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  • Practice + UP

    Day 15 of #30DaysUP: all is lost
    Apr 21

    Day 15 of #30DaysUP: all is lost

    Written by Rusia

    we are officially on the other half of our 30-day challenge. fifteen days into cultivating our leadership superpowers. two weeks from changing ourselves + our world from, at minimum, 75 minutes of accumulated meditation. so simple, so incredible. this is your work. this is the work of our virtual national sangha. are you letting go of all that has held you back? are you letting go of your ego?...

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  • Board Dev. + Immigration

    map of the human heart: #uwd style map of the human heart: #uwd style map of the human heart: #uwd style map of the human heart: #uwd style map of the human heart: #uwd style map of the human heart: #uwd style
    Apr 19

    map of the human heart: #uwd style

    Written by Rusia

    We often talk about working towards a liberated society. That we are organizing for a just & equitable world. But when do we stop, join in community & collectivity define & envision what these phrases mean to us in the context of the work we do? When do we create a vision for what a liberated society looks & feels like? When do we take that vision & develop...

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  • Practice + UP

    where in the world are you?
    Apr 18

    where in the world are you?

    Written by Rusia

    #30DaysUP is UP & running with 57 people across the country participating in our 30-Day meditation challenge. Surely, people are feeling & flexing their superpowers by now! I want to ask each of you to take a quick moment to leave a comment on this post, indicating where you are in the world. As you may know, #30DaysUP is a beta version for the kind of work we want...

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  • Practice

    #30DaysUP tweets
    Apr 08

    #30DaysUP tweets

    Written by Rusia

      Tweets about “#30DaysUP”  

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  • Practice

    t-minus 1 day… are you ready for #30DaysUP?!
    Apr 06

    t-minus 1 day… are you ready for #30DaysUP?!

    Written by Rusia

    are you ready to get your sit on? cultivate those leadership superpowers? we are just one day away from #30DaysUP meditation challenge! with 55 folks across the country signed up to participate, we wanted to drop some quick info on the container we will create to keep us all on track, motivated and supported. first things first… how do you meditate? by now you all should have taken 6...

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  • MEDIA + snapshot video

    Apr 04

    this right here… mind the gap #30DaysUP

    Written by Rusia

    You’ve been waiting for it… You’ve been aching for it… Your leadership has been thirsting for it… and now, yes NOW, it’s here in all its splendor and glory! MIND THE GAP snapshot video is here to virtually teach you how to meditate, just in time for Universal Partnership’s #30DaysUP meditation challenge. Geared for social change agents, this is Universal Partnership’s 2nd snapshot video. Narrated by angel Kyodo williams,...

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  • MEDIA + snapshot video

    more goodness avails for #30DaysUP
    Mar 26

    more goodness avails for #30DaysUP

    Written by Rusia

    Yup, this is Rev. angel Kyodo williams. Many, MANY of us in NY who practice meditation and mindfulness learned how to do so from this brilliant & inspiring woman, yours truly included. angel is onboard to narrate the UPcoming snapshot video on meditation called, “mind the gap.” We are all sorts of excited to have angel’s expertise & loving personality shape the how-to video & ultimately guide you through...

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  • Practice + UP

    #30DaysUP… is coming on 4-7-14!
    Mar 20

    #30DaysUP… is coming on 4-7-14!

    Written by Rusia

    Online Ticketing for #30DaysUP 30-day Meditation Challenge powered by Eventbrite

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  • MEDIA + Practice + UP

    DayOne Wants You To Have Superpowers! DayOne Wants You To Have Superpowers! DayOne Wants You To Have Superpowers! DayOne Wants You To Have Superpowers! DayOne Wants You To Have Superpowers! DayOne Wants You To Have Superpowers!
    Mar 18

    DayOne Wants You To Have Superpowers!

    Written by Rusia

    We’re going BIG for #30DaysUP! DayOne app by Bloom has graciously offered their app for FREE to support Universal Partnership’s 30-day meditation challenge! We are so excited! DayOne is a journaling app that I use exclusively for tracking my daily practices. It’s all sorts of AWESOME! So what do you have to do to join #30DaysUP & get your free copy of DayOne? Just 3 simple steps…  Register for the...

