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Writing to Heal the Trauma of Racism: A Four-Part Series

Decades of research demonstrate that certain kinds of writing can produce physiological healing from trauma. This class is focused on three topics: What is trauma and how does it damage the nervous system? How does writing support the healing of Post Traumatic Stress symptoms? How are people traumatized by living in a white supremacy culture and what can we do about it?

Healing from racism can't be done through right thinking alone, for the damage lives in our bodies and causes physiological, emotional, mental and spiritual harm. Although living in systemic racism gives White and Black, Indigenous and People of Color different experiences, with different results, we can all benefit from learning how writing exercises can reintegrate our nervous systems and help restore our full human capacities. The four parts of this class will address issues as follows:

Class One: How has our awareness around race and/or racism developed? What does trauma do to our nervous system? How does narrative writing help?

Class Two: What is our family history? How do the traumas and challenges of our ancestors affect who we are today?

Class Three: What are the different types of trauma? How can we process the full range of our feelings? What survival patterns do we develop to cope, and what do they have to do with white supremacy? What parts of ourselves do we have to reclaim to be able to express our full humanity?

Class Four: How does racism try to be invisible? What do we not see about it or about ourselves? What is Post Traumatic Growth? What are our next steps?

This is an online four-part series offered via Zoom. Access to a computer or other device and the internet is necessary to participate. A commitment to attend all sessions is requested. Space is limited and registration is required. Please only register once for the first session - this will automatically register you for the entire series. A Zoom invite and any other necessary details will be sent out to all registrants before the first class.

Instructor Anais Salibian has a Master's Degree in English Literaure and a Certification in Secondary Education. She has integrated her various interests to find and create ways to work with people to combine her passion for science with her affinity for the inner life. Anais has taught writing classes at several venues since 1989 and has published a number of works in creative non-fiction. She has a wide range of writing interests that she has brought to her teaching at the library, including crafting sentences, figurative language, unblocking writers' blocks, and writing to heal. In 2004, she received Writers & Books Teacher of Adults Award for the Creation and Appreciation of Literature.

Rochester Writes programs are hosted by the Arts & Literature Diviision and supported by the Suressa Forbes Fund for Local Writers and the Friends & Foundation of the Rochester Public Library. Contact Carol.Moldt@libraryweb.org for additional information.

Dates & Times:
6:30pm - 8:00pm, Monday, November 2, 2020
6:30pm - 8:00pm, Monday, November 9, 2020
6:30pm - 8:00pm, Monday, November 16, 2020
6:30pm - 8:00pm, Monday, November 30, 2020
Time Zone:
Eastern Time - US & Canada (change)
Central Library
  Department - Arts & Literature     Subject - Writing  

Registration is required. There are 7 seats available.

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