2021 - 2022 Board Year: Centering Intersectionality in Health At Every Size®
Fat Joy + Body Liberation: A Playful Exploration of the Healing Arts
Join Arianna and Misia for a play-ful virtual offering where we will explore feeling boundless and liberated with Fat-Positive theatre games, journaling and body positive hatha yoga and meditation. Please wear comfortable clothing where you can move about freely and be prepared for a fun yet restorative experience.
This event is free and open to both members and non-members!
The Politics of Disposability: On Cancel Culture and Accountability
Society is going through a profound correction. We now live in a society where we are being required to be more mindful and more responsible of our behaviors and actions. To people relegated to the margins, this is a good thing. But the unintended consequence of this is that everyone is afraid of being disposed of and making mistakes. How do we become more ethical people who do not throw each other away in a society that has socialized us to do otherwise? We will explore this topic through a Black Feminist lens.
The Fat Underground: Breaking the Chains of Health will unpack the compounding systems of antiblackness that make possible the construct of ‘Health’ and the policing of bodies through sociopolitical realities. White supremacist capitalist patriarchy has created the conditions for our society to believe that Health is something we should achieve or ascertain through any means necessary. The demand to be included in Health through the intervention of HAES has transformed what we believe Health to be, and all the bodies that can be included within that criteria. But the reality is — Health as a construct must be abolished if we are committed to ending systems of domination against fat people, bodies of size, those of us at the margins of desire, and everyone under antiblack siege. We must create survival blueprints to escape the chains and carcerality of Healthism and anti-fatness to relinquish the need to prove our status of wellness, fitness, or ability. We must move towards a world where Health is no longer a demand of evidence of value or humanity, but rather a world where we can exist, be affirmed, and resourced no matter what our status of wellness is.
Join fat activist Victoria Abraham, @fatfabfeminist, and ASDAH’s Community Liaison, Aaron Castillo for a conversation about “Creating a Liberatory Future.” In order to create a safe space for individuals historically and currently marginalized from the fat liberation movement, this event will be for individuals who identify as Black, Indigenous, and/or as a Person of Color (BIPOC) only. Bring your favorite cocktail or mocktail, such as the Liberation Libation (recipe below) and join us for an informal conversation you won’t want to miss. We hope to see you there!
Health at Every Size® is a paradigm that gives many people the information, permission, and support to leave dieting behind and change their focus from weight to holistic well-being. However, the focus on “health” in the movement is complicated by recent research and publications by Sabrina Strings in her book “Fearing the Black Body,” and Da’Shaun L. Harrison’s “Belly of the Beast” that link the genesis of anti-Blackness with anti-fatness. In this talk, I will present themes from these two texts around the definition of health, the link between anti-Blackness and anti-fatness, how holding “health” and its pursuit as central in the HAES movement is making it exclusive of the most marginalized of us, and share about what we can start trying instead.
At the State of ASDAH Annual Meeting, we asked members “Do you want to be right or be in right relationship? Do you want to be comfortable or do you want to be free?” Advocacy and Development Director, Jaden Fields, explained the need to shift from size diversity to fat liberation, and how we get there together.
At our November Member Event, Jaden will continue this conversation as an in-depth development moment. Development moments are opportunities to further explore systems and structures that marginalize individuals and communities, and work towards dismantling them. Jaden will lead us through some information and concepts to ground our conversation. Then, we’ll spend time in large and small groups reflecting, discussing, and sharing.
The Health at Every Size® movement historically has been, and currently is, overwhelmingly white, thin, affluent, healthist and ableist. Despite attempts to be more inclusive and to operate from an intersectional, liberatory lens, the movement has so much farther to go. “We don’t want to derail HAES by talking about race too much.” “Being fat is worse than being a Black person.” “Fat activism and HAES are often sidelined in favor of other issues.” “There isn’t room for me in this movement anymore.” Comments like these are unsurprising because those with unexamined privilege, limited lived experience, and an unwillingness to dismantle the internalized systems of oppression within them have driven the HAES conversation.
It is time to change this narrative. This teach-in will begin to scratch the surface of a much larger and ongoing conversation we are having at ASDAH. In it we will explore 1) intersectionality and why it is important and necessary for the HAES® movement; 2) how whiteness & white supremacy shows up in Health At Every Size® spaces and what to do about it; 3) how to begin to form and implement a social justice praxis; 4) how we can expand the collective Health At Every Size® imagination to think beyond being just a one-issue cause and 5) engaging in political action to change systems and increase healthcare access for the most marginalized folks in our communities. This will be a highly participatory discussion you don’t want to miss!