For our fifth challenge of the 2020-2021 program year, teams of Fellows selected nonprofits to work with that they are passionate about. Utilizing skills developed throughout the fellowship, they co-designed these project collaborations with their nonprofit partner organization. Fellows Erica Murray, Rieanna Stewart, and Triniti Watson partnered with nonprofit Healing by Choice! with Director Marcia Lee and Community Engagement Organizer Amanda Hill. Learn more about the collaboration below.

Collaborating and connecting with Healing by Choice! (HbC) has been a personal and a professional development journey we experienced together. Healing by Choice! is an intentional community organization that invites individuals to go through their personal healing journeys by having them show up where they are, and creating a safe space that allows healing and personal growth. Unfortunately, many have experienced some form of trauma, and Healing by Choice! believes that healing should be done within a community. As a team we deeply align with this belief, and that was one of the main reasons we wanted to partner with Healing by Choice! They are serious about healing justice, and as Detroiters, we are too. 

As we wrapped up our final challenge project of the 2020-2021 year, we worked with a diverse group of women and gender non-conforming people of color Health and Healing Practitioners based in Waawiiyatanong / Detroit, MI.  Also, due to our team being women of color that individually focus on our own intentional healing journeys, coming together to culminate our Challenge Detroit experience with HbC felt like the right fit for each of us.

Engaging in thoughtful discussion through various meetings with our project partner, we prioritized community voice throughout the entire process, and made sure to uplift the voices of Radical Well-Being Center (RWBC) in this project as well. The RWBC will be serving as an implementation partner with HbC to roll out the final deliverables. 

Our project design prompt: “How might we amplify community voices as we co-create a sustainable and versatile mobile healing clinic that meets Detroiters where they are, and increases access to holistic wellness services, practices, and resources?”

As a team we wanted to ensure our solutions and process for creating was framed from a space of asset basis and community collaboration, rather than deficit. So, we set out to answer how HbC can meet people where they are in their physical space and healing journey. We immersed ourselves in the practices of our partner, taking time for boxed breathing and session reflections. We created spaces that were safe for sharing ideas and speaking up, a key component to moving forward the idea of healing spaces. We also immersed ourselves in their virtual events and some in-person events (not required to attend during our Challenge Detroit programming year; we also followed CDC Covid-19 guidelines) that allowed us to connect with HbC and other Detroiters who understand that healing is a priority for the city.

We have ultimately provided Healing by Choice! and the Radical Well-Being Center with tangible research and evidence that allows them to have what is needed to begin the roll out of a mobile clinic. The deliverables will allow them to amplify the voices of community members to actively work toward serving Detroit communities.  We want to thank Healing By Choice! and Radical Well-Being for the opportunity to help build out their mobile healing space.