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  • Practice + UP

    it’s coming… #30DaysUP
    Mar 11

    it’s coming… #30DaysUP

    Written by Rusia

    Universal Partnership is in the finishing stages of our next snapshot video, mind the gap, a guide to meditation for social change agents. We will kick off #30DaysUP, a meditation challenge, for everyone who wishes to get their superpowers on! We give you the tool & the support community, you bring your commitment & desire to be the superhero change maker your leadership calls you to be in your...

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  • Practice + UP

    Mar 08


    Written by Rusia

    got superpowers? interested in UP-ing your leadership impact? UP’s “mind the gap” video snapshot is on the horizon for release and with it we are bringing the #30DaysUP mediation challenge. It’s simple, watch the video, learn how & why meditation can increase your leadership qualities for greater impact and join a community for the 30-day mediation challenge! Drop a comment here, post one on FaceBook or retweet/reply on Twitter...

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  • Leadership Dev. + Org. Development + UP

    Staff Development with MRNY Long Island Staff Development with MRNY Long Island Staff Development with MRNY Long Island Staff Development with MRNY Long Island Staff Development with MRNY Long Island Staff Development with MRNY Long Island
    Feb 28

    Staff Development with MRNY Long Island

    Written by Rusia

    In Brentwood, NY, resides the Long Island office of Make the Road NY. With over three years of organizing under their belt, the staff leading the work are ready to take their relationships and impact to the next level. Using Universal Partnership’s flagship exercise, “Building the Core” as a grounding, the MRNY LI staff dived into structured feedback towards cultivating authentic relationships. To close out the work of the day, the...

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  • Testimonials

    Feb 23

    Natalia Aristizabal On UP

    Written by Rusia

    Natalia is one of ten people who have worked with Rusia for over a decade. Natalia is a Senior Youth Organizer at Make the Road NY & the Secretary on the United We Dream Board. Natalia’s leadership, through support & trainings, can be described as a true metamorphosis that has propelled the impact of her work & the deep impact on the youth she has & continues to serve.

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  • Immigration

    500 Dreamers Centering In Action! 500 Dreamers Centering In Action! 500 Dreamers Centering In Action! 500 Dreamers Centering In Action! 500 Dreamers Centering In Action! 500 Dreamers Centering In Action!
    Feb 22

    500 Dreamers Centering In Action!

    Written by Rusia

    What does it mean for 500 Dreamers to kick off Day 2 of the 5th Annual United We Dream National Congress from a grounded & centered place? What does it mean for us to invoke & harness our individual power for the sake of banding our collective strength as one organism? It means chills. It means feeling the palpable energy as the hairs on our bodies stand up. It...

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  • Leadership Dev. + Org. Development

    5th Annual UWD National Congress
    Feb 21

    5th Annual UWD National Congress

    Written by Rusia

    Gearing up to join 500 Dreamers in Phoenix, Arizona for United We Dream’s 5th Annual Congress!

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  • Org. Development

    In DC with United We Dream
    Sep 10

    In DC with United We Dream

    Written by Rusia

    This Thursday kicks off a 4-month coaching consultancy with the senior staff leadership of United We Dream. UP will begin the daylong trip to DC with some executive coaching followed up with group coaching with the Policy Team!

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UWD Board Retreat

United We Dream boardies meet & retreat unlike any other board.

View Project

Chuang Yen Monastry

Changing you IS changing the world.

View Project

UWD Congress 2014

Chants of "We believe that we will win", still echo in our hearts & minds.

View Project

organizational work

Check out the work UP has done with various organizations across the country.  

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snapshot videos

Watch UP’s snapshot videos on our key grounding methodologies.

