Liberatory Coaching: Our Love Letter to the Movement
CHJL is designed and run by BIPOC folks with a long history of social justice movement organizing.
Through years of organizing with the Bus Riders Union/Sindicato de Pasajeros/버스 승객 조합, Ban the Box, and other important struggles, we experienced victories, heartbreak, growth, pain, and so much richness. These experiences led us to coaching for social justice movement leaders to grow our capacity, resilience, and effectiveness to ultimately win the struggles we are fighting while, at the same time, making sure movement spaces are healing, uplifting, and don’t leave anyone behind.
We believe that through engaging in individual and collective healing and through the victories of social justice movements for those most-impacted by systems of oppression, we will achieve liberation for BIPOC people.
Recentering Cultural Values
Coaching for Healing, Justice and Liberation seeks to uncover and rediscover traditional and adaptive ways of living out our value systems of expansiveness and liberation for collective healing. We do this in a way that leans into the innate resilience and traditional wisdom of the cultures of our participants.
Our core values include:
Being Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC) led.
Holding an intersectional anti-oppression analysis that starts with understanding and dismantling white supremacy and settler colonialism.
Healing and self-reflection are necessary for individual and collective liberation.
A just and sustainable world is possible and we are a part of co-creating that world now.
Transformative justice and traditional ways of healing are central to our approach.
What we teach you to do:
Ask transformative powerful questions that elicit clarity and a path forward by identifying core needs
Create effective accountability for oneself and support others to do the same
Create trust and intimacy in relationships
Embody a coaching presence that invites trust and opportunity for growth
Self-manage of your own needs while coaching
Create people and planet-based ethics, emanating from collective and ancestral wisdom to create alternatives to white supremacist, settler colonial culture
Address the impact of implicit bias
Understand and address the impact of white/male/cis/etc. fragility on impacted groups
Undo white supremacy and other systems of oppression internal and external to your body
Guide your coach partner into a process that is liberating for them as an individual and for the collective
We seek to:
Provide a critical, compassionate, nuanced approach to nonprofit and movement culture
Support participants in our programs to name, navigate, and uproot white supremacy culture in their organizations and communities
Increase the effectiveness of movements and nonprofits by offering coaching skills as a way to heal communities, build coalitions, move through conflict, and undo systemic oppressions within these institutions
A Path Towards Liberation
We are weaving liberation into the fabric of our lives. Liberation begins with identifying how we are impacted by interlocking systems of oppression. Through coaching support we can see that the psychological iron shackles that limit us are, in fact, open.
We want people to come home to themselves and live from a place of joy. Our school seeks to invite individual reflection and transformation while building collective action towards justice.
"Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world; today I am wise, so I want to change myself."
-Rumi, the Muslim poet from Konya
About Our Team
I'm a coach, coach trainer, organizer, and artist. I came to coaching through organizing because I wanted a way to better manage what was happening inside of me as I was doing social justice work. As an empath-introvert, I realized in that journey that I could better support myself and others through coaching because it gave me the language to see others and myself as already whole. There was no management needed. It also felt deeply spiritual to me which felt right as someone who desires to connect to the Creator as a muslim. To that end, I want to be a part of creating a world where storytelling, healing, and transformation are pathways to freedom where we are in pursuit of elevating our highest spiritual selves.
I will support you to see your vulnerability as a strength, the parts of you that feel disparate as essential components of the whole, and to remind you along the way that you matter, how we win matters, and who we are along the way matters. Join me and us as we build the kind of world we deserve.
Co-Director & Lead Facilitator
As a coach, coach trainer, priest and healer, I help spiritual seekers with a social conscience connect heaven and earth. My training as a community organizer in South Central Los Angeles taught me to observe and assess material conditions—what was occurring on the ground and how to move those conditions forward to win social justice victories. My studies to become an Ifa Priest (Babalawo) speak of things happening in the spiritual realm before manifesting in the world. I try to live right in the sweet spot of awareness — between the metaphysical and physical, between heaven and earth.
For some of you heaven is the influence of God, Orisas or ancestors. Still others touch this heaven through their work in social justice movements. My work as a coach and coach trainer helps harness the infinite that allows you to fulfill your mission and effect concrete change here in the world.
