Wednesday, June 23, 2010

LIVE from US Social Forum 2010

- by Mara Collins

This afternoon I joined tens of thousands of visionaries and activists in Detroit, Michigan, a city known for Motown Music, the Automobile, as well as a city known as the epicenter of the nation's economic crisis. I am here at the United States Social Forum, where the saying goes- Another world is possible, another US is necessary. As we converge to share our ideas and strategies for a better world, a healing world, we distinguish ourselves as citizens engaging in two crucial activities -practice and participation.

Convergence is Movement practice. I read this in the newsletter for Project South in Atlanta, one of the anchor organizations of the Social Forum process. The first social forum took place in Atlanta three years ago, and they have been practicing movement building for over twenty years.

We know as therapists, healers and body workers, that it often comes down to our practice. We are building a practice, practicing our craft, and when we don't keep up on reading and consultation, we can feel out of practice. You are likely reading this blog because you see a link between justice and well being. You know that the world is better off if our hearts and minds and bodies are in tune. You know that we can use our healing as a catalyst for healing in the world.

As practitioners, we know it takes an ongoing series of conversations, adjustments and bodywork sessions to create lasting change, so does it take a long-term strategy. We also know that, even though we are constantly striving to improve, it isn't necessarily about getting it right-it's about forward movement.

This happens in part because we continue to participate. For instance, this week I will try to give it my all. I get to help hold space at the healing justice area where people will come for community accupuncture, massage, making art, mediation, and talk therapy. I will get to know other participants and try to remember names. I will mess it up. I will help clean up. I will shout chants in call-and-response in the crowd. I will make sure my fellows reach their rooms safely. I will soak in the experience. I am not a consumer. I am a participant.

You can participate in the Social Forum too, even here in Seattle. is a way to see what is going on this week in Detroit. In addition, Seattle central Community College is holding a social event for people who can't make it this time, but want to attend an event in connection with the Social Forum

In the days to follow, I am going to submit more writing from the space in Detroit. If you have any questions, or things you want to know about from the convergence, let me know! I'd be happy to share what I learn.

More tomorrow-

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