Healing from Childhood Bullying – Creative & Self-Love Intensive

Start: 2022-07-10 11:00:00 UTC Pacific Daylight Time (US & Canada) (GMT-07:00)

End: 2022-08-28 13:30:00 UTC • Pacific Daylight Time (US & Canada) (GMT-07:00)

This is a virtual event

Host Contact Info: vanessarochellelewis@reclaimugly.org

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Join Reclaim UGLY and Facilitator Vanessa Rochelle Lewis for our first ever Healing from Childhood Bullying – Creative & Self-Love Intensive

This 8 week trauma-informed, art healing program is designed to:
- support you to engage with the harmful impacts of being bullied as a young person,
- map how your experiences with bullying have shown up in crucial parts of your life,
- embrace the self-compassion and righteous rage you deserve to heal,

- release any narratives, lies, and self-blame that continue to give your bullies power,

- and understand how your experiences are connected to the larger narrative of systemic oppression.

Together, we will use a wide diversity of art healing techniques and tools, including visual arts, creative writing, theatre activities, joyful movement, self-defense, sound healing, magic, zine making, photography, and more to reclaim our magic from abuse and bullying. There will be an abundance of play and joy time, as we solidly believe that healing cannot happen without pleasure and community.

***Program Values***

Our time together will be deeply entrenched in the values of collective liberation and transformative justice. All members of our community are welcome, but we do make extra efforts to center the voice, pace, and participation of our BIPOC, disabled, and trans participants. We believe in the importance of safe spaces, and will facilitate multiple identity-specific spaces during and outside of our time together. We also know that we are all at different places in our life and have not all accessed inclusive social justice arenas. Even if you are not an expert on diversity and inclusion or have the most up to date language, you are still welcome to this space. Our facilitators will guide all participants with love, compassion, and intentionality. Please let Reclaim UGLY become a member of your family, as you are already a member of ours.

Participants will receive a special care package with all the materials needed for this intensive, a workshop zine full of your writing and art when the course is completed, and an opportunity to perform in a closing ceremony for friends and family. We are limiting this program to 24 participants to ensure that all participants are able to share their voices and receive the attention they deserve during this program.

***Program Details***

When: July 10th - August 28th, 2022,  Sunday

Dates:  July 10th | July 17th | July 24th | July 31st | August 7th | August 14th | August 21st | August 28th

Time: 11 AM - 1:30 PM PT

Location: Zoom


  • Sliding Scale Intensive Cost: $450 - $600
    • Includes
      • Two 45 minute one-on-one calls with Vanessa
      • Written feedback on one writing prompt (of up to 5 pages)
      • One Reclaim UGLY Gift Bag

  • Sick & Disabled BIPOC Scholarship: $350
    • Includes everything that accompanies the sliding scale sear
    • Please email vanessarochellelewis@reclaimugly.org to register for the discount.

***Note*** We will accept a monthly payment plan. Please register under the $50, $100, or $250 ticket to reserve your seat.

Accessibility: Live Automated Captions, Accompanying Syllabi, 1 free 30 minute support call. Program is in English

Level of Interactiveness: High. Please note that this workshop is very experiential and interactive. Please participate in a quiet and private place.

***Why This Program?***

As adults, we rarely talk about the trauma of childhood bullying and the ongoing impact it can have on our adult selves. In fact, we're often encouraged to not talk about the pain and trauma of it; to mask our pain, grow up, and get over it; and to aspire towards the capitalist performance of becoming more successful than our bullies. The truth is, repressing our feelings, especially the most difficult of them, never results in healing. It just generates more pain and trauma. We all deserve better.

Bullying, like other forms of harassment and violence, has an ongoing and deeply somatic impact on our relationship to ourselves, how we treat others, how we allow other's to treat us, and what we believe is possible for our lives and our joy. Whether it's a result of being bullied or some other consequence of oppression, it's nearly impossible to generatively grapple through any sort of trauma without:

  • an affirming and supportive space to process through our experiences,
  • peers who believe us, empathize with us, and take our pain seriously,
  • the spaciousness and support to center our healing,
  • an abundance of opportunities to experience ourselves outside of other people's judgement and harassment, and
  • a whole lot of tender love and care!
Without the opportunity to heal and be held, many of us carry the shame, anger, and pain of our bullied legacy well into our adulthood. It impacts our romantic relationships, our confidence and self-worth at work, how we participate in community building and movement spaces, and even into how we love and parent our children. If this is your struggle, I want you to know that what you experienced is not your fault, and it surely doesn't have to inform your future.

