This Restorative Justice Life

63. Racial and Restorative Healing w/ Jodie Geddes

January 20, 2022 David Ryan Castro-Harris Season 2 Episode 8
This Restorative Justice Life
63. Racial and Restorative Healing w/ Jodie Geddes
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Jodie Geddes is an international speaker on restorative justice, author, and advocate for racial healing and justice.  Jodie is also co-author of the Little Book of Racial Healing: Coming to the Table for Truth-Telling, Liberation, and Transformation. In addition, she co-host a podcast called Maternity Leave.

You will meet Jodie (0:55), hear about her finding her own path (16:50) and her experience contributing to the Little Book of Racial Healing (38:40). She shares the importance of circle keeping (49:50) and answers the closing questions (1:07:56).

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Contact, Learn More, Support Jodie:
Jodie Geddes: https://jodiegeddes.com/
Center for Justice and Peacebuilding https://emu.edu/cjp/
Coming to the Table: https://comingtothetable.org/
Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth: https://rjoyoakland.org/ 

Get your copy of “Little Book of Racial Healing”:
https://bookshop.org/books/the-little-book-of-racial-healing-coming-to-the-table-for-truth-telling-liberation-and-transformation/9781680993622 

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David (he/him)  
Jodie, welcome to this restorative justice life. Who are you?

Jodie Geddes  
Well, thank you for having me. First, I think the first thing I'll say is that I am a spiritual being who is really interconnected to the earth and the universe around me. My new role is also a mother. But I think more important than that, I think that I'm a parent. And there are ways that you can ask me that, but there are ways that I parent in the world that is beyond this idea of what a mother is supposed to be and who a mother is supposed to be. I think those are the two things that are really coming up for me right now. When I think about who I am.

David (he/him)  
Who are you?

Jodie Geddes  
Um, I would say that I am someone who is evolving, constantly evolving. 

David (he/him)  
Who are you? 

Jodie Geddes  
I'm a question. Trying to figure myself out as the world is also probably trying to figure me out.

David (he/him)  
Who are you?

Jodie Geddes  
I'm a healer and a warrior. Something ... Davis often speaks about. I'm wondering, during these times what it means to be a healer, and a warrior?

David (he/him)  
Who are you?

Jodie Geddes  
I am a descendant of the moons and the tiny nose of Jamaica West Indies.

David (he/him)  
Who are you?

Jodie Geddes  
I am, I think I just am.

David (he/him)  
One more, who are you? 

Jodie Geddes  
I am the great, great granddaughter of mumu, which is the nickname for my great, great grandmother.

David (he/him)  
Oh, my gosh, there's so much good in there. And I know, we're gonna get some of the intersections of all of who you are over the next little bit. But before we get into all of that, it is always good to check in. So to the fullest extent that you want to answer the question, how are you?

Jodie Geddes  
I'm doing well. I feel really great. I'm super excited to be here. I think this podcast is something that's really incredibly important. I look forward to listening to all the episodes and for you all, to have that as well. So I'm doing great overall, you know, the morning started rough, I'm a mama to a two year old. But I'm feeling really grounded and grateful for this opportunity to reflect and connect that time.

David (he/him)  
And, you know, for those who have been listening to this podcast for a long time, Jodie has been someone who multiple guests have said, like, oh, you need to get Jodie here, like I think as early as Jazz, or Desere, if folks are going all the way back there. But, you know, we finally made it happen. So I am just as excited to have you. There's so much to cover in, you know, your relatively short life, you've done a lot, you've made a lot of impact in this space. And so I think it's helpful to talk about the origins of your work and where you got started with this. But it was probably before you even knew the word restorative justice. So in your own words, how did that get started for you?

Jodie Geddes  
Absolutely. Thank you for that. It's strange to think about impact because I think I often don't see my way, myself the way others see me. So for me, I was born in Jamaica, West Indies, and migrated to the United States. When I was six. I am one of five children to grow up in America, Brooklyn, New York, Crown Heights, deep, deep, special place in my heart that taught me so many things. And I think about all the people I'm still in relationship with, that have really ushered me into this space. And I think it's important to just pay homage to Crown Heights because it's that home that really sparked a fire inside of me,

Jodie Geddes  
 I will say I was a very angry child. And I had that warrior energy, I probably wasn't processing processing it in the right ways. And as a young person, I recognized that I was really angry at the world. And I internalized a lot of that anger, I think into self hatred around my own beauty around my own worth. And so in my organizing, I found myself engulfed with so much emotion. And I really believe that I was doing what I was doing, would change the world. And I got frustrated when impact didn't happen in the time that I wanted it to. 

Jodie Geddes  
I even remember, being a debater in high school, I went to high school football, very strange kind of schools in New York. And I was on a debate team. And I would get so angry during my debate competitions, because I was so deeply passionate about the research I was doing in the case that I was building and how that related to the world and for a lot of debaters, not everyone but for a lot of debaters that kind of started and ended there that took my debating craft very serious, and once again thought about how I had internalized so much self hatred and so much self harm. And I was on this path towards wanting to be a lawyer, ultimately, because I wanted to flip the system. And I'm really grateful that my path changed. Because I don't think I would have made it through law school, I think some people still have faith that I'm going to go, I don't think that's going to happen, I think because my professors would be like, actually, according to the law, you can't do that. That is not how you defend someone. That's not how you fight for justice. 

Jodie Geddes  
And so I went to a Quaker College, Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina. And I was introduced to restorative justice, actually, through a professor who's now transition. But her class was so instrumental for me, not because it was the greatest class, she was an incredible professor. But there was so much conflict in the class. I mean, it had a lot to do with race and privilege. And people didn't want to confront that people who were going on into the profession of law at that. And I just think about sitting in that moment and thinking to myself, I can't do this, I don't have the capacity to serve in the way that seems to be the right way, become a lawyer. And that's how you defend people. That's how you push back. That's how you fight for justice. And this class made me realize that there was so much more healing that needed to be done than I even could fathom, you know, I knew that based on my own experience as a black immigrant woman, but something shifted in that classroom, from a place of conflict and a little bit of rage, or maybe a lot of rage. 

Jodie Geddes  
And so I think so many of my life experiences from this place of anger was more so misunderstanding, the worst that I had internalized, or the lack there of was outside of myself. You know, at six years old, I couldn't articulate the poverty that I was seeing, I couldn't articulate the addiction, I was seeing the police violence and terrorism of seeing in my community. And then in this college classroom, filled with people from different walks of life, his his conflict erupting honestly, folks are kind of arguing around what was the best way to heal. And there were black women and of course, being quite honest black women, of course, we talked about not finding places in the system for healing and justice, and white women in the course, who could not understand that, who said people can go to therapy. Restorative justice doesn't do anything. And yeah, that was a turning point for me. So I think that a lot of my story is really about being led every single step I've taken, I really listen to creator to lead me it is not been of my own. 

