The Black Women's Media and Wellness Project promotes mental health wellness and recovery. For 10 years the project has held quarterly stress-reduction and self-care retreats popularly known as Be Still. The BWMWP published two Crossing the Invisible Line publications, a “Jet” style magazine to educate and stimulate dialogue in African American communities about mental health, substance abuse recovery, and lifestyles that promote health and wellness. The Community Advisory Board meets once a month to plan and coordinate the Be Still retreats.
The Black Women’s Media (BWMP) has operated in Alameda County for over 20 years, serving the needs of African American women in addressing co-occurring conditions and environmental risk factors in the proliferation of liquor stores, lack of healthy food in neighborhoods, over-policing, lack of employment, underfunded schools and violence. Initially the project focused on countering stereotypical alcohol advertising and has grown to address the stress related problems associated with high risk environments.
The Black Women’s Media and Wellness Project (BWMWP) provides leadership opportunities for women who participate on the Community Advisory Board. The Community Advisory Board designed a free poster to celebrate its 10 year anniversary in hosting the quarterly Be Still retreat, a retreat that teaches deep relaxation, stress reduction and promotes the revolutionary act of self-care for African American women. The Dynamic-Woman segment has enjoyed the wisdom from local African American women who speak about creating healthy lifestyles, wellness and recovery and practices that support good mental health in African American Communities.
The Be-Still 1st Dynamic Woman Speaker is Linda Compton followed by (partial listing) Asara Tsehai, Yaya, Gina Breedlove, Richelle Donigan, Nikki Beasley, Colette Winlock, and more...
The Be-Still retreats model how African American women and their families can overcome the stigma and silence that can occur in African American communities when a loved one or the woman herself is experiencing a mental health challenge
On November 14, 2019 The Black Women’s Media & Wellness Project (BWMWP) hosted a release party for the latest edition of their magazine series Crossing the Invisible Line. This series is intended to touch on taboo topics within the Black community. The latest edition is titled Crossing the Invisible Line III: Overcoming Depression and is the latest edition released in over 10 years. One of the most integral aspects of the release party was the community discussion facilitated BWMWP’s program manager, Yvonne Murphy. During the discussion women were able to share personal stories that exemplified what being a Black women with depression is like. We were able to create a space where Black women were comfortable speaking openly about difficult things. One of the main intentions for the Crossing the Invisible Line series. At the release, we were proud to distribute about 500 copies to be released to the community at no cost. We hope that as the magazine spreads that more women will continue to cross the invisible line and speak about depression.
A special thank you to Sista 2 Sista, Dr. Brenda Wade, Jenée Johnson, and Jeanette Madden for your contributions.