s 17: Decolonizing the Mind

April 5-June 21, 2017 (12 weeks)

Wednesdays 6-9 PM PST

In accepting the premise of colonization and working towards decolonization, we are not relegating ourselves to a status as victims. On the contrary, we are actively working toward our own freedom to transform our lives and the world around us. The project that begins with our minds, therefore, has revolutionary potential.

Waziyatawin & Michael Yellow Bird, “Beginning Decolonization”

Course Description

What do contemporary processes of decolonization, self-determination, and sovereignty look like? How can we literally decolonize social justice and revolutionary movements? And all of the spaces and places within this imperialist settler colony, for that matter. This is one of the most important learning edges of our time. The very health and continued existence of the Earth and all our relations depends upon on our immediate attention to this matter. This course centers Indigenous voices, cosmologies, and social and political movements in order to begin to answer the above questions. Through film, poetry, news clips, music, essays, and other forms of storytelling, we will develop tools for understanding major issues and current controversies involving the struggle for the self-determination of Indigenous peoples within the territorial U.S. and the land bases effected by the reach of U.S. empire. Overall, this course offers a site to get your mind right. Let the unlearning, remembering, and imagining begin.

Note: You might not ‘get’ everything we cover this season. That’s both okay & to be expected. We’ll try to honor cultural & other forms of incommensurability (i.e. that not all meaning is translatable). Also, not every resource will likely be as evocative or as impactful to you as all the others. After all, this season invites us into a solidarity practice with integrity. So it’s not all about any one of us. Indeed, we shouldn’t each be the intended audience nor center of every resource. If you feel like a piece doesn’t ‘speak to you,’ please take this as all the more reason to try to learn from it. With this possibility in mind, let’s try to expand our horizons together.

Schedule: (subject to change)

1: Introduction to season

2: Unsettling Ourselves: Reflections & Resources for Deconstructing Colonial Mentality p 1-11

3: Hawai’i vs. US ImperialismJourney to Justice: A Conversation w/ Dr. Haunani Kay Trask (videos)

4: Unsettling Ourselves 42-46, 54-56

5: Decolonizing the Colonizer Sakej Ward (video)

6: Unsettling Ourselves 90-92, 104-106, 117-118

7:  Radio Bikini & 13 Things I Learned at Kaho’olawe (videos)

8: Unsettling Ourselves 152-155, 157-158

9: The Psychic Landscape of Contemporary Colonialism Dr. Taiaiake Alfred (video)

10: Unsettling Ourselves 119-127

11: Red Skin, White Masks. Unsettling Conversations, Unmaking Racisms & Colonialism  Dr. Glen Coulthard (video)

12: Decolonising the Mind Intro Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o (audio)

decolonize-oakland poster

artwork by Dignidad Rebelde (with permission)


My favorite part of LS has been the holistic weavings of wisdom, intellectual pursuit, creative inquiry, community building, and medicine.  In a world where the fragmentation of self and commodification of knowledge is cultivated and rampant, LS feels like a nest of abundance where I can welcome home all aspects of myself in pursuit of a focused interest.  This is a place for me to walk the walk- not just talk the talk. A place for me to courageously grow in the support and nurturing of others who share a passion for self and societal transformation. The investment of time and money has already been life changing because we are recreating structures of learning and distribution of resources, building sustainable and supportive community, and authentically weaving spiritual, personal, and political revolution.

What I deeply appreciate about Anjali is her authenticity and courage. I appreciate how deeply she cares for us as individuals. I appreciate her unapologetic, badass presentation of her truth all the while encouraging us to further hone our own.  On a more logistical level, I appreciate Anjali’s accessibility and approachability. I admire and respect her ability to hold space for potentially uncomfortable and challenging conversations with seemingly such ease and connection.  I appreciate her organization of curriculum all the while allowing for organic growth and change.

Eri G. J.

decolonial activism