Throughout Pride Month, together we have been focusing on being radically us. Living, creating, and expressing without abandoning ourselves and without apology. We’ve been finding strength in the inspiring words of our teachers and our community. We’ve also invited you into that quiet space we take to reflect and pause in a special meditation.
We chose this message of being radically you, of unleashing your creativity and your full expression with this very week in mind. On Saturday we commemorate Juneteenth – a stark reminder of freedom won, promised, and tragically delayed for the Black community. A day with direct extensions to now, especially when marginalized groups are at the core of our expression, our creativity, and our culture – setting influence and breaking boundaries.
Did you know that the Black trans community started the first ever Pride marches? Did you know that Juneteenth is sometimes referred to as Jubilee Day and Liberation Day? And although Pride and Juneteenth are separate occasions, we celebrate it all this month. It is the task ahead of each of us today and every day – to live as ourselves in all of our jubilance, claim our pride, and set ourselves free.
To help get you there, we created a toolkit. In “Radical Authenticity: Claiming the Truth of Who You Are,” we’ve divided the work into three sections to help you unlock your most joyful and truest self: You’ll learn to:
- Claim Your Truth
- Meet Your Shadow
- Take Authentic Action
Because when you shine a light on your shadow, you’ll find your greatest gifts – many of which have been hiding in plain sight. We hope that this toolkit will help you discover your boundless creativity, the imagination to create community, to learn, teach, live, and thrive.
Our most powerful gifts lie in the traits that make us different, even when our impulse is to suppress or hide them. In this video, Skillshare teachers and artists Justin Michael Williams and Sophia Emmerich explore “shadow work”— the idea of embracing what we usually hide. Once you hear from them, we invite you to explore exercises, prompts, and Live sessions centered around a single truth: that you are enough.
Justin Michael Williams, 33, is an author, transformational speaker, and top-20 recording artist who has become a pioneering voice for diversity and inclusion in wellness. From growing up with gunshot holes outside of his bedroom window, to sharing the stage with Marianne Williamson and Deepak Chopra, Justin knows well the pain of adversity and the power of healing to overcome. He has since been featured by The Wall Street Journal, Grammy.com, Billboard.com, The Root, The Advocate, Yoga Journal, and SXSW®. With his groundbreaking book Stay Woke, and over a decade of teaching experience, Justin’s message of hope and empowerment has spread to more than 40 countries around the globe, particularly through his national “Stay Woke, Give Back” tour bringing mindfulness to youth in underserved communities. Justin is dedicated to using his voice to serve; to being a beacon of hope for those who are lost, and to making sure all people, of all backgrounds, have access to the information they need to change their lives. Learn more at www.justinmichaelwilliams.com
For more from our Pride Series with Justin Michael Williams, head here.
Sophia Emmerich is a Berlin-based photographer whose career story started in a somewhat unexpected place: law school. After trading in her law degree for a camera, Sophia’s mission in art is to bring visibility to underrepresented groups and show the beauty of the LGBTQIA+ community by asking the viewer to rethink norms and customs.
Read Justin’s interview with Sophia here.