What we're up to

our why

Our lives depend on our ability to make urgent, dramatic, liberatory change in our society. But many models of activist culture deplete us and replicate patterns of trauma, harm, oppression, and workaholism. We’ve lost too many of our visionary leaders to disillusionment, exhaustion, stress-induced illness, depression, and suicide.

“People power” means we have to believe that WE are the strategy - our own most precious resource. We cannot afford to burn ourselves and each other out. If we want to welcome enough people to our movements to really transform our world, we have to make the experience of participating sustainable, healing, and irresistible.

Folks have walked this path before us and have shown us ways to build differently. A few of those lineages and warriors for healing justice include: Cara Page & the KINDRED southern healing justice collective; the Black Lives Matter Network; Southern cultural organizing; the work of Black, Brown, Indigenous, queer, and disabled leaders at the 2010 US Social Forum in DetroitFaith Matters Network; Ayni Institute; and so many more whose work may not be named with these exact words but live the integration of spirit, love, and fierce changemaking.

our role

We are a community supporting each other to integrate self and collective care with powerful action for social justice. We are here to learn from one another’s stories, struggles, and methodologies to strengthen the capacity for resilience in ourselves and in our collective movements for change. Our movements are only as powerful as our ability to move together in joy, grace, grief, care, courage and connection.

Through Healing Justice Podcast, we’re connecting and visibilizing stories, leaders, and practices to support our liberation. We aim to be a campfire around which we can gather to share the tales of our victories and pain, visionary ideas, and generative debates. Since 2017 our podcast has shared new conversations and accompanying practices each week, and with your participation we’re building a dynamic network that can connect, equip, and support us for the long haul.


Collaboration is central

Healing Justice Podcast is proudly run by a diverse team of volunteers from all over the world. They offer their voices and wisdom to our conversations and practices, contribute their graphic design and audio production skills, and work behind the scenes on transcripts (coming soon). Many hands go into this podcast, and each one of those hands has made it exactly the beautiful resource that it is becoming.


Kate Werning, Director (staff)

Kate learned to organize with undocumented folks and youth of color in Milwaukee, working on campaigns for racial justice and immigrant rights. She co-facilitates workshops on collective wellbeing & transformation for social justice staff and leaders, is a Lead Trainer with Momentum, and served on the founding faculty of Liberation School. She studies with generative somatics, and centers interdependence in her trauma-informed yoga classes at Third Root. She's a founder of Hoop House collective home in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn.


shawna wakefield, board member

Shawna works to advance gender and economic justice, feminist leadership, organizational change, and collective care and resilience globally. She co-created Women Human Rights Advancers, a transnational, intergenerational lab for learning, exchanging and co-creating embodied feminist leadership practices for individual and collective transformation. She is a trauma-informed yoga instructor and mother of two girls.


maura bairley, board member

Maura is a facilitator and coach who is passionate about helping individuals and groups develop self-awareness, build the capacity for strategic thinking, and align organizational practices with values and mission. She leads the Organizational Development Team for Move to End Violence, and is the founding Director of the Violence Prevention and Response Program at Columbia University.


Kirin Kanakannatt, Board member

Kirin is a militant femme, queer first gen Desi & midwestern pal. She loves cooking, dancing and laughing. Her superpowers are resource mobilization, experiential learning training and transformative conflict facilitation. You can find Kirin @kirin_rosemary or on a dance floor near you!


ilana lerman, board member

Ilana is a queer, white, Ashkenazi Jew raised in a middle-class Milwaukee home. 10 years ago, lyme disease and her father’s fatal cancer sparked a healing journey that included herbalism training and a commitment integrate spirit in organizing. She is the Spiritual & Cultural Life Organizer at Jewish Voice for Peace, and a co-organizer of Let My People Sing! Liberatory Jewish Singing Retreats.

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shalini somayaji, board member

Shalini is a child of immigrants from India and grew up in Nashville, TN. She has over 18 years of experience in social justice work, specifically around gender justice and gender-based violence within immigrant communities. She is currently a leadership coach for nonprofit leaders striving to make an even bigger impact with more joy and ease.