Survivor Love Letter Workshop Series 💌
By Tani Ikeda
✨Survivor Love Letter Workshop Series✨
Embrace Your Inner Child Through Written Reflection, Meditation, and Self-Soothing Techniques
Welcome to the Survivor Love Letter Workshop Series, a magical journey into self-discovery, healing, and love. This 10-part-series is designed for survivors looking to reconnect with their inner child and foster a nurturing, compassionate relationship with their younger selves.
In this workshop series, you'll be guided through creative love letter writing prompts designed to help you connect with your younger self. You'll offer yourself the comfort your younger self may have always wanted. We'll share self regulation techniques including breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, and body scanning.
The Survivor Love Letter Workshop Series is being hosted in partnership with RAINN. A licensed therapist will be available in the “Online Therapist” breakout room if you’d like extra support during the workshop. By writing love letters to our younger selves, practicing meditation, and learning self-soothing techniques, we aim to provide you with the tools to nurture your inner child and create a more compassionate relationship with yourself.
Come prepared to this workshop with writing utensils, journal and ideally a comfortable place where you can sit and meditate with pillows and blankets.
Tani Ikeda is an Emmy award-winning director who creates narratives, documentaries, music videos, and commercial films. Survivor Love Letter has inspired survivors of sexual assault and their allies to publicly celebrate their lives. In 2012, on the anniversary of her rape, Tani penned a letter to her younger self that ended with the words: “this is my survivor love letter.”
Since then, #SurvivorLoveLetter has rippled out and become a hashtag, a letter writing campaign, a national mural project, and a viral social movement. These letters have immersed thousands of survivors with the message that not only are they believed, not only are they supported, they are loved. This year, Survivor Love Letter is expanding into online letter writing workshops that celebrate our younger selves.
Felicia Campbell is a licensed clinical social worker with 5+ years of clinical, academic and research experience centered around trauma and mental health. She has her Bachelors in Psychology from Syracuse University, her Masters in Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh and received her clinical training from Yale University. She has served trauma survivors in a variety of different capacities and settings in New York, Pittsburgh, London, Connecticut and now Washington, DC. She is new to RAINN as a clinical manager where she continues to support and advocate for survivors of sexual violence.
RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization. RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE, online.rainn.org y rainn.org/es) in partnership with more than 1,000 local sexual assault service providers across the country and operates the DoD Safe Helpline for the Department of Defense. RAINN also carries out programs to prevent sexual violence.
- Respect confidentiality: What is shared in the group should stay within the group.
- Be mindful of potential triggers: When sharing experiences, be mindful of details that could be potentially triggering for others. This can include graphic descriptions of trauma, suicidal ideation or other potentially sensitive topics.
- One Diva One Mic: One person speaks at a time. If we start talking over one another it becomes very hard to have an open conversation where everyone feels heard and respected. It can get exciting when the ideas are flowing and we want to blurt out our thoughts, but try to be respectful. If your peers begin speaking over each other you can shout out “One Diva One Mic!” to remind everyone to take turns in the conversation.
- Step Up Step Back: Some of us are quieter than our friends and some of us often find that we lead conversations. Step Up Step Back challenges those who are quieter to Step Up and take a more leadership role in the conversation and those who typically take charge to Step Back and practice active listening in the conversation and support their peers.
- Break it Down: When folks use academic language or words that you don’t understand, tell them to break it down (like MC Ham- mer). It is there responsibility to explain what they mean so that everyone can understand the words they are using in the conversation.
- Don’t Yuck my Yum: When we talk about sexual assault we also talk about desire and what feels good to our bodies. Some of us may desire things that may seem different than our peers, but all desires are valid. Don’t Yuck my Yum means that this is a safe space for all desires to be discussed openly without the fear of someone judging you and telling you that what you like is gross. Let’s foster an environment where we affirm each others desires because it can be a very scary first step in knowing what we like and what we want.
- Center the Marginalized: Often times, the stories in history that get recorded are the stories told by the hunters and not the hunted. They typically center the stories of heteronormative, cisgendered, white men. At Survivor Love Letter we want to share undertold stories in history and so a part of our politics is to center rather than marginalize stories of people who have been traditionally invisible in history. We center queerness, youth, women of color, Black, indigenous people, differently abled, poor and other marginalized experiences. Think about who isn’t being heard in the conversation? Who isn’t present or able to participate and let their voice be heard in the conversation. Name the invisible and marginalized in your own Breakout groups and make a commitment to center those experiences.
- Remember to self-care: Participating in group discussions can be emotionally draining. Be mindful of your own mental and emotional health and take time for self-care when needed.
- Brave Space: a brave space is an environment where people feel comfortable and respected, and are able to dialogue, debate, and work constructively together. What would make this a safe space for you to share, be open and creative with your peers? Define your own playground rules that will make the workshop feel safe to you.
✨Join us in this magical workshop series and deepen your relationship with your inner child. ✨