By Elizabeth Halvorson
Grand Rapids Community College’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion hosted activist, award-winning performance poet, and author, Sonya Renee Taylor on March 15 as part of the Diversity Lecture Series.
Taylor, founder of The Body is Not An Apology, spoke on radical self-love and body empowerment for her lecture and how these topics can be used as foundational tools for social justice and global transformation.
“I think one of the most powerful things that we can do is give ourselves the experience of something other than what we thought was our truth. Something other than what we saw as uncomfortable but always going to be known,” Taylor said in response to a question about how her move to New Zealand from the United States changed her perspective. “That’s what being away from the U.S. has given me. The opportunity to be a more powerful, intention vessel.”
When recounting a conversation Taylor had with a friend about not feeling entitled to ask their partner to use a condom, Taylor said, “In that moment, in her words, I, too, could feel all the times I had given myself away as an apology.
“What I want us to get from this conversation is that..my therapist says this to me all the time..Life loves you,” Taylor said. “And if life loves us, then life, however we conceptualize the energy that is life. If life loves you, then life is working on your behalf. If life loves you, then life desires to unfold in service of your well-being.”
Taylor spoke on the subject of self truth and how the world pressures people to doubt their own greatness.
“The distraction from that is a man-made, world-made, societal-made, systemically made reality. It is a constructed reality,” Taylor said. “If we can construct reality, then we can deconstruct reality. It can be unmade. And you don’t have to understand how. It can be unimaginable and unknowable. You just have to know that it is, indeed, possible.”
To watch a recording of the lecture, click here.
To learn more about Taylor and her work, visit her website here.
Taylor also has a patreon where she hosts a live Q&A at the end of the month. Click here to learn more.