It’s been a while since I have written. Returning to the US from Japan was a flurry of activity that left me burning the candle at both ends and in the middle. I’m still getting settled in, but I’m also getting geared up to make my vision for 2017 a reality. As the political climate here in the US has become more volatile, I’m becoming increasingly interested in ensuring that people of color have the knowledge and tools to secure economic empowerment and self-reliance for themselves as individuals and for their communities. Our political system is so strongly tied to our economic freedom, we miss the mark if we don’t focus on both simultaneously.
So what does economic freedom have to do with mental health? Everything! Our psychological health secures health across every other life domain. If we are not mentally healthy, we neglect our physical health. We take poor care of ourselves and fail to nurture the relationships that are vital to our livelihood and well-being. We stop progressing as individual people. A community with too many unhealthy members, also fails to progress. The feedback loop of service to community and community support to individual breaks down. Our community institutions become ineffective or stop working all together.
I believe that it is imperative for people of color to rededicate ourselves to improving our mental and physical health, while building relational skills that increase opportunity and the availability of resources to individuals and the community. With this in mind, more Envision sponsored events are in the works for this year, especially those with a focus on professional development for people of color. Highly skilled individuals build thriving communities.
My literal next stop is Northampton, Massachusetts for the Smith College Women’s Leadership Conference where I will be leading a breakout session, Leadership as Disruption: Women of Color and their Allies Moving beyond the Boundaries. My intent for this session is to provide support to women leaders of color, as well as tools for increasing inclusive leadership by people of color and their allies working in the mainstream economy. I am hopeful that this presentation will be one of many opportunities for me to serve my community. I hope you will join me in finding your wholeness and healing your community in 2017.