Jodie Geddes  
I always say that I wish I was a dancer. You know, poetry is a part of who I am. I wish I was a competitive poet. But that is clearly not the path for me. So I started with this warrior spirit that was angry and was hurting. And I turned that into a space of healing. That I think really allowed me to let go and to listen to my colleagues. Oh, that's what you were looking for. 

David (he/him)  
Yeah, we're gonna dive into a lot more of it. I want to, to go off on what you just said. What was a moment for you, where you realize that this warrior energy isn't going to carry me all the way to where I need to go.

Jodie Geddes  
Oh chile, shout out to my folks, some incredible debaters. Adam de Vaughn, so many people from Towson University. This was years ago, I said I was a debater. Like it was a real huge part of my life. And I went to a debate camp, oh, how strange and went to debate camp. And these were some phenomenal black debaters who were bringing in the infusion of arts into debate. So really pushing back against the academy, pushing back against the debate where my mind was blown. As a poet, I was like, wow, I can take poetry into my debate rounds. I can use Tupac, anyone that knows me, it is an obsession. Tupac has been a huge part of my life in terms of guiding me as well. And so I just think about that moment in Towson, one summer at debate camp. 

Jodie Geddes  
And I ended up going I was gonna go to Towson, actually, in order to debate and I don't even know what it was, I think it was probably in a debate round, where I remember when I first walked in, one of the judges said, if you're going to do performance, I'm going to vote you down. So basically already, like letting me know like, of course, we're the only like team of color in this room. Who already letting me know that if you're going to infuse basically like hip hop poetry, authors that are not white men to justify your argument, I'm going to vote you down. It's you know, you will not win this round. And so I just remember walking out of one of my rounds, so mad and it was a little bit of an argument with the other team. And I was just when I say I was mad, I was mad. Like I probably wanted to physically fight folks. And my coach at the time, I think I had not processed yet that this thing that I was doing wasn't going to transform systems and structures. 

Jodie Geddes  
And debate was a huge part, it still is of the culture in New York and she was like, God, everyone else around you, everyone else around us this thing that you're carrying, they don't feel that like this the round open, someone wins, and they leave and they go home. And yeah, I'm still pondering on, you know, like, for example, one year, it was about health care, I'm still pondering on the reality of the lack of care for communities all across the country. Right? The debate round is done three, four weekends, it's, I'm still carrying this thing with me. And I had to and I'm naming the bait because this particular experience, it helped me really build a critical lens to add some concrete understanding to feelings that I was carrying. So that warrior spirit that was a healthy was feelings, and being in debate, because you're doing your own research or developing your own case, it was, you know, I'm reading Pedagogy of the Oppressed. You know, I'm reading hooks, you know, I'm reading Audrey Lorde, I'm putting these pieces together to describe how I'm feeling.

Jodie Geddes  
 And I was like, I don't want to carry this for the rest of my life. You know, I remember when a English teacher gave me the book, The Bluest Eye, and she said, read this, you know, and her and intubate teacher, they were best friends, still friends to this day. And so I had this like awakening, where I wasn't blaming myself for how I felt. But I also realized that I needed to kind of take this step back, I needed to breathe, like everything didn't have to be a fight. And some days, it still feels like it is realizing that everything didn't need to be a fight. So I think, for me, it was that particular moment of having this debate round, but particularly, I think, this debate coach, and mentor, really just saying it playing a lot of a feeling person, I was kind of a lot of feelings that I just didn't have language to describe. But I was just so angry. And a lot of it was more so because I internalized like systemic ideas around my own worth. Like, it wasn't so much that I was advocating, to shift policy and to make change in my organizing, and my debating, because it created a bridge for me. But it was really, I was trying to convince the world that I'm here, see me and see my people see my community see the heights. And I didn't, but I didn't know that, you know, I was I was a child, I started probably from like six years old. But the moment I landed on an escalator, and you're not intended to Crown Heights, and so I was really just developing language, I was just kind of awakening of who someone is and having to define myself for myself and let go of the ideas of who I'm supposed to be.

David (he/him)  
How did you find debate as this platform to channel all of that anger and processing of these ideas and emotions? 

Jodie Geddes  
Mm hmm.

Jodie Geddes  
I have two really good friends that were, They were amazing debaters. Honestly, if my coach is listening to this, I'm probably going to send it to her. She would call me a lazy debater, I guarantee it. Because I was, you know, already a fast talker, I could speak a good game. Sometimes I probably didn't research as much as I should have. I kind of went on to your confidence, um, you know, but she was our history teacher. And she was coaching debate. And I met these two young women who were incredible debaters, and I wanted to emulate them. And I mean, they're incredible academics and scholars, you know, this day. And so I wanted to emulate that. And she also, you know, she had an amazing course. And so, from there, I just went to like, debate practice. I thought it was cool. I was like, Ooh, that wasn't attractive at my school. Because probably if there wasn't debate, I would end up running. And I was like, Okay, I'm gonna do debate. I love learning. 

Jodie Geddes  
Although it probably wasn't as great at the research and all of that. And so that's how I kind of ended up on the debate team. And at my high school, like the debate team was, you know, was a big deal. It wasn't very cliquey. Or if you were in a clique, you know, you were friends with people across different groups. And so it was just a wide range of different people on a debate team. But it was an incredible experience. It taught me a lot of skills. This is an aside, but I hope that more and more schools, especially schools that serve black and brown young people can be able to have more debate teams, I think it's really an opportunity to think about like critical thinking skills, being able to research being able to build a case, and I think there's such a stereotype about what debate is, and I did policy debate, so they give you like, a topic and affirmative for the year and you build a case to build a negative and an affirmative case, but it definitely taught me a lot of critical thinking skills, a lot of research and skills that ultimately helped prepare me when I entered into college.

David (he/him)  
Yeah, I'm thinking a lot. This is probably skipping ahead, but like in having to build the affirmative. And the opposite opposition case, like thinking about times now when you're in spaces with folks who have caused harm, and like having to see things from another point of view, or folks who are descendants of folks who were in slavery, right, and, you know, having to reckon with that past as somebody who is in the body of people who were enslaved, right and liberated, but also, you know, being able to, very early on, see both perspectives, and understand where other people are coming from, had to have been very formative and important for, you know, the spaces that you're holding it, but we're gonna get there, we're gonna get there. 

David (he/him)  
You know, so from from the beach from college, you talked about, like the need for this healing. In, in addition to this warrior energy that you're bringing, looking for justice, and like, I loved how you put it. Like, it wasn't about policy, it was about like, see me see my people see us in the things that we need. Where did you know, that kind of trajectory lead you?

Jodie Geddes  
Yeah, thank you for that I'm so down so many paths, I think. I've been super blessed and grateful to be in spaces with incredible mentors. And people that believed in me, quite honestly, I think that when I came to that particular realization, like I think I mentioned a little bit that I was able to really let go, and to really be led, and to be myself unapologetically. I often find it challenging to bite my tongue. When I feel like there's a moment of harm, or there's a moment of conflict, or even that there's just an opportunity for something to ship. And for us to lean more into community and lean more. So you know, honestly, loving on each other. Right. And I don't say that in this magical way. You know, that's something that's hard for me to do on a daily basis. And I don't want to wait on some form of liberation, wait on some form of freedom to give me that. I'll share a story quickly. I have a lot of stories, because mentors, I think, helped to create some kind of spark in ways where they don't have to sit you down, you know, the moment just happened. And it's like slow motion. 

