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University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Social Work Clinical Lecture Series  



Handouts and Reference list

September 23,2019 12-2pm, Monday

UNC Chapel Hill School of Social Work Auditorium, 325 Pittsboro St, Chapel Hill, NC 27599  Directions and Parking

Continuing Education:
2 Hours (details)

We are streamlining our pricing options !

All in-person lectures will be offered at a discount and include lunch to encourage face-to-face engagement and community building.

**If you can’t make it to UNC-SSW we still offer the Live-Stream option for only $10 more

In-Person – $25.00
Live-Stream – $35.00

**Current UNC-SSW students, staff, faculty, field instructors, and task supervisors** Fee Waived


It can be difficult to remain centered amidst the oppressive policies and current political and cultural divisions that split us apart individually and collectively. This workshop focuses on contemplative practices, including meditation and yoga, which allow us to work with sensations, toxic thought patterns, cultural conditioning, overwhelm, and anxiety through mindfulness and thoughtful care. Participants will deepen tools for self-care, psychotherapeutic work, and collective action through a deeper understanding of the relationship between yoga and creating change.

Michelle Cassandra Johnson, LCSW, E-RYT
500 is an activist, race equity trainer, author, yogi, healer and social change influencer. She has an understanding of how trauma impacts the mind, body, spirit and heart. Her awareness of the world through her experience as a black woman allows her to know first hand how privilege and power operate. She understands the toll that oppression can take on individuals and the collective physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Whether in an anti-oppression training, yoga space, individual or group intuitive healing session, healing and wholeness are at the center of how she approaches all of her work. Michelle has spent many years on the front lines of justice movements craving a space for healing through ritual, ceremony and sacred practice. A yoga teacher for over ten years, she has sat in many spiritual spaces and yoga communities whom lacked an awareness of justice and activism. She is interested in spiritual spaces that center activism and social change spaces that center spiritual practice. In 2013, Michelle created Skill in Action, a training program, focused on the intersection of social justice and yoga. Michelle is the author of Skill in Action: Radicalizing Your Yoga Practice to Create a Just World. Michelle inspires change that allows people to stand in their humanity and wholeness.


Learning Objectives:

At the completion of this workshop, participants will be able to

1. Name and describe at least 2 ways that contemplative practices are relevant for social justice work.
2. Practice at least 1 mindfulness technique that applies to their personal, professional, and advocacy practices.


  • adrienne maree brown. Living through the unveiling. February 3, 2017.
  • Berila, B. (2016). Mindfulness as a healing, liberatory practice in queer anti-oppression pedagogy. Social Alternatives, 35(3), 5-10.
  • Berila, B., Klein, M & Roberts, C.J. (eds). (2016). Yoga, the Body, and Embodied Social Change: An Intersectional Feminist Analysis. London, UK, Lexington Books
  • Brown, A.M. (2017) Emergent strategy: shaping change, changing worlds. Chico, CA: AK Press.
  • Chen, C. W., & Gorski, P. C. (2015). Burnout in social justice and human rights activists: Symptoms, causes and implications. Journal of Human Rights Practice, 7(3), 366-390. doi:10.1093/jhuman/huv011
  • Crowder, R. (2016). Mindfulness based feminist therapy: The intermingling edges of self-compassion and social justice. Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Social Work, 35(1-2), 24-40. doi:10.1080/15426432.2015.1080605
  • Garcia, M., Košutić, I., & McDowell, T. (2015). Peace on Earth/War at home: The role of emotion regulation in social justice work. Journal of Feminist Family Therapy, 27(1), 1-20. doi:10.1080/08952833.2015.1005945
  • Gorski, P. C., & Chen, C. (2015). “frayed all over:” the causes and consequences of activist burnout among social justice education activists. Educational Studies, 51(5), 385-405. doi:10.1080/00131946.2015.1075989
  • Gorski, P. C., & Erakat, N. (2019). Racism, whiteness, and burnout in antiracism movements: How white racial justice activists elevate burnout in racial justice activists of color in the United States. Ethnicities, doi:10.1177/1468796819833871
  • Johnson, M.C. (2017). Skill in Action: Radicalizing Your Yoga Practice to Create a Just World. Radical Transformation Media.
  • Magee, R. V. (2016). “if you plant corn, you get corn”: On mindfulness and racial justice in Florida and beyond. Florida Bar Journal, 90(4), 36.
  • Nanamoli, B & B. Bodhi. (1995). The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha: A Translation of the Majjhima Nikaya (The Teachings of the Buddha). Boston, MA: Wisdom Publications.
  • Welwood, J. (2000.) Towards a psychology of awakening. Boston: Shambhala Press.
  • Williams, A.K. (2016) Radical Dharma: Talking race, love, and liberation Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books.