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Compassion in Action Student Spotlight: Dancer

Name : Dancer
School : James Madison University

Tell us a little about yourself.
I feel more comfortable with animals than I do with people. I feel uncomfortable when humans name a non-human an “it”. I enjoy being in the middle of the woods as much as I enjoy being in the middle of a busy city. Different species of plants give me as much joy as different ethnicities of humans. When I look around spaces, I see how I can fill the empty spaces with paint, faces, green, and sunlight

What’s your major and why did you choose it?
My major is Psychology and I wanted to understand why humans were cruel to the non-human realm, like animals, plants, and the Earth as a whole.

What drew you to the CiA Fellowship?
I came to JMU as a transfer during mid-COVID and everything was extremely physically separate. I was told about an already formed chapter and joined. All of the meetings were via zoom and yet it was nothing like I had experienced on campus and everything I was desiring for. It was a space of sanctuary, regardless of the distance. All of the members brought easeful attentiveness and abundant support within our mediation practices and relational building.

What are your goals for the semester?
My goals are to create regenerative, safe, & trauma-informed sanctuaries and experiences within the folds of JMU that cultivate vulnerability-exploration, radical expression, communal and internal connectivity, and Earth-connection. Within these spaces and experiences, my goal is to unite faculty, staff, student, and townies to intertwine the medicinal, ancient, and embodied remembrance of diverse demographic immersion. I want humans to learn what it’s like to safely explore vulnerable and deeply connective spaces in the face of each other

What’s been happening in your chapter?
My chapter came to be as a group of total strangers and transformed into a grounded, safe, and expressive community where the members are growing rich relationships and practices. We just finished with our campus-wide offering April Mindfulness Series, a diverse compilation of free mindfulness workshops facilitated by local mindfulness leaders.

What are you getting out of the fellowship so far?
Sincere community with humans across the country, local community building, and the opportunity
to share and practice passions and conscious connection.

What types of meditations are currently resonating with you and why?
Simple silence, because it’s come to be a very vulnerable experience for me, thus the most enticing and challenging. To simply be without doing anything, but breathing and sitting… wow

What social causes do you feel passionate about and why?
Social causes I feel passionate about include teaching and advocating for conscious connection, as well as, filling the streets of town/cities/online spaces with radical artful expression. I feel passionate about these causes because I believe, as humans, soulful connection and expression is a tool to build bridges from once separate and malnourished spaces.

If you could invite anyone to dinner alive or deceased who would that be?
Suzuki and my grandmother, June.

What does a more compassionate world look like to you?
A field of openness and gratitude where humans are partnering together to be shepherds of the soil, forests, and water. A ground where we all come together to regenerate and sustainably grow an active and reciprocal relationship with Earth. From this place, we learn how to grow with each other.

Do you have a favorite quote or mantra?
“To run wild, To be of peace, and to be with love”

How can people join your chapter?
Visit the chapters Instagram: @jmucompassioninaction and find “Group Me” in the bio link, email us at jmucompassioninaction@gmail.com or sing out into the ether (maybe we’ll hear you).

Compassion in Action Network

The Compassion in Action Network is a movement and community of young people working to create a happy, just, and flourishing world. Students and youth are at the forefront of changing the world. Today’s rising generation knows that our challenges are interconnected and that we need inner and outer change. In partnership with young people and allies across North America, we are growing a network of next generation leaders who are waking up together and acting with compassion for the benefit of all.

Learn more about the network and the Compassion in Action Fellowship.