08 October 2017
Sister Love at the Herbal Conference
As the Southeast Wise Women Herbal Conference has grown, our Unity Village, has become the heart of the conference, which includes a gathering place for women of color as well as opportunities for all women to build bridges of understanding.
The conference focuses on women’s health, from a perspective of empowerment and self love, including overcoming internalized oppression for all women. For women of color, day-to-day experiences of systemic racism, micro-aggressions, and internalized oppression add up to health risk factors. Therefore, we consider dynamics of racism an important component of women’s health to address, individually and communally.
To provide a special sacred space for women of color attending the Herbal Conference, the Sister Love Deck within Unity Village was founded in 2010 by Olatakumboh Obasi. At the Sister Love Deck, women of color are welcomed to gather to honor the healing legacy of our black and brown grandmothers and ancestors . . . For many centuries the suppressed earth-based practices of People of Color went underground in order to protect and preserve knowledge for future generations. In honor of our grandmothers, we join to reclaim our ancient wisdom.
Kifu Faruq, our leader at Sister Love for the last two years, has now moved on to to focus on Earth Seed, the intentional community which she recently co-cofounded in Eastern North Carolina. We will miss her this fall, and we're also delighted that a dynamic constellation of women have stepped into her shoes to lead Sister Love this year!
Conference teacher Lucretia Vandyke—a holistic esthetician focusing on integrating indigenous healing rituals into modern day treatment protocols—is bringing together Sister Love discussion facilitators. Women of color are invited to contact her through the website contact page if you have an offering to share. The space will be coordinated by Asheville elder Phyllis Utley and Rubina Beg, with gorgeous decor provided once again by Jaymii Liehr of Samadhi Productions.
As Lucretia VanDyke shares, “The importance of sacred space for women of color is to provide a space for us as a people to honor our ways, for our own healing, and then to be able to communicate how our allies can best support us.
All women are welcome to congregate at the firebowl at the base of steps to Sister Love deck. Come to learn more about understanding racism and white privilege and connect with one another. Gather with us in unity as we share our commonalities and our differences, engage in open dialogue as sisters, and consider steps that we can each take to support racial equity in our lives.