Social and Environmental Educators teaching our SomaSource Leaders
Please stay tuned for a listing Social Justice classes that are open to the public. And please join our email list for timely invitations.
Some of our Presenters
Dr. Paul Hill
Elder Paul Hill, Jr. founded The National Rites of Passage Institute (NROPI) in 1993. Mr Hill’s involvement with the rites of passage took root in the late 1970s with his seven children and their friends. His rites of passage experiences evolved from a family and community initiative to a city, state and national movement that peaked in late 1990s.
For over 30 years, The National Rites of Passage Institute (NROPI) has worked in collaboration with communities, organizations, practitioners and scholars, to facilitate child and youth development and community building through the use of culturally-specific rites of passage. The process promotes cultural identity, character building, leadership development and Manhood/Womanhood development. NROPI has trained hundreds of adults who have impacted over 10,000 young people throughout the United States and Canada.
Elder Hill is a Co-publisher of The Black Child Journal along with authoring numerous articles and the seminal book, Coming of age: African American male rites of passage (1997).
Dr. Maria Michael
Dr. Maria D. Michael is a world-renowned and respected medical intuitive, channel, empath, healer, psychic, and teacher for over 40 years. She has been awarded 5 advanced degrees (all Summa Cum Laude), including a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology. She has doctorate-level training in Neuropsychology and Special Education and extensive post-doctoral studies in Psychoanalysis and Jungian Psychology. Additionally, Dr. Michael is trained and experienced in EMDR, Hypnotherapy, LENS Neurofeedback, Neurolinguistic Programming, Eriksonian Hypnosis Training. She is a Lakota/Diné (Navajo) Traditional elder, has participated in and led traditional Native ceremonies, and doctored alongside Lakota Medicine people. She has been sought out worldwide for her powerful Medicine Energies and Healing abilities.
Dr. Maria Michael believes that we all come from the same Creation, and that everyone has the potential and capacity to communicate with Creation. While the Lakota call Creation “The Great Mystery,” other traditions may refer to Creation, with names such as, “God,” “the Universe,” “Allah,” “Yahweh,” “Divine Love,” “Universal Love” or “Cosmic Consciousness.” We not only choose our human families, but also we choose, initially at least, our own unique form or tradition of understanding and communication with the Great Mystery. No form or tradition is better than another. Humans are merely attempting to understand “That” which is beyond comprehension. All messages from the Great Mystery are compassionate and loving, even though at times these messages may appear difficult. Creation’s message appears to us in whatever way we choose to comprehend it. Sometimes, we are only capable of comprehending deeply sensitive messages that resound in our hearts, and sometimes only strong and “seemingly” shocking messages penetrate our defenses. This loving Spirit guides us to remove those obstacles that stand in our way of becoming all that Creation and We intended us to be.
Michelle and Ramon Gabrieloff-Parish
Michelle and Ramon Gabrieloff-Parish have been guiding the Golden Bridge community into inspired and difficult social and environmental learning opportunities and conversations for over a decade. We are eternally indebted to them for their inspired leadership.
Michelle Gabrieloff-Parish: Seeking eco-cultural regeneration, cultural imagination, and illuminating the connections between sustainability and social justice.
Michelle has been the Assistant Director for Energy & Climate Justice at CU Boulder’s Environmental Center. She is now working at the innovative Movement Strategy Center in Oakland, California. She is a former US State Department BoldFood fellow (Uganda), a former Center for Progressive Leadership fellow. She is the founder of Candelas Glows raising awareness about the radioactive dangers of Rocky Flats—a nuclear superfund site turned “wildlife refuge” essentially in her back yard, is a facilitator for Joanna Macy’s “Work That Reconnects,” and is an instructor of permaculture design.
Michelle is a multi-ethnic poet, wife, and mother of three. She first became involved with Golden Bridge in 2002.
