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Radical Refuge Program:

Awareness, Healing, & Liberation

Unlike a professional development training or conference, the Radical Refuge is not designed to "teach you how to teach." Our sessions are facilitated by Latina and Black women who are devoted to teachers and have expertise in identity awareness and healing. 

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“I was adamant that our day begin with a feeling of belonging and understanding. The last thing I wanted was another professional development training or conference. So we’ll start with community, identity, and food! I’ll also share what brought me to hosting such a retreat. How did a brown-skinned Latina and former veteran NYC  public school teacher become a researcher when schooling and research had only ever brought me pain? Rather than being another nameless and faceless academic hiding behind her work, I want to be vulnerable with you in this affinity space and share my experiences alongside your own. We’ll no longer sit silently and serve children; our experiences matter.” ~ Vanessa

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"I have been part of mapping my journey with learning for years....but I was not aware of that! I grew up in Trinidad - schooling is quite different there and here in the U.S. I have taught for many years. As an original designer of the Radical Refuge I  recognize that journey mapping is a powerful tool. With Jessica, I have worked to understand how mapping our learning journeys support us to recognize ourselves. I can't wait to meet you all and map our "peaks" and "valleys" together.

~ Marsha

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"As a social worker I understand the importance of resting our bodies and our minds. Yet, as a women of color raised in a system that was NOT built with me in mind, the concept of rest has felt foreign and wrong.  Throughout my personal and work life, being productive and caregiving has often been reinforced.  Naturally I got the message that being exhausted was normal; stopping to recharge meant I was lazy and unmotivated.  The reality is that stressors and demands will keep coming and that systems of oppression will keep us feeling we are never doing enough.  Often we believe that rest is impossible —maybe even dangerous and unacceptable.  But for who?  I am excited to explore rest as a radical act of resistance against a white, male dominated system of oppression." ~ Denise   

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"I am thrilled to be back in Nebraska. This is where I did my teacher education program and first began teaching. I only survived because I had an extraordinary mentor teacher - a fellow woman of color. To this day we connect and support each other through our work. Though I am back home in NYC I will never forget my experiences in Nebraska and the power of affinity and identity awareness. I am proud to have been a teacher advisor to the original Radical Refuge and now I am back as a facilitator!" ~ Doris

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I am passionate about racial justice and women's rights in America. And I care about the wellbeing of people, especially educators, who are striving to nurture our future generations while they remain responsible for themselves. While the public seems to support the idea of educator wellbeing, many of us have been left without true support, as the calls for "self-care" seem hollow and burdensome. We're expected to heal ourselves though the systems that created our struggle. I recognize that we heal in community; "self-care alone is not enough." Sustainable healing requires transformation and rebirthing which requires an immense amount of energy. If we want to create systemic and social change through our healing, we must gather our strength together. I will focus specifically on creating the space for Latina and Black women to process collective trauma and learning strategies, and continue to heal communally.” ~ Isabel

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"Have educators always been treated the way they are today? How did we get here? What does this mean for our path forward, if we hope for a more just and humane future? We will explore the history of women in education and the societal constructs that have kept conditions the same for so long. By understanding and exposing legacies of intentional oppression, we can begin to better understand how we may participate in constructive resistance and empowered change. Without an understanding of the past shaped our identities we cannot change our future for the better."  ~ Vanessa

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