Over the past 2 months, Y-WE’s Program Director, Reagan Jackson, and Mary Williams have been cultivating a series “Blackout Healing” events. Regan and Mary created the Blackouts as a way for Black folx to find community, rest, joy, and restoration. They saw a deep need in their communities for a Black only healing space, without the presence of non-black folx, and they filled it quickly. These events have been in collaboration with many Black artists, healers, teachers, and speakers. Allies have supported by holding the perimeter, donating supplies and resources. Y-WE is deeply honored to sponsor the Blackout Healing spaces.
“Every Black person I know is soul tired and rubbed raw. I don’t think this is a secret.”-Reagan Jackson
The first Blackout Healing space took place on Juneteenth in Capitol Hill at the CHOP. This event had over 500 attendees and went from 8AM-8PM. It consisted of yoga, flower-crown-making, meditation, good food, a dance party, and so much more. What made this event special was that it was in the public eye, and on a very meaningful day. With that came difficulties regarding non-black folx disrespecting the space. The allies holding the perimeter had to face white supremacist groups, and other hostile groups. But this event was important, Reagan states that “King County BLM declared the weekend after our initial Blackout, a weekend of Black-led wellness. I think this is a direct result of our thought leadership.” You can read the full details from the Blackout at the CHOP here.
I felt strongly that holding that space for Black healing was important, so it was satisfying to have the opportunity to act on my belief by helping to protect the perimeter.-Julianna, Blackout vounteer
When we look at all the pictures of Juneteenth events across the city, there are black folks wearing flower crowns from our event. That was something beautiful to see, that black people took their healing and carried that energy into protests throughout the city. We fortified our spirits to do this work.-Reagan Jackson
The second Blackout took place at Judkins Park on June 26, from 10AM-8PM. This event was much more intimate, with around 30 attendees. It was also much safer. No one was threatened by racist groups or hateful actions. Reagan said that because of that, “participants were able to go deeper.” The day was again filled with flower crowns, dancing, healing, connection, grief, and joy. View the photo essay of this event here.
I hope that they’ll take away the fact that there is a Black community in Seattle, and that we are dedicated to thriving, and that we care about them, and that we’re willing to build community, and to really rally around each other, and that we’re concerned with healing.-Mary Williams
The third Blackout took place on July 12 at Coyote Central, from 10AM-8PM. Holding the event at Coyote Central was safe and secure because it was a private space. There were around 60 attendees. Like the first 2 events, it was a beautiful day full of connection and community.
The purpose is always connection and release. People responded very positively to having an event just for their healing.-Reagan Jackson
I hope the Black Outs are energizing for the participants and I also think they give us all the opportunity to have different kinds of conversations about who can be where.Julianna, Blackout volunteer