Last year, we debuted our #SummerSearcherMade series with a feature on Maddie Lam, an incredible artist, teacher, critically-conscious leader, and Summer Search Boston Alumna.
As she shared in that story, Maddie's first summer experience with DEVA Soul Journeys in 2014 was one of the first big steps in her own journey of healing and living an authentic life.
During college, she was "seeing and feeling racial trauma myself, while also realizing how People of Color become traumatized." After graduating, Maddie returned to Boston with her mind set on "finding ways to heal generational trauma," she said. "Not in an intellectual way, but through self and creative expression."
Identity and Critical Consciousness are a crucial part of our participants' journeys toward finding themselves and building a world with NO CEILINGS. Summer Search's commitment to fostering self-awareness, confidence, and opportunity during our students’ formative years leads many to heal from the racial injustices they experience on a daily basis so that they can thrive into the future.
Maddie embodies this concept beautifully, as she expresses her perspective on No Ceilings.
'No Ceilings' to me is both about individual liberation and collective freedom.
If we understand oppression as the lack of opportunity and choices, 'No Ceilings' is both a journey where we learn to undo the internalized limitations inherited from generations before us as well as unlearn how we've been socialized based on race, gender, and class.
Our white-supremacist, capitalistic, patriarchal culture dictates who we are and who we ought to be. How then will we break those cultural barriers?
For me, it becomes an imaginative, meditative practice and an artistic pursuit to answer this question: what is possible if we dared to pursue a world that our hearts know is possible?
I believe there is an intrinsic connection between our innermost dreams that we keep secret and our collective liberation. Often I wonder, what if everyone listened deep down to the calling that calls us forth that may have absolutely no reason or rhyme, but maybe we all hold puzzles to how we can create a world where everyone has access to well-being and resources to live well and fully.
Only then can we all live under a blue sky, with 'No Ceilings'.
The Healing Journey Continues
Maddie continues living and teaching her healing practices, as she pursues making the world that her heart knows is possible a reality.
She recently taught Embodied Liberation at Esalen, a holistic educational center. "We explore what it means to be fully human and to reclaim our humanity in a time and space where dehumanization is both institutionalized and embodied," Maddie explains. "If these systems of oppression sever our connection to our body because of trauma, then healing trauma becomes a pathway to justice."
Maddie continues to explore what it means to practice radical visibility as an Asian American artist through her music. She also facilitates an improvement design process for alternative schools in Boston through a non-profit called Eskolta.
Plus, this summer, Maddie is looking forward to returning to Deva SoulJourneys as a summer experience instructor!