“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. Her 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 her facilitate for our organization again; she allowed a new path to be realized & we’re indebted to her 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.}


Shreya D. Shah, MPH

The founder and director of Saltwater Social Justice Training, Shreya Shah (also known as S.D.), is a South Asian facilitator, healer, artist activist, and writer. Shreya has over 10 years of experience providing impactful workshops and educational services to various communities.  S.D has taken on the roles of youth worker, HIV/STD Tester & Counselor, health educator, social worker, community organizer, and facilitator. Much of Shreya’s work centers around the intersections of media, racial, gender, economic, health and healing justice. While Shreya’s first home was in Michigan, home also exists in many places- Shreya has spent significant time supporting organizations and activism in Oakland, CA; Chicago, IL; Philadelphia, PA; Atlanta, GA; and New York City, NY.  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, focusing on health inequities, the built environment, and community-based participatory research (CBPR).

Shreya is a core trainer with Training for Change (TFC), and serves as a Judith C. Jones Fellowship Program Co-Coordinator for trainers of color to strengthen the impact of organizers, trainers, and activists of color around the States. S.D. has also been active in many people-powered direct action movements like Black Lives Matter and Occupy Wall Street. Shreya was also a 3-year member of the Funding Queerly Giving Circle, distributing resources to build the capacity for 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, 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 and health justice work in Chicago at a one-stop center for homeless & precariously-housed LGBTQI youth of color and various crisis hotlines. S.D. is grateful to have contributed to various constellations of politicized healing and leadership-building spaces such as with Process Work Institute’s Winter Intensive; the New Leaders Council Fellowship; Generative Somatics: Somatics & Trauma; SiOP Transformative Leadership Institute for women and TGNC of color leaders; and the CDC/ASPH Institute of HIV Prevention Leadership Scholarship for Managers/Directors, among others.

S.D.’s posters, prints, and clothing design shares liberatory messages – uplifting possibilities to move through fear and towards radical love for collective tranformation. Shreya writes comedic stories, blogs out social change tools, and cherishes mixed-media  illustration and poetry as medicinal, energy-replenishing practices. Shreya has 4 sweet and rebellious nephews who are a huge joy to play with and enjoys hiking, learning from the ocean and stars, and dancing.

“Shreya and her 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 she guided us 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. She was kind and sensitive to the needs of the group and enabled a great environment for reflection in a participatory manner. Her 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}


Why Saltwater?

SALTWATER Social Justice Training is guided by the vision that ‘the antidote to many 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.