Sarah Silverstein '19
2019 Angela Jeannet Award recipient
Sarah Silverstein '19 presented her Marshall Fellow research on April 16 during a presentation titled "(Re)Imagining Healing and Self Care in Theory and Praxis". Her research was based on original research she conducted over spring break as a Marshall Fellow. Interested in pursuing a career in social work Sarah was curious about theories and practices of self-care and healing. Focusing on theories of Black feminist scholarship alongside postcolonial and post structural feminist schools of thought Sarah began to consider questions like: What socio-cultural and socio-structural influences have historically shaped and continue to shape common understandings of self-transformation, self-care and healing? Who can access and or achieve self-recovery and healing? Who is given permission to heal? Wanting to link theory and praxis and intrigued by experiential learning models Sarah designed a week long case study around 10 events and or activities in New York City geared towards facilitating three modes of self-care: mental, emotional, and physical.
Ultimately, Sarah’s research concluded that in an increasingly globalized society, it seems that the narratives and messages individuals receive through dominant consumer culture on self-recovery are intertwined with white supremacist neocolonial, neoliberal, capitalist world market systems that rely on addressing both the oppressor and the oppressed. Models of personal transformation and recovery are deeply personal but also political in that self-recovery is politicized, and so, it is of utmost importance to consider complexes of healing and adjust individualized understandings and approaches towards self-care in dismantling white supremacist patriarchal systems of oppression and domination. Healing is a radical act and resource activated through speaking truths to power but also by reclaiming joy through vulnerability and resistance in community.