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See More Portfolio Items

#30DaysUP tweets







A Woman In the Pursuit of Justice

By Dayanara Marte
Global Connect! Blogger

rnm_profile“Rusia Naureen Mohiuddin was born in Bangladesh in 1973, the year that two important cases dominated the United States news: Roe vs. Wade and the start of the Watergate hearings. She was born an identical twin, the pair born in the middle of four siblings. She says her journey towards social justice causes came before she was 13 years old.”
Read the full article…

Finding Justice Within

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

In November 2013 we held a by-invitation contemplative retreat for activists entitled “Practicing Justice: Transformation for Social Change” curated by Zen teacher Rev. angel Kyodo williams and co-facilitated by Claudia Horwitz and Rusia Mohiuddin.  Made possible by a grant from the Kalliopeia Foundation, it was one of a series of retreats which, starting in 2002, periodically convene activists to explore the intersection of contemplative/spiritual/transformational practice and social justice.”
Read the full article…

Video Shorts
Jadu Mia: The Man, The Legend, The Politician
Political Parady: Transpenile Sounding



Our Principle at Universal Partnership, Rusia N. Mohiuddin, has worked across the country developing the organizing capacity of a variety of organizations; with an implicit concentration on leadership development at an individual level, organization level & community-wide level.

Rusia has innovated a methodology for embodied leadership that invites participants to explore what values & principles are in their individual, organizational & community’s “core”. This understanding can lead the way to cultivating the kind of leadership necessary for their social change work to succeed.

Watch UP’s video on “Building the Core” to get a snapshot of one of our key grounding methodologies.

Geared for social change agents, UP’s 2nd snapshot video is on meditation. Narrated by angel Kyodo williams, mind your gap is a step-by-step how-to on meditation as a tool for developing leadership superpowers!

UP’s Work with Organizations



Resource Generation (national)
2014 Multi-day Staff Retreat

Bluegrass Community & Technical College (local)
Executive Coaching with Director
In partnership with Casa de Cultura Hispana de Lexington & the Kentucky Dream Coalition Organizational Development (2014)

Center for Constitutional Rights (international)
2013-4 Social Justice Conference: Movement Lawyering In the 21st Century
2013-4 Ella Baker Summer Internship Opening & Closing Retreats

RoadMap Affiliate Consulting Work (national)
United Workers Congress (Coaching)
UNITY /IAD (Coaching, Retreat Dev & Facilitation & Organizational Development)
La Fuente (Executive Coaching, Staff & Organizational Development)
ROC United & ROC NY (Organization Development)
Philadelphia Student Union (Organizational Assessment, Landscape Analysis & Planning)

United We Dream (national)
Executive Board Committee Coaching (2013)
Executive Coaching (2013)
Board Development Training Series (2013)
Senior Staff Planning Retreat
Annual Staff Development & Planning Retreat (2012+2013+2014)
Annual Board Development (2012+2013)
Quarterly Board Retreats (2012-4)
Conflict Resolution
Annual Leadership Development Retreat (2013+2014)
Leadership Coaching

Make the Road NY (citywide)
Youth Power Project Development (2014)
Senior Staff Coaching (2014)

Long Island Staff Development Retreat (2014)

NYC Labor Collaborative (citywide)
Organizational Development & Annual Planning Retreat (2013)

California Latinas for Reproductive Justice (statewide)
Executive Coaching (2013-4)
Senior Staff Coaching (2012-4)
IT Consultant (2014)
5-year Strategic Planning (2012-13)
Board Development Retreat (2013)
Staff Development Retreat (2013)

FIERCE! (local)
Design & Train on Webinars (2012)
Organizational Development (2012+2013)
Planning & Implementing Culture Change (2013)
Effective Individual & Organizational Communication (2013)
Executive Coaching (2013)
Staff Coaching (2013)
Wellness Retreat (2012)

City University of New York (citywide)
Student Leadership Development
Organizing 101 Training
Development of Student Organization (United Leaders of CUNY)

Center for Transformative Change (national)
Practicing Justice Retreat @ Garrison Institute (2013)
3|One (basics) in NYC

Center for Popular Democracy (national)
Design & Facilitate 2 training tracks for SEIRN Annual Conference
Design & Facilitate Staff Development Retreat for AIR

Mekong (local)
Annual Organizational Planning Retreat (2012+2013)
Executive Coaching (2013)

La Fuente (citywide)
Staff Development Training Series (2013)
Executive Coaching (2013)

Families United for Racial & Economic Equality (local)
Executive Coaching (2013-4)
5-year Strategic Plan (in development)
Annual Organizational Development Retreat (2012+2013)
Organizational Work Planning Training
Executive & Leadership Coaching

