With everything going on around us, we know that there must be spaces where black men can gather and be unapologetically themselves, while finding rest for their souls. In a society that does not value the wellness of Black men, we know that it is vital for us to offer a space where we can do that for ourselves and each other. In doing so, we provide safety for women, children, the community, and ourselves.
Here is a sampling of themes for the Umoja Hour:
The Need for a Space – We discussed the need to have a safe space to reveal some of our deepest pains and concerns. As we shared with each other, we recognized the individual and collective importance of doing so as a pathway to wellness.
Emotional Intelligence as A Pathway to Wellness – We discussed the barriers that keep us from accessing and expressing our emotions and explored vulnerability as a practice for wellness.
The Criminalization of Blackness in America – We explored the unhealthy narratives attached to blackness in this country and how policing, as well as the media, responds and reinforces those narratives. Men shared their personal experiences of racism and interactions with the police.
Essentials for Trauma Recovery – We discussed the necessary components of healing from trauma, including the essential need to feel safe. We explored ways to create safety for ourselves in a society where we often feel unsafe.
Finding Rest in the Midst of Unrest – We discussed strategies and methods of unplugging from the noise to find rest in the midst of the unrest that surrounds us. We identified rest as a crucial component of wellness, and a place from which we can begin to define and create a self-determined reality.
Centering Black Women’s Lives – We discussed Black women’s experiences and identified them as paramount to the liberation of black people. We recognized that the honoring of black women’s experiences is not only the key to their wellness, but to ours as well.
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