Jodie Geddes  
One of my mentors, Jada Monica drew from the 252. In North Carolina. I remember, we were having a conversation one time. And I was just saying, like, I just want to be free. And she said, Aren't you free now? Oh, what do you mean? Am I Am I not free right now. And it caused pause, because there's a lot of times there's this language around justice, freedom, healing warrior, you know, words that I use. And there isn't always space, to imagine what that looks like to imagine what that feels like, what that tastes like, you know, what that sounds like? And so when she asked me that question, it was a moment for me to really think about the choices that I have, in this life, that many other people who've come before, don't have, right, even the choice for me to move from one side of the country to open California, you know, even the choice to be able to serve with our joy. 

Jodie Geddes  
Right. And I had not thought about those things, the choice to be on a path to breaking generational curses. You know, I didn't think about that the choice, you know, to be the child my mom brought to this country that then was afforded an undergraduate education in the Masters, right? I didn't think about those choices. Because I was thinking about this big monster that I saw depression on white supremacy, that I just had to fight, that my life's purpose was about fighting against that thing. And so I think a lot of just where I am right now is creating a space to reimagine some of these words that I've often used, and not created pause to really imagine and imagine and reimagine as well are words that I use a lot because when I even enter into space, and I'm in circle, I really try to create space for people to vision. What we are talking about that restorative justice isn't simply like about catharsis. Like, Oh, feel release cry shake, right? It is also about seeing how do I move this energy and what we've done in a circle because circle process doesn't automatically equate to restorative justice. I think often people are like, you're doing surgery, you're doing restorative justice, it is so much more about that. How do we transform the systems and structures that allow communities and people to be in cycles of violence and harm? Where there is the recognition that freedom exists now? And there's so much more to come? To be quite honest, I forgot your question, because I just went down the rabbit hole as usual.

David (he/him)  
I'll come back to the question. And we'll get the answer and continue that narrative. But I wanted to push in on what you just shared about, you know, circles and restorative justice, not necessarily being one in the same. I was reading through, I'll just subtly plug the little book of racial healing that she wrote with Thomas Norman De Wolf. And you know, one of the things that y'all are talking about was how inviting people, sorry, coming back into these racial healing spaces. People are very skeptical of quote, unquote, restorative justice processes. And because they think they're permissive, they don't actually get to accountability. They're not doing those things. There are lots of people who use words like transformative justice, who say that this is the same thing. How do you differentiate between what is quote unquote, real restorative justice, and transformative justice?

Jodie Geddes  
Such a hard question. I, I get this often, and it's so hard a give you a whole dissertation? Um, I think in short, I would say there is a lot of relationship between restorative justice and transformative justice. Of course, the historical origins of restorative justice and transformative justice look different when we think about transforming justice really responding to gender based violence and harm. You know, in restorative justice, there are many different origins that we can talk about. For me, I in particular identify restorative justice as a practice of remembering. So thinking about ancestral ways of being that had been taken from people, right, many different communities when we think about, you know, indigenous communities, native communities, communities of African descent. And so that's a very, very short way of describing restorative justice.

Jodie Geddes  
  wanted to just put that out there playing for me, I'll say that I'm often practicing restorative justice with a transformative justice lens, right. So when I am in circle with folks, and I'm talking about a plan of support, I am utilizing transformative justice practices, to really create space for folks to identify what and who their community is, with a restorative justice process that brings their full self into the space, even for people who have committed harm. And I think, even in me naming that, I think that sometimes folks only get one version of restorative justice, right? When I'm doing a talk or a presentation, I ask folks, you know, how many of you know about restorative justice in relationships with the carceral system? And it's most of the people who are raising their hands, right? Because their only view of restorative justice is this process, that this particularly certain process that only comes into play after harm has taken place. 

Jodie Geddes  
For me, the way that I practice of sort of justice, or even my workout, our joy, is how will we create in our sort of cities and restorative communities, right? Where in moments that conflict happen, people have the ability to lean into that in healthy ways. And we don't make each other disposable, right? So to imagine a world where, you know, we are in right relationship with each other. And when we get out of alignment, we have the tools and the practices to bring us back into the space. And that doesn't mean that you can't hold each other accountable. It doesn't mean that sometimes people can't be separated from community. What it means is how do we then not meet people disposable and discard their humanity? And so I think even expanding, particularly, I'm speaking to you all, you know, transformative justice practitioners, I think really expanding their view of restorative justice, and allowing that to have an anti racist anti bias lens. Because the field in general of restorative justice, how people come to it often is not talking about race. If you're a practitioner of color, you will do that. It is a part of your identity. It is a part of how you walk through the world. 

Jodie Geddes  
So I said In short, but not really that short. But I think for me, I think that there is a lot of synchronicity and relationship between transformative justice and restorative justice. I think there's opportunity for us to learn from each other, I think particularly for restorative justice practitioners, transformative justice can provide some tools and practices to really think about how restorative justice can lead to systems change, which I believe that restorative justice can transform, dismantle and shift systems. But I also enter into this with a different lens, right, in terms of the larger field. And so I think there's a lot more relationship than we know it to be. And we can offer a lot of opportunity. I think a lot of it is misconceptions. So I think even this podcast is so important, because it creates space for multiple stories, right? where folks are able to hear those different perspectives.

David (he/him)  
And I think most of the people who are asking that question, from the TGA perspective, are people who probably learned the words in the last year or two, right and not having like the full context of like, where this movement has grown from the folks that generation five, and like, from the restorative roots, obviously, through our ancestry, but like from the 1970s. On injure, right, right, so many people who were the originators of this work and who have been carrying this work were white, and we're carrying critical racial lens as they were doing this work, and that's caused harm. But we're growing, we're evolving. And I think, you know, what's been beautiful for me is most of the people that I've learned from work light. And so like, of course, this is a part of my analysis, growing up in even the folks who were white practitioners specifically, shouting out, or issue is, since past, were really conscious of that because of the spaces that they were practicing in the people that they were working alongside and with and for. 

David (he/him)  
You know, that's where I got my start with the words restorative justice, somewhere in your college career, I imagine the words came to you, because somehow, like, there are very few people I know, who end up at CJP, the Center for Justice and peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite university right out of their undergrad experience. So when did those words, you know, come into your purview? And what made you gravitate towards this way of being these practices?

