Back to Natural: A Documentary Film Premiering August 2017 At Martha’s Vineyard Afr Amer Film Festical. Motion Graphic Intro.
The research is clear, repeated experiences of hair bias, racism and discrimination can lead to serious psychological symptoms like anxiety, hyper vigilance to threat, anger and hopelessness about the future. The impacts are innumerable and include health challenges, lowered academic performance, identity, and self-esteem issues, just to name a few. Healing is a multi-step process. With Back to Natural and our Healing Workshop, you and your organization are taking steps to acknowledge and address discrimination and it's impacts as well as give your community members tools for wellbeing.
"The workshop is necessary for all schools committed to Black healing." Tom M., 28, Student at St. Mary's College
- In the "Mainstream:" Exploring our reactions to images of hair in the mainstream media.
- Our Families, Our Selves: Sharing experiences growing up within our families and communities to understand how that has impacted our beliefs about ourselves, our hair, beauty and acceptability.
- What I Say to Myself: Self-Talk is the internal dialogue that can affect your confidence and self-esteem. If we take in negative message from our environment and community about our hair and ourselves, our self-talk may become destructive and undermine our well-being and success. Acknowledging the things we say most often to ourselves about our hair, beauty, and worth help us build an important foundation for our wellness. In this activity attendees will learn to create positive self-talk statements.
- Affirming Language: "The word's nappy & beauty don't really go together" (a quote from Back to Natural). Attendee's will learn and explore the importance of using affirmative language to talk about hair with ourselves, our children, and within the community.
- The Mind Body Connection: Attendee's will learn the impact of our beauty products on the body and explore why Black people are exposed to more toxic chemicals because of our hair care/beauty products use. A major contributor to health disparities in Black communities is related to the impact of race-related stress on the body. Attendee's will come to understand the impact of race-related stress on functioning and the body and learn concrete interventions for healing like cognitive-behavioral techniques, breath work, and EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), also known as tapping. All audience members will leave with a personalized healing plan and concrete healing tools.
* Back to Natural is a one-of-a-kind reflection of the history of the relationship Black people have with their hair, globally. It uniquely instills pride, encourages reflection, and is a call to action for self and community healing.
* Youth research shows developing positive racial/ethnic identity is directly linked to higher academic achievement, resiliency and self-esteem as well as improved behavior and social skills. Using artistic tools, like documentary film, has been found to be uniquely impactful on positive racial identity development.
* Researchers found "racial pride" is the single most important factor in protecting black students in the face discrimination.
* Back to Natural encourages dialogue between generations, promoting connection, engagement and healing.
* The optional healing based workshop encourages a sense of belonging, positive self-reflection and resiliency in the face of racial oppression as well as encourages empathy and compassion for others.
"This film did a spectacular job of depicting the history and progression of the natural hair movement. It moved me into a place of understanding myself, my history, and my healing journey. I loved how the film incorporated the many complexities and intersections of Blackness. I would definitely recommend the healing workshop! I felt a shift in my spirit, and I am very grateful to Dr. Scott-Ward for her presence and guidance. I especially loved the tapping exercise! The Black community needs this. We need a dynamic combination of education and healing, and the film Back To Natural does just that!" Tamarah T. 21, Black Student Union President, St. Mary's College.
"I was most impressed with the meditation exercise during the healing workshop. After all, words were finished, Dr. Gillian walked my students through a meditation exercise that was unlike any other. Students (millennials) have a different attention span than previous generations, and the meditation exercise that Dr. Gillian demonstrated was for them! It combined complete silence and introspection with active, personal movement that centered my students into themselves. After the exercise, there was an obvious shift in the room. It became more peaceful, more serene, more loving. Something that we all, no matter what age or generation, can benefit from." Calvin Monroe, Staff, St. Mary's College.
"Organized and hosted by Dr. Scott-Ward. Dr Scott-Ward is a New York State Licensed Clinical Psychologist with over a decade of experience as a healer and group leader in therapeutic settings"
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