Colors Without Border’s Gathering Gratitudes!

• Monday, July 03rd, 2017
Over Memorial Day Weekend two of our local leaders were able to attend the “Colors Without Border’s InterPlay Gathering in the Washington DC area.  I wanted to share their wisdom and gratitudes with the community!
Leah Mann writes:  I was very grateful to have been supported by the Seattle InterPlay to attend the Colors Without Borders :  Affirmations in Whole Body Play this past May in Washington D.C.

It was a beautiful intersection of the race equity  and art activism work that I am currently doing with Lelavision, Moving in the Spirit and as member of the Race Equity Committee of the Harbor School.  We are all subject to oppressions – racism, sexism, heterosexism, elitism, classism, Christian hegemony, nationalism, ableism, ageism and colonialism but each oppression is magnified as skin tone darkens as is the stigma and marginalization.  Not just in InterPlay but in so many circles, people of color enter spaces and  scan the room for any other folks like themselves…the ethnic head count.  Is it safety habit or a human factor of needing to belong?  I am so proud of InterPlay for supporting the InterPlayers of color to assert their identity and come together in an act of courage and liberation moving beyond the narrative burden of assimilation to  really deeply explore how the InterPlay forms can be utilized to create safe enough spaces to support difficult conversations and deep healing individually and systemically around race and equity.  YAY InterPlay!!!

Xaxxie-K Sarka writes:

During the summer of 2016 I attended my first National InterPlay Leader’s Gathering.  When deciding to attend, I had no idea that it would become the start of a grand movement in the making, towards the building of a robust People of Color (POC) InterPlay community.   Coke Tani, our POC liaison, did fantastic work in organizing POC InterPlayers across the nation to attend this gathering.  There were a total of 14 POC’s, the most ever at a Leader’s Gathering.  During this gathering, we decided that we needed more time together, as a POC group body, to play and connect with one another.  Thus, InterPlay’s first POC retreat, Colors Without Borders was born!

Before I speak about my experience at Colors Without Borders, I would like to make a comment about my experience with the Leader’s Gathering.  When I returned home from the Leader’s Gathering and attended Seattle InterPlay events in which once again I was the only POC, I no longer felt alone.  The beautiful spirits of my fellow POC InterPlayers were in the room with me.  Their presence was so palpable!

The National Leader’s Gathering took place in August.  The following month, on September 11, I officially started my business, Sneaky Deep Collective, whose mission is to market InterPlay on a broader scale.  In order to find the courage to start my business, in which I have a drive to create a more diverse InterPlay community in Seattle,  it was vital for me to have that direct experience at the Leader’s Gathering, which enabled me to have faith that other POC’s could adopt InterPlay as a life practice.

Tears are filling my eyes as I think of what to write, reminiscing about my experience at Colors Without Borders.  I’m not quite sure how to put my experience into words, of what it is like to have an InterPlay connection for the first time with someone who is of the same ethnic background as myself.   For in my home city of Seattle, I am almost always the only Asian at InterPlay events.  I’ve done many contact hand dances over the years, but never with someone who shares my ethnicity.  At the Colors Without Borders retreat, I shared a hand dance with another Asian InterPlayer and the experience felt totally new, like I was doing a hand dance for the very first time.  I couldn’t believe the difference in the quality of my experience!

I have returned home from this retreat with even more beautiful POC InterPlay spirits in my heart.  My determination to build a diverse InterPlay community in Seattle has increased ten fold.  I am forever grateful to the InterPlay Seattle Sounding Board, for approving the financial support from the community.  Mahalo nui loa!
Make Grace, Go PLAY!


Colors Without Borders InterPlay Gathering in the DC area

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