created by a woman of colour, for BIWOC
warriors for embodied liberation
WEL is an invitation only offering of Universal Partnership (UP) and led by master trainer, coach, and facilitator, rusia mohiuddin. a 2-year teacher training program, WEL centers the leadership of BIWOC to lead, teach, and heal in our communities and movements.
our work is funded & supported by Robert Sterling Clark Foundation.
embodied coaching creator & teacher
rusia n. mohiuddin is a master trainer, facilitator, coach, and strategist who pioneered the integration of somatics into an organizing framework. drawing from her experiences in life and in movement work, she has developed a coaching and training model specifically designed to serve women of colour.
this model of coaching centers humanity & is driven by practices of change that acutely align with who & how we want to be in the world. embodied coaching integrates both how unique experiences shape individual as well as integrating a model of how we tend to change, intentionally & unintentionally.
embodied training & facilitation
WEL students engage in, practice, & then learn to facilitate & train on a growing number of core methodologies, specifically created for the WEL community. this works serves a grounding first, then a springboard for folks to take their learned experiences to create models & methodologies of their own.
BEAT-wel Leadership Council
Being Embodied Authentic Teachers (BEAT) is a convening of wel cohort leaders to harness the collective wisdom of the wel community and to ensure that, as wel grows, the community remains connected and accountable to one another.
BEAT-wel leadership council members also play an active role in assessing and recommending Year 2 student-teachers for certification.
roles & responsibilities
BEAT-wel reps will serve on the leadership council and be called upon to shape future programming and structure. The primary roles of BEAT-wel are as follows:
- Participate and support in decision-making for Year 2 students performing their finals;
- Engage in fundraising activities for special wel community events and/or programs;
- Work with other BEAT-wel representatives to design and pilot points of engagement for transitioned cohorts; and
- Ensure our wel community is living and embodying our collective values both internally and externally;
Each BEAT-wel rep may nominate themselves and another person to serve with them. Each rep must have one nomination from wel community member from their cohort, the cohort before theirs, or the cohort after theirs.
Manuela Arciniegas LaSalle
Manuela is an active wel community leader & member who has created & lead space for current wel participants to grapple with change processes during the pandemic. She is an invaluable member of the wel community.
Natalia is a wel community leader from the original first cohort of the program. They will represent this first trailblazing cohort in the leadership council.
Monika is an active leader in the wel community who has curated spaces to support wel students & student-teachers address & work through challenges presented by grief during the pandemic. Monika brings a unique level of embodiment to the work & community.
Rae is an active leader in the wel community. They have supported folks from across the cohort spectrum & continues to model the kind of leadership required to maintain our community as a collective living being.
Jari is a wel OG & the heart of the community this program is meant to serve, develop, & uplift. Their leadership will be a critical part of ensuring that BEAT-wel is made up of women of colour at the core of who are work is in service to.
WEL COMMUNITY OF PRACTITIONERS, STUDENTS, & STUDENT-TEACHERS
As a member of MRNY, I found myself working collaboratively with my peers and organizers to coordinate local, citywide, and national youth organizing events through the Urban Youth Collaborative (UYC) and the Alliance for Educational Justice (AEJ). A few years later, I had the amazing opportunity to become part of the YPP team as an organizer on staff. MRNY at the time was the coordinating anchor organization of AEJ. I took on the role of event planning and logistics for AEJ national convenings at 19 years old. MRNY saw leadership and skills that I didn’t even realize were being cultivated in myself at the time. With each convening wanting to meet the needs of all the communities that I would be serving I was committed to making sure that each convening, meeting, training, action, youth networking event was better than the last and it was. This was one of the many moments during my organizing career where I remember feeling, seeing, and embracing joy from a job well done. While wearing my coordinating and logistics hat, I also still had to show up as an organizer and support the young people.
The extension of trust, compassion, honesty, and accountability that was given to me as a youth leader was critical to my successful experience as an organizer. I also realized the importance of cultivating self love and learning to be more sustainable if I was going to continue to want to serve my community for the long haul. I had the opportunity to further my professional development by participating in an 11 week intensive training: Leaders for Embodied Organizing (LEO), with Rusia Mohiuddin from Universal Partnership. LEO was the integration of somatics & organizing skills. It was exactly what I needed. I came back from the training ready, grounded, and understanding just exactly how I wanted to continue to work with young people from various socio economic and health backgrounds within in my community.
