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Support group centers Black wellness

Updated: Apr 17

A’Bryana, the founder of Black Women Speak, is hosting a new support group, called “Surviving the Matrix,” to engage Black people in healing and liberation on their own terms. A’Bryana says that for her, “the matrix” refers to a reality controlled by a small population of people that affects the masses in ways that aren’t always desirable.

“It's kind of just like living in this unreal world where we face all this discrimination, and have all this crazy stuff happening,” said A’Bryana. “We have shootings every day and the things that they - the “higher ups” - do to the communities on the bottom and it’s like, what is going on? It feels crazy.”

A’Bryana says the nature of our capitalist society doesn’t feel beneficial to her wellbeing.

“I think a part of being in a matrix is this feeling that we always need to produce something, or always need to be working at something or getting to the bag or whatever,” she said. “I've just started over.”

The support group is aimed at Black people, but A’Bryana says all people of color are welcome.

“We've just had a lot of stuff going on in the last few years with the pandemic, with the uprisings and just the constant day to day of being a Black person in America,” she said. “I was tired, personally, of doing this healing stuff alone, and I truly believe in collective healing. And as we get into this crazier world, we need to go back to shared cooperative. We don't have to be friends to be in community with each other. We can show up.”

Surviving the Matrix starts March 18 and continues every third Saturday of the month at the Cowles Dance and Performing Arts Center from 2:00-4:00pm.

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