Journeying Home through the Body: An Introduction to Resource, Resilience, and Resistance in Relationship (R4)


  • Dominique A. Malebranche Pepperdine University


embodiment, liberation, cultural trauma, radical healing


This paper will explore the connections to Black cultural reclamation, liberatory healing, and future building through a framework of cultivating a sense of home in contemplative body-based Resource, Resilience, and Resistance in Relationship (R4). Home is a concept that has been historically disrupted for Black and Brown bodies across generations. As people of African descent, we carry stories of homegoing, stolen histories, and politicized futures. Displaced from our motherlands and separated from our resources, home is lost. In a society where we are racialized and subjectively treated and mistreated by the rigidity of white cisheteropatriarchal supremacy, home is needed. Through the reflective experiencing of deep commitment to invest in our individual and collective bodies through intentional practice, home is found. The “R4” approach is offered as a conceptual framework that proposes an embodied lens to contemplation as a lineage practice that connects historical memory and resilience across the sequence of lineal descents from ancestry to the present experience of the body and informs creative responses for the next generation. When practiced as an expression of Black liberation, R4 in contemplative practice has the power to reclaim, heal, and build. While the physical location of home is complicated within a broader cultural context, this exploration will support a conceptual framework and practical strategies for home as an inner embodied resource to facilitate individual and collective liberation. Future directions for research and practice are discussed.

Author Biography

Dominique A. Malebranche, Pepperdine University

Dr. Dominique A. Malebranche (she/they) is a licensed psychologist and Assistant Professor of Psychology working at Pepperdine University on original Chumas/Tongva lands. Counseling psychologist by training, her work emphasizes intersections of embodied healing justice in BIPOC communities and treatment and assessment of psychological, relational, and cultural traumatic stress, capacity building, and community and contemplative body-mind interventions.


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