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What's in this month's newsletter? 
  • There is a new media badass in town;
  • A survivor's struggle to feel sexually liberated;
  • Sex Ed with an actual penis, and not a banana;
  • To be young, sex savvy, and accountable;
  • Inclusive sexual healing for educators and students;
  • Visibility means celebration of trans lives.
Greetings Friends;

How was your Spring Equinox? Did you get to sing as the sun rose mid-sky and the birds began chirping "oh my"? Or maybe you tried your luck at poetry in the newsletter and your co-workers said "but why?!" ;-)

As you can tell, we've been having a fun (and busy) March gearing up for April, the-recently-designated Sexual Healing Month. We presented our Day-Long Institute "Sex.HEAL.Action!" at Creating Change Remixed on March 20. The event was a success as we journeyed through tough but liberating interactive discussions and exercises on sexual healing and liberation. Also, did you know Ignacio's Sexual Liberation Superhero name is Curious Joy Architect?! 

Speaking of long but transformative programs, Just Healing 101 is happening this May. Just Healing is a comprehensive training on the Rivera-Azad Sexual Healing Integration Model (RASHIM). Stay tuned for more details as the application will open soon and we are only accepting 25 people for the cohort.  
 
Unlike our other newsletter #NotForSocialMedia, this issue is definitely safe for work. For more, read on =) 
We're Excited About...
...our new Media Arts Specialist, Misha Joy McClair. 

Misha Joy McClair is a black Michigan State graduate and lover of TV, film, animation and all things media. With six years of professional video editing under her belt, Misha joined The HEAL Project this February. 

Along with several short films, Misha has helped produce three indie and student feature films. Her goal is to make media that speaks to people and improves lives, whether that be for entertainment, education, or both. 

Follow Misha's amazing video work on her website.
An off-white graphic with text that reads, “Media Arts Specialist, Misha McClair, @heal2end.” In the center of the graphic there is an image of Misha. Misha is a person with brown skin and long black braids in front of a colorful mural wearing a tie-dye t-shirt.
Sexual Liberation Campaign
The third place winner for the Sexual Liberation Contest is “I wanted to feel alive” by Mel.

In this story, Mel explores the nuances and complexities of being a survivor, wanting to be saved, gnawing anxieties around triggers, and the reclamation of desire. Mel's writing is a beautiful poetic display of the struggles of feeling sexually liberated while working on integrating sexual trauma.

Below is a teaser. Read the rest of the story on the Sexual Liberation Page. Stay tuned for the honorable mention next month! 
A graphic with an off-white background. Starting at the top of the graphic, there is blue, pink and gray text that reads, “Sexual Liberation Contest Stories, I wanted to feel alive, Mel, Third Place. I wanted to feel everything at once and nothing at all. For the longest time it didn’t matter what I wanted, what I craved, what I needed. It led me to not only desire control, but to ravenously acquire it by any means necessary. Everyone & everything became something to be figured out and responded to in the “correct” way. Nothing could ever just be. ” On the bottom left corner, there is white text that reads, “@heal2end.” The bottom of the graphic has three blue hills and pink flowers with yellow centers and green petals. Around these flowers, there are gray stars and zaps. In the bottom left corner, there is white text that reads, “@heal2end.” In the bottom right corner, there is a white keyhole with a gray shadow.
Friendly Introductions

Raquel Savage is a Black, queer, therapist, educator and sex worker who facilitates trauma therapy privately and through Zepp Wellness Center, a non-profit organization she founded in 2019 that centers the mental health needs of Black queer folx and sex workers.

Raquel Savage does the majority of her education online via Patreon and via Onlyfans, where she posts her #SexxxEd series, a hands-on, informative and real-life version of sex ed that shows you how to put a condom on an actual penis, not a banana

Savage is also building out a certification for therapists around clinical competency for working with sex workers. She runs a production company, Kink Media Group, dedicated to creative projects for BIPOC, sex workers and queer folx. 

Follow Raquel's work on Twitter and Instagram and #ThoughtProvokingThirstTraps.

 [ID: A graphic with an off-white background until the middle, then a blue divider and a pink background on the bottom. On the top half of the image, there is a photo image of Raquel Savage. Raquel Savage, a Black queer woman, stands in front of a grey wall, wearing a white long-sleeved t-shirt and gold hoops, smiling. On the bottom half of the image, there is gray text that reads, “Therapist, educator, sex worker, founder of Zepp Wellness, Founder of kink Media Group.” In the bottom right corner, there is gray text that reads, “raquelsavage.com”]
Connecting The Dots: Youth Edition

The third episode of Connecting The Dots: Youth Edition is here!

