Our Core Charge
- Our life is a practice. At any moment, we’re all practicing — reinforcing — something. Behaviors. Beliefs. Every action we take is reinforcing our practice of something.
- More often than not, we’re practicing aspects of the status quo culture— and probably don’t want to be. Our society’s status quo is informed by a long history of violence and oppression and exclusion. Unless we’re consciously practicing something different, our behaviors will by default reinforce the tenants of the broader society we live in, as well as the systems of oppression that pin them up. Often, what we’re unconsciously practicing are things that are antithetical to our aspirations for justice, equality, and liberation. Things that are oppositional to our own freedom and healing.
- Individual and collective liberation thrive in a practice that is: conscious, in choice, resistant to the status quo, and grounded in radical compassion. We cannot interrupt systems of oppression out in the world unless we are learning to disrupt those same systems in ourselves, with and through a conscious practice of emotional non-violence and love. The conditions we want to bring to the world must be first honed inside ourselves.
About Do The Heart Work ™A radical vision and mission.
We are working toward a world in which:
- Every piece of every person is welcomed, not just accepted. Nothing and no one must be left at the door.
- All people have the courage, grit, and compassion to make space for the pieces of others that they might not themselves understand. Comfort is purposefully abandoned in favor of connection.
- The presence of injustice breaks all hearts and personal responsibility becomes the default response instead of blame and defensiveness.
- Millions of people are leading a revolution for compassion, justice, and humanity through BEing a revolution for compassion, justice, and humanity. Each person stages a revolution in their own heart and head and soul and body, and their life becomes a conscious practice of choosing connection, love, vulnerability, authenticity, and shared humanity instead of the status quo of comfort, apathy, separation, disconnect, and exclusion. We lead a revolution because we are, inside ourselves, a revolution.
A set of beliefs.
We are guided by the conviction that:
- Purposeful doing flows from purposeful BEing.
- We cannot be with the suffering of others until we can be with our own suffering. We cannot see the wholeness of another person until we believe that we are whole. We cannot hold or defend the humanity of others through personal responsibility until we learn to hold our own innate humanness. So we do the work: inside out.
- Dismantling the status quo out in the world will first require that we learn to dismantle the status quo within ourselves.
- Love is a radical form of liberation.
A call to action.
The test of our values is our commitment and courage to live them out vulnerably and publically. We commit to:
- Challenge the status quo, in our lives, and in the world so that all of us may be free to express our full humanity.
- Develop the capacity to see, take responsibility for, and undo the ways that white supremacy culture and oppressive ways of thinking/doing/being have unintentionally snuck into our heads, hearts, habits, beliefs, and behaviors.
- Develop the capacity to replace the exclusionary, separatist, and harmful behaviors and beliefs that the status quo protects with the capacity and choice to BE in love: with ourselves and with others. Unapologetically.
A community of practice.
Every thought, relationship, and situation is a place to practice – to be intentional about what we’re practicing and why. Our life is a dojo in which to constantly train. We choose to be a community, grounded in our shared humanity, that sets aside performance culture to practice:
- Deep courage. There is no place inside ourselves we won’t go in the name of love.
- Looking inside first instead of outside.
- Peeling away from comfort and the status quo.
- Radical love and compassion, first with ourselves and then with others (because how fully we can love others is tied to how fully we can love ourselves).
About laura brewer
Founderlaura brewer is a leadership coach, speaker, and educator who specializes in the practice of radical courage and self-love as an act of resistance and as a path to collective liberation. She brings a love and anti-shame based approach to the deep inner work of disentangling our hearts and way of BEing from the status quo and the systems of oppression that fuel it.
She has spoken about anti-racism, white supremacy, and the inner work of liberation and justice on stages around the country, including Harvard University and the White Privilege Conference. A former public school teacher, adjunct professor, and Vice President, laura has over a decade of experience in education, leadership development, and coaching. She holds certifications in coaching and secondary education, and she has trained with and under some of the most respected coaches and racial justice leaders in the country.
laura works with people who courage in the world on behalf of love and justice. Her clients are creatives, emerging leaders, organizers, and visionary executives who want to disrupt the status quo: in their personal lives, in their organizations, in their work or art, and in the world. laura is the CEO of Mean Well. Speak Well. Do Well., Inc., a leadership development company rooted in identity development, racial equity, and critical consciousness. Originally from Charlottesville, Virginia, she now lives (defiantly, in her cowgirl boots) in Los Angeles with her wife, some cats and chickens, and a surfboard.
laura is on a mission to disrupt the status quo by supporting people to live their lives, and their pursuit of justice and liberation, inside-out. For more about working with laura, visit her here.
About Teachers & InfluencersMy work and voice has been shaped by many thinkers, influencers, and teachers — some of whom I have studied under formally; some of whom are loved ones who have been willing to share their personal pains, traumas, and experiences with me in the hopes that I would learn; and some of whom have taught me through pages, history, speeches, letters, and ancestors. It is essential to note that people of color, in particular, have been for generations upon generations and across many traditions and lands saying all the things I share and teach. I believe that anyone participating as an educator in justice-based work (particularly white-identifying folks) needs to take great care for their continual learning and growth; I have heavily invested both time and finances in trainings, retreats, cohorts, and coaching — and continue to do so – as a part of my responsibility to do my own inner work. I want to name that choice, that investment, and that privilege outright.
In the spirit of accountability, transparency, and giving explicit credit to my teachers, I want to acknowledge some of my training and several influencers who have heavily shaped my voice. I also want to acknowledge several personal teachers whose work regularly influences my thinking, writing, and practice and under whom I have studied. I encourage you to support their work directly.
Racial Justice: Rev. angel Kyodo williams; Norma Wong Roshi; Lama Rod Owens
Buddhism & Mindfulness: Rev. angel Kyodo williams; Against The Stream sangha; Lama Rod Owens; Norma Wong Roshi
Coaching: Rich Litvin; Coaching For Transformation
Scholars and teachers of color whose work is regularly present in my teaching/writing:
Dr. Beverly Tatum; bell hooks; James Baldwin; Thich Nhat Hanh; Lama Rod Owens; adrienne maree brown; Rev. angel Kyodo williams
Recent racial justice/racial identity development:
-Racial Justice Leadership Institute (Oakland, CA 2016; led by Race Forward)
-Transforming White Privilege (September 2016)
-White Privilege Conference (Louisville, KY 2015 & Kansas City, MO 2017)
-Buddhism and Race Conference (Cambridge, MA 2017)
-The Annual Alumni of Color Conference at Harvard University (Cambridge, MA 2017)
-Be.ing Transformation (Molokai, HI 2017; led by rev. angel Kyodo williams)
-UnTraining White Liberal Racism (Bay Area January 2018 cohort; led by The UNtraining) -The Dharma of Collective Resilliency (Hot Springs, NC 2019; led by Lama Rod Owens)