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What’s behind empowerment and liberation?

July 26, 20231 min read

These words are parts of different power structures in colonized settings, even when the colonization is accepting the “defining gaze of the Other.”

If I am empowering you, I am speaking of position of having something you don’t. I am defining your status as “less than.” I am placing the foot of my expectations and beliefs about you on your neck.

If I am liberating you, who has been your oppressor? I am rescuing you from this oppressor, which implies you cannot successfully free yourself. Since, at a subtle level, I define you as captive to something, I am again defining you as “less than.”

From which of these is it easier to step aside? they are both tied up in power structures that may be role-based in different professions. In some circumstances (like HIPAA) resistance is futile. The choices are different.

And still, who has your power? Will you be empowered? Liberated? or Self-possessed?

Enough of this-it’s language and critical thinking which can, yes, make your brain hurt, and it’s important to consider. Now, this is equally important to everyone: whether you’re “woke” or “anti-woke,” power is the key issue you’re considering.

We’d love to help you gnaw on these ideas! Reach out to epower@elizabethpower.com.

the trauma informed academyelizabeth powertrauma informedtrauma responsiveresilienceempowermentliberationoffice politicspowerhuman resources
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Elizabeth Power

Elizabeth Power, M. Ed., CEO of EPower & Associates, Inc. , is a sought-after speaker, facilitator, and consultant. EPower & Associates is the parent organization for The Trauma Informed Academy(r). "All we do is help people with change, resilience and self-care, and learning to live trauma responsively. And everything is done from the trauma-informed perspective," she says. "Even courses directly about working with trauma are about change."

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