A practice of deeper reading, community building, and self exploration towards a more liberatory future for us all
Do you have a stack of big idea books you’re eager to read?
I know I do.
So many amazing texts exist that were written by fantastic people unapologetically choosing to live their best fat lives!
So what’s stopping us from reading them?
We tell ourselves that we’re too busy but, all too often, it’s actually feelings of fear or anxiety around the topic itself (and the emotions it brings up) that hold us back.
So that’s why I’ve launched the Fat Freedom Group Read Membership.
To create a community that can bravely that can bravely embark on this body liberation journey together.
Get the guidance and community you need to move forward on your body liberation journey.
What’s a Fat Freedom Group Read?
Well, it’s basically a book club… plus sized!
Each member will receive:
- Copies of each text shipped right to your door
- An easy-to-stick-with reading schedule
- Optional biweekly live group calls
- Access to the online community platform
- A community to support and celebrate you as you learn
“You know when you’re faced with a topic either through conversation or text, and you just *know* that something isn’t quite right or it feels outright wrong but you can’t articulate the why. Group read takes these topics & you get to experience them through different perspectives of the group members, so you not only learn from others but get to find the words that work for you. You can then take this out into the world to be better prepared for future conversations.”
“Tiana is awesome and very supportive!”
-Past Group Read Member
How does it work?
If you’re familiar with how traditional Book Clubs work, this is a bit like that. If you haven’t been a Book Clubber in the past, here’s what I mean:
I choose the text we’re diving into, set the pacing, and facilitate live discussion calls along the way.
You decide if you want to participate, choose your level, read along with our schedule best you can, and show up for group interaction if you’re available and have capacity.
Together, we digest, process, and move forward with knowledge into action.
What can you expect from the space?
Fat Freedom Group Reads tend to attract groups of people that are called to read these texts that can be really difficult to get through alone. They are folks who are interested in destigmatizing fatness, looking for community, and wanting to learn (and unlearn) from these books while being able to discuss them with other people doing the same.
The folks who come through the door are at different points in their own journey toward body liberation. This means that sometimes people could use words or ask questions that can feel harmful or hurtful, make negative judgments of themselves or others, or not understand how cultural conditioning or bias can show up.
Group Readers are folks who are interested in destigmatizing fatness, looking for community, and wanting to learn (and unlearn) oppressive social conditioning.
Thus, I facilitate the space as a place of learning and am there to help guide the discussion in a liberatory direction. I am committed to holding space for exploration, critique, and analysis, but will not tolerate blatant harm or disrespect.
In turn, I expect that every person who decides to enter the space is prepared to take care of themselves best they can, ask for what they need, and work toward being kind so that we can all have the most productive conversation possible.
However, if you are someone who needs more individualized support, then this space may not be for you. I trust you to make the best decision for yourself. You can check out the FAQs for more information.
Upcoming Group Read Texts
Emergent Strategy by adrienne maree brown
Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde
Past Group Read Texts
The Body is Not An Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor
The Belly of the Beast by Da’Shaun L. Harrison
Fearing the Black Body by Sabrina Strings
The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel A. van der Kolk
Fat Girls in Black Bodies by Joy Cox
Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
“White Supremacy Culture” from Dismantling Racism: A Workbook for Social Change Groups, by Kenneth Jones and Tema Okun, ChangeWork, 2001
Wait. Not all of those are fat positive books. What’s up with that?
Well, that’s a feature of the Group Read, not a bug. When I choose the texts to include in the Group Read, I look for books that have the potential to make wide cultural impacts.
Even though a book doesn’t expressly discuss fatness, fat experience, nor have a fat politic whatsoever (and may actually run counter to fat politics altogether), it’s still a useful text to read because fat people are not a monolith.
Fat people are not a monolith and no fat person is ONLY fat.
Additionally, fat liberation is a movement that intersects with other movements for liberation. No fat person is ONLY fat. That’s why it’s important to explore texts not only about the fat experience but also around experiences that fat people have living in the world due to their other identities.
The Reading and Live Call Schedule
We kick off our Group Reading Year officially on Monday, October 24, 2022.
We’ll have 2 weeks to read each section, receiving questions to help you digest the reading midway and 24/7 access to our online community space.
And for those joining The Exchange, your 2 weeks will be capped off with a live call biweekly on Fridays at 12pm Eastern Time for 90 minutes.
The Fat Freedom Group Read Membership is a virtual experience led by me, Tiana Dodson, Body Liberation Coach.
I’m a fat, queer, biracial (Black and Chamorro), parent, and certified holistic health coach who’s out to destroy the belief that you have to be skinny to be happy and healthy.
I’ve been fat my whole life. And with that experience, negative body image, constant dieting, and the work I’ve done to find my way into partnership with my own body as a base, I guide feminine-of-center people to reconnect with their bodies, destigmatize fatness, and learn about the harms of health being a measure of worth.
I’ve been doing this work and focusing on these issues for the past several years as someone suffering these same anxieties and access limitations. This is what makes me well practiced at finding grace and space in my own life using my resourcefulness and creativity. Let’s work together to find that for you.
The Fat Freedom Group Read Membership offers two different choices for how you can participate and access the program.
Each level can be paid yearly or in installments without any difference in benefits or overall price.
Just The OneAccess to the Next Text (Sister Outsider)
- This tier gives you access to:
- live discussion calls
- an online community space
- the current book delivered straight to your door
- a gentle reading schedule
- the option to pay once or in installments (either 2 or 5 payments)
The ExchangeLive Call Access
- This tier gives you access to:
- live discussion calls
- an online community space
- the books delivered straight to your door
- a gentle reading schedule
- the option to pay once or in installments (either 2 or 6 payments)
Features of the Group Read Membership
Online Community Space
Books Delivered to Your Door
Gentle Reading Schedule
Pay Once or In Installments
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know this space is for me?
Basically, this is for you if anything I said above totally resonates. But to be more specific:
This is definitely for you if you’re wanting to read texts written by awesome fat and other marginalized people.
Texts about how we can move toward liberation.
Texts that critique the world we live in and offer suggestions and solutions.
Texts that help you root into a more liberatory life and praxis.
It’s also for you if you crave space to be able to share your takeaways, thoughts, critiques, and questions with others and expand your own reading experience by receiving theirs.
You know you belong with us if you’re committed to consciously digging into your own social conditioning and taking responsibility for your role in creating a more just and equitable world.
You’re also someone who is prepared to take care of yourself best you can, ask for what you need, and work toward being kind.
What if I'm not fat?
Not a problem!
This space is fat-centered, which means that though my message is for any and everyone who wants to work toward body liberation for themselves and others, people in larger bodies will be given the most attention.
This doesn’t mean you will not be able to ask questions or participate.
This only means that fat people will have priority in this space because making space for the most marginalized of us makes more room for all of us.
Will there be affinity groups for people with marginalized identities?
As a multiply marginalized person, I understand the desire and need for affinity groups. However, since I tend to facilitate the Group Read alone, I do not yet have the staff or resources to facilitate affinity groups.
I'm in recovery from mental health issues and/or an eating disorder. Is this space safe for me?
First, it’s important for you to know that I am not a mental health or medical professional. I endeavor to stay in my lane and refer out when I am not.
However, this space is virtual and flexible, which means that you are given the runway and trust to take care of yourself.
If you have specific questions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s chat.
What kind of accessibility options are offered?
All live meetings will be hosted via Zoom, a video conferencing platform. You will need internet access in order to attend the calls with your computer or mobile device.
However, if internet is not available in your area or at the time of the calls, Zoom provides both local and toll free phone numbers so that you can call in to meetings.
You will not be required to speak, share video, look at the screen during the call, or apologize for doing/not doing any of these things. I encourage you to show up in ways that are most comfortable to you.
Calls will have live captions that are auto-generated.
If you need other support not mentioned here, please let me know in advance by emailing me at email@example.com or by including that information in the space available on the check out page.
***Calls will be recorded for internal use only.***
What if I can't make the calls on Fridays at 12pm Eastern? Will calls be recorded?
Yes, calls will be recorded for internal use only and WILL NOT be used for marketing purposes.
As a member of The Exchange, you are always welcome to come late and leave calls early, or show up and not be on video and simply listen in if that works for you.
And, if it’s impossible for you to come at the scheduled call time even just to listen in, you are welcome to watch or listen to the recordings. You will also have access to an online community space that you can dive into at any time to share your breakthroughs, thoughts, and questions, as well as if you need support.
Additionally, Reflection Prompts for each Reading Section will be provided to you by email.
What is your refund policy?
I deal with the question of refunds on an individual basis as outlined by my Terms and Conditions.
If, after reading, your question is still not answered, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have a question that wasn't answered here. Help!
Still got questions? No problem! Send me an email at email@example.com. Let’s chat!