Books for Changemakers: Resmaa Menakem - My Grandmother’s Hands

Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies

05 October 2021

17:30 - 19:00 CEST


Books for Changemakers: A drop-in book club to resource you and fellow change-makers. Dive or dip into important and inspiring resources and ideas, connect with kindred spirits and explore your inner wisdom.


Facilitator: Agnes Otzelberger


I came across this book last year in the wake of the murder of George Floyd, when it felt like a painful, unhealed, festering wound had been laid bare for the world to see and reckon with, with so many more than before willing and hoping to heal it but unsure how. I encountered a lot of rage and grief, but also confusion and resignation, a fear that the trauma of racism is too deeply rooted in society for it to be transformed. What I love about Resmaa Menakem’s book is that, without offering false hope of quick fixes, it lays out a practical and compassionate pathway towards individual and collective healing.

He does so by turning the ideal of working through racism and racialised trauma in society into a lived, embodied practice. Our history of colonialism and racial oppression are not just narratives held in our minds but a reality we all live and breathe, a reality that ‘quite literally lives in our bodies, cells and the expression of our genes’. And therefore it is in our bodies that we can locate, become aware of, and shift it. Important work for changemakers which I would love you to join me to explore together. 




To take part in this session please:

1) read the book, or

2) listen one (or both) of these interviews with the author: 'Notice the Rage, Notice the Silence' and 'Towards a Framework for Repair', or

3) enrol in Resmaa Menakem’s free, short e-course  

… and join us on 5 October at 17:30 CEST for our first Books for Changemakers book group. See you then! 


About Agnes Otzelberger

Agnes is the founder of The Good Jungle, supporting changemakers in showing up for the world they want. Working on the connection between 'inner'/personal and 'outer'/system change, she offers training and support to those struggling with emotional burnout, vicarious trauma, moral injury, grief, despair and related challenges resulting from their work in a change making role. She also has a particular focus on transforming the not-for-profit world’s complicated relationship with money in order to unleash people’s most creative, powerful work in service of people & planet. Agnes lives in Brighton, UK.



Read more about the Books for Changemakers project and discover our upcoming Books for Changemakers events.

Books for Changemakers is part of the Tools for Changemakers programme of Initiatives of Change Switzerland. Discover here more Tools for Changemaker events.


related stories

YAP 2021 article square

Young Ambassadors Programme 2021: Learning to listen

When Indonesian law student Agustina Zahrotul Jannah discovered the Young Ambassadors Programme (YAP) on Google she felt both excited and hopeless: excited because she hoped it might give her the skil...

YAP goes online

The Young Ambassadors Programme goes online

The Young Ambassadors Programme (YAP) went online for the first time this summer, after six years of continuous growth and development and a pause in 2020 for reflection and adjustment to the new real...

Books for changemakers

Books for Changemakers

A bi-monthly drop-in book club to resource you and fellow change-makers. Dive or dip into important and inspiring resources and ideas, connect with kindred spirits and explore your inner wisdom. ...

Geneva Peace Week T4C square teaser

The Courageous Listener: Bearing Our Own Discomfort

Listening is a powerful tool that can have powerful effects on its recipient. It is also a difficult one to master. On 5 November 2020, Initiatives of Change Switzerland led an online workshop on the ...

Mohammed Abu-Nimer

Mohammed Abu-Nimer: Dialogue – Weaving peace into the fabric of society

Mohammed Abu-Nimer is Professor at the American University’s School of International Service in International Peace and Conflict Resolution in Washington DC and a Senior Advisor to the International D...

Sabica Pardesi

Learning to be a Peacemaker 2020

"I am really thankful to the person who introduced me to the Initiatives for Change programme "Learning to be a Peacemaker". It was life-changing in so many ways. It opened my eyes to things we know i...

SCreenshot keywords T4C 2020

Tools for Changemakers 2020 – Shaping the future together through dialogue

Can you truly listen? What if we all had the power to make our communities more cohesive and inclusive by starting to deeply listen to each other? The Tools for Changemakers conference was a three-day...

YAP 2019 congratulations

Fresh air for Young Ambassadors

This year’s Young Ambassadors Programme (YAP) brought 39 young people from across Europe to Caux for four intensive days of training in how to work for change in their communities. They then took part...

Armenian-Kurdish-Turkish Dialogue 2019

It takes more courage to love than to hate

The Armenian-Kurdish-Turkish Dialogue 2019 took place during the Tools for Changemakers conference, bringing together people of Armenian, Kurdish and Turkish backgrounds to explore sensitive issues th...

Jens Wilhelmsen

Jens Wilhelmsen: IofC values as a practical tool for change

After fighting against the German occupation of his country, Norway, Jens Wilhelmsen worked with Initiatives of Change (IofC) in Germany and Japan. In over 70 years of fulltime work for IofC on three ...

LPM 2019

Healing the alienation of young European Muslims

How can the alienation felt by so many young Muslims be healed? Imam Ajmal Masroor believes that the alienation stems largely from the inner conflict generated by feeling caught between two value-syst...

Marc Isserles

How storytelling can foster healing and reconciliation

Marc Isserles’s poignant one-man show, We Must Save the Children, comes to life when you discover that his grandparents sought shelter at the Caux Palace in 1945 as Jewish refugees. The play took plac...

Tools for Changemakers 2019

Rebuilding Trust in Europe: An Overview

The first edition of the ‘Tools for Changemakers’ conference took place from 14-18 July 2019 at the Caux Forum. It was based on the conclusions from the conference ‘Addressing Europe’s Unfinished Busi...