Co-Director & Lead Facilitator
I love a great story, whether it’s told aloud by a friend over a nice glass of red or I happen to be nose deep in a great book. My love of reading and desire to ensure equitable education was the norm in my community led me to teach English for several amazing years. Much of that time I spent instructing middle school learners and made it a priority to hold space and create opportunities for learners to begin to understand, question and discuss systemic and structural racism in their immediate lived experiences, what they observed in the world and even within the context of the literature we read.
At my core I’m a helper, a visionary, a cheerleader of others. I’m a fiercely protective big sister, the cool auntie, a lover of make-up and big fluffy dogs; I believe in magic and that one of my gifts is to be able to hold space for others so they feel welcomed, seen and heard.
Coach, cultural strategist, catalyst, facilitator, creator, healer, poet, fly Auntie, infinite light body, human - being. If you were to use all of these words to describe me, you wouldn’t be finished. I am guided by the belief that we are each miracles in our own right and contain all of the magic in the Universe. What we do with that magic will tell the story of our lives. Along my journey, I read - a lot. Books, scriptures, people, body language, tarot cards and anything legible excites me and makes me curious about how things and people came to be the way they are. Coaching has given me the gift of witnessing the unlimited possibilities available to us.
I light up at the invitation to guide systems, organizations, programs, communities and individuals through the gooey phases of transformation. I’m an 80’s Baby born and raised in New Jersey by South Carolina Baptists but my story has crossed the continent and left me enchanted by the Southwest. I now call Maryland home. Champagne, cute shoes, and manicures are mood stabilizing forces in my life. My plants and my furbaby, Sir Avery James the Schnauzer, keep me accountable to nurture and nourish myself because that is an act of political warfare and you know Jersey Girls like to tussle! Word to Audre Lorde.
Alumni Relationship Manager
I live and work in Bulbancha and am a proud Southerner with roots in the Black Belt. My practice over the last 15 years has been in non-profit administration with a focus on building equitable and accessible administrative systems and grant processes. Primarily, my work has been at the intersection of art and social justice with a focus on connecting BIPOC communities of the South with culture bearers and artists working in civic practice towards building new and just futures to express mutually agreed upon outcomes that disrupt and interrogates long held, myopic social and traditional mores in order to offer its citizens the hope of a new and dynamic world. One where accountability and reconciliation are possible. Where commonality is found and solutions are sustainable and for the benefit of all, with the needs of those who continue to sacrifice the most, being prioritized. My creative practice is in ceramics and jewelry making using sourced vintage materials. In my downtime, you can find in my garden, outside reading or hosting friends and family.
Finance and Development Manager
In my previous roles at education and healthcare organizations, I learned about the degree of oppression that exists in systems and how severely they impact BIPOC communities. Beyond my professional experience, my greatest education has come from connecting with my Japanese, Filipino, and Native Hawaiian cultures and ancestors and communities in Spokane, WA, Oakland, CA, and Honolulu, HI. I believe that our community healers and leaders who are on the frontlines of battling systemic oppression need access to professional development opportunities that allow them to uplift the knowledge of their ancestors and community. By engaging with one another in a space grounded in their perspectives rather than a context that further oppresses BIPOC communities, we can cultivate resilience for individual and collective liberation.
Gaye Theresa Johnson is a lifelong learner and historian of freedom struggles and cultural politics. She is most interested in the humanity and politics that lead to mutual practices of radical transformation. She is the author of three books, all of them created at the crossroads where freedom, spatial politics, and cultural expression meet. As a coach, coach trainer, and consultant, Gaye facilitates spaces and practices of humanity that expand capacity to learn with all beings all the time. She endeavors to do this as a scholar, in her classrooms at UCLA, as a co-learner with movement leaders and community organizations, and as a consultant for social justice organizations and movement leaders, university faculty, foundations, boards, schools, and school districts. Gaye’s proudest achievement is being a mother and a part of the circle of family, friends, allies, and accomplices that constitute the core of her life.
Director of Continuing Education & Lead Facilitator