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Dear Black Women Festival 2022

Held on March 5, 2022, the festival celebrated the unique experiences of Black British women and girls through a range of activities including health & wellness, arts & culture, talks, beauty seminars, and a marketplace showcasing their talents.

Wellness Programme

Dear Black Women, Your Wellness Matters

A calm space was created for Black Women to feel safe and be vulnerable with the aid of wellness practitioners. They meditated, danced, relaxed, sang, and cried together to create a collective space to support each other on individual self-care and self-love journeys, because Black Women are worthy of wellness too.
Tia, a sound energy practitioner, made attendees feel happier, lighter, and more at ease by raising their vibrational frequencies through a sound energy healing meditation. Participants who immersed in the sound bath experienced a sense of calmness and peacefulness. Sound energy healing is a meditative practice that using various musical instruments to generate healing vibrations in and around the bodies of individuals. The instruments produced waves of soothing and echoing sounds that could assist with depression, fatigue, and stress symptoms, leading to deeper reflection, relaxation, and the cultivation of inner peace, connecting mind, body, and soul.

Amenti The Awakener created a moment in time for Black Women to unleash the goddess within them. Participants explored and activated the divine feminine energy of ancient African goddesses through sacral movements.

Amenti The Awakener is a highly sought Spiritual Teacher, 5th Generation Healer, Womb Alchemist, Transpersonal Psychotherapist, Therapy Trainer, Best Selling Author, Transformational Wellness Expert and Initiated Priestess. She has worked with high profile clients, local communities and corporate organisations advocating a holistic approach to wellness and women’s leadership! She has graced international stages and is well known for her wealth of experience and powerful presence.

Through this therapeutic yoga class with meditation practices, the participants released stress, eased tension, and cultivated Black joy. Using restorative practices from Oya Heart Warrior's health-enhancing yoga sequences, partipants were able to stretch and strengthen their bodies without "brukking up" themselves.

Oya Heart Warrior is a Yoga Teacher and Founder of Unapologetically Black Yoga, whose focus is building compassionate spaces for Black people of all abilities, shapes and sizes to feel genuinely welcome to yoga. Her mental health and yoga therapy background informs her perspective of bringing holistic wellbeing to Black people through yoga. Oya believes in the powerful wisdom of our hearts and the truth in our bodies to guide us to our highest state of wellbeing and self-acceptance.

To offer the energy of peace, positivity, and prosperity to everyone at the event, sound energy practitioner Tia used drums, gongs, affirmations, and other healing instruments to support them in moving their minds, bodies, and emotions towards greater wholeness.

Breaking Barriers

Black Female-Led Psychotherapy​

The Dedicated To Change Project offered therapy allowing participants to delve into their wounds and traumas. Through the release of feelings of inadequacy, body image, daily stress, and other challenges, individuals were able to improve their quality of life. With a Black female therapist, a comfortable and trusting atmosphere was established, facilitating the healing process. With over 100 years of combined experience, the project provided free counselling sessions from Black female counsellors and psychotherapists. The project was founded by Diahanna Clarke, an Integrative Counsellor and Psychotherapist.

Solutions Programme​

Dear Black Women, Your Issues Matters

Participants took part in meaningful conversations relating to Black women’s issues and experiences. They were educated and advised on how they can get involved with organisations that are doing the work and be part of long-term changes.
Charmaine delivered an informative and inspirational session that gave insight into the hidden contributions of Black Women to World History - past and present. During this session, participants spoke with Charmaine about how we, as Black British women, have been excluded from both Women's History and Black History. Charmaine educated on how Black Women can preserve their individual and collective legacies for generations to come - as this will make for a much more inclusive, richer, fuller, and more importantly, truthful account of World History.
Diahannas's session informed our sisters on how we can better understand our feelings through therapy and release the truly special dynamic Black woman within us. Diahanna also advised attendees on how they can find and understand their true selves and purpose.

1 In 10 Women suffer from Endometriosis. Many women suffer in silence because it is an invisible chronic illness with varying symptoms; most endo sufferers are misdiagnosed for years.

Worldwide in March, it is Endometriosis Awareness Month.

During this interactive session, Obstetrics and Gynaecology Doctors – Dr Remi Mogekwu and Dr Jennifer Owusu discussed:
* the debilitating condition and its symptoms,
* its impact on the lives of endo sufferers,
* endometriosis diagnosis & treatment delays
* diagnostic methods & treatments.

Dr Remi Mogekwu and Dr Jennifer Owusu have a platform called Chat Her Box to educate and empower Black women to make informed choices about their care and move away from medical paternalism. They provide women with a safe platform to speak freely, ask questions and learn about their health.

Ngozi Fulani, CEO and founder of Sistah Space – (a specialist charity that supports African and Caribbean heritage affected by domestic & sexual abuse) discussed the intersectionality between domestic abuse and racism, the different types of abuse, and how to spot signs and act on them.

Literary Programme​

Dear Black Women, Reading Matters

In Partnership With Book and Kulture

A inspiring celebration of Black female voices, as we delved into the powerful topics of feminism, hair care, singlehood, and financial growth. Our dynamic lineup of talented Black women authors challenged the status quo and sparked important conversations such as the impact of Black hairstyles on mainstream culture. 

Marva Carty, a self-published author, dedicated her session to younger festival visitors. Participants joined Marva for a read-along and creative craft session centered on her Caribbean adventure.

