Radical Healing: the IEC Winter 2016 Retreat

Radical Healing
A collective poem inspired over the 2016 Winter IEC retreat

reimagining diversity
green fields with no fences
breaking down and building up
engage more with my communities
people labor criticism
find truth
self-defense, inspire change, heal
try to forgive myself for what I grow out of, and celebrate the possibilities of what i can grow into

thank you for being there, every single day
celebrate the possibilities of our imaginations
thank you not just for being there to talk to i needed anything but for struggling with me and making me a better person and comrade

i was served my last meal
a second chance
expose the lies I tell myself
listen with my head and my heart
be grateful for people
i felt the need to help
all the ways I could tell you I’m angry
help in a small way
i’ll always be your comrade

(Collective poetry is a way of creating an inspirational space where individual honesty and personal experience can develop into community expression. Teaching Tolerance says that collective poetry encourages people to “work from a shared pattern in order to join their voices in a collective rhythm.”)

Over flavorful home-cooked Mediterranean cuisine, organizers connected for an IEC retreat Saturday, January 30th, strengthening our relationships as organizers and friends.

This was a first for some: first IEC retreat or even very first activity as an IEC organizer. Seeing new members invest so much time and passion into the group encouraged everyone. We were also joined for a period by friends from Students for Justice in Palestine who shared in the solidarity.

During the day-long retreat, IEC designed plans for the next few months, setting the strategy for a semester of organized action and educational workshops.

Participants also had a moment of Real Talk: discussing what it means to each of us personally to be in a position of privilege at NYU, sharing candidly our experiences with privilege or exclusion, and exploring assumptions about identities or how certain forms of oppression can affect us insidiously.

Reflecting over three years of organizing, IEC recognizes that this is a pivotal moment for the ATB campaign! The Silver school has abolished the box for graduate students and NYU has begun a conversation with the Common Application. We believe this will be the semester we Abolish the Box at NYU! We look forward to another semester of building the movement with our community at NYU and beyond.