About

“Shreya’s ability to create a safe space for discussion of intense & personal issues, such as racial justice in professional/academic fields, allowed for significant growth. Shreya’s energy was calming, yet allowed people to engage with each other in ways that led to clarity and revelation. I hope to have the chance to have Shreya facilitate for our organization again; they allowed a new path to be realized & we’re indebted to Shreya for that.”   {Marietta Gary-Smith, AASECT- American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, & Therapists}

 “Saltwater’s facilitation “dynamic duo”  was very sharp, thorough, quick on their feet, and respectfully kept control of the sessions. They definitely did their homework and were prepared for our organization. The presentations were thought-provoking, pushed us to go beyond our “bubble” to consider and to see a broader perspective- while being engaging and interactive. I don’t know how you could be more impactful. What I personally took away from the experience is to continue to be my authentic self and professionally, to be open to other ideas and perspectives without compromising my moral compass and challenge other point of views in an honest dialogue to reach a common goal. I would love to have Saltwater at our next staff retreat.”   {Felice Judkins, Washington D.C.}

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Shreya D. Shah, MPH

The founder and director of Saltwater Social Justice Training, Shreya (S.D.) Shah, is a South Asian facilitator, trainer, coach, healer, and artivist. Shreya has over 12 years of experience providing impactful workshops and educational services to various communities.  S.D has taken on many roles, including that of youth worker, HIV/STD Tester & Counselor, health educator, social worker, community organizer, social justice coach, curriculum designer, fellowship coordinator, and facilitator. Much of Shreya’s work centers around the intersections of media, racial, gender, economic, health and healing, and creative justice. While Shreya’s first home was in Michigan, home also exists in many places- Shreya has spent significant time supporting grassroots organizations and activism in Oakland, CA; Chicago, IL; Philadelphia, PA; Atlanta, GA; and New York City, NY.

S.D. has also been active in many people-powered direct action movement-work like Black Lives Matter, Asians 4 Black Lives, and Occupy Wall Street (POC and Media Caucuses). Shreya is on the Training for Change (TFC) online training team, building online skills and virtual trainings across geographies. They helped launch the inaugural J.C.J. Fellowship Program for trainers of color to strengthen the impact of organizers, trainers, and activists of color around the States. Shreya was a 3-year member of Astraea Foundation’s Funding Queerly Giving Circle, distributing resources to build the capacity for growing community organizing by/ for LGBTQI communities across the U.S. Before being called to SALTWATER Social Justice Training & Consulting, Shreya co-directed the Rhizome Consulting Project.

S.D. is a certified ThetaHealing Practitioner and Leadership That Works ‘Coaching for Community Transformation’ Coach, supporting individuals to deconstruct ‘old stories’ to heal and actualize their goals and visions. S.D. integrates a body-based approach into facilitation & healing work to create depth, moving groups through challenging dialogues in embodied, grounded ways. Shreya has organized many community creativity and self-care events for people of color in collaboration with other artists, writers, and healers.

Shreya’s social justice toolkit and frameworks have been deeply informed by implementing anti-violence, health justice, and media justice work in Chicago at a one-stop center for homeless & precariously-housed LGBTQI youth of color and various crisis hotlines. Centering harm reduction, trauma-informed, transformative justice, participatory and direct education approaches continues to prove life-saving and life-giving to those most impacted

S.D. is grateful to have contributed to various constellations of politicized healing and leadership development spaces such as with Generative Somatics: Somatics & Trauma, Transformative Leadership; SiOP Transformative Leadership Institute for women and TGNC of color leaders; the CDC/ASPH Institute of HIV Prevention Leadership Scholarship for Managers/Directors, Process Work Institute’s Winter Intensive; the New Leaders Council Fellowship;  among others. S.D. graduated from the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor with a B.A. in Political Science and Columbia University with a Masters Degree in Public Health (MPH), focusing on health inequities, the built environment, and community-based participatory research (CBPR).

Shreya’s posters, prints, and clothing design shares liberatory messages – uplifting possibilities to move through fear and towards radical love for collective tranformation. Shreya writes comedy and traumedy with a budding ‘punching up’ comedy collective, cherishes mixed-media illustration, graphic recording, and watercolor as medicinal, energy-replenishing practices.  S.D. enjoys hiking, playing with 4 sweet and rebellious ‘littles’, learning from the plants, ocean and stars, and laughing loudly and storytelling with loved ones.


“Shreya’s Saltwater team brought a lot of joy and fun to our retreat, and their sense of humor and joyfulness were contagious and helped make this such a positive experience for all of us. They created a safe space for our team to dig deeper into sensitive issues. They were flexible and adapted the schedule and activities based on our daily needs. Their genuine warmth, active listening skills, and ability to connect to their clients supported great, skilled facilitation.  Shreya’s approach to facilitation is very holistic and grounding. The exercises and discussions we were guided through were extremely thoughtful and helpful in creating space for our team to be honest and build a stronger cohesion.”  {Urgent Action Fund (UAF) Programming Team}

Working with Shreya was a wonderful experience. Shreya was kind and sensitive to the needs of the group and enabled a great environment for reflection in a participatory manner. Shreya’s ability to connect with the group with ease, forging friendships and willingness to listen and offer support & solidarity was beautiful.”   {Asha Kowtal, General Secretary for the All India Dalit Women’s Rights Forum}

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Why Saltwater?

SALTWATER Social Justice Training is guided by the vision that ‘the antidote to most things is saltwater- sweat, tears, or the sea’.  SALTWATER creates transformative spaces for personal and collective liberation that grows from the alchemy of sweat- hard work, rigor, and discipline in action; tears – embracing the deep and wide range of emotions to live fully into our humanness, from joy to grief; and the sea – honoring our need to nurture and replenish our spirits through our connections with the natural world.