Welcome to our first edition of #SummerSearcherMade -- a blog series to lift up our Summer Search student and alumni business-owners, leaders, entrepreneurs, activists, artists, and creatives!
Since launching Summer Search CONNECT in the fall, we've been thrilled to see thousands of Summer Search alumni, students, and community members networking and sharing opportunities every day on our new digital hub!
One growing area of CONNECT is our Business Directory, a place for Summer Searchers to list and share about their company or business. In that spirit of sharing and connecting, we're starting a new series on our blog called #SummerSearcherMade - where we lift up Summer Searchers who are business-owners/leaders, entrepreneurs, activists, artists, and creatives!
To kick off our series, we honor Women's History Month by shining the spotlight on a few incredible Summer Search Alumnae and the businesses they created.
Maddie Lam: Artist, Teacher, Healer
Whether through her music, poetry, art, or through her workshops, classes, and one-on-one sessions, Summer Search Boston alumna Maddie Lam is always looking to create spaces where people can authentically express themselves and heal.
Maddie credits her first summer experience with DEVA Soul Journeys in 2014 as one of the first big steps in her own healing journey, saying that it "totally revolutionized my life."
DEVA's Soul Journey program is a mix of wilderness and self exploration, focusing on reflection, journaling, creative expression, and community building. "[The trip] introduced me to E
mbodiment and Yoga practices," she explains. "It had me asking myself, what does it mean to live an authentic life?"
This experience led Maddie to begin practicing yoga and meditation, on a path of "
Inward elevation and transformation," as she describes. That process continued during her time in college, but in a different way, as she confronted harsh realities around race and culture, with profound realizations.
"I went to college in Kentucky, at a predominantly white institution, and I had a hard time," Maddie reflects. "I was seeing and feeling r
acial trauma myself, while also realizing how People of Color become traumatized.
White supremacy is rooted in disembodiment -- we become disembodied from our heart center. Racism is r
ooted in loveless-ness.
The way to combat that is by being in our bodies."
"We believe in ourselves in each other that a more beautiful, more liberated world can exist, where power is shared where white supremacy, colonialism, and classism has seen its days and where our bodies are free, well-rested, and celebrated in its divinity."
Excerpt from "the revolutionary beings inside: a poem," by Maddie Lam.
House of Healers
After she graduated college, Maddie returned to Boston with her mind set on starting a healing center. "I wanted to find ways to heal generational trauma," she says. "Not in an intellectual way, but through self and creative expression."
So, she created House of Healers, alongside her partner Jordan Grinstein, a life coach, mindfulness expert, and Ayurvedic practitioner.
As Maddie beautifully describes it, "By integrating social justice and the healing arts, we offer space to gather, discuss, participate, and receive. It is our mission to uplift the consciousness of all humans and help people tap into their innate healing wisdom."
As a way to further build community and bring her social justice-meets-embodiment mission to the next generation, Maddie is also launching a program called Breathe For Justice, a weekly class for High School students in her neighborhood of Malden, MA.
She also has plans to reunite with DEVA director Bri Boertman on a Social Justice Yoga Teacher Training that focuses on healing, transformation, activism, and social change - called Radically Rooted.
A Radical Response to Harm
Maddie often says "Healing is a radical response to harm," when discussing the various healing practices that she leads, and how they intersect with social justice and activism.
As we've witnessed more and more disturbing attacks on our Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities, Maddie has leaned on her art, self-expression, and healing practices to try to make sense of this new trauma, and how it intersects with #BlackLivesMatter.
"Asian Americans sit in the middle of the racial spectrum," she explains. "
We don't get a lot of airtime, or voice, but we are also experiencing deep pain.
We, as an Asian community, need to reconcile with our own anti-blackness as well. White supremacy tries to force us all to assimilate. Some of us choose to assimilate and some choose to rebel. I chose to rebel."
We'll leave you with a message that Maddie shared on Instagram
following the tragic events in Atlanta... A powerful message of creativity and love -- the greatest rebellion against racism and hate.
i am asian and i am worthy.
how many times do we as asian people wrestle with self-hate?
how many times do we swallow our voice and try to eradicate ourselves?
no. no more.
my body is the collage of my ancestors in sum, how dare white supremacy try to question me.
not only do asian american folx have to deal with the silencing racism, but the cultural legacies that also slowly kill us.
i am asian and i am worthy. i choose life.
Stay tuned for more #SummerSearcherMade stories, including two more Summer Search Women with healing at the center of their personal and professional journeys.