social movements + innovation lab


Charmaine Lang’s Story

Charmaine is a writer and researcher whose work focuses on the intersections of race, gender, and wellness. Her CoreAlign experience re-grounded her in a community of practice and gave her permission to try on and test new modes of healing for our movement.

I see that the movement is in need of healing. Many of us in this work have been harmed, many of us have caused harm. And so it’s a daily practice that we need to engage of forgiveness and compassion for others, of forgiveness and compassion for self. And I see myself as being able to contribute to some of that healing through these sound healing workshops that I offer. And I don’t think I would have thought to do them without CoreAlign. The fellowship experiences gave me the permission to lead with curiosity, and to wonder: if I do this, how might it change the outcome? I started taking more risks, taking more chances. I got bolder about asking, “What’s something that I wish that I could do?” Based on the reflections, the observations, the experiences I’ve had in movements and with organizations, and the conversations I’ve had with folks: what’s something I can do to address all this trauma and hurt? And I discovered sound bowls, which were this incredible instrument of healing, and it just made sense.

But there was risk there. I risked the chance of not feeling like I did a good job. I’m not a musician, I don’t have any type of musical training. I risked being perceived as something other than an academic or an activist. Obviously people in academia were going to question it, because it’s a sort of spiritual, woo-woo practice. But I was also worried people would ask what this had to do with activism. I had to learn to shift away from that fear. To be ok with not knowing the outcome completely, and just try that shit out. CoreAlign taught me that. Taught me to just go for it.