Jodie Geddes  
Yeah, that course actually, that I took, we there was a whole unit focused on restorative justice. I'm not in depth, I didn't know the names of people, because I think it's important to recognize that restorative justice isn't a long standing field, right? So in some ways, it's a toddler, let's say, you know, it's a toddler, preteen maybe for some, and so it isn't this large field. So litres literature is still being developed language is constantly shifting, there are other folks who use restorative practices. They're folks who do mindfulness work, but have an infusion of restorative justice. So that, you know, it's I think it's important, even as we contextualize it, sometimes in race, to think about things just change across different movements and moments, things change. And it's important to name the evolution and at the same time, create space, for challenge. So with that being said, you know, there was a unit specifically focused on restorative justice. And I wanted to know more about it. Interestingly enough, at the same time, our kind of disciplinary policy on the college was really beginning to find ways to infuse and adopt restorative justice. 

Jodie Geddes  
So really thinking about how do you hold a circle process on a college campus when Honor Code is violated? Right. And it was something that was fascinated me, I had the opportunity to serve as you know, an advocate, as a part of the process. I definitely learned a lot from that experience, when we're thinking about working with, you know, academic institutions, you know, thinking about code of ethics, but also how to center students in that. So it was kind of me trying to live out restorative justice, and then seeing it the practice in a different structure and institution. And so from that pass, I'm learning the language. But I'm also saying, How do I do more with this? It can only be this, I had a lot of questions, and I had a yearn to practice and be in space. And from doing that work with the kind of disciplinary system on my college campus, I did a lot of work with refugee and immigrant communities. I was a coordinator for about two different sites. And I was able to utilize restorative justice as a part of my Diversity, Equity and Inclusion trainings, for a master's in social work students who are going to be working with communities that has just been resettled. 

Jodie Geddes  
And so I was really utilizing restorative justice in those ways. I initially thought I was going to use it. This sounds so strange saying it now, but I was like, I want to develop policy for the United Nations and it's going to be adopted across the medical field and in social work field. I don't know why I was thinking about this, but I, I saw this thing that had been introduced in one way because I was a community and justice study major. So we were talking a lot about law. And I was like this can be used in so many other ways. And I never thought I wanted to do a master's. And then I had a professor and I said, I really want to study restorative justice, where do I go? And he said, Center for Justice building. And I said, Okay, and that's the only the other programs I applied to were masters in social work programs. And I was I could just infuse it in there. The only other program that was kind of conflict and Justice Studies, anything around conflict transformation, was at the Center for Justice and peacebuilding. And that was just the act of faith. It wasn't because I wanted a Masters but I had this yearn for knowledge. And I felt like the thing that I had learned about in one way, there's so much more that could be done. And so that's kind of how the language came about. And I was led through really redefining it for myself, meanwhile, of course, honoring its foundation. 

David (he/him)  
Yeah. And let's make this an explicit plug for Eastern Mennonite University's Center for Justice and Peace of building. We've had lots of people who've come through there who are working there on this podcast, it is one of in an academic setting, one of the best places to learn about this work. Of course, we know that you don't need the academia to, to learn these ways that are ancestral, but good people there, sufficient plug. 

David (he/him)  
but you have you the relationships that you gain, they're the things that you study, they're the things that you learn, they're kind of set you on this trajectory that you've been on for the past, you know, little bit of your life, what were some of the key relationships, key learning moments that you experience while at CJP?

Jodie Geddes  
Ah, I'm gonna name drop I have. So I love everyone. I really appreciated CJP. And just a community that they were able to build. One of the other things I also really appreciate is I think that they take feedback. Well, I'm a pusher all the time, that's a part of my identity, I'll never deny that. Like I said, I can't hold my tongue. So I feel like they're able to create space, for cohorts to be able to give feedback and thinking about how they infuse that into their programs. And their curriculum. One of the classes that I took that was really transformative for me was a classic call stopper that was really looking at restorative justice and whole systems change. Yes, I remember the title of the course. 

Jodie Geddes  
And that class actually created the opportunity for me to dig a lot deeper into my core interest around, I understand in terms of transforming their relationships, how do we really transform systems, and it created an opportunity for me to really explore that. 

Jodie Geddes  
And I also had an opportunity to lean into art space projects, to be able to describe it and to talk about identity. And so I was able to create a short film out of that kind of asking people about who they are and who their people are, and their vision around healing, and their vision around restorative justice. And it was just such a powerful experience to think about the academic space and how I could bring in other parts of myself, because I think for a lot of, you know, what we can see as my academic career, I'm always feeling like it's half of my body in and half of it out, you know, when I entered into see JP, a lot of what we were talking about, I didn't need the academy to teach me that when I went entered into undergrad, because I think I had these experiences that and mentors that I think, had to have a good talk with me about like moving to the south, particularly how my organizing lens was, and they kind of, you know, helped open my eyes and help prepare me to enter into that space. 

Jodie Geddes  
But I think it gave me an opportunity to be a part of a world that I think many people are not a part of, you know, I had the ability to write this little book of racial healing, never thought I would ever be able to write a book that could be so accessible to many different, you know, groups of people. And so I'm thinking a lot about that restorative justice, a whole system's course. And that's also, you know, a class that often I go back to those materials to help me when I'm supporting different organizations who are looking to implement restorative justice, different, you know, academic institution. So it's a course that I continue to go back to constantly. 

Jodie Geddes  
So there was, there was real learning and application coming out of that. And it was also just like a really great facilitation course, that, you know, there's a Center for Justice and peacebuilding. There's often a hyper focus on restorative justice, but there are also many of the practices we can utilize, that is really important to be able to support creating restorative spaces and so, you know, that's another, you know, facilitation courses and other courses that I took, that I continue to go back to, for really constant learning. I just had so many incredible experiences. I still do With a lot of my peers, whether they were in my cohort or another cohort, we still have those long standing relationships. We're often doing webinars and panels for each other. 

Jodie Geddes  
And so I think it was very interesting because you're in this academic institution, but there's so much relationship that is being built and so much opportunity to really connect deeply with each other. And I think to also challenge the idea of what it means to be a piece builder. And I think that's one of the things that I really appreciated the most, because I didn't see myself as a peace builder many times, I still don't, I'm still wrestling with what that means. But there was this opportunity to really begin to think deeply about that. So I would recommend, even if you don't want to do a master's, you know, you know, there's a summer peacebuilding Institute where folks go take class for a week, or even stay longer. So there's such an incredible richness. And I think that the program has grown so much, I appreciate all of those opportunities.

David (he/him)  
Yeah, absolutely. You know, mine was the short endorsement, you got the longer investment and you know, we'll link CJP in the show notes, for sure. So folks can check that out, you know, you talked you I mentioned it earlier, and you just mentioned it, part of being in that community was you developing, co developing this book, in the little book series, The Little Book of racial healing, around the framework of coming to the table, using a circle process to explore and heal. Folks can pick up the book again, link in the show notes for like, $7, at your nearest well, online store, let's be real. Yeah. 

David (he/him)  
But, you know, tell us a little bit about the origins of that project in what you hoped people would get. And, you know, the, the book has been out for a couple years now, like, how you've seen people interact with it, and the impact that it's had.

