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8minutes46seconds: Expressive Dialogues on Racism

The concept of racism and its manifestations in our lives, communities and societies continue to be an inflammatory topic that can quickly become overwhelming and a site of intolerance. Often, room for this important topic is only made once a transgression has already occurred within our lives, workplace, community or society. Thus we are accustomed to entering these dialogues from a reactive place of hurt, anger and/or defensiveness. It is rare that we who navigate a racist society have an opportunity to process that in a proactive way. This workshop series aims to fill that gap in anti-racism work.

Based on the art of Ameera Lys’ “8minutes46seconds” series, participants will be guided through a timed mark-making exercise based on the circumstances of the murder of George Floyd. The meditative empathy building exercise will include thoughtful prompts and discussion led by the artist and facilitator in order to explore racism and collective trauma. Using a cohort model, we will explore the dynamics and implications of racism with a trauma-informed lens. Using various forms of intellectual, creative and emotional engagement. 

The first session will be held in-person and attendance is mandatory as the foundational session of the series. Participants will engage with an experiential creative arts exercise that builds empathy for self as survivors, victims, bystanders, and perpetrators of racial violence. Complicated critical conversations on race are facilitated by Ameera and Linda. Details of the first workshop are included below.

The 4 subsequent 2-hour sessions will be virtual and build upon prior workshops, with the final session meeting in person at Pivot. Participants will use creative journaling throughout the remainder of the cohort to meditate on concepts brought forth in sessions and respond to prompts between sessions. Specifically focusing on themes of personal histories of racism, role(s) within situations of the manifestation of racism, tolerance/acceptance/empathy/apathy, dehumanization & objectification as well as the echoes of racial trauma in the present on a micro, mezzo and macro scale. The flow of the sessions will depend upon the pace of the participants and salient needs of those in the room. 

Womencare is honored to partner with Pivot Collective to promote and support this workshop. The series is open to all identities and intersections, therapists and non-therapists alike. Any person looking to explore the dynamics and implications of racism with a trauma-informed lens is welcome.

Participants do not need any prior art-making experience, and do not and will not need to view any footage of the incident to attend.

Workshop objectives:

To use creative and conversational methods such as mark-marking meditative exercise to explore the internalized impact of societal and interpersonal racism, oppression and collective trauma in our lives and work.

  • Through the use of creative arts, this workshop will explore the impact of racism and collective trauma on ourselves and our clinical work
  • The facilitators will lead an experiential and demonstrative model for creating brave spaces for conversations on racism and race
  • Participants will have opportunities throughout the workshop to increase their awareness of the clinical and somatic impact of cultural, historical, and racial trauma on themselves and their clients


This series will meet 6 times in total. The first meeting is in person and 3 hours long from 10 AM until 1 PM.

The following 4 sessions will be 2 hours long and virtual from 10AM – 12PM, with the last session in person at the Pivot Wicker Park office from 10AM -12PM.

This workshop will be held at Pivot’s Wicker Park office. Additional details will be shared with participants 48 hours before the first session.

Questions? Please feel free to reach out to Jessica at Womencare, or Pivot Collaboratives, Ameera or Linda.

Ameera P. Lys LCSW (she/her/hers) is a Haitian-American visual artist, clinical social worker and gallerist creating/working on the South Side of Chicago. She received her MSW from Smith College School for Social Work and is the Clinical Manager at Pivot Collaborative in Hyde Park. She was a fellow at the University of Chicago SSA’s Advanced Psychodynamic Fellowship in Clinical Practice. She received her B.A. in English Literature from Carleton College as a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow. Ameera is also an alum of the Posse Foundation and Young Chicago Authors. Ameera is a student of Kemetic philosophy and spirituality at The Earth Center and incorporates indigenous knowledge in her clinical and artistic practice. She has taught art courses and workshops at Hyde Park Art Center, Riverside Arts Center, Pivot Collaborative, Chicago Public Schools and the Haitian-American Museum of Chicago. She has exhibited textile and mixed media art at THE.creaetive.ROOM, Haitian American Museum of Chicago, the Museum of Science and Industry, Hyde Park Art Center, Lys Arts and  Blanc Gallery. Ameera is an alum of the Center Program at Hyde Park Art Center showing a group exhibition “Beneath the Visible”. The 8minutes46seconds series has been on exhibition at the Black Creativity Juried Art Exhibition at the Museum of Science and Industry in April -July 2021 and at the Haitian-American Museum of Chicago Summer 2023. 

Linda Bartoli LCSW (she/they) is curious and passionate about her work. She is an all around person who is not afraid of mess and enjoys negotiating paradoxes. Linda has worked in Chicago, New York, Berlin, and London as a therapist, group facilitator, executive and leadership coach, consultant, non-profit director, and change advocate. She is the founding director of Pivot Collaborative LLC, a trauma informed, queer allied collective in Chicago with a focus on identity, gender, race and inclusion. As a practiced trauma therapist, Linda has 20 years’ worth of experience working with people and organizations through change processes. Her style has been described as interactive, relational, direct, mindful and attuned.

Friday, May 3, 2024 , 10:00 am 1:00 pm

$250.00 – $300.00 Fee: $250-$300, includes 13 CEUs (available to LSWs/LCSWs, LPCs/LCPCs, LMFTs, PhDs and PsyDs). A limited number of partial scholarships are available.
Chicago, Illinois 60647 + Google Map
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8minutes46seconds: Expressive Dialogues on Racism
$ 300.00
8minutes46seconds: Expressive Dialogues on Racism — Restorative Justice Rate (For BIPOC Clinicians. Only purchase this ticket if you are BIPOC)
$ 250.00