September’s Appreciation: Andre Martin

We all remember our first time. No, not that one, our first time going to a CBE. Questions, fears, apprehensions, and anxiety, along with excitement, anticipation, and hope for positive change. I certainly felt all those things but today what I recall as the turning point in my life was the CBE I took with Collin Brown in Tulsa Oklahoma.

Memories of that CBE excite that awareness of wholeness I had in that space where I finally knew, for the first time at a physical level, that there is nothing wrong with who I am. This person that is me includes my body. My body, and everybody’s body, contains magnificent energy that can get overlain and blocked with damaging messages. Although I am not entirely free from the conditioning from my early life, I now have tasted the liberating power of full-bodied self-acceptance. And I did this in community with an elaborate array of other luxuriant bodies. I overflow with gratitude for coordinators and facilitators with the extraordinary skills and tenacity to make these first-time experiences possible.

There is no doubt that all the emotions I was feeling were a huge block for me to register, show up and walk in that door to the Equality Center, where it was held. I would not have gone but for the care and comfort that was provided by the coordinator of that event, Andre Martin. That is one of the indispensable roles of the coordinator.

Another role is the effort to find a location and promote the event ensuring the viability of the workshop. Andre worked hard to make that event happen even in “the Buckle of the Bible Belt” as Oklahoma is often called. I still know men from that event, and I assure you many lives were transformed by that weekend.

Being the coordinator, Andre was there for us not only to take care of the logistics but to support Collin and the participants. He helped us feel safe in the container, welcome and cared for throughout the weekend.

Nowadays, Andre is a faculty member and took on the role of coordinating and co-facilitating our first BIPOC CBE. He continued his tradition of taking great care of the participants and changing lives and the school for the better.

I wanted to thank Andre, for being an unsung hero, and for what he did for me and many others transforming lives and making the world more beautiful one person at a time.  You can read his bio Here

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