The Alexander Technique Diversity Coalition grew out of one small act. In 2016, I convened a group of racially diverse Alexander Technique teachers to submit an abstract for the 2017 American Society for the Alexander Technique (AmSAT) Conference.
Aik Hooi Lee, Renee Schneider, Pyeng Threadgill and I, along with collaborators Mona Al-Kazemi and Belinda Mello, then developed a workshop to open the conversation about building for diversity in the Alexander Technique (AT) community.
The outcome of the workshop was shared agreement that an important first step and “means-whereby” is normalizing conversations about race, racism, and equity. The enthusiasm of the workshop participants -- to be a part of an ongoing conversation and collective action -- led to the birth of the Alexander Technique Diversity Coalition.
Belinda also facilitated a similar workshop at the 2017 Alexander Technique International conference and the coalition went on to create other projects.
The Alexander Technique Diversity Coalition is open to all Alexander Technique teachers and trainees and “meets” via its Facebook Page and conference calls where members work together to forward dialogue and strategies for inclusion in the Alexander Technique community. Learn more by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I was inspired to take this action by my work with the NYC Health Department’s Race to Justice Initiative and Dr. Mary Bassett, former Health Commissioner. Watch her Ted Talk: “Why your doctor should care about social justice”. The co-creation of a “Building for Diversity” workshop seemed like an important step toward a dialogue about the lack of diversity I had noticed in the Alexander Technique community over years of attending the annual AmSAT conferences and from attending the 2015 Alexander Technique World Congress.