Yoga in the Era of #MeToo: Conference at Duke Brings Together Social Justice Activists and Yoga Teachers/Practitioners
February 23, 2019, 9am-4pm
The Ark Dance Studio, Duke University East Campus
Durham, North Carolina
The Mindfulness in Human Development team, an interdisciplinary research
team between Duke University and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, will host Yoga
in the Era of #MeToo, a daylong conference for yoga practitioners, educators, activists,
survivors of sexual assault, and anyone interested in the intersection of yoga and social justice,
on Saturday February 23rd, 2019 from 9am – 4pm on Duke University’s East Campus.
Admission is on a sliding scale donation basis, and there is free parking for the event.
Yoga in the Era of #MeToo is the fifth annual Embodied Learning Summit hosted at Duke to
bring the community together to explore the intersection of social justice, educational systems,
and research on yoga and mindfulness. This iteration will emphasize the use of yoga and
mindfulness practices to address issues relating to sexual trauma and the #MeToo movement.
We hope to present yoga to the community as a resource for addressing struggles related to
sexual violence. While these obstacles disproportionately affect female identifying individuals,
the summit hopes to include and educate all members of the community, especially other
marginalized persons. We will continue to share yoga with the Triangle community by providing
a safe space on the campus of Duke University for conversations about yoga, mindfulness,
shifting cultural values, gender equality, and safety for all. Ultimately, we hope that these
conversations and practices will transcend this experience and will be shared in other spaces. In
doing so, we aim to bridge the gap between personal healing and issues of sexual violence and
harassment, in order to move toward collective healing in the Triangle Area community.
Yoga in the Era of #MeToo is sponsored by the Bass Connections Initiative at Duke University
and the Duke University Dance Program, and is sparked by the ongoing interdisciplinary
research and community building of Professor Keval Kaur Khalsa and Dr. Michele T. Berger.
Keval Kaur Khalsa is Professor of the Practice of Dance and Theater Studies at Duke University
and the Regional Coordinator for Y.O.G.A. for Youth NC. Dr. Berger is an Associate Professor
in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies at UNC-CH and the Director of the Faculty
Fellows Program at the University of North Carolina’s Institute for the Arts and Humanities.
Professor Khalsa has this to say about the Summit:
“The number of Americans practicing yoga has grown by 50% over the past four years - over 36
million practitioners are discovering the benefits of improved health, stress management,
increased overall quality of life, and as a powerful modality to heal from trauma. The majority
of Americans that currently practice yoga are white, middle-class adults. The Embodied
Learning Summit is dedicated to opening up access to the empowering tools of yoga and
meditation to young people, people of color, people of limited income. And this year, the focus is
on supporting survivors of sexual assault. Practicing yoga and meditation can help survivors
heal and find their voice to speak truth to power. Join us if you are a survivor yourself, want to
support survivors in their healing process, or just want to find out more about this issue.”
ABOUT THE KEYNOTE SPEAKER
Keynote speaker for the Summit is Zabie Yamasaki, a yoga practitioner, educator, activist, and
survivor. She truly believes in the healing power of asana practice and has used it to transform
her own trauma. For years, Zabie's unfaltering support for survivors of sexual violence has
manifested itself in many forms. She has ultimately made it her life's goal to help empower
survivors of assault to regain their strength and self-worth. She is extremely passionate about
yoga and its ability to help individuals connect to their emotions, be present on the mat, develop
peace of mind, and take the necessary steps to become their truest, most authentic self.
To register for this event and find out more, please visit embodiedlearningsummit.com.
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