#65 – Decolonizing Identity & ‘Capital-C’ Cult Recovery | Aleyah-Erin Lennon – Part 1 of 2

Candice is back on the main feed, asking for help as she deconstructs the striking overlap between cult dynamics and colonial harm. Inspired by the work of BIPOC educators and anti-racism activists, she explores how social location factors into collective cult recovery.

Then, artist, activist, and educator, Aleyah-Erin Lennon joins Candice for the first half of a two-part conversation that explores what it might mean, if we, as white women in the world were to take radical responsibility. Aleyah identifies as a second-generation diasporic Irish descendant and white settler Canadian who has lived her entire life in the territories of Anishinaabeg nations. She has been privileged to work alongside and learn from Indigenous communities across the Great Lakes region for the last 15 years in service to their ecological and educational visions.

Together, Aleyah and Candice explore what unconscious colonial identities have in common with the cult mindset, picking apart what it might actually mean to break free from the cult of whiteness. Aleyah shares about her background and how a search for spiritual community inspired her to take up decolonizing identity work, and she cites the wisdom of Indigenous mentors who have generously offered their consent and support for this conversation. Decolonization is defined in the context of intergenerational healing on all sides of the colonial and racial divide. Aleyah shares how a threefold methodology of deep listening, critical self-reflection, and embodied action can guide us toward relational accountability. Aleyah shares how reclaiming a connection to her ancestral roots has been pivotal to her living activism and points to how we all might find a deeper sense of meaning and recovery as we grapple with where we’re headed.

Aleyah-Erin Lennon (she/her) is a scholar, speaker, poet and musician. Through an anti-colonial and trauma-informed lens, her focus is on healing the disconnection and abuses in the trilogy of our relationships to Self, Others, and Land. Created in partnership with Indigenous Elders, knowledge holders, and friends, her published work weaves diverse cultural narratives, story sharing, and poetry into a landscape of questions concerning our sense of identity and belonging.

Referenced in this episode:

The stories and opinions shared in this episode are based on personal experience and are not intended to malign any individual, group, or organization.

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