Los Angeles, CA–The men of The Healing Circle Los Angeles held their first Black Women’s Appreciation Day event last weekend, to show the women in their community they are loved and valued.
This past year has been an emotional rollercoaster for America and the Black community in particular. The men of The Healing Circle wanted Black women to know, we see you.
And the men of The Healing Circle were seen too, dressed in their finest tailored suits. Each suit fit perfectly and their color complimented their melanated skin well.
A global pandemic has shifted life as we know it. As we work to keep our families and communities safe and fed, countless videos continue to be shared online of Black lives lost. From George Floyd to Breonna Taylor and the subsequent lack of justice she received–these incidents continue to have traumatic affects on the emotional and mental state of Black America.
“We wanted to have a day to honor and appreciate Black women. We know that Black women are vital. All life comes through a woman so we wanted to show our appreciation,” said Robert Howard.
The Healing Circle was founded in 2019 by Joshua Ham and Anthony Okray Jr. They are well aware of the ways trauma can take a toll on individuals, if they are unable to access people and spaces that help them process what they are feeling. THC operates as (501(c)3 and offers safe spaces for Black-millennials to unapologetically speak their truth, decompress and build solidarity among one another.
Prior to covid, THC held community “healing circles” as well as events such as their mens meditation in Leimert Park. This time they held an event taking precautionary measures including temperature checks, complimentary mask, hand sanitizer, as well as mandatory mask for vendors.
“There is so much on their shoulders, so many places that they feel invisible, or under appreciated and we wanted to do our community a service,” said Howard.
Women were serviced by nail techs, masseuses as well as esthetician’s. They ate food while a DJ set the vibe as women danced, painted, and took photos. The men of THC also read poetry, as a few of their members are poets and models.
The men of The Healing Circle wanted Black women to feel appreciated not just on mothers day or birthdays, but collectively. They took this past Sunday as an opportunity to do just that.
Okray says the event could not have been possible without the support of Shea Moisture who sponsored the event and gave THC $12,000.
“The world won’t see how important Black women are until Black men step into the forefront and defend Black women,” said Okray. “I was raised by a single mother so I know firsthand what it takes. The Black woman is the most under protected in the world but that’s not how it is in my eyes.”
As a South Central native, Joshua Ham has grown up seeing a lot of disparities in his community and those who come from broken homes. His deep respect for the Black woman also comes from being raised by a single mother. He has also been involved in community work since he was 11.
” I wanted to do something special in solidarity with Black women to let them know that Black men are present and we do support them,” said Ham. “Just trying to show up in a real way. We passed out roses and had swag bags for the ladies.”
Women walked away from the event feeling fulfilled and acknowledged. They showed their gratitude before they left, as well as online with social media post.
“They are on the right path. The first step to getting things done is acknowledging the problem,” said Danielle, a woman who attended the event. “They saw a problem and wanted to acknowledge us as the power source and queens to be upheld.”