This week is Mental Health Awareness Week (16th – 22nd May) with the theme being “relationships”…
When we think about how good relationships are formed and how important they are to help you maintain healthy wellbeing and mental health – having a safe space plays an important factor right?
Just think about some of your best relationships and how the space you bond in leaves a positive impact on your relationship – and mental health. A space you don’t feel threatened, intimidated or uncomfortable. A space which allows your to freely express yourself – to even feel empowered!
The same should go for spaces which allow marginalised/liberation groups to gather, build relations/networks/make friends and express themselves without being shut-down by a non-identifying person.
“Creating Safe Spaces for Women of Colour” workshop took place during Diversity Matters Awareness Week, opening a conversation on solidarity between women who are African, Asian, Caribbean, Middle Eastern or South American descent to re-claim spaces they are often shut-down in. The workshop was facilitated by Black Blossoms founder and SUARTS Education Officer, Bee Tadjudeen.
Bee explains why Creating Safe Spaces for Women of Colour is important:
“The concept of safe spaces have risen in popularity in the last few years. The idea of having a place where one can be able to relax without the fear of being made uncomfortable or unsafe because of their race, gender or sexuality…”
The rise of safe spaces have allowed for minority groups to become stronger as they are able to effectively organize on issues which affect them, without having the space derailed by groups who do not identify within that specific liberation group. However, some argue safe spaces, are unfair to groups who want to partake in the discussion but are now excluded therefore their voices being silenced on a debates. Many liberation activists find it exhausting to constantly have to answer questions about the importance of creating their own space and being able to dismantle systematic oppression on their own terms.
Patricia Hill Collins, author of Black Feminist Thought acknowledged the exclusionary nature of safe spaces, but recognised the importance of Black Women being able to access safe spaces as a form of empowerment as they are able to talk to each other recognized their own realities “ Safe Spaces] most overall purpose most certainly aims for a more inclusive, just society”
Black Blossoms “A day of Radical Selfcare and Conversation on Mental Wellbeing in the Black Community” took place on the 23rd April. Look out for the video coming soon!
Leave your thoughts in the comment box below!
Sending peace and positive vibes your way!