North Star Fund
Coach in the Movement Leadership Program (2012-14 )

The Point (local)
Organizing 101 Training
Somatic Campaign Development
Introduction to Embodied Organizing

Project Enterprise (citywide)
Staff Development & Planning Retreat

Philander Smith College
Organizing 101 Training

Jahajee Sisters (local)
Organizing 101 Training
Somatic Campaign Development

Sustainable South Bronx (local)
Staff Development Retreat

Mothers On the Move (local)
Staff Development
Leadership Coaching
Executive Coaching
Database Design & Development
Website Development
Intranet Setup

Casa Atabex Ache (local)
Executive Coaching
Staff Coaching
IT Consultant
Intranet Setup
Website Design & Development

approach tools

our approach tools


Self-Neglect as Service
The work imperative within social justice organizations – taking action (working) as much as possible – ironically & tragically ends up sabotaging an organization’s capacity for effective action. We push ourselves, our work, & those around us, becoming increasingly ineffectual because we have not stopped to replenish our physical, emotional & mental health. This deterioration promotes cynicism, strains temperance & trust within relationships, & thus diminishes both our desire & our ability for collective vision & action.

This same cycle of self-neglecting service is also pervasive within oppressed communities, as citizens take on the burdens of economic & social disparity.  Many of us come to this work because we, or the people we love, have experienced deep injustice. These experiences shape a negative understanding of our self-worth & potential for empowered action. When instinctual mistrust of ourselves & others goes unchallenged, we end up taking actions that reinforce/recycle the wounds of oppression within ourselves & within our relationships.

At the heart of this dynamic is the thinking that self-care is an indulgence. In the social justice work ethic, it is a waste of otherwise productive time.  At the “macho” end of this thinking, self-care can even be seen as harmful; making us less effective by “softening” the rigidity of our focus & resolve. Most importantly, behind these canards lies an oppressed worldview – internalized from our own experiences and/or from the communities we serve – that convinces us we do not deserve it.

Our self- & community-narratives are a psychological state, but also significantly shape our emotional state, or mood. Finally, both of these shape our very bodies, as pessimistic thoughts & emotions bend our postures & lower our heads. Going the opposite direction, the stresses we put on our bodies produce moods that sour our opinion of ourselves, relationships, organizations & communities.

It is hard to imagine that liberated individuals, communities, societies or worlds can emerge from these broken fragments that make up the individual & collective bodies driving the work today.

Shifting the Paradigm
ALIn the venerable words of Audre Lorde’s radical self-love, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation & that is an act of political warfare.”

UP’s approach to social change, ignited & sustained by social change agents, seeks to push this ethos to the outer most edge. We want to challenge movements & change makers to claim our individual & collective beings as shaped by the very systems of oppression & injustice that we fight against. Without self-reflection & understanding that we, too, are a product of these insidious cultures & systems as are the materials conditions that our communities & the communities we fight for are living in, we cannot begin to imagine & change our society & world to be more just & equitable. At least not in a long lasting, sustainable way. We believe that each of us needs self-care, healing, & transformation to become the embodied leaders our visions require us to be.

No longer can we drive ourselves, beyond our capacity, & expect that our own trauma, our own shaping, will not rise to the surface & overshadow our good work & principles. We must understand our individual, organizational & community’s historical shaping as the basis of reinventing our selves & our leadership as the methodology towards deep societal change.

Our approach, in this respect, is simple- we believe changing you is changing the world. That self-reflection, -work & -transformation are the most radical change any one individual can commit. Our work deeply integrates this approach on every level & kind of training & development we do.

what we do

what we do


We believe that each organization & individuals are unique & therefore require customized support designed specifically for them. UP specializes in creating innovative development & plans suited for the individual organizations & communities.


UP’s work emphasizes personal leadership skills as the foundation for sustainability. Using UP’s model of embodied organizing, individual staff, board members and/or community members go through a process of discovering their own conditioned tendencies & designing practices crafted to advance their personal wellness, professional goals & organizational impact. Skill sets are grouped in basic, intermediate & advanced levels.

The overarching goal of UP’s work is to reshape organizational culture to prioritize human wellness & dignity. We take a 4-pronged approach to this work:

  • Staff: Somatic analysis of an agency’s internal communication & operational systems to identify practices that impede effectiveness & impact.
  • Community: Exploring the history of the communities organizations serve; what actions community members are therefore primed to take or not take; & customizing organizing approaches to cultivate desired actions.
  • Board: Aligning the roles & responsibilities of Board members with the vision & goals generated by the somatic process, emphasizing where, when & how the work of the Board connects to the work of the organization.
  • Collective: Designing points of contact & group interaction practices to streamline & enhance effectiveness of the agency & the community as an ecological whole.

Organizations tend to operate as a default in day-to-day work rather than a plan that looks more broadly at the work over a period of time. UP has created a unique methodology for developing, implementing & assessing strategic & campaign plans in a way that simultaneously attends to both short- and long-term goals.


Typically day-long (8 hours), training sessions are for building specific analytical methods & individual/organizational practices. Training imparts the analytical structure of Somatics & Embodied Organizing, & teaches specific skills in each of our focus areas. Specific topics include political education, wellness training, & even tech training.

Typically 2-4 days in length, retreats provide an uninterrupted environment that results in far more advancement than the equivalent time in episodic training. Skills in several focus areas are taught, & extended to agency-specific needs & practices.

Providing one-on-one & group coaching is a critical part of UP’s development work. Coaching provides continuing support for skills development & strategic planning around agency-specific issues, goals, projects & situations.

UP’s consulting engages the whole agency in every focus area & on every level (individual, staff-wide, executive leadership & Board.)

Working with individuals & organizations to develop an understanding that points of measure & evaluation are just as important as planning, both long & short term & customizing practices to ensure that all three exist in system that is strategic & sustainable. Evaluations that generate data to make critical assessments that not only should serve as a grounding for developing plans but also as a measure of determining progress & updating plans where necessary.


contact info

contact info

for general inquiries

Rusia N. Mohiuddin
Organizational Doctor
Certified Somatic Coach
IT + Web Design
Graphic Artist
Photographer & Video Editor
(646) 425-4695


Dayanara Marte
(914) 357-1430




at the heart of sustainable movements
must be the heart of sustainable people

At the core of our work at Universal Partnership (UP) is the deep belief that at the heart of sustainable movements must be the beat of sustainable people. Our mission is to provide innovative self-healing tools, life & leadership skills to support movement workers in sustaining their humanity, & the humanity of the communities they serve, by organizing from a place of wholeness.

Our work uniquely introduces the practice of somatics into an agency’s organizational & organizing practices. Somatics is a sophisticated methodology combining the biological & social sciences to provide a framework for analysis & action. The term derives from the Greek word “soma”, which means the body in its living wholeness. The core ideology of somatics posits the undeniable interconnection & indispensable balance of mind, mood & body.

The use of somatics in organizing begins by examining unconscious practiced behaviors, established by our interactions with family, community, & society throughout our lives, that block us from taking empowered action both on our own behalf & on behalf of the communities we serve. It continues by establishing physical, emotional & mental practices that shake up & shed these binds.

Somatics allows us to see & adjust patterns that can directly inform our organizational & movement strategies.  The structural impact on organizations that prioritize the full health & humanity of staff springs from a radically improved depth of trust & rapport among colleagues. Resulting is an expanded optimism in goal setting, heightened confidence driving individual & team performance, & high staff retention that allows sustainable leadership development within the agency.

The integration of somatics into a social justice organizing framework is also rooted in embracing the full humanity of our communities. It provides fresh tools for exploring in depth how & why individuals & collectives are primed to take some actions & unlikely to take others. By broadening analysis of our communities with a somatic lens, we become increasingly capable of moving our communities from a collective center, rather than relying primarily on identifying & rallying around time-limited self-interests.

Ultimately, we believe that changing ‘you’ is changing the world. By engaging in self-transformation towards embodied leadership, social change agents, organizations & communities can begin to align themselves, their beliefs & actions with their vision for the world.

radical love
  • Jadu Miah: Magic Man

    Yesterday marked the 35th death anniversary of the founding father of the Bangladeshi independence struggle, Mashiur Rahman “Jadu Miah”,...

