Michelle Cassandra Johnson is an author, yoga teacher, social justice activist, licensed clinical social worker and Dismantling Racism trainer. She approaches her life and work from a place of empowerment, embodiment and integration. She has been leading anti-racism trainings for 22 years. Michelle has experience working to dismantle systems of oppression inside corporations, mid-size organizations and small non-profits including Google, Lululemon, the ACLU-WA and many more. With a deep understanding of trauma and the impact that it has on the mind, body, spirit and heart, much of her work focuses on helping people better understand how power and privilege operate in their life. Michelle explores how privilege, power and oppression affects the physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and energy body.
Before yoga, Michelle was a clinical social worker and began her private practice in Chapel Hill, NC in 2001. She specialized in trauma, eating disorders and racial identity work. She has experienced the powerful transformation that comes with embodiment through the practice of yoga. In 2008, she went through yoga teacher training with the goal of infusing different treatment modalities into her practice to better help clients align their minds and bodies. She became a certified yoga teacher in 2009 and went on to complete a 500-hour certification in 2012. In 2015, she began leading her own teacher training: Skill in Action. This training is focused on the intersection of yoga and social justice and it inspires people to consider how they can radicalize their yoga practice to create a just world. Michelle believes in social change and knows that it is her responsibility to embody and inspire change.
Kerri Kelly is the founder of CTZNWELL, an emerging movement to mobilize people into a powerful force for the wellbeing for all. She spent seven years as Executive Director of the non-profit Off the Mat, Into the World and is a faculty member. She is relentless in her commitment to elevating community consciousness and engagement in the programs and policies that democratize well-being for everyone.
Kerri is recognized across communities for her inspired work to bridge transformational practice with social change and politics. She’s been instrumental in translating the tools of wellbeing into practical application and social action in the public and private sector, working in collaboration with community organizers, spiritual leaders, policy makers and corporate executives including William Morris Entertainment, Congressman Tim Ryan, Lululemon, Marianne Williamson, People's Action Group and more. She is a commitment to personal transformation that leads to powerful social change.
Michelle and Kerri are extraordinary! Their radical honesty and wholehearted presence demonstrate what’s possible when committed to the work of racial justice and resilience. They have the compassion to meet us as students right where we are, while also encouraging us toward accountability and empowering us toward transformation. A testament to the growth I have experienced in learning from Michelle and Kerri is how willing I am to be uncomfortable, say the “wrong/imperfect” thing, and be messy/unfinished in my processing.
Marissa Knox/Participant in Race and Resilience Course