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About ALIGN

ALIGN is an African dance-based healing system that helps us transform trauma and stress into healing energy in the body.

ALIGN encompasses the use of musical instrumentation, body movement, and breath work to engage the innate healing energies that reside inside of us all. Mabinti engages the use of some of her favorite instruments (Balafon and Ngoni) in the creation of the ALIGN healing work, rooting herself in the strong belief that IF given the proper tools and modalites, we can heal ourselves on many levels.

ALIGN is one of the ways for enhancing self healing and balance, giving the opportunities to create tangible transformation in one’s life.

Why?

– Mabinti’s Personal Reflection

Growing up in Liberia, I had the opportunity to see different aspects of traditional/indigenous life. Some of the most important aspects I witnessed were that dance/body movement, song, and rhythm were undeniably woven into the very fabric of life, and everyone’s life was better because of it. In Liberia I also witnessed the stress and trauma experienced by a people as they navigated the difficulties of civil war. Though some endured megatons more than others, we were all connected, and affected non the less. Some of us were able to leave the country, while most could not.

Moving to the United States in the 1980’s was sudden, traumatic, and stressful, but through it all, my family continued our artistic endeavors and I began another chapter in my life as I learned and adapted to my new surroundings. Living in the projects of Harlem, New York, I quickly saw the inequities between people that looked like me and people that did not. I saw that Black people have all kinds of hurt and pain like my friends back in Liberia were having as well, just different.

As I grew to adulthood and became more involved in dance and music, I began to think of how healed I feel every time I move my body. I began to experiment with moving my body with specific attention toward healing a specific area, or relieving a specific stress in my body. I began to think of how if would be for black people to have some way of moving our bodies, some way of going deep within ourselves to get the stress and trauma out! To HEAL the stress and trauma, to essentially lift ourselves UP! I also wanted Black people to have a way…a method.. that is portable! Something that we can take with us, no matter where we have to go, no matter what we GO THROUGH! Something that can help is immediately! While we’re IN the trauma and stress, and immediately after!

I wanted to there to be a SYSTEM, a PRACTICE that deeply resonates with us! This system uses the key elements of rhythm and breath that are an inseparable, intrinsic part of our being, which is part of just how beautifully we are made.
In some cases when you see and realize the need for something to be done, the task at hand may very well belong to you.
I created ALIGN, a BIPOC system and practice, to help realize effective change, transformation, and healing in the lives of BIPOC people. This is a system to be passed down from generation to generation, the way we pass down stories and traditions in our families. We already know that trauma gets transmitted intergenerationally, so let’s now begin to pass down a system and a practice that combats and heals trauma and stress.

ALIGN 1.0 PROJECT

The ALIGN project is so important today because with the younger generations development, we want to have pieces in place to support the youth to be the healthiest that they can because our youth shall lead in our stead when we are gone. I believe that healing starts at home and in our communities. I love my Durham community and I want to leave my communities and the earth better than I found it.

ALIGN Yourself