I created this illustration for Vermont Be True Yoga Festival, founded by Kyla Suarez, a fellow #vtwomenpreneur. The t-shirt design was sold to Vermont Be True's followers and festival-goers, with 100% of proceeds benefitting AALV of Burlington, Vermont.
AALV helps new Americans from all parts of the world gain independence in their new communities through a range of integration services, including bridging case management, workforce development, behavioral health awareness, and interpreter services programming.
Vermont Be True Yoga Festival is a volunteer karma yogi* driven fundraising event to support Vermont Be True, a nonprofit organization that offers yoga, holistic wellness services, and mental health and addictions counseling to at need and underprivileged populations.
I feel that often times, the narrative around BLM, Black activism and Black people in America is marred with pain, sorrow, anger, and negative feelings. I know my experience as a black woman in America isn’t foreign to these feelings, and they do come from valid and harrowing histories. It is important, however to recognize that it is not encompassing of the Black experience. Media tends to do this all the time, reinforcing the narrative that black people are always fighting a sadness, fighting against the odds, just fighting. Its okay to show black people happy. Depicting a happy, smiling, joyful black woman is powerful to me. And I think it can be as powerful as a closed fist hoisted in the air, or a tired, crying face. We are all multifaceted and complex and gorgeous for it. I want to see the joy and pride in being black. The life, the abundance, the beauty of it that literally sprouts from our minds and bodies like a rich bouquet of flowers.