Updated: Feb 13
Beloved, what a great time to be catching up with you! I wanted to let you know what has happened so far during this month that we celebrate women.
International Women's Day
I was invited by my African sisters of Nisaa African Family Services as 1 of 2 of their speakers for International Women's Day. I led a dialogue with them regarding Valuing Others, Preferring You. In it, we asked a few questions that I will ask you as well:
What is it about your culture that you are beamingly proud of? My answer is the way African-American Black-identifying women take our suffering and magically turn it into something amazing. What about you, Sister? What is it about your culture that you are so proud of that you are bursting?
What time do you remember listening to your spirit and body and doing something you needed AND you immediately saw the payoff? My answer is not going to the crowded, chaotic grocery story on Friday night and spending that time at home with my daughters enjoying ourselves and skipping the stress! What about you, Sister? What is a time that you listened to your spirit and body and did something you needed AND immediately saw the payoff?
Nisaa's leadership gave us a question that I will also allow you to answer. What would the world look like without gender bias and gender based violence?
Ending DV Cycles at the Intersections of Homelessness, Re-Entry, and Drug Recovery
In collaboration with The Beacon residential facility and our sister nonprofit, Courageous Access, I facilitated a pilot of Empowerment through the Arts that just wrapped up this month! The director has featured the new collaboration in their newsletter, and more importantly, women are beginning to see their post-DV world differently. They're setting boundaries for the first time. They're standing up for themselves against callous mainstream systems and using their voices.
"I needed this; I didn't think I did but now I see I do." (Quote from a participant)
Center of Trust Collaboration
We are so grateful to Owner and Therapist, Breanne Ward, LMHC, of ForWard Consulting, LLC for opening her doors so I can facilitate onsite our sister program, Empowerment through the Arts™. The facility is warm, welcoming, and is even equipped with noisemakers in the room for an extra layer of privacy during our sessions. Our first funded session through our new partnership with United Way of Central Iowa started on March 3.
These Black women DV survivors are already seeing common threads of vulnerability amongst them and their sisters. We work to understand these patterns to uncover their unique pathway out of DV cycles.
Our 2nd class of its kind is scheduled to start on March 26. Unfortunately, we lost a few participants prior to the date. We would love to believe that happened to make room for 2-3 other Black women DV survivors to take their place and would appreciate it if you help us spread the word. Here is a video with the sign up link attached, Beloved. Help us make it happen. Do your part to free some more Black women from DV simply by sharing this video below:
That's the news so far for this International Women's Month. I'll leave you with this benediction from Britney Cooper's book entitled "Eloquent Rage" with them and will end the IWD segment with it for you also:
"May you have joy...May you have gut-busting belly laughter, every day...May you ask more and better questions...May your rage be a force for good...You got this. We got this."