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The Power of Somatics for Collective Transformation

About the event

‘Healing Trauma and Social Justice: The Power of Somatics for Collective Transformation’ with Marai Larasi, Farzana Khan & Staci Haines, chaired by China Mills

An opportunity for communities, leaders and changemakers to come together to highlight and build the path towards transformation, with discussion and ideas from visionary somatics and social justice speakers. How can somatics be used to abolish the structures which keep us dispossessed and sick?

‘The Power of Somatics for Collective Transformation’ with Marai Larasi, Farzana Khan & Staci Haines, chaired by China Mills is the first of a 3-part Healing Trauma and Social Justice series looking into the potential of somatics.

Decades of austerity, a growing cost of living crisis, climate breakdown and the ongoing pandemic are all causing multiple forms of harm and devastation and we can’t rely on power structures to help us. We need a collective response. While in recent times healing has been depoliticised and individualised, we will explore how somatics, from the individual to the collective body, can be applied to climate, racial, and social justice movements. How the work of dismantling oppressive systems involves transforming patterns, culture and community practices through engaging the body; and the techniques we need to learn as responses to trauma caused by social and political structures.

Join us on Tuesday 4 October for this session focusing on Somatics for Collective Transformation. Attendees will explore:

  • The transformative power of somatics for abolition and grassroots organising in a UK context
  • The basics of somatics
  • How somatics can be applied to social transformation, and movement building

Trauma reduces agency and the ability to direct one’s life. We believe that connecting somatics and justice is a political strategy, to move marginalised groups towards having the resilience to equitably & sustainably participate in transforming our systems.

With our #RehearsingFreedoms programme, we’re building towards a complete reimagining of our health systems. We want to cultivate this movement of exploration, building and teaching at the intersection of somatics and justice. This 3-part series is intended to engage and build a community in the UK, including any and everyone who may be involved in bringing about change. The power of this work grows with the presence of every participant, towards sustainable and embodied processes for personal and social transformation.

Parts 2 and 3 of this series will explore the application of somatics to racial justice and disability justice respectively. More information TBC, subscribe to our newsletter to stay updated.


These sessions will be online with closed captioning available. If there are any access needs you’d like us to consider, please email info@healingjusticeldn.org.

For anyone who can’t make it on the day, we will aim to make a subtitled recording available and will let people know once this is out.


About the Speakers

Marai Larasi is a Black, African-Caribbean-British feminist advocate, community organiser and consultant who has worked in social justice for over twenty-seven years. Much of her work has focussed on ending violence against Black / Global Majority women and girls.

Till May 2019 she was the Executive Director of Imkaan (UK), and she also been Co-Chair of the End Violence Against Women Coalition (UK). Her work has included, and been framed, by alliances with other Black/Global Majority and Indigenous feminist activists and practitioners in diverse contexts. In her current practice she works across a number of spheres / sectors (women’s sector, international ‘development’, donors and foundations, regional government, and intergovernmental bodies), providing strategic, policy, practice and training support around decoloniality, intersectionality, racial justice and ending violence against women and girls among other areas. She is also a member of an emerging Black Feminist collective who are reimagining and building a resourcing and community initiative.


Staci K. Haines is the co-founder of generative somatics, a multiracial social justice organization bringing somatics to social and environmental justice leaders, organizations, and alliances. Haines is a senior teacher in the field of Somatics and designs and leads programs in Embodied Leadership, Somatics and Trauma, and Somatics and Social Justice, as well as leading teacher training programs. She has a somatic coaching practice that primarily serves social movement leaders and trauma and violence survivors and has been working and teaching in the field of Somatics for the last 22 years.

Haines is also the founder of generationFIVE, a social justice organization whose mission is to end the sexual abuse of children within 5 generations through survivor leadership, transformative justice approaches and movement building. Additionally she is the author of Healing Sex: A Mind Body Approach to Healing Sexual Trauma (Cleis 1999, 2007), a how-to book offering a somatic approach to recovery from sexual trauma and developing healthy sexual and intimate relationships. Healing Sex has been nationally recognized and translated into German, Japanese and Spanish.


Farzana Khan (she/her) is the Executive Director and Co-founder Healing Justice Ldn. Her practice works on building community health, repair and self-transformation rooted in disability justice, survivor work and trauma-informed practice working with communities of colour and other marginalised and underrepresented groups. Farzana has over 10 years of background in Youth and Community work particularly focused on arts-based education projects both in the UK and internationally. Farzana is the former creative and strategic director at Voices that Shake, bringing together young people, artists and campaigners to develop creative responses to social injustice. She ran this working at Platform London, a climate and social justice organisation working across arts, education, research and activism.

Farzana is a Fellow at the International Curatorial Forum. Farzana’s recent curatorial practice/art includes launching the Black Cultural Black Activism Map with the Stuart Hall Foundation andAll Water Has Perfect Memory, writing on climate and gender justice and generational trauma & memory.


China Mills (she/her) is Programmes Manager for our Deaths by Welfare Project, exploring how welfare policies harm people and what can be learned from the strategies of disabled people and bereaved families in fighting for justice. China is a Senior Lecturer at City, University of London where she researches and teaches global mental health with a focus on state and corporate production of harm, distress and deaths by suicide. China is author of the book Decolonizing Global Mental Health: the Psychiatrization of the Majority World (published in 2014 by Routledge).