Jodie Geddes  
Yeah, thank you for that I'm being even more transparent than ever. It was a scary experience. Besides giving birth, it was like the hardest thing I've ever done. probably harder than that, to be quite honest. Um, it was interesting, you know, they were doing some experimental work, I am you creating spaces for different people, creative practitioners, to get together to create something. And Tom and I'd already known each other, and Tom was already the manager of coming to the table. And now I call manage with Tom, which is so strange to say. And so he brought this idea to me, and we're both writers, were we gonna, we weren't going to write for an anthology, instead, submit something to see JP, you know, maybe you'll get published, we'll do that together. But instead, you know, through through a series of different conversations with different mentors and folks in the community, you know, we wrote this proposal on the little book of racial healing, to really create space, to introduce people to the coming to the table framework, as well as the history of this country, particularly around enslavement and its legacy. And they accepted it. 

Jodie Geddes  
I really prayed that it wouldn't be accepted. And Tom and I talked about that. I was like, I don't know, how I feel, you know, like, there's this idea that we talked a lot about in CJP, don't be married to your theories. Now. It's like I'm writing this thing down, that's permanent. My ideas are forever evolving and changing. And also, in our world, online, you know, commentators, how will this be received? Right? And, you know, so it's very interesting, in terms of that, and so I had a little bit of anxiety, maybe a lot. And there was also excitement around the possibility to dream with Tom. And so it was kind of emerging through a series of different conversations with mentors and folks writing this proposal, and then here, it gets accepted. Now, the real work begins, you know, it's a little book that you're writing about racial healing. Yeah. And there's nothing little about racial healing. Um, but it was really a great experience, I think, for me to really get clear around, you know, are coming to the table pillars, and how do we articulate that to an audience from people who are just beginning their anti racist journey to people who believe that racism doesn't exist. And so people who are really in the thick of it, right, like chest deep, and are really saying, how do I move through this? Because we're never we're never finished, right? Whenever finished on this journey of unlearning and knowing and so that's kind of how the book emerge can be

David (he/him)  
can you give like, a really, really like a quick review of the framework of coming to the table.

Jodie Geddes  
Yeah, absolutely. So coming to the table is really thinking about how do we do that table taking America beyond the legacy of enslavement, you know, that's what takes stands for. And the way that coming to the table was founded was through the descendants of the Jeffersons and the hare sins, kind of gathering together at Eastern Mennonite University, and about 2005 ,2006. So very family reunion style. And it was a really life changing experience it experience for many folks who attended Tom Dewolfe at that time, who is now co manager with me was also there. And folks wanting to continue to do that work and connect. And so over time, different local groups starting to be formed. 

Jodie Geddes  
Now we have to build an organization. And we'll hear someone who's a descendant of them, you know, he was working at Eastern Mennonite University at the time. And so it became the hub to really help center and focus coming to the table every year, or every two years, we have our national gathering at Eastern Mennonite University, we do a series of ceremonies and a series of gatherings together. And so you have what started as this yearning to connect, particularly a lot of people who were doing their ancestral work rather that whether that was through ownership, or through DNA coming together, over the course of a really a few days, that was life changing. And now saying, what does this look like to expand and elevate this work. And so right now, we have over 45 local groups in over 16 states. And we have a series of working groups who are working on things like reparations.

Jodie Geddes  
 So we have a series of different working groups, including our reparations working group who has been able to develop a reparations guide to really support people. And the reparations guide identifies the four pillars of coming to the table in relationship to a reparative action. So the book identifies the four pillars of coming to the table, uncovering history, making connections, moving towards healing and taking action. It doesn't have to be done in that order. But it's often written in that order. So really thinking about how do we uncover the history of this country, but also uncovering the history of our family's history and legacy. And I think that's sometimes the piece, that's hardest for people to consent. 

Jodie Geddes  
You know, folks will say, Well, my family didn't enslave anyone, right. And even if they didn't, there are ways that people were able to benefit and profit off of the labor of enslaved people. And so really, being able to create space for people to move through that, and holding restorative justice and trauma healing at the center of it. And I think that piece is really important. There are many spaces where people are talking about race, it constantly becomes popular, even if it's not the healthiest conversation. But one of the things that I think circle process affords us the opportunity to do is to really sit and listen without being so quick to respond. Right. 

Jodie Geddes  
So someone could say something in the middle of their sentence, I'm already upset, I already disagree, but they haven't finished a thought. And yet, I've already come to the conclusion. Right. And so, you know, being able to sit and listen, I think, create space for me to really process and, and hear to hear folks, and I think to also see their humanity. 

Jodie Geddes  
And in the book, you know, one of the things that I really, really loved about the book, and I'm so happy we made the decision to do is to highlight different stories. So there are different stories that different coming to the table members have actually submitted to us that featured in the book, where they're, they share their own experiences, and they share their own family history. So people are not just I think learning with Tom and I, what they're learning with folks who have shared some really deep stories of you know, of pain, and also some stories of joy.

David (he/him)  
Yeah, you've talked about how there have been multiple chapters that have popped up across the country. In response to the larger coming to the table initiatives, what have the reactions or responses from folks from the book have been like, especially since June, May of last year?

Jodie Geddes  
Absolutely. Yeah, I think thank you for that. I think most people, it's been positive responses. I think that sometimes, you know, if there's a news article that's written about us in the book, or you know, some kind of interview, I think, sometimes we get some of those comments from people, it's usually one or two to be quite honest, I often get something via my Twitter or my Instagram. And I've just been in the organizing World for such a long time that, you know, at this point, I just ignore it. So I think Tom and I get separate responses. I'll name that. I think that's very true, that we get separate responses. In terms of our personal social media. Overall, the responses have been really good. I think sometimes we might give a talk. And people might be having some challenges like really, really wrestling with their own identity. It's particularly white men, if I'm being honest. And I think, you know, Tom does a really good job being able to hold that space, there are things that he can say that if I say, there's definitely going to be a different response, and that's something that we talk a lot about in our relationship, 

Jodie Geddes  
I think I've only had one experience where I was, it was bad. Um, but someone identified only one piece in the book, and I name it, you know, we did a presentation for a group. And the person only identified the fact that Mike Brown Jr. was mentioned in the book. And I was very adamant that we kept that in the book, Tom was very supportive, a lot of decisions and things that were kept in the book that I didn't want to let go of. But it just was interesting to me that that's the only thing that they identify in the book. So they read through the book, and then came back to that, and had some criticism that I think that we were able to really name, the bias that exhibit existed, the explicit, not the implicit, but the explicit bias that existed. And I think that it was an opportunity for that person to really hear themselves, it was also recorded. So I think it was an opportunity for them to hear themselves. And one of the things that I named, I said, you know, that thing that is bothering you, it is an invitation to investigate that. And how we see the disposability of black folks in this country, and ultimately, probably all across the world, right. 