In September 2021, Saskia and Zainab published the book "Hairvolution: Her Hair, Her Story, Our History." The project featured interviews with over thirty accomplished Black British Women, including MP Dawn Butler, comedian Angie Le Mar, entrepreneur Anastasia Chikezie, historian Stella Dadzie, and popstar Jamelia. During the session, the authors explored the politics and history of Black hair and discussed the impact of Black hairstyles on the fight for social justice and the promotion of Black culture.

The authors and participants delved into the experiences of these inspiring Black Women as they spoke about their attitudes towards and struggles with their hair. They also addressed the significance of breaking down barriers, dispelling stereotypes, and healing from intergenerational trauma related to Black hair.

Lisa Bent, a writer of Jamaican descent from South London, drew from her background in counseling to shape her writing style. During this session, she spoke about her journey to self-discovery and how it inspired her latest book, "Symona's Still Single." This book tells the story of Symona Brown, who embarks on a new chapter in her dating life after being single for several years.

Author Lisa Bent discussed how her search for love through various dating apps informed the creation of "Symona's Still Single." The book explores the challenges that Symona faces as she navigates the dating world, seeking the love she desires. During the session, there was an open discussion about what it means to be a single Black woman and the topics of singleness not equating to loneliness, expanding your options, and navigating the dating world.

Bola Sol, a mathematics and finance graduate,  helped visitors make smarter financial decisions by providing insights into their financial behaviour. She was passionate about empowering women to discuss money matters and founded the platform Refined Currency in 2015, as well as its sister company Rich Girl Chronicles.

Bola co-hosted The Last Three Digits podcast, hosted the web series The Bola Sol Show, and led weekly social media chats on finance. She had been featured by the BBC, Stylist Magazine, and Refinery 29. With a goal of building financial confidence in everyone, Bola aimed to make a positive impact through meaningful conversations about money.

Yolanda Toussaint is widely recognised for her steadfast stance on imperfect parenting. In her session, she conveyed an important message, reminding attendees that "we are not defined by our biggest mistakes." The women who attended the session felt understood, heard, and empowered to bring positive changes to their lives.

Beauty Programme​​

Dear Black Women, Your Beauty Matters

In Partnership With ColorBlend Makeup London


Kesha Williams highlighted the importance of spotlighting Black Women in the beauty industry and the efforts made to represent our intersecting identities. Kesha Williams is one of the UK’s only Black women with a complete cosmetics range. As well as bridging the gap between high-street and high-end cosmetics, Kesha’s mission is to provide premium options for consumers who experience an undersupply of suitable and accessible cosmetics. Kesha is a multi-award-winning entrepreneur featured in Forbes, Black Hair and Beauty Magazine, and Good Housekeeping. Passionate about representation, inclusivity, and self-expression, Kesha champions change within the beauty industry by redefining what beauty means.

ColorBlend delivered an inspirational and interactive session celebrating the founder of Yuty, Simi Lindgren. Participants learned how Simi successfully raised £500k in pre-seed investment funding for Yuty. Also, how she balances between parenting and business.

ColorBlend advised undertones, foundation, and concealer application in the ‘Celebrate Your Base’ segment.

Simi Lindgren is the Founder and CEO of Yuty, the personalised conscious beauty destination. Her mission is to use AI to empower beauty consumers to find the right beauty products and drive inclusive and environmental sustainability within the beauty industry.

Simi is a former award-winning commercial leader at FTSE and NYSE listed businesses, championing DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) and sustainability. Simi founded Yuty in 2020, which has featured in Elle and Refinery29. Simi grew up in the UK, attending St George’s Medical School and the University of Oxford. In 2021, Simi became the 10th Black female founder in the UK to successfully raise VC for her business and Management Today’s 35 Women Under 35.

Makeup artists from ColorBlend demonstrated the benefits and effects of its award-winning and high-definition cosmetics range. Also provided solutions for makeup-related problems that Black Women may experience. Fortunate attendees got to try out ColorBlend’s foundations or lip colours!

Beauty influencer and PR expert Nia Faisal shared her experience of successfully entering and remaining in the beauty industry.

Makeup artist Laurie provided an insight into how she manages her creative career despite living with chronic illnesses such as fibromyalgia, idiopathic intracranial hypertension, and function neurological disorder.

Entrepreneur Kesha Williams discusses mentoring and its importance to business growth and personal development. She provided each attendee with the opportunity to sign up for business mentoring through the ColorBlend Agency – the home for makeup artists from across the UK.

Arts & Cultural Programme​

Through a series of interactive arts and cultural drop-in sessions, we celebrated the everyday Black woman.
Amma carried out an interactive and educational head-wrapping session in the hope to build confidence in those who wear and would like to start wearing headwraps. The techniques required to create such fashionable head-wrapping styles were taught along with the history of African headwrapping.

Fiona is an Austro-Nigerian multimedia artist who explores the themes of belonging and identity. Fiona delivered a Black femme zine workshop where Black Women were able to take part in this creative healing experience. This was a safe space that encouraged conversations about wellbeing and the celebration of our intersectional identities. After the session participants took their zines home as a reminder of their self-love.

Black Girl Knit Club held a drop-in workshop for beginner and intermediate knitters who wanted to develop their knitting skills. During the session, participants were introduced to the basic knitting techniques that they would put into action when making their knitted coasters, using upcycled yarn to explore texture and colour.

Leah shared some of her delicious smoothie recipes that all include African & Caribbean superfoods - simple, nutritious smoothies can help your skin to glow and make your hair shine from the inside out. Attendees had the opportunity to taste each smoothie whilst they were made fresh and ready to consume - sharing the health-boosting benefits of each recipe.

Capturing Memories

A Photo Recap of Dear Black Women Festival 2022