Next Meetup

WOC-Inability Of Vulnerability b/c of Societal Expectations
Hey W.OK.E. Members, Happy Sunday 😊 Our next Meetup discussion will be on: Women of Color, and the Inability to be Vulnerable because of Societal Expectations. Have you ever heard: “You’re Strong” “You Got This, Girl” “Pray About It” “Stop Being So Sensitive” “Why You Always Emotional?” “You Got A Lot To Be Grateful For” “Why Are You Crying?” “ Girl, I Don’t Do All That Mushy Stuff” The list can go on. Let’s talk about Vulnerability. Being Vulnerable is already a tough emotion to express but for Women of Color it can be extremely difficult. According to Brene Brown who has researched vulnerability extensively states, “Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it’s our greatest measure of courage,” I remember when I was about 19, and I was upset about something (like most teens, probably something overexaggerated) and my mother saw me crying. Her first response was, “why are you crying?” I said, “because”. She asked again, “Are you really crying, why?” At that moment, I just yelled; “CAN I JUST CRY?” As women of color, many times we are not awarded the space or safety to express vulnerability to our friends, partners, or family. We struggle to express ourselves out of fear of judgment and abandonment. We sometimes suffer alone. Womanist Theologian and Psychologist Dr. Chanequa Walker-Barnes provides a brilliant analysis in her work “Too Heavy a Yoke: Black women and The Burden of Strength,” of the Strong Black Woman. She developed as a resistance strategy to combat negative images of Black womanhood, the core components of the Strong Black Woman are emotional strength/regulation, care giving, and independence. According to Walker-Barnes, “we shield Black women from the threat of devaluation but also keeps them from the type of authentic self-expression and intimacy that are necessary for optimal social and emotional health” We play a lot of roles as a women of color, and expressing vulnerability sometimes isn’t allowed or we don’t feel safe enough to practice it. Come join us on 11/18/18 at 5pm-7:30pm at Harlem Coffee Co. to discuss an amazing topic that can be beneficial for all of us. Hope to see you there! “What Makes You Vulnerable Makes You Beautiful.”-Brene Brown Best, Amy Afua

Harlem Coffee Co.

151 Lenox Avenue · New York


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    What we're about


    “Black women have had to develop a larger vision of our society than perhaps any other group. They have had to understand white men, white women, and black men. And they have had to understand themselves. When black women win victories, it is a boost for virtually every segment of society."- Angela Davis

    I remember as a kid how my mother and my “Aunts” (I put this in quotes because they are not blood related) will gather around the living room and just chat about their kids, church, work, men, and so on. As a kid, I just looked at it as my mom and her friends were just hanging out and just talking. Ask I grow into my own person as a woman, a black woman; I realize that these talks they had were so crucial to their overall being. They were consistent on meeting with each other, every week. What Angela Davis beautifully described is that women of colour carry on so many hidden layers and burdens on their shoulders. And because of that, we sometimes don’t have the privilege to lay it on for someone to hear or take away. W.O.K.E (Women of Kolour Empowered) is a group for women of colour to meet in a safe place to talk about a range of topics together. We will cover relationships, racism, sexism, work-related stress, sexuality, intersectionality, career, mental health, network, current events, pop culture, strengthening current relationships, and forming new ones. Please join us while we create a network that can possibly create a safety net for all.

    “When Black Women stick together, we are the most powerful force in the universe.”-Alfre Woodward

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