new and evolving

Birthing ourselves is a young and evolving project. 

We provide nourishing thought-leadership and searching spaces for womxn with multiple and intersecting 'marginalised' identities engaged social change; especially those challenging dispassionate and damaging practice through leadership based on integrity, presence, critical thought and kindness. 

 

Those of us who have experienced being ‘othered’ - made to feel alien, undesirable, wrong in our bodies or in the ways in which the different parts of our race, class, gender, ability, nationality (or absence of), sexuality, and/or cultural identitie(s) come together to create who we are, often learn to present a fragmented ‘self’ in different spaces. 

 

Our philosophy at Birthing Ourselves is based on the idea that practicing wholeness, through attempting to embrace every aspect of ourselves is the key to lasting personal and social change. The work of birthing ourselves is deep and necessary; it involves unlearning the fragmentation of our being, on communing spiritually with ourselves. It means healing from the ways in which we have become fractured. As Audre Lorde teaches us, healing these divides within ourselves unleashes our innate creativity. When we are no longer scared to show up, and lead as our full selves, we transform silence into language and action (Lorde 1984). 

We believe that to inspire inclusive change, we must first develop an honest, kind and difficult relationship with ourselves and a healing relationship to our internal fragmentation. We encourage thoughtful leadership which is rooted in our own experiences of vulnerability, complexity and messiness; believing that this is the key to personal growth which ultimately leads to lasting personal and social change.

 

First, embracing how our experiences of living between contradictory cultures has honed our critical abilities. Second, growing beyond our blind-spots and taken-for-granted assumptions, identifying how we are personally shaped by, and contribute to the unjust practices of the world in which we live.

 

Ideas for this project were birthed in the wake of Aman's engagements with the wonderful Gail Lewis, and her expert curation of the masters module, 'Black Feminist Queries'. To honour this, in the first phase of this project, we will focus on creating content which critically engages with unlearning how normative learning practices reinforce the fragmentation of our sense of selves, and limit our ability to imagine life beyond the hegemon.

 

Read our introductory blog here.

MORE ABOUT US

Vision

A world in which all leaders understand that critical self-reflection, wholeheartedly generous vulnerability and love are key qualities in leading for social change.

Mission

To provide nourishing thought-leadership for womxn with multiple and intersecting 'marginalised' identities engaged social change; especially those challenging dispassionate and damaging practice through leadership based on integrity, presence, critical thought and kindness. 

AIMS

Curating Space for Meaningful Conversations

To hold events, book groups, conversations on the street and any other means - and to curate nourishing, meaningful and safe spaces that  help us harness the revolutionary power of thinking and feeling together.

Curating Space for Meaningful Processing

The world changes at a faster pace than we have space to make sense of it, so we hold regular spaces that help leaders process powerful or affecting events, or even just to process life as it happens, we believe this to be a key factor in leading for successful change. 

Curating Meaningful Learning Resources 

We recognise that sometimes, people need alone time to reflect, so we also produce materials that people can read; our writing takes many forms and can be found in different parts of this site, and in different corners of our world. 

Values

To centre blACK fEMINISt wisdom on social justice in our work

To use interdisciplinary thinking underpinned by the principles, wisdom and gifts of Black Feminism. We use this generative frame to inspire thoughtful leadership, brave and creative leadership capable of meeting the challenges of our current moment. 

To be led by lived experience 

To use our bodily and experiential expertise as a source of knowledge and courage. Digging deep, being brave, and bringing together what we feel and how we think as a practice of wholeness

To practice showing up as our full selves

lTo resist the technologies of dominance which teach us we must present an 'acceptable' or 'singular' self; we will always try to show up as our full selves. 

Leading by example:  Thoughtful curation of space

To encourage attentive, gentle, thoughtful leadership that does not simplify the complexity of leading social change work; this practice is underpinned by the principles of the peer support movement. 

eMBRACING WHOLENESS AND COMPLEXITY FOR social INNOVATION

To embrace our unique ability as women and non-binary people of colour to hold complexity and messiness together as the key to affecting lasting personal and social change

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©2020 by Birthing Ourselves.