In this episode, Ignacio is joined by Rida Chotani, our wonderful Research and Communications Director, to analyze the Netflix series "Never Have I Ever" about Devi, an Indian-American high schooler navigating the ins and out of youth.

Tackling the assimilation of people of color in American culture, Ignacio and Rida discuss relationships, friendships, apologies, grief, accountability, queer culture, breaking free of social roles, normalizing therapy, shame, secrecy and so much more. 

Make sure to watch the series on Netflix before heading over to YouTube to watch the analysis. 

[ID: A graphic with a off-white background. On the top half, there are two circle photographs, Ignacio Rivera on the left and Rida on the right. Ignacio is a caramel skin AFAB, gender fluid, Black-Latinx- Indigenous being. They are wearing a red and black dress with a diagonal line pattern. They have red colored glasses and dark brown eyes. They have a septum piercing and nose ring on the right side. They have a tattoo on their chin, starting at the bottom of their lower lip —a red strip that turns black under the chin and reaches their neck-dent. A spider is at the end of the black line inside the neck-dent. They have a chest tattoo that says “Fluid” and several other arm and finger tattoos. Rida is a Pakistani non-binary person with green hair sitting in a car. They are smiling and wearing a black shirt. There is a blue box on the bottom half of the graphic with text that reads, “Connecting The Dots: Youth Edition, Never Have I Ever, Series Analysis with Ignacio Rivera and Rida Chotani, heal2end.org/connectingthedots.”]
Events

SAAM and Sexual Healing Month are here in a few days. What are you doing to help your people learn about consent and communication skills, QTBIPOC solidarity building, and intersectional approaches to healing & survivorship? It's not too late, book us while we still have open dates! 

Still not sure? Read a recent testimonial about our program, How To Speak Your Language of Sex, Love and Play:

  • We absolutely LOVED the event. [The educators] came away with new language, ideas, and frameworks with which to talk about consent, boundaries, and play. Students loved the anonymous participation through Zoom private messages and I saw the most participation I've ever seen at a virtual event. The program was incredibly nuanced and inclusive for being only 90 minutes. I cannot recommend The HEAL Project enough for any college campus. ~Rachel Stewart, Director of Sexual Violence Prevention & Advocacy at Connecticut College
Find all of our upcoming events on the Events Page. Read more about the programs we offer on the Programs Page
[Image description: An off-white graphic, with gray text on the top that reads, “Upcoming Events.” The center of the graphic is surrounded by pink and black lines. In the middle of the graphic, there is gray text that reads, “Community, Spirituality, & Ritual for Surviving & Thriving | Black and Beyond the Binary Collective | 3/31 5:00-7:00pm, Sexual Identity and Orientation | Everyone Deserves Sex Ed | 4/2 2:25-3:55pm, Sexual Liberation: Living At The Intersections | University of Colorado- Denver | 4/11 2:30-4:30pm | Where The Line Resides: Surviving The Cycle of Sexual Harm , Muhlenberg College | 4/12 4:30-6:00pm, How to Speak Your Language of Sex, Love, & Play | William Paterson University | 4/13 11:00am-12:30pm, Community Supported Non-Monogamy, Southwest Love Fest Live Con 2022 | 4/15 3:00-5:30pm, Community Supported Non-Monogamy, Trauma Informed Care For Sexuality Professionals | Everyone Deserves Sex Ed | 4/16 4:10-5:20, Southwest Love Fest Virtual Con 2022 | 4/22 5:00-7:15pm, Building Your Healing Village: At The Intersection of Pleasure, Trauma and Survivorship (Keynote by Ignacio) | Lafayette College | 4/27 6:00-7:30pm.”  In the bottom left corner, there is gray text that reads, “@heal2end.”]
Sexual Liberation Calendar

Did you know we have a sweet and funny Sexual Liberation Calendar that you can add to your Google Calendar? 

Here are some upcoming highlights:

[ID: A graphic with an outline of a yellow ringed notebook. On the page of the notebook, there is text that reads, “April, Sexual Healing Month, Child Abuse Prevention Month, Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), April 10-16, STI (Sexually Transmitted Illnesses) Awareness Week, April 26, Lesbian Day of Visibility, Sexual Liberation Calendar, heal2end.org/home.”]
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