“Oppression and Addiction;

Liberation and Recovery”

90-Minute Virtual Introductions

Day-Long In-Person Workshops

My Main Message:

Oppression and addiction will always constellate near one another because they are two aspects of the same phenomenon. Dismantling systems of oppression means working with addiction.

Workshop Description

“Oppression and Addiction; Liberation and Recovery” is a day-long workshop that will illuminate several key features that all systems of oppression share in order to reveal the hidden human dynamics that drive them.

We will look at how systems of oppression function as systems of extraction that are driven by patterns of addiction. (You can read more about this framework in this article.) As this becomes clear, we will consider how they serve as externalized trauma responses for those with access to systemic power and privilege - their best/worst attempt to maintain a sense of psychological and physical safety.

When we increase our awareness around the dynamics of oppression, advocates for equity in education become better equipped to identify and transform the dynamics of oppression in ourselves and in others as we strive toward desperately needed systemic change.

Who’s the Presenter?

James Boutin is an educator, facilitator, and trainer for social change. He is a national board certified teacher who worked as a high school teacher in public schools across the United States for fourteen years. For most of that time, he worked as a union organizer around community-based social justice issues.

James has a master’s degree in secondary social studies education as well as a master’s degree in process-oriented facilitation and conflict studies (also known as Processwork). He has been facilitating conversations about systems of oppression and their history in and out of schools since 2006. He believes that the crises humanity faces in the 21st century boil down to a crisis of human relationship, and particularly how human relationships tend to show up within inhuman systems. You can learn more about him on his About page.

What You Can Expect

If you choose to attend this workshop, you can expect:

  • A mixture of theory and exercises that support both systems and personal transformation work

  • A trauma-informed, healing-centered, relationship-forward, humanizing style of facilitation

  • Opportunities to build relationships with like-minded folks

  • Conversation and exercises around some potentially triggering topics like oppression, abuse, addiction, violence, and recovery. We won’t go too deeply or too personally into any of these (and you’re welcome to opt out of any of the exercises), but if you choose to sign up for the workshop, please check with yourself to make sure you feel resourced enough to engage with this type of material.

Who Is It for, and Why Might You Want to Attend?

If you find the description of this workshop intriguing enough to want to sign up, then this is for you. However, the primary audience will be folks working in and around schools for educational equity.

You will likely find this workshop most useful if you: 

  • are passionate about dismantling systems of oppression and have dedicated some amount of your personal or professional life to doing so

  • have background knowledge about systems of oppression and have done at least some personal work around your own identity within those systems.

  • are interested in and willing to engage in the personal and interpersonal work necessary to sustain systems transformation 

  • wonder often about root causes

Where and When?

Friday, October 13th (the Washington statewide educator inservice day)

9am-4:30pm (clock hours available for educators)

Pacific Tower Conference Room

Seattle, WA

How much does it cost?

This workshop is offered on a unique pay-what-you-can basis. It costs $23.18 ($3.18 for Eventbrite fees) to register and reserve your spot. Any amount that you pay beyond that will depend on the value you feel you received from the workshop and the financial security you feel in offering it. James will walk you through a brief reflection exercise at the end of the workshop to help you determine an amount that feels good to you, even if that amount is zero.


If you’d like to register for the workshop after reviewing the material on this webpage and watching this brief video, click here to register on Eventbrite.

Contact Me

Subscribe to my mailing list or email me directly at james.boutin@mailfence.com

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