Benevolent Bison

USA • Southwest



Ryan Bemis

2020, Ron Hering Awards

“I create a world of solidarity by holding space for suffering, partnering with the people, and cultivating resilience building at the grassroots.”

Ryan is co-founder of the Barefoot Acupuncture Movement, a non-profit collective that partners with people affected by injustice to build resilience using acupuncture. They work to create a more socially diverse global acupuncture workforce by mobilizing disaster response and engaging in grassroots community development in underserved regions.  With a vision that even the most marginalized groups have the capacity to care for their own people, Ryan started a free tuition acupuncture school in response to violence in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, which is now being replicated in other countries.  

He has over 20 years’ experience in mental healthcare and has helped to integrate acupuncture within U.S. military and Veteran’s healthcare, Catholic Charities, trauma survivor programs, disaster relief, as well as refugee, harm reduction and the homeless healthcare in North and Central America. He is currently working with a state prison system to introduce acupuncture into addictions care for inmates and Native tribes.

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