About

Culture of Care offers space for exchange during which we come together to share, rest, and reflect on what it means to shape a culture that embraces our humanity. Each month we will host hour-long sessions and brief midday gatherings that bring us together in radical joy.

During Culture of Care, folks are invited to participate in and/or witness the practices of local creatives who will share skills, hold space for reflection, and offer healing. In the sessions we will individually develop our personal definitions of self-care and what it looks like within our communities.

The Culture of Care series is an ongoing practice that continues to unfold and evolve in conversation with our communities and is guided by the teachings of radical thinkers like Audre Lorde and the Black Panther Party.

Audre Lorde advocated that caring for oneself is not only necessary, but also an “act of political warfare.” In her book, A Burst of Light, she wrote, “Overextending myself is not stretching myself. I had to accept how difficult it is to monitor the difference. Necessary for me as cutting down on sugar. Crucial. Physically. Psychically. Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” This was said in relation to realizing that taking care of her physical health also meant tending to her mental and emotional health as well.

Similarly, leaders of the Black Panther Party like Ericka Huggins adopted yoga and meditation practices in the 1970’s to counter activist burnout. In an interview Huggins elaborated about this practice saying: “My daily practice of meditation. It keeps me sane. It gives me balance. When I mean sane, I don’t mean as opposed to insanity, what I mean is it keeps me focused, alert, and aware and kind as I walk through the world.” Through sharing and reflection, Culture of Care seeks to imitate this practice to keep us grounded and kind as we navigate our worlds.

While incarcerated, activist and Black Panther member Angela Davis turned to yoga and meditation to feed her spirit. She acknowledged that adopting those practices was a personal act but later, upon reflection, recognized a need for self-care to acknowledge “the collective character of that work on the self.” Those tools for mindfulness informed the tenets of the Panthers’ Programs for Survival and the work done at the Peoples’ Free Health Center to offer free, community-based healthcare services to tend to the physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing of Black communities.

These legacies of radical self-care are guiding lights for Culture of Care. They tell us that to practice and to know what self-care and self-love look like, we must subscribe wholeheartedly to a life of rest and self-empowerment. With these workshops and gatherings, we hope that participants leave with a sense of love and self-empowerment that ultimately uplifts themselves as well as those around them.

Works Cited 

Lorde, Audre. A Burst of Light: And Other Essays. Dover Publications, Inc., 2017.

Radical Self Care: Angela Davis. AFROPUNK, 17 Dec. 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1cHoL4vaBs.

Swift, Jaimee. “Radical Commitments: The Revolutionary Vow of Ericka Huggins.” Black Women Radicals, Black Women Radicals, 7 June 2020, https://www.blackwomenradicals.com/blog-feed/ericka-huggins.

Works Referenced

The Black Panther (Party), Newsletter editor. “Program for Survival.” 24 Mar. 1973.

“My daily practice of meditation. It keeps me sane. It gives me balance. When I mean sane, I don’t mean as opposed to insanity, what I mean is it keeps me focused, alert, and aware and kind as I walk through the world."~Erika Huggins 

Culture of Care

“Overextending myself is not stretching myself. I had to accept how difficult it is to monitor the difference. Necessary for me as cutting down on sugar. Crucial. Physically. Psychically. Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”~Audre Lorde 

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