Social Change and the Body


Thursday, November 1, 2018


4:00pm – 7:00pm


The Commons West and the Great Hall
Marymount Manhattan College
221 East 71st Street


Social movements bring people together outside of institutional spaces to transform culture and politics.  Bringing together artists, activists, and academics, this mini-conference will examine negotiations between social structures and the human body, which contest and define opportunity, community, and power.

Registration Information

This event is open to the entire Marymount Manhattan College community and the public. The event is free for all MMC students, faculty and staff with ID. MMC students faculty and staff do not need a ticket to attend this event.  You will need to show your ID at the door on the day of the event.

Anyone who is not an MMC student, faculty of staff person will need a ticket. The ticket cost for all others is $15.00 and they can be purchased by clicking:

Register for this Event


Panel: Mindfulness, Safe Spaces and Inclusive Action

4:00pm-5:30pm:  Commons West

This panel brings together visionaries from diverse fields to speak about their common mission to create spaces of social engagement that are at once safe and inclusive. The speakers, a zen master, a choreographer, and a teacher, will all speak to the intersection of personal responsibility and communal empowerment, as it serves the advancement of social justice in their individual fields.

Germaul Barnes

Germaul BarnesGermaul Barnes The New York Dance and Performance Award -the BESSIES recipient, is honored to have had a professional dance career that spans more than thirty years. He recently choreographed the world premiere of Marley - A Musical based on the life and music of reggae superstar Bob Marley. Forming Viewsic Dance - a project by project dance company, the mission is to present multilayered dance performances. Barnes has created over 50 works for Viewsic Dance, many invested in anthropology, culture, blackness, musicality, and social justice. Choreography credits include the Central Park Summer Stage, Lincoln Center Outdoors, Kumble Theatre, Dixon Place, HarlemStages, Judson Church Movement Research, Billie Holiday Theater, Errol Mosley’s Hearts of Men, Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, Collegium for African Diasporan Dance Conference, Cyrus Arts Productions, 92nd Street Y, University of North Carolina-Greensboro, Alvin Ailey-Fordham School, Joffrey Ballet Summer Intensives, University of Illinois-Urbana, University of North Carolina-Greensboro; internationally - State of Emergency Festival, Belarus International Modern Dance Festival, Boroditsky Denis Dance Company (Russia), Ghana National Dance Company, and the Lublin International Dance Festival (Poland), Friends of Tafo in London, England, Jasmyn Fyffe Dance, Kulturhuset-Sweden (England), Teatro Centre Municipal Culture (France), Teatro do Campo Alegre (Portugal)and Dance Immersion (Toronto). 

Barnes is a former dancer and current répétiteur for the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. Barnes has also worked with Pilobolus, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, Joseph Tmim’s - Tolada dance company, Joan Miller Players, Group Motions Dance Company, Philadanco, Katherine Dunham, Eleo Pomare, and guest artist for numerous ballet and contemporary companies. 

Barnes is currently director of Contemporary Improvisation for Black Men, RestorationArts Artist-in-Residency, resident choreographer at the Alabama School of Fine Arts, curator for Contemporary Improvisation for Black Men, choreographers adviser for One Dance-UK and Next Generation Committee member for the International Association of Black in Dance, INC.  For more achievements visit:


Elif Genc

Elif Genc  Elif Genc is a PhD student in Politics at the New School for Social Research (NYC) and an adjunct professor of politics at St. John’s University and Marymount Manhattan College. She is also an activist in the Kurdish women’s social movement in Canada and the USA. She has worked closely for years with the Kurdish diaspora and has recently been researching on the oral histories and lived experiences of Kurdish refugees in Toronto particularly focusing on the past violence and trauma of the women of the community. Kurdish women continue to suffer intersectional forms of class, race and gender violence both here and abroad. Her current research interests focus on the women guerrilla of the Kurdish social movement and the role that violence plays in contemporary armed struggle and in bringing about social and political change particularly in the recently declared autonomous regions of Kurdistan both in Turkey and Syria — specifically the role that women are playing in these armed movements against state totalitarianism and dictatorship. Recently she has been engaging with the politics of memory in relation to the Kurdish diaspora’s ongoing experience with memory, trauma, and genocide. She is the Assistant Co-chair of the newly formed Democratic Kurdish Federation of Canada. As well as a member of: HDK NYC (Peoples’ Democratic Congress), NARA (North America Rojava Alliance), AKA (American Kurdish Association) and other organizations based in Toronto. She has worked in the past with refugee organizations such as NOII (No One is Illegal), IWA (International Women’s Alliance) and the Sixth Nations of Canada to facilitate solidarity across different struggles.

Lama Rod Owens


Lama RodLama Rod Owens is considered one of the emerging leaders of his generation of Buddhist teachers. An author, activist, and formally authorized Buddhist teacher in the Tibetan tradition of Buddhism, he is the co-founder of Bhumisparsha, a Buddhist tantric practice community as well as a visiting teacher with several Buddhist centers including the Natural Dharma Fellowship and the Brooklyn Zen Center. A graduate of Harvard Divinity School, Lama Rod has also been a guest faculty member at the Harvard School of Education’s program Mindfulness for Educators. He has been a regular guest on SiriusXM’s Urban Viewhosted by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Karen Hunter. He is also a co-author of Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love, and Liberation and his next book project exploring transformative anger and rage is due out Fall 2019. Lama Rod can be reached at



Somatic Awareness and Social Justice

5:30pm-7:00pm   Great Hall

Dr. Martha Eddy is the author of many books including the 2016 Mindful Movement, a history of somatic practices. She is a passionate advocate of the mind-body connection and the relationship between human health and expression. She has used her extensive experience of somatic practices to address violence in local communities and to forge new pathways towards non-violent communication. This talk will focus on the many intersections between embodied action and social justice.


Key Note Speaker

Martha Eddy, CMA, RSMT, EdD

Martha Eddy Martha Eddy, CMA, RSMT, EdD is an advocate for the new fields of Somatic Movement Education & Therapy, Somatic Movement Dance Education, and author of Mindful Movement; the Evolution of the Somatic Arts and Conscious Action. She is a lecturer on eco-somatics, neuro-motor & socio-emotional development, and peace education/violenceprevention.  She co-founded Moving On Center – The School of Participatory Arts and Somatic Research in Oakland in 1994 with Carol Swann, with the almost 25 year-old taglines – “we begin with the body” and “bridging somatics with social change.” She has taught at Columbia, NYU and Princeton University. She is currently on the faculty of three low residency graduate departments - Montclair State University (near NYC), St Mary’s College (San Francisco Bay area) and UNC-Greensboro.  She teaches Dynamic Embodiment and certifies people in Moving For Life, BodyMind Dancing, and as Dynamic Embodiment.  She created Moving For Life Dance Exercise for Cancer Recovery in 1999. Moving For Life, Inc is now a non-profit providing free dance classes for older adults and people of all ages affected with cancer. Her doctoral thesis was on the role of the physical body and movement in educational violence prevention, and she continues to teach workshops on Conflict Resolution and Dance.

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