The Whole Horse Podcast | Episode 74 | What horses teach us about systemic oppression with Julia Alexander

What an episode this was with Julia Alexander. After reading one of Julia’s blog posts, I knew that I needed to speak with her about her work at the intersection of horses and systemic oppression, and her ideas on how to start to change the unhealthy systems that we exist in, and the foundation of much of our horse work (and how we have been taught to be). I’m so grateful to her for doing this work, exploring my many questions, and opening up about this challenging topic.

Julia (she, her, hers) is a fellow traveler for those seeking healing, an advocate of love in action, and a connector of dots. She believes that meaningful relationships, where people are seen and heard in the reality of their lived experiences, are essential to healing. For 15 years, Julia has worked to advance social justice in education, therapy, and work with non-human animals. She has designed social justice curriculum for colleges and universities, taught courses, and facilitated dialogues on privilege and oppression, racism, sexism, and heterosexism. Julia is also a long-life horsewoman with 20 years of experience in the horse industry. From 4-h to classical dressage in Spain to Equine-assisted mental health- she is passionate about promoting kind, ethical horse-human relationships that truly embody socially just practices. Julia is learning from several horse trainers and animal behaviorists exploring positive-based learning/training methods and seeks to combine all of her experiences to support others in developing compassionate, safe, embodied relationships and communities that reunite us with our interconnectedness.

Julia studied the psychology of colorblind racism and white identity development as an undergrad at Mount Holyoke College. She earned a Masters of Social Justice Education at UMass Amherst, where she discovered the art of dialogue facilitation across differences. She received her MSW from Smith College and currently works as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker for Colors of Austin Counseling in Austin TX.  Julia is a Certified Daring Way Facilitator, a Circle of Security Parent Facilitator, a Trained Intergroup Dialogue Facilitator, a graduate of Leif Hallberg’s year-long Master Class on Equine Assisted Mental Health and Equine Assisted Learning and is currently participating in a year-long Interpersonal Neurobiology course with Bonnie Badenoch.

Learn more about Julia and her work at https://www.juliaalexandercounseling.com/

Resources from Julia:

Social change Map: http://deepaiyer.com/the-map-social-change-ecosystem/

Iris Young 5 faces of oppression: https://www.sunypress.edu/pdf/62970.pdf
Kristen Neff Self Compassion: https://self-compassion.org/
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