2017, I spent it assisting a new local organization in the South Bronx build out their youth program, bring on a permanent staff for the Youth Team, assist in their year long development plan, and assisted in the creation and facilitation of their first ever youth summer program where stipends were raised through a grassroots effort. Even as I have since transitioned out of my role the relationship with the leaders & staff brought on continue to live on.
During this time I was also a student-apprentice of Warrior’s for Embodied Liberation (WEL). WEL is an apprenticeship program developed and lead by Universal Partnership's principle, Rusia Mohiuddin. WEL is a 2-year training program in which the students learn and practice the core methodologies for embodied training and coaching. as a part of their studies, students explore, learn, and develop pieces on our understanding of many things related to change work. One of the first points of entry, into understand the work UP does, is human nature. what is human behavior and how does change happen? It has been and continues to be a privilege to share space with mentors & peers that seek to change the world with integrity, resilience, humor, & love at the center. It is the breath of fresh air & understanding that I have been seeking.
Organizing is a small world and I have had the honor to meet & share space with former Picture the Homeless members (PTH) during my leadership as young organizer. After taking a much needed break and through intentional reflection I felt ready to come back into the organizing movement and I feel lucky to have found another home with Picture the Homeless (PTH). There is already so much richness and authenticity! I am looking forward to sitting, listening, building & creating lasting impactful change with PTH members and staff.
Mo's over 25 years of organizing experience begun in college where she worked locally with NYPIRG on varies environmental issues. Upon graduation, Mo began working with SEIU Local 1199 and was there for close to 10 years. After leaving 1199, Mo moved on to become the Lead Organizer at the Empire State Pride Agenda, where she fought for the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. At Pride Agenda, Mo worked on various statewide campaigns including being on the lead team that developed the organizing strategies to win Marriage Equality across New York State. She also furthered the annual statewide lobby day, as it expanded from 400 to over 1000 participants. After moved on from Pride Agenda, Mo joined CVH to work on something near and dear to her, public housing.
As a proud product of public housing, she feels that her past work at CVH has help to preserve public housing, and the campaign has won over $700 million towards that preservation. Mo organizing work has led her from meetings at the White House, to becoming a Professional Fellow with the U.S. Department of State through their work with the Greater Lakes Consortium out of Toledo Ohio. This work has allowed her to travel across Eastern Europe to places such as Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria, to teach community organizing as well as learn about challenges facing varies Eastern European communities.
Mo dedicated her leadership skills to her growth while working with various organizations such as Heritage of Pride (HOP) and FIERCE. Mo is honored to be one of the Co-Chairs and Festival Director Queens Pride. She holds her Bachelor’s degree in Black Studies and her Master’s in Public Administration (MPA) from Metropolitan College.
In April 2010, he joined the Alliance for Educational Justice (AEJ) as the National Campaign Organizer but was also a founding organizer and member of the leadership council that formed AEJ in 2008. There he worked on federal legislation to end the school to prison pipeline and worked with black and latinx youth in over 30 states across the country. In 2014, he joined the staff of the Gay Straight Alliance Network as the Director of National programs based in Oakland, California. He continues to work tirelessly to build an ongoing national movement of Trans, Queer, and Gender non conforming youth leaders to reinvent America's schools in multiple states across the US. He uses the tools he's learned from movement building with youth and communities of color who face multiple intersections of oppression through building intentional disciplined movements. He was excited to join FIERCE in 2016 first as the board co chair then in his current role as the Executive Director. FIERCE builds the collective power of LGBTQ youth of color who fight to end youth homelessness, to end state violence from the police and prison system, and create safe and supportive learning environments that are free from bullying and stigma. FIERCE is an organization he looked up to when he came out in the late 1990's and works with their membership to build the next generation of our movement's leaders. He builds and inspires powerful community led solutions through a combo of political education, radical vision, direct organizing tactics, compassionate agitation, creative cultural expression, and the warrior wisdom gifted him by his ancestors.
Since starting NOOR Consulting in February of 2018, she has supported several women of color coaching clients from organizations like Center for Community Change and the Surdna Foundation. She has led equity and justice organizational change efforts for organizations like the Natural Resources Defense Fund and Enterprise Community Partners and facilitated numerous meetings for coalitions like It Takes Roots, EMPLOY Youth Collaborative in New Orleans, Career Rise in Atlanta. She has supported the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Atlanta Civic Site and various foundations through grantee convening and strategy support (including Community Food Funders, Doris Duke, Jessie Smith Noyes, Kresge, MS, Nathan Cummings and the Neighborhood Funders’ Group). She has facilitated events for business social impact programs including Sir Kensington’s and Adidas.
Prior to launching her own operation, Simran was Senior Fellow at the new Race Forward. The new Race Forward is the union of two leading racial justice non-profit organizations: Race Forward and Center for Social Inclusion (CSI).
Previously, Simran served as CSI’s Vice President of Policy & Programs, a key senior level manager who worked directly with the President and Senior Vice President, providing programmatic leadership through the management and coordination of all program staff, strategy development, program management, organizational networking, alliance building, and relationship management. In this role, Simran’s primary responsibilities included programmatic strategy, planning, implementation, staffing, and evaluation. During her tenor as Vice President, she also served as a Deputy Director of the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) where she supported the team in developing strategies and tactics to support local and regional government to achieve racial equity.
Simran also led CSI’s program team who, in turn, ensure the delivery and impact of CSI’s programs. In her past work at CSI as Coordinator of Advocacy and Director of Policy & Strategy, Simran designed and facilitated dozens of workshops in collaboration with national and local community and government groups focused on applying a structural race analysis as well as specific policy issues including transparency and accountability, transportation, food and health equity. During her time at CSI, Simran worked directly with local and national advocates across the country including in Detroit, New York City, and Seattle.
Prior to joining CSI, Simran served as Program Manager at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation where she worked with the Food, Health & Well-being, Racial Equity, and Civic & Community Engagement portfolios. She also served as Program Assistant at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, where she supported the Policy Research and KIDS COUNT teams. Simran is deeply committed to youth development, having worked in organizational development and as frontline staff for the Holistic Life Foundation, a Baltimore-based yoga and mindfulness program, and as a language arts and community engagement teacher for middle school students through the Middle Grades Partnership.
Simran has written and commented for a variety of media including the Detroit Free Press, The Times-Picayune, The Hill, Aljazeera America and City Limits Magazine. She also has been a featured panelist on MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry. Simran is also a regular speaker on issues of racial equity—frequently featured at conferences and public meetings.
Simran holds a dual bachelor’s degree in American Studies and Political Science from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and a dual master’s degree in Public Administration and Social Policy from the University of Pennsylvania. She currently also serves as a board member for Building Movement Project and South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT).
Queens Coordinator for Make the Road Action Ms. Bisono for the last 5 years has been electoral and grassroots organizing to advance progressive political and policy changes to build black and brown community power.
Prior to moving back down in New Mexico, Eli served as United We Dream’s National Field Director for four years. There, she worked to develop UWD’s field and political strategy and implementation plans for the Texas, New Mexico, Florida, and California branches during a time of massive mobilizations and incredible resistance. Eli also has helped in the development of the field infrastructure for UWD c3 and UWDA c4 civic engagement.
During this time she developed a strong organizing curriculum centered in healing, love and joy which are now core values that the NMDT/UWD leadership pipeline centers around. Elis also played a major role in growing the civic engagement capacity for both United We Dream and our sister organization United We Dream Action. While these are just two examples, the victories and transformations she was able to achieve during her time with UWD are numerous and amazing.
Her work in social justice began when she made the decision to come out as undocumented back in 2004 and participated in her first class walk out at Capital High School in Santa Fe to voice the need for access to college education for undocumented youth in New Mexico. Ever since, Eli’s organizing practice is rooted in racial justice, intersectionality and indigenous epistemology.
Currently she is a member of the Board of Directors for the Center for Civic Policy (CCP) and Funders Youth Collective Organizing (FYCO) and holds two B.A. degrees and a M.P.A from the University of New Mexico.
As the founder of Nepantla Navigations LCC, Krista also provides consulting, coaching, facilitation, and training services for organizations and individuals. Their experience and focus are in personal and organizational development in the above mentioned areas of expertise.
Krista is part of the Radical Dharma community, and is in constant churning, learning and un-learning ways of being, rooting their liberation practices in the RD5. Krista is an artist, writer, weaver, alchemist, bruja, singer, gender non-binary mixed race/mestizx, and nepantlera. Born and raised in Colorado, they now reside in Fort Collins with her growing family and chosen family of plants, animals and humans alike.
Natasha began their work with CEJ when their children's school was placed on the NYC Department of Education's list for closure. After a successful campaign to prevent the closure of that school, they became a dedicated CEJ parent leader and then took on the role as the Coordinator.
The NYC Coalition for Educational Justice unapologetically organizes in Black, Brown and immigrant communities, and uses parent voices and power to advance research-based strategies to improve academic outcomes for students. CEJ’s current campaign is focused on pushing NYC to adopt Culturally Responsive Education, including cultural competency trainings for teachers and school staff, diverse curriculum and a DOE Office of Culturally Responsive Education.
They have helped to lead the fight for culturally responsive education and curriculum in NY City, State and Nationally. Their work with CEJ lead to the $23 million investment in implicit bias trainings for all NYC Dept of Education educators and staff.
It is clear to them that the path to our collective liberation is through organizing, collective community building, healing for the generational effects of white supremacy, actively envisioning our freedom futures and embodied joy.
Through their work with CEJ, Natasha gives parents the tools to use their power and wisdom to transform a school system that has historically underserved Black and Brown children.
From 2000 to 2016, she was employed with the NYC Administrative Services for Children as a Child Protective Specialist (2000-2007) and the Administrative Director of Social Services in the legal department located in the Bronx.
She has also taught Pre-Kindergarten, volunteered as an art teacher, and was a freelance artist for an art organization.
APPLICATION PROCESS IS CLOSED UNTIL 2022
the WEL program includes 24 daylong trainings and 24 (50 minute) coaching sessions. all sessions will be virtual until further notice and run from April 2021 to February 2022.
the cost of the yearlong program is as follows:
- $2400.00 per year, for self-pay; or
- $2700.00 per year, for institutional support.
everything you need to know to…
make a grounded decision.
WEL is a rigorous cohort-based teacher training program. to complete the program and certification process requires a grounded understanding of the expectations and requirements.
this is a practice-driven program.
this application processes are designed by teacher-students entering their 2nd year of the program.interested? email us
- complete application
- schedule interview
- complete interview
- applicant notification
- cohort 5 sessions begin in April 2021
- WEL cohort 4 (C4) invites & reviews applicants/applications
- C4 will determine which applicants to interview based on application
- Paired C4 teams interview applicants
- C4, based on interview teams’ recommendations, make a collective decision on applicants to invite into C5
- C4 makes final recommendation to teacher & facilitator, rusia, to determine cohort 5 participants
- Application available December 11, 2020
- Application due by January 6, 2020
- Interview period: January 25- February 9, 2021
- Finalists selected and notified: February 25, 2021
things to consider
- applicant understands requirements & expectations
- organization (if applicable) is aware of & supports applicant’s participation in WEL
- applicant plans & creates availability for the full application process & all sessions
- timely availability of applicant to complete & engage in process & to cohort 4
during and after the program, participants will…
- Formally be certified as an Embodied Coach™ and Embodied Trainer/Facilitator;
- Cultivate a client base to coach using UP’s Embodied Coaching methodology, principles and values;
- Develop sharp skills in:
- Supervisory and managerial excellence;
- Authentic embodied leadership skills that inspire others to bring their best selves forward in their life and work;
- Focus on generative problem-solving;
- Develop effective collective and group work; and
- Increase effectiveness and efficiency with acuteness that honors their work and their humanity.
- Design and facilitate embodied leadership retreats, such as #practicingJUSTICE 1.0 (daylong versions);
- Integrate embodied leadership practices into their work using innovative and personal styles; and
- Develop grounding relationships, throughout the program, to serve as a support community moving forward.