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
A world in which all leaders understand that critical self-reflection, wholeheartedly generous vulnerability and love are key qualities in leading for social change.
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.
Inspired by blACK fEMINISM
To use interdisciplinary thinking underpinned by the principles, wisdom and work of Black Feminism to inspire thoughtful leadership capable of meeting the challenges of our changing world.
To use lived experience
To use our bodily and experiential expertise as a source of knowledge. Being brave, and bringing together what we feel and how we think as a practice of wholeness
Encouraging Thoughtful Leadership
Influenced by the peer-led movement in mental health
To encourage attentive, gentle, thoughtful leadership that does not simplify the complexity of leading social change.
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