Back to Natural: A Documentary Film Premiering August 2017 At Martha’s Vineyard Afr Amer Film Festical. Motion Graphic Intro.
NOW SCHEDULING: Film screening alone or combined with customized Professional, Anti-Bias and/or Healing Workshops.
Our renown Anti-Bias Workshops use the film as a jumping off point to increase personal exploration and awareness of the way bias impacts our lives. The workshop allows participants to think critically about our perceptions of what are “acceptable” “professional”, “attractive” and “desirable” behaviors and characteristics and explores the factors that influence the development of those beliefs. It provides concrete ideas, tools and suggestions to support a lasting change in implicit (unconscious) and explicit (conscious) bias for participants individually and within our organizations. Participants will learn bias reduction strategies, focusing on ways to challenge internalized stereotyping, increase contact with different groups, and define ways to take responsibility for implicit bias by using a variety of cognitive strategies.
Our Healing Workshops explore identity, authenticity, self-love, and success.
Our Professional Workshops connect authenticity to work performance, success, and improvements in morale and work-culture.
Led by NYS Licensed clinical psychologist, Dr. Gillian Scott-Ward, our workshop has been described by the audience as "a dynamic combination of education and healing." Easily schedule a screening for your group or organization by emailing.
To simply access Educational and non-theatrical DVD w/PPR or Digital Licensing click here .
Connect@BackToNaturalDoc.com E-mail us if you are interested in scheduling a workshop or talk alongside the film.
"The workshop is necessary for all [ committed to] 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 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 racial discrimination 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.
* Research shows developing positive racial/ethnic identity is directly linked to higher 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 for psychological protection in the face discrimination.
* Back to Natural encourages dialogue, promotes connection, engagement and healing.
* The optional 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.
"Back to Natural" is a revelation. Beautifully made, the film shows how what might seem a "superficial" concern in fact carries deep significance with overtones that evoke both the shameful history of slavery and the contemporary injustices and inequalities that remain. It brings into sharp focus the experience of pain and exclusion while also highlighting how, in simple and yet meaningful ways, people who have been oppressed and disparaged can find the inner strength to affirm their natural beauty. It is a chastening film that reminds us in powerful ways of so much that has been reprehensible at the core of American society, but it is also an inspiring film. I came away from it even more deeply aware of the powerful ramifications of centuries of oppression, but I also came away more hopeful. This is a film that must be seen by people of all races and ethnic groups." Paul L. Wachtel, Ph.D., CUNY Distinguished Professor, Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology, City College of New York
"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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Why schedule an event?
The research is clear, being allowed to feel and express authenticity and connecting to your unique identity and cultural heritage leads to academic and professional success, happiness, and well-being! It helps communities function better and allows people to connect on a deeper level to work towards shared goals.
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. There are increased negative health impacts, lowered work and academic performance, identity, and self-esteem issues, just to name a few. Relationships in communities suffer, and productivity drops.
Healing is a multi-step process. With Back to Natural and our customized workshops, 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 improved success and well-being.