I recently finished a 21 day meditation challenge that involved guided meditation and journaling tasks. I won’t lie it felt a little self indulgent to make time to silence my thoughts considering all that’s going on but it truly was an enlightening experience. One of the things I realized was just how lucky I was to live in a space where I felt safe enough to relax and truly experience inner quiet. It’s a privilege that many people of color do not have. With all the racial institutions in place from banks, housing to education there are many barriers that black people face when it comes to creating safe spaces.. I’m sharing just some obstacles with you today as well as resources for you to learn more about these issues, and black businesses in the meditation/wellness space for you to support.
Last week I touched on how unequal pay impacts accessibility to safe spaces available to black people. Today I want to deep dive into that a little more. Beyond struggling to access to quality housing another barrier black communities face is safe spaces outside of the home like school, after school programs, clubs or organizations and even work. It’s crazy to think but many schools with primarily black students have cops but no counselors, therapists or social workers. So on top of not feeling safe at home, young black kids have to worry about being treated like criminals while trying to get their education. Students of color are commonly given harsher punishments for the same minor disturbances caused by their white counter parts. And with no one like a counselor to turn to this increases the likelihood of black kids either dropping out of school or ending up in prison. On top of that there’s very limited opportunities in these communities for kids to find a safe haven outside of school. Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCAs, etc. that provide programs for kids to be engaged and safe are limited or non-existent in many neighborhoods. And lack of safe spaces doesn’t improve significantly after becoming an adult. Even if you are able to live in a safe environment odds are you’re probably working at place where you experience microaggressions, projections of stereotypes and your presence generally making people uncomfortable. So imagine growing up never feeling safe then being an adult working somewhere where you get paid less and you don’t feel safe. Without these safe spaces kids are unable to be kids and then grow into adults who develop damaging coping mechanisms to deal with their hostile environments. And this doesn’t even cover the lack of safety our community has when faced with violence or sexual assault! Since there isn’t a safe space for black people to report crimes many are dealt with inside the community which is part of the reason gang violence persists. And women, especially women of color, have never had allies in the police when it comes to reporting sexual assault. In fact the second highest reports against police is sexual assault. Creating safe spaces for black people benefits everyone. When marginalized people are safe they can move past focusing on survival to personal growth and thriving. Safety and protection shouldn’t be a privilege, especially when it’s something our tax dollars pay for. Here’s some articles that discuss these issues further and organizations helping to provide these safe spaces for the black community:
- The School to Prison Pipeline Explained
- Dignity in Schools–leads projects such as counselors over cops and solutions over suspensions.
- Advancement Project-shares articles on issues like voting rights, school-to-prison pipeline, policing and criminalization.
- Michigan After-School Partnership-provides leaders to build after school programs in the communities
- The Skillman Foundation-bringing positive, lasting change to youth in Detroit
- Discrimination in the Workplace
- How Some Cops Use Their Badge to Commit Sex Crimes
- RAAIN-national sexual assult help line
Again there are many more resources than what I’ve listed. A quick Google search can help you find organizations in your community that are helping to resolve these issues.
Another way you should be helping the black community is by frequenting black owned businesses. There are ton of black businesses and influencers who are breaking into the wellness space focusing on safe spaces through meditation and yoga that you can support:
- HealHaus– yoga and meditation company
- Black Zen– yoga and meditation comapny
- Meditation Liberation– meditation app
- Micalyn-Detroit based yoga and meditation influencer
- Dr. Crystal Jones– sound therapy influencer
- Donna Noble– yoga influencer
- Janessa Mondestin– yoga influencer
- Malaika Maitland– yoga therapist
I’m curious to know, what are some black owned wellness brands that you shop at? Comment below!
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