E. Uncovering Our Intercultural “Superpower”: Embodied Multicultural Identity as a Source of Resilience in a Polarized World

March 15, 2019

Increasingly, we are faced with events which show us that a world with a multitude of beliefs, identities, and ways of life is being met with fear and suspicion rather than curiosity and acceptance—even within and between communities that have been historically oppressed.  What can we do as interculturalists with the increasing polarization in our world, our work, and perhaps within ourselves? The key may lie within our own bodies. We hold our histories, our cultures, and our worldviews not only in our minds but in the ways our bodies interpret and react to the world around us. What if having multicultural identities has already prepared us on a somatic level to be more aware and more capable of understanding and integrating difference?  If so, what are the ways we can use this “superpower” to help others gain a real felt-sense of difference as a resource, and not a threat?

This one-day workshop will explore this possibility through experiential group activities and discussions of the strengths and skills of having a multicultural identity, the challenges our brains and nervous systems experience when encountering difference, and how to use somatic awareness and Embodied Code-Switching as tools to build resilience and increase capacity to find our own choices in the tension of polarity.

Marcia Warren Edelman

Marcia Warren Edelman, MA, MA, LPCC is a Somatic Counselor/Body Psychotherapist with over 15 years of experience in international educational exchange and Native American policy and advocacy. She works with individuals and groups in the areas of cultural awareness and competency, social justice, and intercultural communication through a trauma-informed lens. In addition to her private practice, Marcia provides workshops on Embodied Code-Switching, a model she created that supports the expression of multicultural identities through somatic awareness. Her work, “Moving Between Identities: Embodied Code-Switching,” has recently been published as a chapter in the book Oppression and the Body: Roots, Resistance, and Resolutions. Marcia is an enrolled member of the Santa Clara Pueblo of New Mexico and is of Brazilian-Italian heritage.