support this work, especially for Lukayo to work with folks that cannot attend workshops at the University of Toronto downtown campus, please donate to www.patreon.com/lukayo. Diyos Mabalos!