For us, Wisdom Institute, healing justice is our intersection, and from it flows gender justice, human rights, water affordability, voter protection, reproductive justice and, art-making. A network of womanist healing practitioners, artists, and activists has come together as a participatory community. We hold that healing justice requires us to walk this journey decolonizing our thoughts and beliefs -- being audacious and bodacious in claiming the relevancy of womb-centered lives. If you don’t understand what we mean by this, attend our Wisdom Lessons series, then you will come to know that which is already inside of you!

Research shows that women prefer healing together. We step into this nearly impossible work, offering a Network of Womanist Healing Practitioners who are our guides in deeds and solidarity, in a principled critique of revolutionary evolutionary love, sacred text scholarship, imagining words -- a Radical Womanist Lexicon.

Michelle "Mama Jahra" McKinney

Michelle Jahra McKinney, an Education Specialist/Archivist-Librarian at The Wright Museum of African American History, produces inter-generational programs that create room for self-awareness and self-nurturing through the art of music, drumming/shakeré and storytelling. She also collects oral histories and creates community collaborations around quilting/sewing, storytelling and other crafting. In 1986, Michelle founded Hakamma (women of wise words) an all-woman vocal and percussion troupe based on Sudanese female culture keepers. The troupe performs and leads in community events such as births, naming ceremonies, funerals, weddings, healing workshops, and festivals. She managed late husband Harold McKinney’s jazz lab and trained as a jazz vocalist. She now works freelance as a vocalist, storyteller and shakeré artist, and she collaborates with Olive Seed, a Latricia Wright company.

Latricia Wright

Latricia Wright, Principal Practitioner at Olive Seed is first and foremost a foodie at heart who creates enrichment programs that emphasize the quintessential combination of nutrition and fitness. She teaches adults and children implementation strategies and healthy eating rituals that enhance physical and mental agility. She also uses nutrition, hair mineral, and blood chemistry analysis as a prevention centric approach to health management and longevity.

Ruby Woods

Ruby Woods is a Singer, songwriter, poet, ritual performance artist and a Massage & Reiki therapist. As a Passing the Torch, Preserving the Flame collaborator she intends to offer her skills for creating ritual to groups or individuals who strive to process life's milestones and challenges. (She) Ruby is dedicated to offering bodywork and energy therapy to community and activist BIPOC women. She imagines an alternative dance space, a “mock-bar”, Dance the Body Temple, which will provide regular access to a safe and nurturing space for open free-form dance, offering fresh nutritious drinks and light snacks

Oya Amakisi

Oya Amakisi is the Executive Director of Detroit Women of Color International Film Festival that highlights the voices of women and girls who are often invisible. “People talk about us, but we tell our own stories in a real way—we share our narratives to shape the way we’re perceived by society.” Art, now more than ever, is the young activist’s weapon of choice, and few mediums are as powerful as film. Oya curates films from all over the world that present a range of emotions, experiences and perspectives of black and brown girls at a time when there is an all-out war on women and people of color. She creates spaces where there is celebration, where the focus is not only pain and resilience in order to help highlight ways in which systems are broken and vulnerable children and women slip through the cracks. Oya’s art is a film lab, a Resilient Love program promoting self-love of girls ages 11-18, film as a tool that generates conversations going beyond the stereotypes; and learning other ways to advocate for self and personhood

Sanaa Green

Sanaa Green is a Nature Lover, Communicator, Belly Dance Teacher, Reiki Master, Empowerment Life Coach, Entrepreneur and Community Activist whose life mission is to help re-establish the Divine Feminine in the world. Focused on expressing the feminine principle Sanaa’s work has combined community healing with inner beauty, music and nature. She has been active in spearheading environmental projects in her Detroit riverside community for 5 years. She is also an informal educator and youth program evaluator who coaches organizations as they work to create effective youth development programming. Sanaa recently reconnected with her Communications undergraduate work and began gathering wisdom stories from Detroiters about the COVID19 pandemic and as such has launched a podcast called The Gathering: Wisdom Amidst COVID19.

Lottie V. Spady

Lottie V. Spady, Community Educator, Wellness Media Maker, and Practicing Herbalist is the founder of Earthseed Detroit, an educational community health program that is focused on imagining and co-creating the afro-future of our health through love, wellness, respect, and deep joy. Earthseed Detroit centers social justice, community empowerment, health, local access and affordability through healthy media making, herbalism for healing, medicinal plant identification, foraging, gardening and the creation of wellness supports such as tea blends, tinctures, elixirs and salves. Founded in 2014, Earthseed Detroit evolved from fifteen years in Detroit activism, non-profit management, and program direction with workshop facilitation working specifically with children, teens and adults to promote, educate, and empower communities at the intersections of media justice, food justice, environmental justice, community health, and civic engagement. Lottie currently teaches “Do It Yourself Community Health” classes in seasonal plant identification, herbal formulations and medicine making, and wild edible cooking. Other courses include herbs and tarot, plants as spiritual allies, and self-development through vision collage. She holds sacred space for nature based healing retreat work, camping/glamping, outdoor education and botanical studies at Vandelea Homestead located on 3 acres of Black woman owned land in Clarkston, Michigan.

Wisdom Institute Supporters:

Visit Our Network of Partners

Join the Network