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The Western

Embodied Social Change and Healing Justice

Community Co-Chairs
• Shannon Mariotti, Professor of Political Science, Southwestern University,
• Farah Godrej, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of California, Riverside,
• James K. Rowe, Associate Professor, School of Environmental Studies, University of Victoria,

How to Participate:
If you’re interested in participating, please contact:
Shannon Mariotti,

How to Support
WPSA is not requiring any fees or membership dues to participate in its Virtual Communities during the 2020-2021 Pilot Program. Many people are volunteering their labor to make that possible, a model that will not be sustainable if we are to continue offering this program on a more permanent basis.

If you would like to support this initiative now and increase its viability for the future, please consider donating to help pay for administrative and IT costs. We especially invite participants who are not currently dues-paying members of WPSA to contribute. We suggest a sliding-scale of $5-$25 as you are able. You may contribute here:

Community Focus
Our community will focus on the connections between contemplative practice and political work, exploring the interrelation and interdependence between “inner work” and “outer work,” between meditative practice, for example, and social justice activism. Our community centers around the “healing justice” scholarship and activism, which explores how body work and contemplative practice can be a vital part of surviving in, and working against, the racist,  patriarchal and exploitative structures of our world. There will also be considerable room in our community for scholarship that explores the ways in which “mindfulness” discourse has been mobilized to perpetuate dominative systems (in policing, prisons, and corporations for example). 

Intended Participants
We have built a strong interdisciplinary community of over 50 scholars that we stay in touch with and we know they are all interested in continuing to engage with each other and work together with teaching, learning, scholarship, practice, and activism. We have a group list-serve and this would provide an ideal platform for our community to continue our collective work. Inclusivity is a primary goal of our group (in terms of axes of power such as race, but also academic rank and general accessibility). We will continue to make our events open to both our scholarly community and the multiracial general public, which includes many teachers, practitioners, and activists who connect with our work.

Our goals are to expand the parameters of politics to include the inner work of contemplative practices, embodied social change, and healing justice. We also seek to build community and nurture the work of the people in our discipline and related disciplines who are already doing this kind of scholarship, practice, and activism.

Kinds of Events Planned
Our first event will be a reading group.

Upcoming Events
Information about upcoming events will be posted here and on the unified Virtual Communities calendar at as events are scheduled. Convert event times to your local time zone at

Reading Group on Emergent Strategy
Date: Thursday, September 24, 2020 Time: Start time: 4pm PST/6pmCST/7pmEST. We will meet for about an hour and a half.
Event Details:
We will hold a reading group meeting on adrienne maree brown's book Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds.

We will meet via Zoom. Please feel free to come and go as your schedule allows, and please feel free to come even if you haven't finished the book or haven't even started it but want to!

Depending on the size of our group and what people want to do, we will also potentially hold break-own rooms for smaller discussions and break-out room caucuses for Black, Indigenous, People of Color.

Contact for Access:

Shannon Mariotti,