Movement, Breath, and Writing Practice
A Retreat For and With People of Color
Sunday, 5 June 2022, 1PM-6PM US EDT
Online via Zoom

All times are in US Eastern Daylight Time. Here’s a helpful time zone converter.

We will have plenty of breaks throughout.


Tuning Into the Breath

Integrating Body and Mind

Reading and Listening

Reflections and Closing

Every cell in our body remembers every single moment we live. And you know how it goes. More often than not colonialism, racism, sexism bury our stories under layers of storylines that we’re told or dripped fed for generations –storylines that run counter to or do not align with who we truly are. At worst we believe and live in someone else’s idea of us. Even as activists, organizers, artists, awake to and fighting systems of oppression, much of our strategies and the narratives we’re creating may still be built on these repressive storylines.

Some of us have been on the journey of uncovering our authentic, indigenous narratives. Some of us may yet to begin. Wherever we are in the process, this half-day Inside Out retreat will get us reconnected with our body and breath, to touch the dignity of our and our ancestors’ lived experience. We will do this in community, each of us acting as a mirror for the other.

We will have breathing practice, body practice, simple movements, and of course, writing, reading, listening. Don’t worry if you don’t consider yourself a writer or have not written a word in decades –in this practice we all begin as beginners, and you share only if/when it feels right, without judgment. We’ll also make sure that our movements can be modified to fit all abilities. Writer, community organizer, and Zen practitioner Dorotea Mendoza will facilitate, joined by Eliza Fabillar, educator, long time yoga and movement teacher, activist. We’ll also be with Annalisa Enrile, also a longtime political activist and a professor at USC’s Department of Social Change and Innovation.

$5, $10, $20… no one will be turned away for lack of funds. Click here to donate. Your donation will support guest artists, facilitators, and Sari-Sari, a collective that seeks to effect social change through grassroots cultural work.

Please fill-out and submit the form below, or access the form separately here.

Eliza was born in the Philippines, and grew up in New York City. She attended the public school system and spent a lot of time in public parks doing sports – handball, running, and tennis. In 1987, a year after the People Power Revolution, she and her mom went back to the Philippines for the first time since they immigrated to the U.S. That experience opened her eyes to the world, and she also got the travel bug.

In her first year of college, she came to realize that her K-12 schooling had squashed her creativity and didn’t prepare her for higher education and life. She later taught adult education to immigrants and people from underserved communities. These experiences led her to pursue a master’s degree in cultural anthropology and education. Since then, Eliza has worked in educational equity, school reform, and research and development, where she has led initiatives nationwide with the aim of transforming education policy and practice to advance racial and social justice.  She also gradually became politicized and joined a women’s organization to work on issues, such as the global trafficking of women and girls. In the late 1990s, Eliza for the first time experienced moments of collective joy among women seeking to change the world. She has learned so much from activists, colleagues, friends, and is grateful for those who continue to contribute to her personal and professional growth.

In early 2000s, Eliza began exploring different styles of yoga. She had found another calling. The integration of body, mind, and breath, and the ancient philosophical roots of yoga resonated for her. Today, she teaches yoga flow, meditation, restorative practice, and breath work. She believes that physical movement, meditation, and breathing techniques complement one’s writing practice. Eliza is always working on different projects—translating yoga sutras into haikus and writing about yoga wisdom and practice for healing and rejuvenation in social change movements.

For nearly three decades, Annalisa has been training generations of change makers, in her advocacy work, as a community activist, and as an educator. She’s a Clinical Professor in the Department of Social Change and Innovation at the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. She has a Ph.D in Social Welfare, specializing in mental health and well-being. Annalisa is a storyteller, poet, an avid reader, anti-trafficking warrior, a defender of women and girls. She believes in the transformative power of stories, the strength of community, and the promise of innovation and design, vis a vis sustainable social impact.

Dorotea mostly writes fiction, and loves the flash form. Her flash fiction has appeared in Shanghai Literary ReviewFlash: The International Short-Short Story MagazineContrary MagazineLiterary Orphan, Cecile’s Writers MagazineGinger MagazinePodium Literary Journal, among others. A play she co-authored with two fellow Filipinas (Carolyn Antonio and Erica Miguel), Export Quality: Monologues Drawn from True Stories of Mail-Order Brides from the Philippines, is slated to premier in NYC in Fall 2022.

Dorotea is most interested in narrative-building as an essential part of genuine social transformation, in how embodied writing and art practice can help peel away layers upon layers of false or imposed narrative, allowing us to meet and be with the true core of our being. This is an inquiry that Dorotea has been looking at with a writing practice group that she’s been a part of since 2002. This same writing group has had visitors come and go, but with a core group of four women, has evolved into a cultural work collective and now this organization called Sari-Sari Women of Color Arts Coup. Dorotea is a zen practitioner and long time student of Natalie Goldberg’s –revered teacher of writing and author of 15 books, including Writing Down the BonesWild MindThree Simple Lines: A Writer’s Journey into the Heart and Homeland of Haiku. She’s taught with Natalie and served as her teaching assistant for more than a decade. She’s honored to continue this lineage of practice and share with you what she’s learned from the lens of a brown, immigrant woman from the Philippines. You can visit Dorotea here: