Sugar & Decoloniality 2.0

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The Shape Up SF Coalition and SFDPH Healthy Eating Active Living Team invite you to join us on an experiential journey to explore sugar & decoloniality with Dr. Amber McZeal. This 4-part series will delve deeper into WHY decolonizing sugar matters and HOW we may undo the impacts of coloniality on our communities experiencing the greatest health disparities.

Participants will:

  • Explore somatic and creative experiences to deepen understanding of impacts of coloniality on the health of our communities
  • Receive resources to continue this conversation in our workplaces, homes and communities
  • Network with other healthy eating active living organizations

The mind-body connection is powerful. To help you metabolize, integrate, and balance the topics presented, we are pleased that Saeeda Hafiz will lead us in a free yoga class to further decolonize the body, mind, and spirit before or after each session. Please bring your own yoga mat.* See details below for each session.

A healthy lunch and snacks will be provided at each session. Please bring your own reusable water bottle.

*A limited number of yoga mats will be available to borrow for sessions 1 and 4. Yoga will take place on the grass for sessions 2 and 3, so a yoga mat is optional.

*This series of events has been approved as fulfilling a health equity learning requirement for DPH staff.

Friday, April 7, 2023 | 10 am – 3 pm | yoga 3:15-3:45 pm
The Subtle Body of the Institution, Glen Park Canyon Rock Wall Room, 70 Elk St., SF, CA 94131.
Session one of this four-part series will focus on incorporating inspirations from the initial day-long event through a deepened somatic approach; revisiting the thematic highlights of the initial gathering; finding oneself in the larger story; and unpacking institutional barriers to incorporating these insights into our work.
See post-session resources for Session 1.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023 | 10 am – 1 pm | yoga 1:15-1:45 pm
Centering Imagination in Change Efforts, 
Art Lab in the Crissy Field Center, 603 Mason St., SF, CA 94129

“My ancestors braided seeds of many crops in their hair, including okra. These braid patterns became crop patterns when they planted fields. The braid patterns were also used in sharing Underground Railroad Maps for those escaping enslavement.” – Dr. Amber McZeal

Session two focuses on reclaiming the body as sacred and food as medicine through creative explorations. Explore indigenous cultural myths related to food, land, place and being. If you have a story from your family about a particular food, you are welcome to share your story during the session or in advance on this padlet. See post-session resources for Session 2.

Wednesday, June 14, 2023 | yoga 1-1:30 pm | 1:30 pm  – 4:30 pm
Peace Walk and Deeper Integration, 
Campfire Circle at Presidio Tunnel Tops near the Presidio Visitor Center, 210 Lincoln Blvd, SF, CA 94129.
Session three expands the somatic approach and centers around slow, deliberate reflection and action. Discover a different relationship with fire as we hear stories of how fire was gifted to humanity from different cultural perspectives. This session will invite participants to pause, reflect and to share how our learnings can transform how we approach our work. See post-session resources for Session 3.

Friday, September 15, 2023 | 10 am – 3 pm | yoga 3:15-3:45 pm
Closing Celebration & Next Steps,
 Glen Park Canyon Rock Wall Room, 70 Elk St., SF, CA 94131.
Session four in this series will focus on sharing successes and next steps through this journey of exploring sugar and decoloniality. See post-session resources for Session 4.

Thank you to the Partnership for the Presidio for hosting our inaugural workshop in September 2022 and for their ongoing partnership this year. Thank you to the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department for their partnership in hosting our opening and closing sessions at the beautiful Glen Canyon Park Recreation Center.

If you have any questions about the series, please email us at



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