5 BIPOC Orgs Redefining Community Care
By L'Oreal Thompson Payton
As the old saying goes, “it takes a village to raise a child” and the same can be said of our mental health. Founded in June 2008, Bebe Moore Campbell National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month (also known as BIPOC Mental Health Month) was “created to bring awareness to the unique struggles that underrepresented groups face in regard to mental illness in the U.S.”
This year’s theme is Strength in Communities, a trait these five organizations share as they prioritize the mental health needs of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) have in common. Read on to learn more.
BK Yoga Club
Representation matters in all facets of wellness, including yoga, which is why Alicia Ferguson and Paris Alexandra co-founded BK Yoga Club, a body positive yoga studio, in 2019. Located in the heart of Dumbo, Brooklyn, the studio offers virtual classes as well as yoga in the park. And their mission is simple: to “create a wellness space where people grow in community through healthy movement and creativity.” Once you’ve finished your flow, head on over to their new wellness coffee shop, On Dekalb BK to feed your mind, body and soul.
In Bold Company
Growing up as a first-generation Filipina in the Midwest, Kristina Gonzalez Sander was accustomed to being the only non-white person in the room. But in 2018, she decided to build a digital platform to inspire women of color and In Bold Company was born. Today, the online community includes a podcast, newsletter and inspiring stories that center and celebrate diversity, equity and inclusion.
Therapy for Black Girls
In an effort to destigmatize mental health and wellness for Black women and girls, licensed psychologist, speaker and podcast host Dr. Joy Harden Bradford created Therapy for Black Girls, an online resource that includes a blog, weekly podcast, and therapist directory where you can find professional help designed with you in mind. And for the fellas, be sure to check out Therapy for Black Men.
Flower Girls Meet
Having spent the first eight years of her life in Cape Verde, West Africa before moving to Chicago, Vanessa Flowers was inspired by the “community-driven island” that instilled within her a strong desire to live with purpose and pour into others. Today she’s doing exactly that with her group Flower Girls Meet, which brings together Chicago women to “cultivate connections, inspire conversation, and spark personal growth.”
National Queer & Trans Therapists of Color Network
Finding a therapist who meets your needs can be hard. Finding one who affirms your identity can be even harder and make the whole process feel even more overwhelming and isolating. That’s where the National Queer & Trans Therapists of Color Network comes in. Their online directory helps queer and trans people of color (QTPoC) find QTPoC mental health practicioners across the country.
L'Oreal Thompson Payton is a freelance writer, motivational speaker and author of the forthcoming self-help book, Trust Your Dopeness.