Michelle C. JohnsonAuthor, Educator
I am a social justice warrior, author, dismantling racism trainer, empath, yoga teacher and practitioner, and an intuitive healer. With over 20 years of experience leading dismantling racism work and working with clients as a licensed clinical social worker, I have a deep understanding of how trauma impacts the mind, body, spirit, and heart. My awareness of the world through my own experience as a black woman allows me to know, first-hand, how privilege and power operate.
I have a Bachelors of Arts degree from the College of William and Mary and a Masters degree in Social Work from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. I have worked in several non-profits and served as an elected official and on many non-profit boards of directors. I have led Dismantling Racism Trainings with large corporations, small non-profits, and community groups, including the ACLU-WA, Duke University, Google, This American Life, The Center for Equity and Inclusion, Eno River Unitarian Universalist Church, Lululemon, and many others. I published Skill in Action: Radicalizing Your Yoga Practice to Create a Just World in 2017; I teach workshops in yoga studios and community spaces nationwide. I am on the faculty of Off the Mat Into the World, and serve as the Co-Director of 18 Springs Healing Center in Winston-Salem, NC. I was a Tedx speaker at Wake Forest University in 2019, and I have been interviewed on several podcasts in which I explore the premise and foundation of Skill in Action, along with creating ritual in justice spaces, our divine connection with nature and Spirit, and how we as a culture can heal.
I lead courageously from the heart with compassion and a commitment to address the heartbreak dominant culture causes for many because of the harm it creates. I inspire change that allows people to stand in their humanity and wholeness in a world that fragments most of us. Whether in an anti-oppression training, yoga space, individual or group intuitive healing session, the heart, healing and wholeness are at the center of how I approach all of my work in the world. There are myriad of ways to work with me. I hope to support you on your healing journey and path towards wholeness in whatever capacity allows you to live your fullest life.
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Venmo – @Michellecassjohn
Reggie HubbardActive Peace Yoga
Reggie began his yoga journey in November 2014 seeking to alchemize and navigate extreme professional adversity. Through disciplined practice, ruthless focus and surrender to inner peace he has adopted the yogic path, now as a 500 hour certified yoga teacher who has extensively studied with leading teachers such as Faith Hunter, Amy Ippoliti, Yogarupa Rod Stryker and Sri Dharma Mittra and countless other amazing teachers he has encountered along the way.
Reggie teaches Members of Congress, Congressional Staff, leading progressive organizations and individuals, sharing techniques for growing peace and ease as a foundation, not an afterthought. He also advises yoga communities, yoga studios, teachers and the broader wellness industry on the importance of diversity and inclusion, opening the practice to all and eliminating exclusionary cultures and habits.
His teaching practice is designed for all levels and lifestyles, the only thing required is an open mind. The focus of his teaching is to bring more peace and balance to activists AND to guide the wellness community toward being more engaged, concerned citizens. Achieving this balance is how we catalyze transformative change.
In addition to his yogic activities, Reggie has held many senior strategic and logistical roles across a variety of fields, ranging from global marketing, digital and community organizing, government relations, international education to Presidential campaigning. He currently serves as a senior political strategist for a leading progressive campaigning organization, managing their relationships, impact and communications with Capitol Hill. He received a B.A. in philosophy from Yale University and an MBA in international strategy from the Vlerick Business School in Belgium.
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Shankari GoldsteinShe/Her/Hers - Host and Farmer
Shankari Goldstein, is a farmer, activist, event planner, and yoga teacher. She focuses on how to incorporate community, wellness, peace, sustainability, and activism into the landscape of modern Yoga and sustainable living.
Shankari is the founder and creative energy behind such projects as Shensara Yoga Festival, Shakti Tribe, Waddle Om Farm, The Ascendants, and The State of Union (Yoga) Address. Her ability to tie in Regenerative energy in the way she tends to her farm and Yoga practice gives her a deep sense of home. Whether it’s your self-care routine, connection with nature and spirit, community, family, or an awareness of how to harness our higher purpose and power, humanity craves a sense of belonging and intern connectedness.
When we trust and believe in our divine soul light, we move into the place of truth and passion. Shankari strives to help those seeking a more simple approach to life cultivate a strong awareness of self, nature, and community.
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Venmo – @shankari-goldstein Cash app – $shankarigoldstein
Yogi J MilesHe/Him - Host and Owner of Maha Vira Yoga
I am a Yogi, martial artist, bodyworker, retired breakdancer, community activist, and the son of a Baptist minister, and have been learning and studying eastern arts and philosophy for nearly two decades. But movement itself, and creativity and exploration of movement through dance has always been a constant source of curiosity and confidence. From learning how to headstand at five from my father, to walking on my hands and tumbling as an adolescent, to playing sports as a teen, to poppin and lockin, I’ve always been moving. These all came together for me in the Brazilian art of Capoeira, with its precision and elegance, freedom and beauty. That inexplicably led me to Hung Gar kung fu and my first real Teacher, who unknowingly led me to yoga. From books by Muata Ashby, to the teachings of Swami Satchidananda and Integral Yoga, along with Ashtanga, Jivamukti and other prominent systems of yoga, my “style” has crafted a style tempered by real life and humor, and relies on the importance of breath as a guide and a source of strength. My classes aim to create for each person a fluid, sustainable and enjoyable practice that hopefully will prove to be beneficial over a lifetime. And even as this ancient practice continues to evolve, the mantra continues to be “practice is effort toward steadiness of mind”.
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Venmo – @Yogij Cashapp – $Yogij
- Timezone: America/New_York
- Date: Aug 10 2021
Black Stories Matter – Date subject to change
In a world that focuses on dominant culture voices and narratives, this unique conversation with Michelle Cassandra Johnson and Reggie Hubbard, will allow us to tap into the importance of not only listening to global majority viewpoints but reading our stories.
Michelle, an accomplished and published author of two successful books including “Skill in Action: Radicalizing Your Yoga Practice to Create a Just World,” and the newly released “Finding Refuge: Heart Work for Healing Collective Grief,” will join Reggie Hubbard, and State of Union Yoga co-hosts J Miles, and Shankari Goldstein who have also published articles, essays, and journal extensively for healing. This panel will explore ways to connect art with personal transformation, sharing lived experiences, and finding deep inquiry through storytelling by putting pen to paper.
We will also dive in to the historical journey of how Black history and writers were systemically kept out of the classroom curriculum to successfully uphold white supremacy through the last century. This will give way to understanding the importance of Black culture, arts, and the future of our Black narrative power. This is a conversation to enrich and inspire all of us!