Communal and Self Care

Dear Black, indigenous and/or people of color at the UvA,

How are you doing?

We are asking this question, because we hope you are well, taking care of yourselves, and your community members. These are complex and difficult times.

Those of us who do equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) work, often feel extra pressure to show up even when we might not be feeling so well. We wanted to write this post as a reminder to put yourself before your work. Your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health should always come first.

So we want to ask you:

Have you taken a minute to check in with yourself? Your friends? Your loved ones? Your community? We know that there is a lot of pressure this time of year: To finish all your work before the holidays. To study for exams. To prepare for a completely new holiday dynamic with regards to COVID-19 guidelines.

This is normally a time of year for family and togetherness, for friends: For recharging and for time at home. This will take a very different shape this year than what we are used to. Online shopping is different than picking out things in a store. Will my gifts even arrive on time? And so it is that an already stressful time of year, has been made even more stressful.

Even if you don’t celebrate this time of year, you still are caught in yearend pressure from work and institutions that do celebrate this time of year.

Given all this, we wanted to share some resources that bring special attention to how BIPOC (Black, indigenous and/or people of color) can care and take care of each other:

  1. Take some time to fill out your wellness plan using this tool: Breaking Isolation: Self Care And Community Care Tools For Our People. Share it with your friends and family.
  2. We were inspired by this blog post: D&I-tijgers, it’s time for some self-care! By Toni Blackwell (In Dutch) that encourages us to reflect on how, why and when we compromise on our health.
  3. Listen to this podcast: Project Wiaspora Podcast #13 – HOW WE CARE  where CDO team member, Alfie was invited as a guest to talk about Afro-Dutch ideas around communal care from her perspective of community organizer with the Caribbean Ancestry Club.
  4. Check out: The Nap Ministry. They examine the liberating power of naps and believe rest is a form of resistance and reparations (also on Instagram).
  5. Familiarize yourself with the concept of Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good. This wonderful book explores how we can make social justice the most pleasurable human experience.
  6. Visit/explore Showroom MAMA in Rotterdam’s On Collective Care & Togetherness exhibition. 
  7. Listen to this podcast with Sonya Renee Taylor on “The Body is Not an Apology”: In this episode Sonya Renee Taylor and Brené Brown talk about body shame, radical self-love, and social justice.

“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” Audre Lorde

We hope that these resources can offer a balm to all of us in these exceptionally strange times.

In love and light.

Alfie & Janissa
CDO Team

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