Who is This For?
There are hundreds of places out there where women’s professional success is the focus, dead and center. I’ve been to countless of these workshops, numerous trainings, professional networks, and while I came away learning something new there was this voice in the back of my head telling me that something was missing. The experiences of women of color are based on various intersections of our identities, but the spaces I was in presented me an ideal and polite example of how things should be and lacked understanding for the intersection of our lives. I wanted to be brazen and to galvanize voices like mine. Experiences like mine.
The Melanin Collective is incredibly special, because it grew from the dirt of a toxic work environment with a history of berating, gaslighting, and humiliating women of color in a highly white space. (Nevermind that women of color carried the brunt of the emotional and professional labor.)
But still, you might be wondering: how do I know if The Melanin Collective is the right place for me?
Well, if you’ve ever felt tokenized in a white space, suffered microaggressions in a white space, had racism flatly denied in a white space, or been targeted for calling out problematic behavior in a white space, we are the place for you.
As women who are not white, you know the struggle of having to work a hundred times harder for your keep, with none of the benefits. You know the struggle of talk but no action -- of people telling you to take charge and fix it. Of people telling you to advocate for yourself or be the change you want. It’s frustrating. It’s tiring. But trust us, you are not alone.
Through educational workshops and community building, we will work tirelessly to acknowledge our biases and prejudices, while confronting the trauma and emotional labor inflicted on our bodies and minds. Intersectionality is at the core of who The Melanin Collective is, as not all lived experiences are one-size-fit-all. But one thing is certain: you will come away from our community stronger, more prepared, and confident to tackle everything that is thrown your way. We’ll teach you, and teach each other, how to express yourself without fear of consequences; we’ll respect all perspectives and encourage active, compassionate listening; we’ll unpack our oppression, how we oppress others, and build a space for healing and freedom.
We’ll be straight-up, though. The Melanin Collective is not a space for one-sided transactions, or for women who do not believe biases exist in America. It is not the space for feel-good conversations. Why are we so adamant about this? Because The Melanin Collective is different, and this commitment to inclusivity and nuance is what makes us special. We will push hard, together, to have difficult discussions and challenge our limitations and assumptions.
At The Melanin Collective, you will be seen and you will be heard. We want you to bring your personal experiences, start a conversation, and come away learning something new. When we work together like this, we all win.
Doris and Kaitlyn
PS. Read our frequently asked questions to learn more about what we do!