Jodie Geddes  
And one of the reasons for this, I want to highlight this that Marc Lamont Hill, who can also sometimes be controversial, one of my favorite people, his book, Nobody was so impactful for me. And he talked about the way that nobody This is often a sign to black folks who are killed to police harm, police violence, and in many other ways. And it was just a moment of pause. For me, I use the language of disposability a lot. And I had not thought about this idea of nobody this right, that can be assigned to folks. And so I was really clear about wanting to keep that in the book. And there are a lot of things. It's hard, you know, to like, think about what do you keep let go, what do you add? And so I think about that experience, because I think many other people are carrying that. They might not be willing to say it because it's popular to be anti racist. So they might not want to be the disrupter in the room. And it says to, you know, we tend to be talking to primarily white folks to be honest.

David (he/him)  
Yeah, yeah. I mean, that's who's buying this book, right? Yeah. Yeah. That did stand out to me as I was looking through it this morning, right, the idea of nobody notice and shout out to Marc, where it's not that like, it's not just that we're disposable. But it's that like, your disposable and like your faceless, nameless, like, who you are isn't important. Yeah. And, and I don't think it's exclusive just to like police violence. Right? 

David (he/him)  
You've talked about like, many of the other ways, that anti blackness shows up, you know, some of the work that you're doing now with our joy, right? With a whole city, right. And our joy is restorative justice for Oakland youth really gets to some of those intersections of you know, not just police and black folks, or school systems, schools or the criminal legal system, you're really you really are talking about communities, from, you know, the middle of pretty rural Virginia, all the way across the country, to the West Coast, best coast of Oakland, California. You You landed at restorative justice for Oakland youth of our joy you're doing you've done a lot of work there since you've landed. But tell us what your Oh, you can you can share some of that journey. But what are you up to now these days?

Jodie Geddes  
Yeah, I think it's just another thing that I'm super grateful for. I would have if I didn't go to see JP I would have never ended up on the West Coast. Or maybe spirit would have led me here. I never, you know, I grew up in Brooklyn, New York. I didn't think about the other side of the country. Then when I was at TJP Fani. It was there was a gathering of different restorative justice practitioners, many of the books we read, I was so oblivious to who was in the room. And I just felt so honored that Carl invited me by far the youngest person. And I was just funny. It was sitting next to me, but I was not, but not very well. It's like, Oh, he's so cool. I'm here. Yay. This is amazing books. I love it. Maybe I wasn't doing as much work as I should have been doing my courses. But I digress. And so you know, I remember we had to get in groups and we sat on our tree and I think this is just so significant. To who Dr. Fanya Davis's. We sat under the tree, there was a different question proposed, and she just turned to me. And she said, you know, let's let the youth speak.

Jodie Geddes  
But I'm not a youth. What do you mean? In my mind? Of course, and, you know, she said, What has it been like for you here? And I was, I was like what? You know, and that while I love CJP, I will name that, you know, it's challenging, there was a lot happening in the world of organizing, so much happening. And it felt like sometimes in the academy, there wasn't a place to put it as someone who had been organizing lobbying work, doing policy, change, marches, protests, you know, all of that. And it was just significant. She invited me to RGA I don't think she thought I would take that serious. You know, I think she was serious. But did she think I was gonna take her up on an offer. And when it came time for practicum, in South Africa, or Oakland, California, people still trip up about that, and spirits that go to Oakland, and I came here. And I wanted to be challenged, I wanted to know, how do I implement restorative justice in my personal life? And how do I, you know, do that out in the world. 

Jodie Geddes  
And while I appreciate while it is not perfection, and it's, you know, not probably what we're striving for that our joy, we are really trying to build a restorative justice culture internally, the same way that we're holding that space out in communities, the same way we do that work organizations and schools, we're trying to implement restorative justice. So you know, that kind of consulting is a part of our work, where folks are really interested in implementing restorative justice. And then what we speak to them about is building that cultural change of restorative justice, that you might want to do a conflict and harm circle, are young people happy, do they feel safe, are there adults in here, that they feel like they can trust, really shifting that space, so that education, you know, can become that practice of freedom, you know, Lord talks about and so I think, you know, are hooks, I believe. 

Jodie Geddes  
So I think, for me, that's one of the things that I really love about our joy. And it's not just education as a practice of freedom, just being as freedom, you know, like I alluded to, with, with Jada Monica Drew, just being able to live that out loud. One of the things everything, hardware makes me excited to be quite honest, I have a lot of freedom to really build and create. So maybe not one of the things, two of the things that make me really excited is, you know, we are doing some work with the county and have received funding to do this work, we're really creating this space between systems of mental health and care, along with restorative justice. That is something that's not often done. And so we have about 10, weekly, or more actually weekly restorative justice circles, where people from the community, and many people actually from other states, we have folks from Texas, New York, Virginia, or coming to our affinity group spaces to really explore healing together, explore justice, explore harm, explore grief, talk about mental health and wellness. 

Jodie Geddes  
And we are also able to create a bridge between systems of care, because for some people, the circle is enough. That's the community that they're looking for, that they didn't have. And we know there are others in our community, especially during this time, that need those higher levels of care. And so a lot of my role is how do I equip the staff with Mental Health First Aid training, for example, amongst many other things, right, really equipping them with the language and the skills to be able to hold that circle, because they do it so beautifully. And what happens in moments of crisis? And even if it's not crisis? How do we just support the wellness of folks, there's such a stigma around mental health, you know, folks will say, Well, we have access when we have a new program, and yet this history and legacy still exists. And so what is our work to do as those who are in service to and with each other. And so that's one of the things that we're doing that makes me really excited. So you know, we have a black male circle, black women's circle youth circle that our young people run, they're going to be starting about three other circles.

Jodie Geddes  
I'm hoping to start a provider circle, in the new year for particularly providers of African descent, we're gonna do some affinity spaces with that. So starting out a circle for providers of African descent, to really be in community with each other, because who's in service to those that are serving, right. And I think sometimes even during the pandemic, because we're supporting people so much, there often is in space to just take a deep breath, where you don't have to, like, explain the work that you do. And you can just be and so that's one of the things that we're doing that makes me really excited where I'm learning so much about mental health and wellness at the intersection of restorative justice. And, you know, I love the people who come to our circle, and you really get to witness how much people are growing. I even think about my black women's circle. It's not my circle, the circle that I attended. Um, so causally the circle people for like, they can function without me. Because there's been such a community that's been built, that is whole that is healing. And that is constantly transforming. And I get to be in space where we're witnessing joy. And in our tough moments, we can hold each other together, you know, I'll even share my my daughter, I don't know what was happening. She was just crying. And I was like, oh, Lord, I can't do this, you know? And they're like, it's okay, Jodi, let's see what's going on.

