SurvivorsUK at UK Black Pride 2023
We were thrilled to be present at the UK Black Pride gathering in London this past weekend, meeting people and celebrating the diverse breadth of sexualities, gender expressions, cultural identities and Black experiences, as well as representing men, boys and non-binary survivors of sexual abuse.
We strongly believe that by coming together to celebrate the beauty in both our similarities and uniqeuness that we make our community stronger and more resilient.
Among the vibrant sounds and smells of music and sizzling barbecue, our stall created a safe space to come speak with us about the healing work we do with survivors. Our wonderful team members Dionne St. Hill (Support Counsellor & Group Work Facilitator) and Mo Ashrafi (Operations Manager) were on hand to greet people with warmth and cups of tea, blended at home by our very own Rochelle Mightly (Case Worker).
“It was so beautiful seeing so much joy and happiness concentrated in one place,” says Mo. “We had an absolute blast, basking in the sun as we interacted with all the wonderful people. There were some really profound interactions, including one man who explained that Dionne’s words spoke directly to their experience.”
At our stall we invited people to reflect on their experiences of joy and legacy, the theme of this year’s UK Black Pride gathering. We also handed out copies of Dancing With Our Ancestors, a booklet of poetry, art and self-soothing tips created with our BAM group – survivors who identify as Black, Asian or Mixed Heritage. This wonderful collection is now available to view digitally here.
“A highlight of mine was meeting three of the attendees from the BAM group, who had also contributed poems in the Dancing With Our Ancestors booklet,” continues Mo. “They spoke of their transformative journeys in the groups and were thrilled to see their meaningful words come to life in this phenomenal booklet. I was again in awe as I listened to Dionne explain how beneficial this pocket-sized booklet can be in empowering people at times of need”
“Black Pride was an awesome experience,” adds Dionne. “We made some beautiful connections and got a deep and powerful sense of the importance of working to heal trauma the way we do… holistically – sensitively, spiritually, therapeutically, naturally, creatively and culturally”
We look forward to organising and taking part in more in-person gatherings soon. Stay tuned on our social media or sign up to our newsletter to hear about events as they’re announced.