Affinity Spaces and Community Calls
One of the ways in which we strive to embody our core values at Ancestral Medicine is the inclusion of affinity spaces in our live, online courses. We find these optional/opt-in spaces support greater cultural safety which in turn supports learning and connection, especially for our Ancestral Lineage Healing course.
Any affinity space we offer in connection with online courses will be facilitated by ritualists in the Ancestral Medicine Practitioner Network who are of that respective identity and who have received basic training from Ancestral Medicine in how to anchor a supportive affinity space. Most also have extensive experience guiding multi-cultural group processes in other settings.
We ask course participants to mindfully self-select for participation in these spaces, and remember that you’re welcome to participate as often or as little as you wish. The first meeting of each community call will thoroughly review group expectations, and call schedules and links will be available through the course portal. Even if some aspects of one or more of the spaces resonate with you, there is no pressure to opt in. The affinity spaces and community calls are there to support you and your experience with the course and if they’re not serving in that way, it’s fine to simply pass.
As of mid-2022 we offer four affinity spaces, each of which include a private discussion forum, weekly hour-long community calls, and 30-minute small group breakout spaces after the main teaching calls. The groups, their intentions, and the criteria for participation are outlined below.
This space exists in response to global discrimination against people of diverse sexual orientations, gender expressions, and gender identities and intends to serve people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer as well as people who are intersex, two-spirit, asexual, etc. If you feel harmfully othered by restrictive norms around sexual orientation and gender identity, this space is for you.
This space exists in response to the presence of global anti-Blackness within modernity and the persistence of racial hierarchies based on skin color. It is for anyone who both identifies as Black and is generally read by the culture in which they live as Black. As all affinity spaces are optional, feel free to join in, or not, as it suits you. If you have been impacted by Black racialization and other colonial impositions on your being and identity, then this is a safe space for you.
This space exists in response to global manifestations of white supremacy and is for all Black people, all Indigenous people, and all People of Color. We have added a “+” as a way to explicitly signal welcome also to light-skinned Indigenous people, mixed-race peoples, and others who may be read by the dominant culture as “white” but nonetheless experience substantial othering based on the shifting categories and forms of privilege constructed by white supremacy. If you don’t identify as white and you experience harmful impacts from white supremacy, you’re welcome here. That said, if you’re of largely European ancestry and you have not experienced first-hand negative impact from racism as a regular or formative experience, you are not among the folks that this space is intended to serve. If you’re not sure, you can always ask; we’re also doing our best to strike this balance.
This space exists in response to global manifestations of antisemitism and is a safe space for all Jewish peoples. With respect to the complexities of Jewish identities, this space welcomes those connected to Judaism through ancestry, culture, family, and religious practice. We’ll make space both for the impacts of anti-Jewish oppression as well as sharing from diverse Jewish traditions of ancestor reverence. All those with Jewish ancestry as well as those practicing the tradition by choice are warmly welcome.