Jodie Geddes  
you know, I turned the camera, we're sitting on the floor, she just won't stop crying. And she doesn't have the words to describe it. And, you know, and many of them are parents and folks like, what about this? Did you try this, and one of the women, she's a nurse, you know, in women's health. And she said, if we get off, we can get on the phone right now I got, you know, and that's the commute is built into circle. But it extends beyond that. Right? Like, you know, people are on WhatsApp groups, people are going to retreat with each other. They don't have to check in with me to do that. But we've collectively created such a community, that they're building relationships that expand beyond that circle. So that's one of the things that just makes me really excited about my work, that we can talk about mental health and wellness, at the intersection of restorative justice. And restorative justice isn't one thing, it has the ability to be so much more than I think I'm even imagining it to be. Was that what you're looking for?

David (he/him)  
Yes. 100%, I'm thinking about, like, my follow up question and how to word it. Because like, there's this piece of me that's tactically saying like, Alright, so the people who are listening to this is like, great, I want to start this in my own city with my own organization, like, what I loved about what you shared is like, you know, this group can run without me. It's not to say that, like, you showed up, and like, Alright, y'all, we're gonna have a circle. This is what's happening. Y'all are good, right? Like, that's not what it was. Can you explain the the process that you went through with that circle, specifically? Because like, there are nuances to your circle of black men circle, whatever affinity space circle that you're creating, what was the process for bringing that group together? And bringing you all to the point where you are, you know, confidentiality? Of course, right?

Jodie Geddes  
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. I appreciate that. Yeah. And that's important. When I say that, I think it's because we've done the work to build the container with each other. You know, one of the things I think right off the bat, I recognize is, um, a lot of the work starts before you ever get into circle. So thinking about doing the work on self, right, am I ready to hold this space and it changes from day to day, you could be having a bad day, but recognizing how that energy enters into the space and centering it. And sometimes it could be really centering yourself before you open the space. Or it could be going to the space to say, this is how I'm feeling today, I've learned a lot about vulnerability and transparency because of this group. Especially because I'm the youngest. And I'm holding space within for folks who are older than me, some who are identified as my elders. And that's always been a challenge for me, because culturally, things look different. But I'm in a particular kind of position. And so finding ways I think, to consent, consistent, finding ways to continuously be transparent, has been really important and to be vulnerable. 

Jodie Geddes  
And I think to include the members in the practice, I think, sometimes so keeping can be seen as being a facilitator, even if folks are not using that language. So a lot of times people might jump right in. And they asked a question or, you know, as we're especially because we're virtual waiting for people to gather, I'm usually playing music, a conversation will already get started. And what I often do is, I let go of the plan that I've been I've created. Can we just lean right into that conversation? I might say, that sounds great. And I'm already and I guess, because my practice, I'm already thinking of questions in my head. And I'll say, Wow, that's amazing. I come into a conversation, I might say, let's go over our values and our agreements. And then let's get right into it. And so instead of just cutting off that conversation, I come back to that thing, right.

Jodie Geddes  
 So I think one of the things I've learned is to be able to let go of plans I've created. So making sure I'm planning for circle, but if the group is going somewhere else, allow that to flourish, because that's what they need in the moment. So it's not my work to control the group. But it is about ownership. So when I say the group can function without me, I don't think it's because they don't think I'm a valuable member of the group. But they feel safe enough with each other where it is not dependent upon me as an individual to create that race space to create that safe space. And that they also feel confident and equipped to jump right in. You know, there are moments where someone else, they're like, I'm searching for something right? And they're like, let me go ahead and do the agreements. I don't feel you know, any harm and someone who's a participant in a circle leading the agreements, that's a part of what we all do, too together to create community, it's like whenever the table, and you know that one Auntie might start saying grace, even if someone just assigned you to do it, where, you know, we're all in this together, you know, we're all gathering together. 

Jodie Geddes  
And so, you know, I'm really intentional with listening to the energy that the circle was giving me definitely doing values and agreements, like, that's always been important. I go over it, every single circle we got there together, it's very rare that I go over it. One of the agreements that we have, and I'm naming it, because it's interesting, when you start building a culture, you start to notice things, things become more fluid, one of the agreements is ask permission before giving feedback. We never honor that. Because and it's, and once again, agreements are courtesies, they're not about perfection. But because we built that culture of safety, that we're able to do that. But what happens is, if there's a new person that comes in join circle, we begin to honor that agreement, because we recognize now this energy is shifting, the space is evolving, right, and we want to bring someone else into the group and also create that brave enough, safe enough space for them. And then, you know, the last thing I'll add is, I'm really intentional with the materials that I share. And think about the impact it will have on people's bodies. So even images that I might share in a video, if we're talking about like black, women's, you know, maternal health, really being careful with the images that I'm sharing, right to be able to get a message across our point across, doing a lot of meditation and yoga, looking to other black practitioners, when I'm thinking about activities and resources. And so it's constantly cultivating that relationship. So there are a number of different things that I do, but I think it is really about listening to the energy of the circle and let it carry us.

David (he/him)  
Yeah. Has the circle run or met without you?

Jodie Geddes  
Yeah. Yeah, usually, I just like open up the room. Yeah. Yeah. And, you know, we also have a WhatsApp group. So people are communicating through this Whatsapp group, like, all the time I miss most of the messages. Yeah.

David (he/him)  
And this is a this is like a curiosity that I have, as someone who is both facilitating and teaching this work. That, you know, because I have this curiosity, I'm sure it'll help somebody else. And I realize now that I don't really need to qualify or justify why I'm asking the question, but here we go. You know, one of the things that I'm often fearful of, because of the way that I came up in this work, where we're bringing this work into schools, and you know, in chapter six of the little book, like you give folks an outline for, like, how to keep a circle, right. And there, there's something about like, giving people like, the ABC 123, step one, through whatever that like, is super dangerous. Because folks are able to take that and, and do what they will. I think what's beautiful about like, what you've done is like you've had, I don't even know if you've introduced the like the technicalities, the science, quote, unquote, of like, circle practice, to these folks. But like, because y'all have practice being in space together, that is a natural way for folks to continue to be in this. And I realize in some ways, I'm answering my own question. But like, it has to be like that had knowledge, the tactical, the logistical, married with, like, experience, felt experience and lived practice before were like, Oh, I read the book. I'm good. Let's go.

Jodie Geddes  
Yeah, I'd agree. I think that can be very dangerous. That was a part that was really challenging to be able to write. And I think one of the reasons is, we can use the language of circle process a lot. And if people have never engaged with it, they don't know what it means. And so in the editing notes, it was like this needs to be explained. And for me, even my language that I used to explain restorative justice and circle process is not often what is written in a textbook. You know, I said, it was a practice of remembering people were like, What do you mean? And then I am like, Okay, let me go into this other definition, right. And then I'll scaffold it with my interpretations. I think it was really challenging, but I think for the book and needed to be done, I do think that in the field and in the practice, and in teaching, there sometimes can be the practice orientation that's missing. 

