In 2020, when cops are still getting away with wrongful murder and the names of innocent black people are still becoming hashtags, how can you not look around you and ask “what can I do to help change this?”
Our white, POC, and non-white POC counterparts can’t pretend racism doesn’t exist anymore. They can’t act like the injustices black people face on a daily basis doesn’t also affect them. They can’t turn a blind eye to police brutality and act as if it’s normal. None of this is normal or humane. Even though this is the system we were all born into, it’s our time to dismantle it.
While we fight for systemic change, it’s important we recognize when we are just plain tired. In between educating ourselves on civil rights history and staying connected on current events, remember to take care of your mind and body first and foremost. I personally enjoy doing yoga, meditation, journaling and cooking to relax and de-stress. So, after scrolling through social media this week, I decided to compile a list of upcoming virtual workshops that I came across for black men and women. I’m hoping this can help someone looking for inclusive mental health/wellness spaces to decompress.
Check out this list of 5 virtual black-led group sessions taking place this month. Through this selection, I hope you’re able to find at least one session that lends a safe space to express your thoughts and feelings, listen to similar stories surrounding current events and grow together in sisterhood and brotherhood. If nothing else, we must protect ourselves and each other. 💛
1. Ethel’s Club
When: June 9 & June 23 @ 6pm EST
Location: see their website for details
I recently learned about this organization and I love the work they do. Ethel’s Club is an online community that celebrates people of color and offers a space where they can connect, be inspired and thrive. They host lots of monthly events such as a book club, writing group and design club–pretty exciting stuff.
Ethel’s Club is currently offering a free one week membership to their digital clubhouse. After the free trial, you can purchase their digital membership club for a monthly fee. Head over to their website for more details.
2. Healing Haus Black Moon: A Healing Cypher for Men of Color
When: Monday, June 1 7:30-9pm EST
HealHaus is a healing and wellness center located in Brooklyn that offers live stream classes for yoga, meditation, workshops and private sessions. Today, June 1, they are hosting a virtual healing cypher for men of color. Head over to their site to register–you’ll need to receive the Zoom link in order to tune in.
HealHaus is offering a lot of other great workshops throughout the month of June, so check out their full schedule too!
3. Communities United for Police Reform
When: Wednesday, June 3 6:00-8:00pm EST
Communities United for Police Reform members and New York based nonprofit organizations, The Audre Lorde Project and NYC Anti-Violence Project, are hosting a webinar that will focus on knowing your rights when it comes to interactions with police officers. I haven’t seen anything like this shared on social media, and I think a lot of people could benefit. With increased tensions, it’s important that New Yorkers stay updated on their rights and know how to safely exercise them. Register on their website to learn more.
4. Shea Moisture: Let’s Talk
When: Sunday, May 31 7:00 pm EST
Location: Instagram Live (saved on their page)
Shea Moisture invited four guests, including Dr. Thema and Angela Rye, to discuss thoughts and feelings surrounding current events and ways that black people can heal. Although this event was held yesterday, it’s still available to watch on their Instagram account. Check it out here.
5. Bodyful Healing Mental Health Check-In
When: June 4, 7-8:15pm EST
Location: see their website for details
Cost: donation based (pay as you wish)
Bodyful Healing is hosting a virtual support circle for black womxn lead by the founder, Jennifer Sterling. Jennifer is a registered dance/movement psychotherapist who has created this event as a safe space for black womxn to share stories and feelings about current events. Registration is donation based (so you can pay what’s comfortable for you) and can be found here on Eventbrite.
Bodyful Healing: Expressive Movement Support CircleWhen: Thursday’s from 7:00 – 8:15pm, June 11 – July 12
Location: see website for more details
Cost: check here for sliding scale pricing
This event is a little different as it’s a four-week support group that comes with a fee. If interested in joining a longer therapeutic community of black women, this could be for you. Check out their site for more details.
6. Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective (BEAM) – Heart Space
When: Tuesday, June 2 7:00pm EST
Location: visit website for more details
Non-profit organization, BEAM, is hosting a Black centered healing and support virtual space where our community can come together and connect with their brothers and sisters during this difficult time, while also expressing their feelings through song, meditation, stories and more. This sounds like a great event you don’t want to miss. Visit their website to register.
BEAM – Black Masculinity (Re)Imagined
When: Thursday, June 11 7:00-9:00pm EST
Location: visit their website
I saw this flyer on their website as I was checking out the other event info above. I love how they’ve created a space to talk about black masculinity–I think our community could certainly use more events like these. Black Masculinity (Re)Imagined is a virtual discussion and workshop to learn about masculinity, healing and mental health. Visit their website to register.
7. Audre Lorde Project: Essential Stories
When: Monday, June 8 6:30-8:30pm EST
Join the Audre Lorde Project and the Center for Anti-Violence Education (CAE) for part 2 of their discussion on the intersections of racism, stigma, criminalization and the impacts of COVID-19 on Black and Brown communities. Head over to register on their website to receive the Zoom link.