About Us

We envision a world where communication is embodied, emotionally intelligent and connective.

Our Approach

We recognize racial, economic, ecological and other social injustices to be rooted in the trauma that naturally results when the sacredness of our relationships to our bodies, to one other and to the earth is disrupted due to the misuse of power, colonialism and domination-based paradigms. Our leadership approach is about cultivating a sacred relationship to power through developing embodied, empowered and trauma-informed communication. Our programming works specifically to teach the subtle energy processes operating within the ceremony of the community dance circle as a pathway to remembering and healing our sacred sense of belonging to nature. We recognize that not only humans participate in the dance circle ritual. We learn directly from horses the culture of connection, listening, and holding space for authentic expression.

We believe in the possibility of diverse communities

where all being’s voices are heard and valued. We are doing the work of undoing oppressive and divisive culture which marginalizes people and experiences, silences our voices, and makes our stories invisible. It is when we have meaningful and connected relationships to others that we think most clearly and creatively and act with innovation, empathy, care and understanding.

Our Programming

Our programming is rooted in invoking the ceremony of the community dance circle and understanding the subtle energetics operating within it. The community dance circle is a ceremony of using rhythm, movement and attention to express, perceive and relate to feelings and the subtle energies of emotion and intuition. Humans are not the only ones who engage in this ceremony, horses also engage in this ceremony with one another in their herds.

We do this work with the intention of relating to trauma and working sacredly with power. Our perspective toward understanding power is informed by Yoga, Equine-Assisted Learning and African-rooted community dance practice all of which offer us pathways of perceiving, understanding and working with vitality, subtle energy, and power. Horses are symbols and embodiments of power, Equine-Assisted Learning is a field of practice that teaches us to learn from the wisdom and leadership of the horses themselves. It asks us to partner with them, learn from them and be with them as equals. When we connect this field with Dance and with Yoga, we have an incredible way to connect with nature, through the horses, to learn to work with power, consent, boundaries and loving intention.

The similarities between the way horses communicate with one another and the way we teach and learn African-rooted rhythm and movement are striking. Both engage polyrhythm, mirroring, witnessing, breath, listening and sharing deep feeling to cultivate a communal experience of presence in which the experiences of life can unfold and integrate in the body and community. The Embodied Leadership Project is committed to uplifting Black Women's leadership. Not only is there an incredible shared cultural language between Black Women and horses, there is a mirrored historical experience of enslavement and exploitation.

We believe that uplifting the leadership of Black Women in solidarity with horses engages a powerful perspective on deconstructing, understanding and learning at subtle levels the incredible power of polyrhythm and movement as tools for relating to trauma, freedom, and re-connection to one another and the earth. This perspective serves us all, across races and cultures, supporting us to examine the unconscious impulses for domination and enslavement within ourselves and engage in a practice of working with power in a way that is trauma-informed and non-predatory.

Our Facilitators

Jamila Jackson (she/her), MFA, RYT

Founder and Director

Hi! My name is Jamila and I am the founder of The Embodied Leadership Project. I am a yoga teacher, dancer, and equine-assisted learning facilitator. Horses are a central component of my teaching. I work specifically supporting conversations about trauma-informed embodied and community practice, spiritual development, coming back into contact with nature, ancestral work, negotiating with power and privilege, and initiating a sacred and non-predatory relationship to power.

My purpose in this life is to support people in remembering and healing our sacred sense of belonging to nature. This sense of belonging is everything. It is where our relationship to our ancestors, to our medicines, to our ability to heal and create is rooted. This belonging is where we come from. Rooted in ancient ancestral and yogic spiritual lineages, I collaborate with the horses to offer a contemporary approach that makes this sense of belonging tangible, possible to understand, and accessible in a safe and transformative way. My vision for the world is that we are successfully able to work with trauma, and with power, and also that we are lovingly connected to nature.

Originally from the Bay Area, California, I attended Howard University for two years, received my BA from Hampshire College and my MFA from Wilson College. I study Authentic Movement with Daphne Lowell and Alton Wasson through their Contemplative Dance Workshops and have completed their Year-Long Training Program in Contemplative Dance for professionals. I am an apprentice with The Wild Temple, and have completed a 500 hour Yoga Teacher Training in Sri Vidya Tantra Yoga. I trained in Equine-Assisted Learning with Lori Halliday and Farah DeJohnette and I continue to be mentored by both. My background in dance, cultural & community expressive arts, natural horsemanship and emotional and trauma release work has helped to shape the leadership model I offer through the Embodied Leadership Project.

I have been performing, lecturing, teaching classes, leadership trainings and workshops at colleges, universities, schools, community centers and conferences for the past 10 years, some of which include: Mills College, Hampshire College, Mt. Holyoke College, Smith College, Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter School, Amherst Regional High School, La Pena Cultural Center, American College Dance Association Festival, CLPP Conference, Claremont Middle School, Earthdance Center for Creative Living, The Cummington Church.

Learn more about my creative work through visiting my Artist Portfolio


Primary Equine Collaborator

The Embodied Leadership Project received funding from the Kaleidoscope Institute Semester of Justice Grant to deepen our ability to bring the healing and trauma-sensitive wisdom of horses to the community. Through the grant, Jamila was able to buy Angus and launch our Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL) Program. Angus lives with his herd at Farah DeJohnette’s Ohana Farm.

You can connect with Angus through private EFL lessons with Jamila at Ohana Farm and/or online. through our Patreon. Our Patreon page is a place for people to gather to learn more about this work with horses, connect with the horses everyday lives and follow the development of this aspect of the project. Jamila posts updates about Angus and his herd, blog posts, pictures and videos. Your monthly donation goes to help pay for the costs of our EFL Program and Black Women's leadership training.

*Photo by Farah DeJohnette

Young Women's Program Members

The Young Women’s Program is a supportive, empowering and connected community for young Black Women to engage with and train in a powerful, culturally relevant and liberating approach to leadership. The program provides free leadership training combined with opportunities for paid research and teaching through ELP and BWLI. Learn more about this program here.