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Black Healing October Snacks & Facts

Image Description: A painting of a fat Black queer woman, Vanessa Lewis. She is smiling and reclining on her side, wearing a short red dress with a v-neck, covered in an ivy vine, red roses on her head, with large yellow petals and green leaves as the backdrop.

How does Black Healing October work?

Six Black people standing outside with their arms over each other's shoulder, smiling.
Image Description: A photo of six Black people, standing outside in front of a vehicle, standing side-by-side with their arms around each others’ shoulders and happy smiles. They have a variety of clothes, including dresses, pants, t-shirts, skirts, and button-up shirts.

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How can I sign up to be a Black healer, facilitator, performer, or artist?

  1. Please apply to facilitate a workshop, sacred space, performance, or other event by clicking here.
  2. You will hear from us within 1-7 days. In that first message, we will let you know if we would like to move forward with a quick and easy interview.
  3. During the interview, we’ll ask you more questions to see if we’re a good fit for collaboration. In part, this will be to tell you more about the project and process; to ensure that your values are in alignment with our ideas of inclusivity, love, and social justice; to answer any questions you have; and to let you know next steps. 
  4. Once accepted into the project as a facilitator or space holder, please attend the Black Healer Meet & Greet + Orientation. We will then give you your schedule and introduce you to your Solidarity Team and the ASL Interpreters supporting your work.
  5. This is a collaborative process. We ask that each facilitator attends 1-2 workshops other than their own to support other workshop facilitators with the chat box, maintain a safe space and act as a witness, and take notes on highlights.

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A fat POC standing by a garden, wearing overalls and smiling.
Image Description: A fat POC standing outside in grass next to a garden. They are wearing black overalls and a black tanktop, glasses with thick Black frames, and light-colored hoop earrings. They are bald and are smiling.

Can I facilitate or attend workshops if I am not Black?

While you would not be able to facilitate or attend a workshop during Black Healing October, you would ABSOLUTELY be able to participate during Solidarity Healing September. 

Solidarity Healing September are workshops for us all to be together OR for non-Black POC and White people to have sacred healing spaces amongst yourselves. We hope that these spaces can foster more community, connection, support, and energy for transformation. Black Healing October are sacred places for Black folks to do our work together, to unwind together, and to heal together. 

As we continue to grow and expand, we will continue to create more spaces for cross-identity and cross-issue collaboration – Like the 2021 UGLY Summit. Stay tuned!

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What is Reclaim UGLY?

Reclaim Ugly illustration and text: Uplift Glorify Love Yourself and Create a World Where Others Can as Well
Image Description: Reclaim Ugly poster. Illustration of eight people with diverse appearances, 6 standing, 1 sitting in a wheelchair, 1 holding a baby. Text on image: Reclaim Ugly. Uplift Glorify Love Yourself And Create a World Where Others Can As Well.

Black Healing October is a project of Reclaim UGLY. Reclaim UGLY works to help people understand what uglification is; how it facilitates internalized, interpersonal, and systemic violence; and how individuals and communities can collaboratively work to reclaim the parts of our bodies and identities that have been uglified by oppression and cultural misunderstanding – while healing from, interrupting, and preventing the continuation of its devastating impacts. UGLY stands for (U)plift (G)lorify (L)ove (Y)ourself while creating a world where others can as well.

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How do Black people experience uglification?

Screenshot of google image search results for "ugly black woman". 2nd result is photo of Vanessa Lewis.
Image Description: Screenshot of google image search results for “ugly black woman”. 1st result is photo of Leslie Jones, 2nd result is photo of Vanessa Lewis, 3rd result is fat Black person with hot pink hair, 4th result is older Black person with distressed facial expression

As Black people, we know a thing or two about uglification. 

  • We feel the violence of uglification every time we see another video of another Black person being slaughtered by the police or a random white vigilante on our social media timelines.
  • We cry the tears of uglification when we say final goodbyes to our loved ones who died of Covid 19 and other diseases at rates higher than any other ethnic group in the country other than our Native fam.
  • We experience the heartbreak of uglification every time we hear about another Black woman or girl, trans and cis, who has been murdered, abducted, and trafficked.
  • We know the heartache of watching Black men be dehumanized simply for being Black men.
  • We know the agony of uglification when the media calls us looters or insinuates that we are violent, racist, and dangerous for protesting for our own right to live peacefully.
  • We know the devastation of uglification when the media sexualizes us, degrades us, and increases our risk of experiencing or enacting rape, sexual assault, and other violences upon each other.
  • We taste the embodied terror of uglification every time we see a police car driving too close behind us, pulling someone over, speeding loudly through our community, and parked aggressively next to a Black person shackled and sitting on the concrete sidewalk. 
  • We slump under the exhaustion of uglification when we experience micro-aggression after micro-aggression at work, or the bank, or grocery shopping, or the doctor, or sitting down for a meal and watching our assaulters turn the blame on us or treat us as hostile when we attempt to speak up.
  • We know the deep trauma of uglification when we see our children come home after being made fun of for their appearance or listen to our skinfolk make anti-Black comments about which skin complexions are beautiful and desirable and which aren’t.
  • We know the dangerous disrespect of uglification when we watch videos of white people threatening our lives by calling the police on us with vicious and untrue accusations. They KNOW Police Kill Black People. These are murder attempts.
  • We still remember the way we our lives and identities have been (and still are) uglified in order to validate so many centuries of legalized slavery – from chattel slavery to jim crow to the contemporary prison industrial complex.
  •  We know the anxiety of uglification when we see that red hat or confederate flag casually decorating people’s bodies and cars.
  • We taste the blood of uglification every time a Black woman is killed by an abusive partner or a child is killed or assaulted by an adult that they should have been able to trust.

