About our pedagogy:
At Spring Up, we believe in the power of the liberatory arts, and use storytelling and dialogue to facilitate trauma-informed personal and collective transformation. We view education as a mutual process- everyone has wisdom to share and something to learn. We honor this through the methodologies we use to design, develop, evaluate, and adapt. We use human centered design to generate our courses, emergent strategy to respond organically to the needs of our learning community, and participatory action research to lift up the wisdom of all participants in evaluating and collectively designing the future we desire.
We are practicing liberatory education at bluelight academy of the liberatory arts. bluelight academy of the liberatory arts is a meditation on liberation designed to center the freedom of everyone involved: from students, to curriculum designers, to teaching artists and coaches. There are no requirements in any of our courses because your journey of unlearning and evolving is dependent on your choice to embrace it at the pace that aligns with your capacity and commitment. These courses are Spring Up's ode to liberty and consent, each one encompasses a collective vision and song that we invite you to join us in.
"Cultivating a culture of consent & liberty for all"
Spring Up is a collective of care workers, transformative justice practitioners, liberatory educators, and coaches practicing and teaching the liberatory arts at bluelight academy. We cultivate a culture of consent and liberty for all through storytelling and popular education.
Nastassja “Stas” Schmiedt (they/them) and Lea Roth (they/them or he/him) founded Spring Up in 2013 after experiencing the challenges of organizing across difference firsthand and perceiving an urgent need amongst social changemakers for shared language and frameworks rooted in a historical lens, critical theory, accountable relationships, and tangible skills. Since then our collective has grown into an ecosystem of practitioners learning and adapting together.
WHO WE ARE
At Spring Up we have been practicing and teaching about Transformative Justice, harm reduction, and consent since our founding in 2013. Until now, our transformative justice curriculum has only been available to people in our personal lives, and in some private partnerships with organizations, collectives, and schools. If you are a private group interested in learning about Transformative Justice or Organizational Accountability, reach out to us here. We are so excited to have a variety of accessible resources to support people in building their accountability practice and learning about Transformative Justice.
Learn more about our consent practice by listening to our mini-podcast:
CONSENT, GENDER, POWER
At Spring Up we are deeply engaged in the work of preventing and responding to gender based violence (the violence we all experience rooted in the gender binary). Our first curriculum was an intersectional analysis of the root causes of gender based violence that we facilitated with campus based coalitions and organizers. Over the years we have adapted our curriculum based on community questions, feedback, and spaces of collaborative imagination. You can now get access to the tools and frameworks we have come to rely on in our practice of consent.
We build with communities and organizations to implement transformation and practice our shared values.
We provide equity and accountability training and consulting to mission driven organizations and collectives.
Join our community!
Get our Transformative Justice Workbook
This workbook is a collection of frameworks and resources Spring Up has developed over the past decade to understand and intervene in systemic, institutional, inter group, interpersonal, and internal harm and violence. This work has taken place in academic and political institutions, community based and nonprofit organizations, informal family and friend group settings, and through much personal reflection and dialogue. Together, they can support you in understanding the dynamics and manifestations of violence and harm, how power and privilege operate, and the steps and composition of accountability processes around a variety of types of harm. If you are working specifically on gender based violence, we recommend reading this in partnership with Spring Up’s Cultivate Consent workbook , which you can also order here on our website or receive as a perk for subscribing to our Patreon.
Our Transformative Justice Class
Our 7 module Transformative Justice Class (hosted on bluelight academy of the liberatory arts) is an opportunity for folks to learn more about everyday transformative justice tools, the roots of this philosophy and praxis, and build community around abolitionist, consensual, and liberatory ways of being. While there are a number of incredible resources available about TJ - learn more for free at https://bcrw.barnard.edu/building-accountable-communities/ or transformharm.org - we have found a gap in digital spaces that go beyond stand-alone or individual trainings and provide space for ongoing community building between folks with shared frameworks and values. bluelight academy is designed to be a container for lifelong learning, storytelling, generative conflict, and community care.
Our current classes are:
Our Transformative Justice Class is an opportunity for folks to learn more about everyday transformative justice tools, the roots of this philosophy & praxis, and build community around abolitionist, consensual, and liberatory ways of being.
Resilience + Revitalization
Resilience + Revitalization is an invitation to imagine and create an abolitionist vision of tomorrow. We invite you to deepen your relationships to what it can mean to be accountable to your needs, desires, and healing.
Consent, Gender, Power
Our Consent, Gender, Power class is an opportunity for community educators, advocates, care providers, and people impacted by gender based violence to explore the roots of violence and frameworks of prevention and response.
Our Liberatory Education Class is an opportunity for teachers, facilitators, and leaders to learn more liberatory pedagogy and hold more engaging, dynamic, inclusive, and equitable learning spaces.
Get our Consent Workbook
Get our Consent Workbook with information to analyze power dynamics and coercion, practice open and ongoing communication, and utilize trauma-informed survivor response strategies in our relationships. This zine is specifically a translation of the core curriculum from our 4-month long Consent Fellowship program to develop local Miami community organizers’, especially young adults, capacity to develop healthy practices in relationships and prevent and respond to gender based harm and violence. Included in different sections of the zine are tools to:
Identify your internal boundaries, desires, and needs with boundary mapping and vent diagrams
Lay out and identify your support systems to enhance self and community resiliency.