Jodie Geddes  
So like an example, with our joy even virtually, we are holding trainings in restorative justice circle process. And so even the people who are in the training, they're going over by values, they're going over guidelines and agreements, it is very much practice orientation. So people also have the feeling of being in circle and understanding. You know, usually on day two, they get to the about their own circles. So having to even think critically about a check in that might seem like something that's real easy. But also, how do you read the group? And not ask a question that, in fact, might not work for checking question and could shift the energy somewhere else, I think it's this fine balance between kind of the practice and between the knowledge. And it's also interesting, too, because a lot of times when I do training, whether it's our joy as a part of my, or as a part of my consulting, I might train someone like three or four times, and they still haven't practice. 

Jodie Geddes  
And just like do with your family, do it with your friends, even organizations. They're like, we need your support and implementing, but you may have done maybe two, three trainings with them. And they still haven't just sat down in a circle, and asked one question, you know, like, there's this, I think that there can sometimes be a fear of being seen, because people are unsure that they will be held, you know, and I think, of course, it's our world role, to really create space for those courtesies. Because it really does shift the container, you know, times where I've seen people not go over values and guidelines. You know, even if I'm doing a presentation, I'm giving some guidelines. Sometimes I'm like, we all good with this, usually people aren't I haven't had an experience with someone's like, thumbs down. I can't live with this. But I really tried to do that. Do you know, and I often call it container setting. Because even if I'm asked to give a talk, I want folks to know that they are a part of the collective space, you know, and I'm trying to shift the energy I want to be in relationship with you. Even if I only have 30 minutes to basically speak at you. How can I still shift the container to be in relationship with you?

David (he/him)  
Yeah, yeah, man, there's, there's a whole nother tangent, we can go off like what you said about like people in organizations specifically, and keeping in mind schools or organizations or communities or organizations, right? Being afraid to be seen. Because something about that organization has told them that it's not okay to be seen for who you are before, like, people don't get over that. Just like that. Man, so much. But you know, we're already at an hour plus, and I want to make sure that we get to the questions that everybody answers really quickly, in your own words, define restorative justice.

Jodie Geddes  
Yay. Okay. Restorative justice, for me is a practice of remembering wisdom healing warrior spirit energy that has been taken, that restores the dignity and humanity of everyone.

David (he/him)  
 You've been doing this work for a minute in many different settings. What has been like oh, shit moment, or like a mistake or something like, Oh, I wish I did something different. And what did you learn from it?

Jodie Geddes  
And oh, shit moment I can think about is when I was doing some soaker work, particularly around race. And I remember, I got triggered. Someone said something I got triggered. I felt like they didn't intentionally to be honest. And at that time, what my close circle keeper because they knew me so well. I just tapped him on the shoulder and I checked out, I was just, I just checked out like, I was staring. But mentally, I was I was at like Charlie and chocolate factory or something, I just was no longer in the space. And so that's an oh, shit moment for me. And I think that it could have been an opportunity for a deeper conversations that happen amongst group in that moment, a conversation later happened where there was need to process some things. And I didn't name the personal impact on me. But I think that could have been a learning moment for folks in the group to really think about how facilitators and holders of space are also participants. Because I think sometimes that's forgotten. And so I think about that oh shit moment, because I felt it, I really felt it in my chest. And I just, you know, I just tapped my co circle keeper, and they already knew because we have that relationship. And I just, I was staring into space, but I was pretty tapped out.

David (he/him)  
Yeah, no, that's, that's so tough. I'm reflecting on being in that facilitator role and just like putting up walls for myself for protection. And what that inhibits what connection that inhibits in the room one, like having a co facilitator would help that but like, to, like, if my walls are up, people can still see that right? And like, what vulnerability are they going to extend because like, you know, part of my quote unquote walls being up is like some performative rehearse like vulnerable sharing, right? But you know, for the people who are in tuned in intuitive, like, maybe maybe being able to see beyond that and so like, I think for me, as I'm growing And this work part of this is like being able to do a lot of that healing of self. So I can then go out and be vulnerable in ways that like, are actually putting myself out there. 

David (he/him)  
You get to sit in circle with for people living or dead. Who are they? And what's the question?

Jodie Geddes  
Maksha core, Dr. Bernard Lafayette, and Dr. Ivor Carruthers

David (he/him)  
and what is the question you asked about circle?

Jodie Geddes  
What world do you want to create?

David (he/him)  
God, what is the world that you want to create?

Jodie Geddes  
I want to create a world where young people can play in the sprinklers. Without sprinklers, basically the fire hydrant without worrying about that there won't be enough water, or they're too loud and proud. I know that was like a metaphor, but that's the word I want to create. 

David (he/him)  
All right, all right. Um, the follow up to that is what are you doing to make that world

Jodie Geddes  
I'm going to cry, Oh, my God, what's going on. Um, I think that I am challenging myself to be the greatest parent human, that I can be that I hold space for this young child, to know that they are enough in a world that I anticipate may tell them different. And that they no longer often are of me, but are of the world, and can just allow the Spirit of who they're meant to be flourished, I let it live without having any attachment to me. Because I have a lot of faith and hope that that a she is going to be anything beyond who I can imagine her to be.

David (he/him)  
What is an affirmation or mantra that you save yourself as you're building that world that you want people here to know?

Jodie Geddes  
To be honest, I might need to start saying those affirmations to myself. I don't think that I often am able to prioritize that. Like I see the world. And sometimes in my body. I don't believe in that world. If I'm being fully transparent, I know that it exists. Sometimes it's hard to believe it. So maybe I believe

David (he/him)  
Yeah, yeah, I like that. And I think that's hard to you know, Miriam compasses hope as a discipline, right? Like we need to, like build in those practices to help us believe that like, there's something beyond the this really difficult situation that we're that we're in right now. 

David (he/him)  
Two more questions. Who's one person I should have on this podcast? And before you answer you have to help me get them on.

Jodie Geddes  
I will say for brief, one of my really good friends also former CJP gadget. He has a platform called syllable which is a writing platform. I'm just basing some love for Reese right now. He is incredible. I think he is also the epitome of hope. And he also is probably the reason that I am co manager of coming to the table. He invited me to come to the table. And since then, I've never looked back maybe one time I did but that then I came back to the table. So I think my really good friend for Reese man thank you'll say yes, immediately. They know much.

David (he/him)  
Love it. Looking forward to that introductory email then, or DM cuz that's where that's where this happened as well. And then finally, how can people support you in your work in the ways that you want to be supported?

Jodie Geddes  
Yes. Okay, you can check out restorative justice for Oakland youth check out the incredible work we're doing around truth telling racial healing, restorative justice, trauma, healing a number of different things. We are here we're showing up in community because we love community. You can also check out my personal work at Jodiegeddes.com. I also have a podcast called maternity leave that explores mothering and everything in between just two friends being moms together along with my really good friend Jamie Rogers. And so if you check out jodiegeddes.com You'll find all that information and they up to date, and I hope to be publishing something soon. It will likely be a collection of poems so something a little bit different, but I think gives you some deeper insight into who I am the woman that probably talks in most of the metaphors and similes

David (he/him)  
Love it. Love it little Jodie that professional poet. The dream still lives. Thank you so much for your time your wisdom your stories we'll be back with another episode next week