    Read More
  • UP’s Building the Core

    Rusia Mohiuddin, Principle at Universal Partnership,  has innovated a methodology for embodied leadership that invites participants to explore what...

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who we are

who we are


With over 31 years of social justice organizing experience in New York, nationally & internationally, Universal Partnership was founded by Rusia N. Mohiuddin & Dayanara Marte, who have merged their areas of expertise to bring crucial support to youth, adult & elder leaders in the movement arena. They have lived first-hand the challenges & successes of being front line organizers, as well as co-founders & Executive Directors of community-based organizations. While Rusia works exclusively through UP, Dayanara works under the banner of In Bold Rebirth (see below for more details).

The development of UP was a direct response to a call from Wanda Salaman, Executive Director of Mothers On the Move, & women of color leaders on the East & West coasts whose work is hampered by the economic, social & health disparities that plague the communities they serve & live in. Rusia & Dayanara have each traveled a personal path of untangling the internalized oppression, trauma & violence at the heart of this problem. They understand the importance of creating safe spaces & training that bridges healing & social justice in order to have well-grounded, effective leaders in the non-profit world.

“My grandfather was the founding father of the Bangladeshi Independence struggle. He was an organizer & politician popularly known as ‘Jadu Mia’ (Magic Man). He would often tell his children, ‘The people are the source of all power!’ My mother raised her children with this as a foundation for understanding the world & what united peoples were capable of doing.”


Rusia N. Mohiuddin, based in New York City, is a leadership trainer & somatic coach who pioneered the integration of somatics into an organizing framework. Her current mission, through UP, has been developing a holistic model for social justice change work that places in its center the necessary transformation of social change agents. Rusia brings a unique style to creating pathways for individuals to bring their best selves forward when enacting social change in their organizations & communities.

Over the last 18 years, Rusia has primarily worked in non-profit, community-based organizations in New York. Her organizing career started with 8 years as a street-level community organizer, & grew to leading organizations, notably helping to establish Families United for Racial & Economic Equality & co-founding the national intermediary, Social Justice Leadership. Through this experience & her many years as a trainer, coach & consultant, Rusia brings a well-grounded expertise of basic to advanced organizing training as well as organizational & leadership development.

Rusia is also a proud nerd & is skilled in graphic design, photography, website development, & has worked with many organizations across the country as an IT specialist.

Dayanara Marte is a first generation Latina, Dominican Immigrant from Washington Heights, & mother of two dedicated to social justice & humanity. She is a Master of Public Health graduate of Columbia University with over 15 years’ experience working with womyn, girls & the LGBTQ community on reproductive health, mental health & violence prevention. She is nationally known for her work as a trauma prevention specialist, internalized oppression healer, & as a trainer & facilitator in emotional release; organizing healing circles of self-healing from the impact that oppression, trauma, violence & poverty has on the mind, body & spirit. As a certified addiction & recovery counselor, she holistically addresses addictions as the result of internalized oppression & as dis-ease that manifest in our bodies as a result of institutional racism, homophobia, xenophobia, classism, & sexism.

She recently founded In Bold Rebirth Consulting, providing personal & organizational health care for the mind, body & spirit. This work includes spiritual development & transformational leadership, executive coaching, identifying capacity building & systems management needs, creating accountability structures & systems, & specifying personal & organizational performance evaluation systems.

Dayanara has developed Conscious Accountability: a trauma informed resiliency model that supports young & adult womyn & the LGBTQ community on the front lines of their lives in creating healing spaces, self-care action plans & systems of personal accountability. Dayanara envisions a world where women young & elder powerfully exist in the face of sexual assault, child sexual abuse, incest, rape, relationship/partner abuse, & domestic violence within our homes, our organizations & within movements.  Dayanara has been working for 1 4 years in Mott Haven creating programs that reclaim the cultural/spiritual aspect of change to social justice movements towards the empowerment, healing & transformation of women of color.

In 2010, Dayanara became a citizen journalist for World Pulse, Voices of Our Future Correspondent & Global Connect: A Gender Justice writing project with Women E News & the Global Press Institute, founding the Behind the Movement Newsletter.

Learn more about In Bold Rebirth & Dayanara’s work.