To create a safe space for women of color to connect, share, heal and be empowered in creating the life they desire.
I am passionate about this because connection, healing, dialogue, resource-sharing, and sisterhood are essential and necessary.
I believe that we accomplish much more when we stand with others in advancing a common cause and purpose. We can only do so much by ourselves for so long, and one of the most beautiful spaces to just be is sisterhood. Women (and men) need spaces where they can relinquish control, take off the masks and capes, cry, laugh, dance, heal, be vulnerable and just be. Through the She Who Builds retreat, we hope to create that space where women can do just that. More than anything we want women to be free to just be.
Our (love focused) accomplishments.
To date, we have created and facilitated a very loving and successful first retreat, which was held April 23 in Atlanta. We had 30 women in attendance, including leaders and speakers, and the day unfolded in a way that we hoped for but could not have planned. There was definitely a divine hand directing it all, and it was beautiful to feel, experience and witness.
We are currently in the process of planning the Los Angeles retreat, which is slated for late October 2016. We are looking to provide a similar experience as that in Atlanta, yet leave room for the day to flow as it should. We are very excited about what’s to come and are looking to build relationships with corporate sponsors whose mission is in alignment with ours so that we can provide more resources for our community.
The target community has been ignited, inspired and invigorated.
In the weeks following the Atlanta retreat, I received many e-mails with testimonials and personal stories of how that one day shifted stagnant energy within many of the participants and they were now acting on the dreams and call of their hearts. The community is empowered and eager and ready to take it to the next level individually and collectively.
I lit up with joy the moment I stepped off the plane in Atlanta.
It was then that I realized this was no longer something we were planning and talking about, but something that was actually happening in less than 24 hours. That joy followed me throughout the rest of that day into the next day, which was the day the retreat was held. I’m still feeling that joy.
What I didn't expect to happen.
I wasn’t expecting the response we received and the interest of so many women to be part of growing this retreat and She Who Builds into the movement and force it’s destined to be.
The biggest challenge in accomplishing this mission has been small thinking and at times, negative thinking.
The self-defeating talk that we sometimes engage when we’re stretching ourselves out of our comfort zone and the familiar. I’ve learned to acknowledge that voice and as they say in Landmark, “thank it for its concern” and move past the fear and doubt. It’s something that I haven’t completely mastered (i.e. thinking small and negative self talk) but I’m acknowledging it when it rears its head and stepping forward and thinking bigger anyway.
And that’s courage.
I have some leaders to thank.
My entire Atlanta team, which includes Cherron Keith, Ciara Walker, Dina Handy, Janene Tate and Rikesha Brown. These women had so much to come up in their lives - from deaths, to illness, to job loss, to work and the like - and yet they still remained committed to creating this experience and are still committed in spite of.
My Los Angeles team, which includes Camille Perry, Darrylynn Gates, Jessica Pipkins, Mariaunna Freeman and Teshia Campbell. We are planning the L.A. retreat and the passion and excitement of these women is inspiring.
Our future together.
To continue to grow our retreat and start to rotate the locations where the retreat is held. I’d eventually to host a She Who Builds annual conference as well as quarterly themed workshops that will again provide space for connection, community and resource-sharing.