Federal Way Black Collective begins Health & Wellness Monday virtual discussions

In order to help others, you must first help yourself, organization’s executive director says.

Screenshot from FWBC’s Facebook page

Screenshot from FWBC’s Facebook page

The Federal Way Black Collective believes in the power of providing.

Leaders of the Federal Way Black Collective (FWBC) partnered with The League of Extraordinary People to start Health and Wellness Mondays, a weekly Facebook Live segment with Alfred White and guest moderators to discuss issues impacting people of color.

“You can help people all you want … but if you’re not fixing what’s inside of yourself, you’re broken,” said Lyn Idahosa, FWBC executive director. “You can’t do your best work if you’re not working on yourself.”

The first event with Alfred White, founder of the League of Extraordinary People, featured a discussion on adverse childhood experiences on Jan. 4.

White neared death when he consumed one-fourth of an ounce of crack cocaine in 2004, after nearly 40 years of homelessness. When White survived, he decided to seek help. Since then, he has earned a master’s degree in ministry and psychology, and is a subject matter expert and a licensed mental health psychotherapist.

His childhood experiences have become chronic health ailments, including liver cancer, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and irritable bowel syndrome. White encourages people to learn and truly know their own bodies in order to begin their healing.

While the conversations are specific to the Black community and Black service or healthcare providers, anyone and everyone should tune in, Idahosa said.

The talks help remove stigma from the term “mental health” when talking about the systemic, environmental and structural racism that contributes to the overall wellness — or illness — of people in the Black, Indiegnous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities, White said during the Jan. 4 discussion.

White helped Idahosa explore the toll of her own past experiences. Medically retired from her healthcare career at age 27, Idahosa knows firsthand the damages of racism in public health entities, she said.

“Adverse childhood experiences — it doesn’t mean you grew up in an urban ghetto. It may mean not having enough love as a child,” Idahosa said. The experiences and subsequent healing is a way to know how to care about others and move through life in a healthy way, she said.

The live, virtual discussions are opportunities for viewers to reflect on their own lives and health in a multitude of aspects, and begin to process their own experiences.

“This is [an] opportunity for us to step forward as a society and be the curators of culture,” said Dre James, discussion facilitator and Access2 director. “Black people are the curators of culture; we develop music, we bring style, we bring pizazz, we bring it to the table. And this is our opportunity with these networks … to do so.”

These weekly discussions aim to increase awareness of the treatment of BIPOC community members within the healthcare system, and create virtual neighborhoods — that have not yet been gentrified — where Black people can practice vulnerability, pass information and provide resources, James said.

The Federal Way Black Collective aims to be a hub of reliable, accessible information for people of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities. From funding opportunities to employment assistance, resources, upcoming events, advocacy and more, the FW Black Collective is “teaching people how to fish,” Idahosa said. “I want people to shift. I want people who access our services to become service providers.”

The Federal Way Black Collective Health and Wellness Mondays are weekly live sessions from 6:30-7 p.m. on the FW Black Collective Facebook page.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@federalwaymirror.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.federalwaymirror.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Life

Emma Monson cleans a grave on April 17 in preparation to upload a photo of the grave to BillionGraves. Photo courtesy of Sheryl Mackey
Federal Way youth, leaders clean graves to help ancestor research

Dozens of Federal Way community members recently spent a Saturday cleaning gravestones… Continue reading

Jan Barber, project manager of Make Music Federal Way, rings bells on Jan. 18 in honor of the more than 400,000 people who have died from COVID-19. Olivia Sullivan/The Mirror
Make Music Federal Way set for June 21

Free event to enjoy live music from 4-8 p.m. at the Performing Arts and Event Center plaza.

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe High Country. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe High Country

By Larry Lark, contributor In the overcrowded SUV market niche, if you’re… Continue reading

2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat AWD
Car review: 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat AWD

By Larry Lark, contributor If you want something truly special, get in… Continue reading

Local resident Marianna, 14, dressed up as Bun Bun the Easter Bunny to visit dozens of families in Federal Way and nearby cities in March and April. Photo courtesy of Maggie Cante Tinza
Easter celebrations in Federal Way

Residents enjoyed socially-distanced scavenger hunts, sweet treats galore, and Easter Bunny visits.

2021 GR Supra 2.0
Car review: 2021 GR Supra 2.0

By Larry Lark, contributor Cars seem to be built for stages of… Continue reading

2021 Genesis G80 RWD 2.5T Prestige
Car review: 2021 Genesis G80 RWD 2.5T Prestige

By Larry Lark, contributor The 2021 Genesis G80 RWD 2.5T Prestige is… Continue reading

Cheryl Hurst stands among the thousands of diapers being stored at Billy McHale’s in Federal Way as part of the annual March of Diapers charity drive. (Photo by Andy Hobbs/Federal Way Mirror)
Local charity collects thousands of diapers in annual drive

Federal Way area nonprofit organization Do the Right Thing has been collecting… Continue reading

Rajiv Nagaich is an elder law attorney, author, adjunct law school professor, and retirement planning visionary who has achieved national recognition for his cutting-edge work with retirees and his contributions to the practice of elder law. He is the founder of two firms based in Federal Way: Life Point Law, an elder law and estate planning firm, and AgingOptions, a firm that provides retirement-related education to consumers and professionals.
The bride was 19, and the groom was 89 | Senior lifestyles

Is it love? Or is it exploitation? Last fall, a 19-year-old employee… Continue reading

Rotary Club of Federal Way President Steve Ball, right, signs the Program of Scale agreement with the Rotary Foundation with Federal Way Rotary Club member Bill Feldt. Courtesy photo
Rotary Club of Federal Way leads $6M effort to end malaria in Zambia

Federal Way’s Bill Feldt spearheaded the program in partnership with World Vision USA and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport
Car review: 2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport

By Larry Lark, contributor Subaru has made a few tweaks to improve… Continue reading

T
Car review: 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

By Larry Lark, contributor The 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew Cab Custom… Continue reading