29 Practice: Reclaiming Our Names with AnaYelsi Velasco-Sanchez of Mystic Soul

In this practice, you’re joining AnaYelsi Velasco-Sanchez of the Mystic Soul Project to learn how to facilitate a Name Reclamation group activity.

Here are the instructions for this activity:

When we hear someone's name, what we are really hearing are stories –of origin, of tribes, of ancestors, of healing, and of self-determination. There’s history in names. There are hope, prophecy and an honoring of families in names. They are sacred. While it may not be an act of indigenous reclamation for everyone, intentionally reflecting on one another's name allows us to create a practice of holding all names as sacred and worthy of respect. This activity is a chance to begin cultivating that practice.

  1. You will need a minimum of 15 minutes for this activity

  2. Each participant will need an index card and a writing utensil

  3. Begin by having each person write their name on their index card

  4. Break up into groups of 2

  5. Each person should exchange cards with their partner

  6. Person one will have 3-5 minutes to share their name story with their partner

  7. When person one is finished, their partner will take a moment of silence to write what they heard on the back of the card they received

  8. Switch roles and repeat for the next 3-5 minutes

  9. Before returning to the group, each person will ask their partner if they have permission to share their name story in that space

  10. Come back together as a group and spend 5+ minutes allowing participants to share what they learned

  11. Participants should hold onto the card as something to reflect on during future times of prayer, reflection, or meditation

Remember: Names carry stories and stories belong to the one that experienced. Even if you had permission to share in that space, ask again before sharing someone's story in the future.

*This activity was created by AnaYelsi Velasco-Sanchez. Learn more about AnaYelsi.

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About our guest

AnaYelsi Velasco-Sanchez is an IndoLatinx mujerista working to create and agitate her way through the latin diaspora. She has been working as a faith-based community organizer for a decade and her experience both in interfaith and multi-issue organizing has provided her a unique understanding of the complex work involved in bridge-building and unifying diverse people around a shared purpose. She comes to us via the Mystic Soul Project. Follow her work.

Conversation: Indigenous Reclamation

Check out the corresponding conversation to hear AnaYelsi talk Indigenous Reclamation with Teresa P Mateus and Ra Mendoza.

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