Beloveds, regardless of what anyone says, bullying is not a youthful right of passage to suck up and it's not some casual affair that all children experience. If you've been bullied – whether it was at home, at school, or some other establishment – you survived a violence that too many young people, devastatingly and heartbreakingly, don't manage to live through and a legacy of harm that some people end up passing on to others. If you are still suffering, in any way, from the impact of childhood bullying, you deserve the opportunity to interrupt that legacy and UGLY (Uplift, Glorify, and Love Yourself) into healing and reclamation today.

About Your Facilitator

Hi! My name is Vanessa Rochelle Lewis! I am NO stranger to being bullied. I experienced it as a child, a teenager, at multiple work places, on the internet, and even within my own community. There were times when I wasn't sure I would survive the experience and consequent impact of being bullied, and - most likely like you, I know entirely too many people who didn't survive it. We all deserve better. We deserve joyful, peaceful, and violence free lives. Through art, therapy, and self-compassion, I've done a lot of work to love myself louder than the harm I experience. That love continues to not only save my life, it helps me to do the work to help other people save their own lives as well. While I may not be able to get all the bullies of the world to change their ways, I do believe that we can take our power, our magic, and our wholeness back while using our creativity to speak up about our experience and create more life saving healing for others.

***Official Bio***

Born and raised in South Central, Los Angeles, Vanessa Rochelle Lewis (MFA) is a Queer, Fat, Black, Neurodivergent, Femme performer, facilitator, educator, writer, activist, healer, joyful weirdo, and Faerie Princess Mermaid Gangsta for The Revolution.
Vanessa has danced across many professional and creative stages. She has been a Writer and Co-Managing Editor for acclaimed feminist magazines, Everyday Feminism & Black Girl Dangerous; a community college instructor at multiple Bay Area schools and radical transformative justice programs; a fundraiser and events coordinator for the Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project; the Artist In Residence for the Young Women Freedom Center where she facilitated Art Healing Workshops and a Master Class for formerly incarcerated women, trans, and non-binary people; and so much more. She is currently a core team member for Creating Freedom Movements (a year long social education project that supports grassroots visionary leaders to incubate healing and joy projects while learning more about the art, theory, and practice of social justice movements) and a Creative and Programming Consultant and Facilitator for the Positive Results Center (a family run organization founded by Vanessa’s mother, Kandee Rochelle Lewis, to create awareness and prevent the trauma that comes from experiencing violence and abuse! PRC specializes in addressing the impacts and source of bullying, sexual abuse, dating, domestic or inter-personal violence and sex trafficking). Vanessa has spoken at UC Berkeley, UC Davis, Hampshire College, The 5 Colleges Queer Conference, Saint Mary's College of California, UC Riverside, California College of the Arts, California Institute of Integral Studies, Mills College, and More.

After experiencing her appearance being weaponized against her on too many occasions, Vanessa began to write articles about ugliness and uglification. Many people responded with their own stories of being bullied and harmed due to their appearance. This exchange inspired Vanessa to create the organization, Reclaim UGLY: Uplift Glorify Love Yourself – And Create A World Where Others Can As Well! Her vision is to co-create a world where everyone knows that they are a safe, welcomed, and valued member of their communities; has the support to dream authentically and exists in their truths; and accepts that there is no face, no body, and no person who is ugly or unworthy of love and acceptance. In 2019 Reclaim UGLY hosted their first Ugly Conference and will be hosting The Reclaim UGLY Healing Retreat and Transformative Imagination Conference in Spring 2022. In 2020, Reclaim UGLY hosted Solidarity Healing September (an online, month long, racial justice heal-in/teach-in that was a fundraiser and heart raiser for Black Healing October) and Black Healing October (a month of daily FREE online healing workshops for Black people by Black people), and will be hosting both months again in 2021. Please visit www.reclaimugly.org to learn more.

When she’s not trying to save the world, Vanessa loves listening to audiobooks; flirting with her friends, her partner, and strangers; and swimming in every body of water she can find. Vanessa is proud to be the Board CO-Chair for Lyon Martin Health Health Services.