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Oct 25, 2012
It was the last day in our Urban retreat 2012. The next morning we would all pack our stuff and head back home. Walking into the main room we saw everyone one last time. Sarah from Advocates for Youth started talking about having a conference crush. I wondered why a presenter was speaking about crushes. Sarah told us the story of how she met Sonya Renee, her movement crush. Before Sarah had even gotten on stage we all already knew she was referring about Sonya. Julia from Advocates had been sending out emails explaining what we would be doing in the conference, and she had sent one whole email talking about Sonya. Sonya Renee is the founder of the loving your body revolution called ” the body is not an apology”. She is a poet, an activist, spoken word performer, movement builder. After you read about her work, you build up in your mind expectations around what she would be like. But when she walked into the room she blew everyone away. She was sooo stunning. Her presence in the room was breathtaking. She was wearing very high (impossible to walk in) black stilettos, a black and white polka dots dress and a zebra head scarf. Her energy came to life when she got on stage. Once you heard her speak, you knew that you were in the presence of something divine, something powerful, something greater than all of us. She shared poems and impromptu spoken word, and her solid powerful voice resonated across a room filled with hundreds of us. She spoke about self love, she spoke about having joy in life, about realizing where the joy thieves are and deleting those from our lives. She spoke from her soul. Her poems relayed different messages, some of hope: a less racist society where her dad was the president of the United States. They also spoke about emptiness, numbness and death; she told the story of an abortion she had and how that felt. One of them was funny and sarcastic; it was about being a full bodied women in Europe and going shopping for dresses. Her voice, her words, and her fierceness spoke to everyone’s hearts. She brought it all home to the self. Loving ourselves is the most radical act we can ever engage in.