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My name is Marla (they/them or she/her). I was born and raised in the midwest by a white cis woman and Black cis man both born in the early 50s and by my maternal grandmother who was born in the mid-1930s. I'm a Black, biracial, light skinned, genderqueer, queer femme in my 30s. I’m small-bodied and neurodivergent. I’m a US citizen who was raised with English as my first language in a home with mixed dialects. I come from a mixed class of peoples — farmers, veterans, teachers, care-takers, and so on. As an adult I am low-income working part-time and odd jobs with a goal to return to university (while acknowledging the toxicity & elitism that lives within academia). Each of these things I’ve named impacts how I move through the world. They shape my perspective, my privilege, my marginalization, and I work everyday to unlearn what has been passed down to me from family & culture that is rooted in colonization.

 

I embody many gifts, such as creative writing, singing, acting, and facilitating. Since arriving at 18 Springs, I began to connect with my personal mission to help others navigate & heal trauma while reconnecting with their bodies through creative wellness.

 

In 2018, after participating in Michelle Cassandra Johnson’s Skill in Action Yoga Teacher Training 200hr program, I committed to a continued education that centers antiracism within different healing modalities, such as decolonizing herbalism with Root Work Herbals: People’s Medicine School and Hood Herbalism, or learning about somatic abolitionism with Resmaa Menakem.

 

At 18 Springs, the work is expansive and includes generating clear & growth-inspiring ideas, editing, consulting, caring, amateur tech wizardry, coordinating systems, and managing communications with teachers, partners, and the public. I am grateful to be a part of building a foundation for something that will last lifetimes.

 

May we look to our ancestors who come from all beings, lay gifts before them and our breath to honor them. Let us tend to our hearts as we tend to Spirit. Let us know rest, joy, purpose, and ourselves.