Radical Self-Care Event

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Join us for an evening of self-care and healing

The World Health Organization has identified stress as one of the top ten determinants of disparities in health. Additionally, 72% of Americans identify “now” as the lowest point in history that they can remember according to a civil unrest poll conducted by the American Psychological Association in June 2020.

Most Americans say police violence towards minorities is a significant source of stress. Seven in 10 Americans also agree the current movement against systemic racism and police brutality is going to lead to meaningful change, a hopeful sign to counter stress.

The stressors related to social and economic advantage have downstream effects on psychological, neurobiological, physiological, and behavioral processes that shape health outcomes.

The past year has been challenging with an ongoing pandemic that has upended our lives with racial injustices front and center.

We invite you to join YWCA Allentown, YWCA Bethlehem, Shanthi Project, NAACP Allentown/Lehigh Unit, the Bethlehem NAACP, the Allentown Human Relations Commission, and the Lehigh Valley community for a free virtual workshop

“Practicing Radical Self Care: An Act of Liberation”

Thursday, June 10, 2021

from 6:30pm to 8:30pm EST on Zoom

We offer this healing workshop as a strategic opportunity to reset our mind, body, and spirit for greater clarity and renewal.

Self-care is a radical act of liberation because white dominance forces us to disconnect from the mind, body, and spirit in order to survive oppressive systems. In this workshop, we will utilize our time together to:

  • Expand our knowledge of what self-care is, why it is essential, and how it is a radical act of liberation.
  • Engage in self-care practices to intentionally reconnect to our mind, body, and spirit as a form of healing justice.
  • Cultivate the wisdom in our community around self-care practices that are grounded in our knowledge and lived experiences.

We will also offer four separate break-out sessions focused on self-care practices in the areas of art and journaling, music and drumming, yoga for healing, and strategies for building resilience. These activities were designed primarily with Black, Indigenous, and People of Color in mind, but anyone can draw inspiration from these practices and approaches.

We look forward to being in community with you

Facilitators Wellness

Breakout Session 1: Mindfulness and Joy through Art Making

Facilitator: Kristin Baxter, Ed.D. (she/her/hers)

Since 2009, Kristin Baxter, Ed.D. has been an Associate Professor of Art and Director of the Art Education Program at Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. In 2016, she earned her yoga teacher certification (RTY-200) from the Yoga Loft in Bethlehem. Kristin completed training in Mindfulness Fundamentals and Educator Essentials through Mindful Schools. She also completed a course on the connections among the brain, mind, and body in the healing of trauma, facilitated by Bessel van der Kolk, MD at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, Stockbridge, MA. In addition, she completed Shanthi Project’s course on mindfulness practices to improve self-regulation and well-being for the trauma survivor.

Earlier in her career, Kristin earned her Ed.D. from Teachers College Columbia University; MA in Art History and Museum Studies from Case Western Reserve University; and BA in Liberal Arts from New York University. She taught art in a public middle school in New Jersey and worked in museums and galleries creating educational programs for children, families, and teachers, such as Lehman College Art Gallery in the Bronx, New York; Cleveland Museum of Art; and the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Before the pandemic, Kristin was a teacher with Shanthi Project, teaching art and mindfulness at Central Elementary School, Dieruff High School in Allentown, and at the Northampton County Juvenile Justice Center in Easton. She plans on returning to these teaching opportunities as soon as it is safe to do so.

Breakout Session 2:  Drumming for Empowerment and Wellness

Facilitator: Nicky Avant-Brown, PCC (she/her/they)

Like a rocket, my coaching is the vessel that clients access when a much broader perspective is required. From a more spacious point of view clients get to see their full operating systems–the world and themselves in it. By observing from different angles clients are better positioned to see options, opportunities, limiting beliefs and the way forward. For over 21 years I’ve been exploring the impact of our systems- and rule-based societies on individuals. As a workshop facilitator, coaching trainer, and program director I have designed empowerment curricula centered on internal capacity building, culture change, leadership and healing for organizations.

As a Professional Certified Coach (trained in Transformational Life Coaching and Healing Centered Community Coaching), I consider myself to be an intuitive partner, a wise ally and a reflector of the space between what you didn’t know then and what you do know now. I bring a sense of wonder and curiosity to every session. My coaching opens space for traditional and non-traditional leaders to slow down and catch up to themselves, to explore needs, to envision successes and to create fresh boundaries and agreements before taking brave steps forward.

Breakout Session 3: Movement for All with Yoga and Qigong

Facilitator: Lissa Edmond (they/them)

Lissa Edmond (they, them) is a certified meditation and mindful movement teacher, a community facilitator, and a somatic integrative mental health nurse practitioner. Lissa began a dedicated practice in yoga and the dharma in 2008 as well as in qigong in 2018. Lissa studies in the Insight and Zen Buddhist traditions.

Lissa identifies practice as a deep form of love and care and is particularly interested in the intersections of dharma, justice, and embodied radical care. Lissa shares practices that are compassionate, social and racial justice-oriented, and trauma-responsive for the wellness and liberation of all beings.

Breakout Session 4: Racial Stress and Strategies for Fostering Resilience

Facilitator: Erica T. Mahady, Ph.D. Candidate, MA, PCC (she/her/hers)

Ms. Mahady is a dedicated professional with over 15 years of experience as an organizational and leadership development consultant, educator, researcher, author, mindfulness practitioner and certified executive coach. Erica is a heart-centered social justice activist who believes that people induce change. She strategically partners with others to design and implement intentional change that produces positive results. She has worked across various industries including education, engineering, healthcare, law, media & entertainment, military & government, philanthropy, non-profit and global chemistry.

As an organizational development consultant, Erica is an experienced facilitator of strategic planning processes, leadership and team development, faculty development and change management in service of organizations and their people. She has a passion for collaborating with individuals, teams and systems to strengthen leadership effectiveness and organizational wellness. Her practice focuses on cultural transformation centered through the intersection of diversity, equity, inclusion & belonging principles, emotional and social intelligence complemented by mindfulness & contemplative practices.


Stand Against Racism takes place annually and is a signature campaign of YWCA to raise awareness about the negative impact of institutional and structural racism in our communities and to build community among those who work for racial justice.

This year, our Stand Against Racism Campaign centers around a new theme:

From Declarations to Change: Addressing Racism as a Public Health Crisis.

Structural racism plays a large role in determining the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live, and age. These factors affect people’s access to quality housing, education, food, transportation, political power, and other social determinants of health. Understanding and addressing systemic racism from this public health perspective is crucial to eliminating racial and ethnic inequities, and to improving opportunity and well-being across communities.

Our collective efforts can root out injustice, transform institutions, and create a world that sees women, girls, and people of color the way we do: Equal. Powerful. Unstoppable.

Take the 21 Day Racial Equity and Social Justice Challenge!