By Amanda Wake
Yvonne Tran and I had the opportunity to run a workshop and collect stories at SOUL's National Youth Organizing Training Institute a couple weeks ago. SOUL (School Of Unity and Liberation) brought together young organizers from across the country for a 3 day training.
Our workshop topic was "Sustaining the Organizer," which we facilitated through forward stance. Participants shared the many struggles they face in not burning out. Their struggles included balancing work and family, juggling too many things on their plate, not having the resources to do the work they want to do, retaining members and more. Yvonne and I used forward stance as a way to have participants reflect on these issues and gain insight through our bodies. So often we are in our heads and forget that we have a whole other part of ourselves, our bodies, that can help us to make decisions, reflect and most importantly move forward. We were able to get to the heart of many of the issues that they face with very little talking and a lot of "a ha" moments.
We also collected Strong Families stories from these powerful young people. Here's one from Vikter Medina of Phoenix, Arizona. He talks about growing up in a large family, being a queer Chicano male and wanting a family of his own with his undocumented partner.