LISA THOMAS ADEYEMO
Lisa, aka “MawuLisa” is a Louisiana born—Bay Area based community healer, ritualist, and song weaver, dedicated to transformation & healing within oppressed communities. Lisa embodies a rich and eclectic background in earth based spirituality, advocacy work and the Healing Arts with a focus on healing the impacts of historical / racialized trauma, gender oppression, and sexual violence for herself & others. Lisa is currently a senior teacher, healer & bodyworker for BOLD, generative somatics, and Strozzi Institute, and is deeply committed to making the path of somatic based healing & transformation both relevant & accessible in service to Black Liberation.
Sendolo (aka Lola) is a butch queen organizer and aspiring movement strategist who has been practicing organizing and studying social movements/transformation for over ten years. His work has focused mainly on democracy and the public sector, specifically public housing and public education. While he hails from Michigan, his passion and commitment to Black liberation has brought him to the South, specifically Durham North Carolina, where he has lived and worked since 2008. As part of his passion for studying and practicing transformation, he is also a lover and practitioner of buddhism, aikido, and the somatic approach developed by generative somatics.
MARK ANTHONY JOHNSON
Mark Anthony is the director of health and wellness with Dignity and Power Now, a LA-based grassroots organization. He has helped lead campaigns for civilian oversight of LA Sheriff’s Department and divestment of $3 billion in jail construction funds alongside dozens of organizations in Dignity and Power Now’s Coalition to End Sheriff Violence in LA Jails. Johnson, who studied at Pacific Oaks College and received an MA in traditional Chinese medicine from Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, is also a licensed acupuncturist and has provided acupuncture therapy to formerly incarcerated people and loved ones in LA for pain and post-traumatic stress.
Alta, based in Harlem, NY, is a somatic coach, bodyworker, and a poet. A former teacher, radio news and music producer, and grantmaker, she has been on the Black Organizing for Leadership and Dignity (BOLD) training team since the project began, and is also a member of generative somatics’ NY-based Somatics and Trauma teaching team.
Everette R.H. Thompson has over 15 years of experience in community organizing, organizational development, and movement building minister. He is a Southerner by birth and choice and has dedicated his career to strengthening organizational infrastructure in the South. He currently works to align prophetic faith and prophetic action through faith-based experimentation at the Center for Race, Religion and Economic Development(CR-RED) leading the Interfaith Organizing Initiative. Everette has a wide array of experiences serving different types and forms of organizations. His greatest joy is his sun/son Elijah whom he is most pleased!
Jennifer Toles is an Organizer and the Training Director for the Ohio Organizing Collaborative which does social, racial, and economic justice work across the state of Ohio. She is a director and board member for the Way of Mind and Body (the Womb) – a Cultural Community Center located in Akron, Ohio, which focuses on holistic health and wellness, arts & lounge, and community outreach. She is also a trainer for BOLD and Generative Somatics. Jennifer received her BS from Ohio University and her MBA from Case Western Reserve Weatherhead School of Management.
Prentis is the Director of Healing Justice at Black Lives Matter, where along with supporting the brilliance of the healing justice working group, they help lift up healing justice analysis and interventions within chapters and the broader network. As a member of Black Organizing for Leadership and Dignity’s (BOLD) teaching team, Prentis teaches a somatics practice that is relevant to Black movement leaders and organizers. Trained as a therapist and Somatic practitioner and brought up through prison justice and anti-violence organizing, Prentis has spent the last several years working to articulate the connection between liberation and personal transformation through teaching and hands on healing and counseling work with groups and individuals. Guiding and grounding their work is a relationship to nature, the interdependence found of healing and movement, and a personal commitment to the embodiment of rigorous and unconditional love for self and all Black people.
Part of the first BOLD Director Cohort in 2012, Jonathan Stith is also a founding member and National Director for the Alliance for Educational Justice, a national network of intergenerational and youth-led organizations working to end the school-to-prison pipeline. He has over 20 years of experience organizing with youth and community organizations to address injustice in education. Alliance for Educational Justice played a critical role in shaping federal policy on school discipline, ending the access of school police departments to military grade weapons from the DFA 1033 program and the defense of Niya Kenny and Shakara in the #AssaultAtSpringValley. Last and most importantly, he is a father of three young adults whom taught him everything he knows.
For over 25 years of labor and community organizing, Denise Perry has dedicated herself to developing strong grassroots leaders, democratic organizations, and progressive social movements. Through her career, she organized health care workers into labor unions in the east and southeast; directed field training for the Organizing Institute creating curriculum, managing organizing sites and working with participating unions. Internationally she worked with a team to develop the Women’s Global Equity Project–an initiative that took her throughout Africa and the Caribbean to train and work with women labor activists. In 2001, Denise co-founded Power U Center for Social Change, rooted in Miami’s historically Black community of Overtown. Power U has equipped residents to challenge the displacement of low-income families by gentrification, blocking the proposed use of public land for luxury condominiums in the neighborhood. Other Power U projects are training youth to have a voice in school policies and engaging women in childbirth classes that also introduce them to social justice organizing increasing women leaders. Bringing the work to the national level, Denise has served on several boards and played a key role in the development of the Right to the City Alliance and its work to connect with environmental justice issues.
Hailing from Nigeria, Adaku Utah is an award winning liberation educator, organizer, healer and performance ritual artist committed to cultivating movements that are strategic, sustainable and mutually nourishing. For over twelve years, her work has centered in movements for radical social change, with a focus on gender, reproductive, race, youth and healing justice. She is the co-founder and co-director of Harriet’s Apothecary, a healing village led by Black Cis Women, Queer and Trans healer, artists, and organizers committed to living out Harriet Tubman’s legacy of centering healing, wellness, and safety as movement building strategies to deconstruct legacies of trauma and galvanize communities to shape generative transformation. She recently joined the staff at National Network of Abortion Funds as their Movement Building Leadership Manager cultivating the leadership capacity of reproductive justice leaders. Adaku has taught, organized and performed both nationally and internationally with organizations like the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health, Yale University, Planned Parenthood, Black Lives Matter, Astraea Foundation, Black Women’s Blueprint, and the Audre Lorde Project. Over the last two years, in partnership with the Hetrick Martin Institute, she co-led the development of thousands of teachers, city agency officials, social workers and organizers to cultivate safer and more inclusive spaces for LGBTQI folks. She also served as lead consultant with the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, coordinating the first of its kind community-based participatory processes across all 5 boroughs to identify the most pressing issues related to sexual and reproductive health and justice in New York city, for the sake of shifting practices and policies at DOH and cultivating transformative campaigns. Currently, she is a teaching fellow with BOLD (Black Organizing for Leadership and Dignity) and the Generative Somatics teaching team. She’s been recognized as a 2017 Essence Magazine Woke 100 Change Maker and is a recent recipient of the 2017 Gye Nyame Empowerment Project My Sister’s Keeper Award.