Embodied Activism: Engaging the Body to Cultivate Liberation, Justice, and Authentic Connection

Regular price $ 15.95

by Rae Johnson

North Atlantic Books

5/30/2023, paperback

SKU: 9781623176990


Instead of thinking about social justice as a process that starts with changing people's minds, Embodied Activism understands our bodies--how we feel in them and relate to others through them--as the sites of transformation

How do ordinary people with busy lives leverage our actions in support of liberation, justice, and authentic connection? How can activists and social change-makers avoid burning out? How does the body factor into what our social movements miss?
Drawing on the somatic arts, trauma-informed psychology, and anti-oppressive movements, Embodied Activism helps us explore and transform the political realities of our everyday lives in a new way: by harnessing the felt experience of our bodies as the sites of our activism.

Rae Johnson teaches us to listen to our body language--and to question body image norms. They show us how to reconnect to our sensual capacities, which we can lose sight of in a non-stop, nervous-system-hijacking world. They give us tools and exercises to nourish ourselves and protect our bodies, minds, and spirits from the toll that activism can take. And they teach us about nonverbal communication styles and how to connect with each other in joyful, authentic community.

Embodied Activism is written for embodiment professionals, community organizers, and all readers looking for new tools and perspectives for changing the world, one body at a time.


"Rae Johnson integrates decades of work in embodiment and social justice and makes the living of this accessible. While individual actions alone don't create wide-spread social change, practicing deep embodied development can make our organizing for systemic change more powerful, more liberatory, and more possible. Rae's invitation to embodied activism offers me a wide and pragmatic hope." -- Staci K. Haines, PHD, author of The Politics of Trauma and cofounder of generative somatics

"Accessible and deeply engaging, Embodied Activism weaves Dr. Johnson's personal experience and scholarship with the stories of community members, healing practitioners, and activists to show how knowing, working with, and radically loving our bodies is absolutely vital to the work of social justice." -- Kai Cheng Thom, MSW, MSc, author of I Hope We Choose Love

About the Author:

, PhD, RSW, RSMT, BCC is a social worker, somatic movement therapist, and scholar/activist working at the intersections of embodiment and social justice. Rae's approach to embodied activism has been shaped by decades of frontline work with street youth, women in addiction recovery, psychiatric survivors, and members of the queer community. Since completing their doctoral studies, Rae has held academic positions in several somatic psychology programs, including at Naropa University and Pacifica Graduate Institute. They currently teach somatic psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies and co-direct an online certificate program in embodied social justice.