We. Know. Uglification.

And it’s killing us.

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The time to center our healing is now. And it’s urgent!

How do we:

  • Learn to love ourselves without internalizing other people’s cruelty or judgement?
  • Create more respect, capacity, and loving-support within Black families?
  • Release shame from our hearts, brain, bodies, and desires?
  • See the beauty and magic that is intrinsically in us?
  • Support each other’s success, growth, creativity, economic prosperity?
  • Begin to heal the romantic, sexual, & professional relationships between Black men & women?
  • Foster connections between trans & cis Black people, queer & straight Black people?
  • Invite more peace, pleasure, and longevity into our lives?
  • Strengthen our relationships with our ancestors?
  • Support each other to center joy and positivity in our lives?

How do we Reclaim UGLY – Uplift Glorify Love Ourselves and Create a World Where All Black People Can As Well?

Fat Black person standing on sidewalk holding sign that says "Fatties for Freedom"
Image Description: Fat Black person standing on sidewalk holding sign that says “Fatties for Freedom”. They are wearing a white tank top, denim shorts, and Black boots. They have curly hair and a nose ring, and they are wearing blue lipstick and a necklace.

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Two fat Black femmes standing facing each other with their bodies pressed together, smiling softly.
Image Description: Two fat Black femmes standing facing each other with their bodies pressed together, smiling softly. One is wearing a pink bottom with a black corset and necklace. The other is wearing a red dress, necklace, and is playing with the first person’s necklace.

One of our strongest forms of resistance is to take back what centuries of intentional oppression has tried to steal from us – our social and emotional health; our embodied wellbeing; our ability to truly see each other’s beauty with love and compassion; our feelings of physical safety and security; our economic prosperity and sovereignty; our collective unity and governance; our whole-bodied & holistic access to open-hearted liberation. This is why Black Healing is Revolution in the most powerful and potent ways. Black Healing IS Reclamation of all that we are. It is the undressing of white supremacy and its perilous institutions. It’s love. It’s family. It’s the tools and support to forgive each other. It’s the impetus to heal collectively and within our unique subgroups. It’s transcendence.

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What do we stand for?

  • Transformative Inclusivity
  • Our values are steeped in Racial Justice, Healing Justice, Transformative Justice, Disability Justice, Fat Liberation, LGBTQ+ Visibility, Migrant Justice, Sexual Liberation, Anti-Criminalization, Pro Literacy & Education, Pro Choice, Body Autonomy, the power of compassion, and deep Black Love. 
  • This work is suicide and violence prevention. Healing cannot be done alone or in a vacuum. It MUST be a community effort. We want to create a community that supports each other to live our best, most free lives for as long as possible.
  • We must be a united front. We must learn to see each other in our wholeness with love. We can no longer afford to be torn apart by political and religious differences, colorism, classism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, fatphobia, and other fears and judgements that get in the way of our safety and unity.
  • Pleasure. We are here to heal, but we are also here to love each other well and have a good time!

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Can any Black person attend any event?

We aspire to have something special for everyone and all of us. We are reserving events for people with specific identities, experiences, genders, or age groups to be with each other. It’s important to have these spaces where we can explore our unique needs, privileges, dreams, desires, and feelings without worrying about code switching or causing unintentional harm. These sacred and insular places are needed to create the safety and vulnerability needed to truly go deep in our healing adventure. That said, there will be an abundance of spaces that center our shared and collective experiences. There will be many places that have nothing to do with identity outside being together as Black people. 

Please be sure to tell us your accessibility needs as you register for workshops. We want to make sure that you have everything you need to enjoy it, to be present, and to feel welcome and included.

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Three Black women of different generations, standing and sitting together, smiling.
Image Description: Three Black women of different generations, two standing and one sitting, indoors, all smiling. They are wearing pink, purple, and a deep red, and all three are wearing necklaces and earrings. Behind them is a table covered in purple gift bags.

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Donate today to support Black Healers, Black Healing,
and our collective liberation! Every $10 gets you a raffle ticket!

Donate with PayPal
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