Identify and honor your self-care and healing practices
Identify and practice non verbal forms of communication, as well as understand important signs of dissociation
Practice different ways of asking and answering questions, especially as it relates to our varied communication styles
Address harm and violence through a harm reduction framework.
Explore how you relate to gender based violence with historical context and background
Curious to use storytelling and fiction to guide consent and sexuality education? A few years ago, our founders Stas + Lea wrote their first 2 books: Millennial Sex and Millennial Sex Education, acknowledging the widespread lack of access to comprehensive sex ed for young teens and adults.
From birth through to adulthood, many navigate the world with false, often harmful, perceptions of what healthy sexual relationships look like. Identifying this as core contributing factor of gender based violence, especially sexual violence, we came up with sex-positive solutions that wouldn’t merely demonize the scripts of our culture, but instead would inspire people to new, liberating possibilities of sexual engagement. We decided to write the sex-ed curriculum we wished we’d had; the stories, the scripts, and scenarios that would have helped us engage in the sexual culture with more knowledge and maturity ourselves.
What is the difference between the two books? The white cover version (Millennial Sex Education) is appropriate for ages 16+ and is intended to be an educational resource for individuals, couples, families, and communities. It contains interactive, reflection questions at the end of each chapter. We cover themes of consent, trust, fetishization, trauma, intimacy, and respect. The black cover version (Millennial Sex) is written for more adult audiences and contains more explicit descriptions and narratives. It doesn’t come with reflection questions at the end of each chapter.
Learn more about the books and how we use them to facilitate consent and sexuality education by watching one of our TED talks: https://youtu.be/gonxNCxLrTg
Click the image below to learn more about our Consent, Gender, Power course:
After working closely with organizational leadership teams across the country, we have found that our curriculum, peer educator support and coaching has a transformative impact on the way organizations and movements operate. Our previous clients have gained the tools and support to rebuild values, accountability structures, management structures and internal policies in ways that reflect their commitment to building equitable and accountable organizations. Our curriculum touches on everything from gender, race, power, shame, and conflict, all to the end of understanding how we can create systems and processes that actualize our values and build cultures of equity and accountability.
Our organizational training and consulting is built around the acknowledgement that conflict and harm will occur, because we operate within the exact systems we are trying to reform. So from that, the approach is about harm reduction- what can we do to decrease the incidence of harm, respond to them when they do occur, and adjust our work so the same instances don’t happen again.
We have a variety of packages and offerings to meet different budgets, time constraints, needs, and goals. We offer large group webinars, question and answer sessions with our team, leadership retreats, and 3 month to 3 year partnerships including training, coaching, and consultation. If you are not sure what to start with, we recommend beginning with an introductory webinar to learn more, or an organizational equity audit which includes interviews, surveys, and materials review to create a report highlighting your strengths and areas to grow which will guide the curriculum and consulting plan moving forward. You can add on individual coaching based on the size of your team and your budget.
EQUITY & ACCOUNTABILITY
Access to our 2022 Offerings Brochure here:
Interested in collaborating with Spring Up?
Click the button below to learn more, access our 2022 Offerings brochure, and fill out our interest intake form!
Resilience & Revitalization
Resilience & Revitalization is an invitation to imagine and create an abolitionist vision of tomorrow. We invite you to deepen your relationships to what it can mean to be accountable to your needs, desires, and healing.
The class & zine brings together the abolitionist visionings of 15+ young, queer, trans, of color, disabled, and incarcerated community members.
Course now available at bluelight.academy
Liberatory Education Workbook
Newly available in Spring 2022! This workbook is created by Spring Up as a space for us to reflect on our pedagogy and tools for liberatory education as solidified in our online school platform, bluelight academy of the liberatory arts, after 10+ years of development through community, youth, and organizational education spaces. A great reference for designing liberatory learning spaces in community or in formal education settings, this workbook includes scenarios about how to put your principles into practice when it comes to disability justice, LGBTQIA inclusion, countering anti-Blackness, and more. We share about Spring Up’s pedagogy, our core pillars of facilitation, how we see oppression showing up in learning spaces, and how to practice harm reduction and shift towards more liberatory learning spaces. This workbook also shares some of our favorite practices and games for fun digital learning spaces on zoom, how we address harm in learning spaces, and how to care for yourself as an educator / facilitator.
Book a coaching session
Spring Up Coaching
Spring Up coaches provide coaching, peer support, and resource sharing to help clients meet their personal goals. Our collaborative approach to coaching is based in a non-hierarchical relationship that is solution focused — coaches recognize that clients are experts in their own lived experience. Coaching is strengths-based and culturally specific in that coaches help the client enhance their inherent strengths, skills, and resources accessible to them. Spring Up coaching has an expectation that the client is ready to engage in further learning and implementation of that learning outside of the session. The coach will not be more invested in the clients’ development than the client themself.