Ramon Gabrieloff-Parish has developed a pedagogy that synthesizes mindfulness, embodiment, social justice, the environment, mentoring and ritual & ceremony for over a decade. As a core candidate Assistant Professor In Naropa University’s Interdisciplinary Studies department he teaches foundations in contemplative learning and theory, diversity and social identity and sustainability. He also focuses on the equity dimensions of the environment through courses in food and environmental justice. He serves as a freelance educator, lecturer and consultant on the links between social justice, sustainability and mindfulness for universities, outdoor organizations, non-profits, government and businesses.
Ramon is a certified practitioner of SomaSource and longtime leader/facilitator in the Surfing The Creative International Youth Leadership Camps, having helped usher hundreds of young people through contemporary threshold experiences. As a previous board member of Youth Passageways and a current board chair for Frontline Farming, Ramon is committed to the revival of rites of passage and community regeneration and resilience.
Key Components of Power & Oppression: Looking Through the Lens of Race
Dara Burwell is the President and founder of Transformative Alliances LLC, and is dedicated to personal and collective liberation. Dara has formally worked as an anti-oppression and equity consultant for nine (9) years, and has led trainings, discussion groups, and other anti-oppression related activities for fifteen (15) years. Her work has encompassed both continuing and short-term projects, customized to suit each organization, including designing and conducting workshops, providing individual and small group coaching, and supporting equity based organizational development. Her upbringing as a queer woman of mixed racial heritage has always provided her with multifaceted observations on privilege and power. transformativealliances.com/author/daratransforming
Dr. Anneliese Singh
Anneliese Singh, PhD, LPC is an award-winning social justice scholar, author, speaker, and community organizer who speaks on a wide variety of racial justice and LGBTQ+ topics. She is a Professor and Associate Dean of the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the College of Education at the University of Georgia. Trained as a counselor and psychologist, she wrote the Racial Healing Handbook to provide practical activities to challenge privilege, address systemic racism, and engage in collective racial healing. Dr. Singh’s workbook, the Queer and Transgender Resilience Workbook, focuses on skills for LGBTQ+ healing, empowerment, and social change. Her research, practice, and advocacy explores the resilience and liberation experiences of trans people, people of color, survivors of trauma, South Asian immigrants, and social justice and empowerment training, and she has over 100 publications among these areas. Dr. Singh founded the Georgia Safe Schools Coalition and the Trans Resilience Project to translate her LGBTQ+ research findings into school and community-based change efforts. Her TEDx Talks have explored gender liberation, and she has been described as a transformative speaker inspiring “real-world” social change. Dr. Singh has designed workshops on diversity, equity, and inclusion that support school, community, nonprofit, and corporate organizations integrate equity and justice into their organizational practices and policies. Anneliese passionately believes in and strives to live by the ideals of Dr. King’s beloved community, as well as Audre Lorde’s reminder that “without community, there is no liberation.”
Fanon Hill, Elder Shirley Foulks & Navasha Daya
Join us at a film screening of Lom Nava Love, an urban rite of passage documentary and a panel discussion in collaboration with Golden Bridge.
Lom Nava Love tells the unflinching story of Black families in inner-city Baltimore harnessing their strengths to challenge the systems and institutions that would dictate their realities. Centered on the work of community organizer Shirley Foulks and directed by Youth Resiliency Institute founder Fanon Hill, Lom Nava Love documents Foulks’ engagement with families in public housing and how she uses art to communicate the abilities, strengths, and power to effect change that Black families innately possess.
All three of these beloved friends and mighty leaders will join us for a conversation after the showing of this seminal film. Elder Shirley Foulks has gifted her community with loving and safe space for children and families to get off the streets, heal and create new social norms. She works closely with the key organizers for community transformation on the streets of Baltimore, Fanon Hill and Navasha Daya. Fanon Hill provides community-centric programming to vulnerable populations through performance and creative arts-based rites of passage process that has at it core the ideals of collective responsibility, activism, and philanthropy. Navasha Daya is a singer, songwriter, producer, musician, and performing arts curator, certified healer, and spiritual and cultural arts activist. lomnavalove.com