On Friday, July 22, 2016 Get Smart B4 U Get Sexy partnered with UCLA to facilitate a sexual health and healthy relationship workshop entitled All Da Game: Tools to See Through Smooth Talking for twenty-six eleventh graders. During the workshop we discussed sexually transmitted diseases, contraceptive methods and the ingredients of healthy and unhealthy relationships.
The goal of this workshop was to dispel myths around sexual health and contraception and to empower the students to be able to tell the difference between smooth talking and the truth. We made the workshop fun and lively by using current memes as a guiding force in our presentation
The text in each meme was a common bedroom “line”. For example, hasty partners might say “condoms don’t expire” when they only have an old condom left in their wallet. Or another partner might claim that ‘lambskin condoms feel better and are just like real condoms’. In the heat of the moment it might be hard to distinguish a myth like this from fact without Google’s help.
The goal of this workshop was to dispel myths around sexual health and contraception and to empower the students to be able to tell the difference between smooth talking and the truth. We made the workshop fun and lively by using current memes as a guiding force in our presentation. The text in each meme was a common bedroom “line”. For example, hasty partners might say “condoms don’t expire” when they only have an old condom left in their wallet. Or another partner might claim that ‘lambskin condoms feel better and are just like real condoms’. In the heat of the moment it might be hard to distinguish a myth like this from fact without Google’s help.
To learn more about our workshop or how we can come to your school contact our Outreach Coordinator at Lasheabwwla@gmail.com.
I don’t know about you but i’ve felt sad, overwhelmed and anxious these past few days. This could be because there are videos of innocent Black men being executed on my Facebook newsfeed or it could be the ominous feeling that I always have…waiting for the next hashtag… waiting to hear that another Black man or woman has been executed by an officer and nothing will be done about it. This type of grief can be short term or chronic. Nonetheless, we must find ways to process it. There are seven stages of grief: 1. Shock/Disbelief 2. Denial 3. Anger 4. Bargaining 5. Guilt 6. Depression 7. Acceptance/Hope.
This week at Sisters of the Yam we focused on grief and identified the places in our lives where we are grieving, and the places inside us where there is perpetual grief. We identified the thoughts, feelings, and sensations that let us know we are in a particular stage of grief. For instance, some women stated that they knew that they were in stage 2: denial when they started to distract themselves or tune out/disassociate.
In many ways our grief becomes an unconscious habit. This exercise asked participants to become more conscious of the way we move through sadness, as it shows the way we move toward healing.
We ended up seeing that our ways of moving through grief didn’t always make us feel amazing or nourished. We also identified the stages of grief we often get stuck in. Some of us stay angry. Some of us stay depressed. It is important to know that these are all steps to healing. All coming closer to acceptance and hope.
Afterwards, we all made custom designed grieving plans. We asked ourselves, in ideal circumstances how would we move through our sadness, restlessness and anger? For instance, if we have the urge to lay in bed all day long because we feel depressed, how else might we honor that lack of energy. Could we take a long bath, instead of sleeping all day, as an act of self care and soak till the water gets cold. After brainstorming for a while we each shared our plans for grieving consciously.
Look on the site to see our 7 stages of grieving chart and check out our “conscious grieving plans” here:
Black women have a lot on their plates!
We seldom have time to really think about how we’re feeling. We seldom have time to think about our thoughts. I mean…we’re already thinking enough! NOW we gotta think ABOUT our thoughts. I get it, I get it.
But really though, have you ever sat down and taken an inventory of your negative thoughts? Have you ever assigned a word, emotion, feeling or color to those thoughts? Well, this week at Sisters of the Yam we did. Its easy to just say “I’m in a bad mood” or assign a judgment to a strain of thoughts but what if you took time to put your thoughts on display and review their texture and tone. This process is called meta cognition or being aware of the thoughts you have and the way you’re thinking about your life.
This week we took a journey into our inner worlds. Using a dialectical behavioral therapy worksheet we took one pervasive thought we had during the day and charted the action or behavior that might stem from that thought. Afterwards, we took time to label that thought process. Labeling your thinking is important. If we understand that we are having self conscious or angry thoughts we can prepare for the behaviors and actions that might follow. We have time to think about whether or not we want to act on our insecurities or anger.
So, just to be clear Sisters of the Yam is not ALL talk. We get down to business. Eventually, we created a mural together. We painted an artistic representation of our favorite unhelpful thinking pattern (see: Unhelpful Thinking Styles Worksheet) and then an artistic representation of how we would combat that unhelpful thinking pattern.
For more information about sisters of the Yam click this link. To submit an application to join the group email firstname.lastname@example.org
While recruiting for the Youth, Justice and Advocacy team, Get Smart B4 U Get Sexy has intermittently given presentations about the team at a group dedicated to girls of color called Girl Talk and several classes (home-rooms and college preparatory classes) at Crenshaw High School.
We’ve reached over 60 youth at Crenshaw High School through this work.
View our photo gallery from a student art show: