June 1st marks the beginning of Pride in the United States, a month-long celebration of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Last year, in the midst of a fraught and unpredictable 2020, Pride marked a bright spot where we had the chance to honor our community through conversations with our teachers, namely: Adam J. Kurtz, Ashley C. Ford, Rumaan Alam, Marie-Noëlle Wurm, and Peggy Dean. You can read those here.

This year, the world is changing fast. So we paused to think a lot about the deeper meaning of Pride, and all that the LGBTQIA+ community has given us in celebration of creativity, expression, and so much more. Juneteenth intersects Pride month on June 19 and, as it does each year, reminds us of freedom won, earned, and delayed.

Photos by Skillshare teacher Sophia Emmerich, courtesy of the artist

Expression is inherent to who we are as human beings, but for marginalized groups, expressing individuality has too often come with a heavy price. And yet, creative expression is the foundation for how we process our emotions, fight for human rights, communicate our collective and individual experiences, develop empathy, and learn to understand those who are different from us.

Join us for programming all month-long

This Pride Month, we welcome you to unleash your creative freedom. We want to see you in your full glory. We want to honor how far you’ve come – this year, this lifetime -in your own creative unfolding! What happens when you take a moment to reflect on your creative power and are given the space to honor it? 

To foster that space and nurture that reflection, we have partnered with upcoming Skillshare teacher, transformational speaker, author, and musician Justin Michael Williams on a Pride series at Skillshare. Throughout the month, we’ll be sharing resources to uncover your radical authenticity, and live in your full truth. Here’s what you can expect from us:

  • A Pride meditation from Justin Michael Williams and conversations with Skillshare teachers Desdemona Dallas, Soraya Zaman, and Sophia Emmerich
  • A Live session focused on sharing your radical authenticity
  • A downloadable toolkit to help you discover your authentic truth
  • A short film for Juneteenth to inspire your creative expression
  • A brand new Skillshare Original from Justin Michael Williams to help you use mindfulness to level-up your creative power 
Skillshare Original teacher Justin Michael Williams

Stay tuned here and on our Instagram throughout June and help us celebrate our community for Pride.

At Skillshare, we believe everyone is creative. In order to help facilitate equal opportunities and access to creativity, we have made donations to the following organizations this Pride. We welcome you to explore them further:

Photographer and Skillshare teacher Sophia Emmerich during a Pride 2021 photoshoot

About Justin Michael Williams

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

We invite you to start with this song from Justin Michael Williams. In his words: “No matter how much we meditate, learn, grow, accomplish, achieve, or succeed – there’s always going to be that child inside of each of us who just wants to know that they are enough. Not just for how much they “do,” but for who they are. “I Am Enough” is dedicated to the child inside of you. An anthem for each of us to remember that we are worthy, no matter how much we’ve been through.”