Uwepo means “Presence; Existence” in Swahili.
To cultivate awareness of presence within our black bodies is to practice resistance against the racist structures that seek to remove us from these bodies. When we are mindfully present in our own bodies, we activate networks between the brain and body that promote our total healing. In this free, 40 minute weekly group, we build resilience through practicing mindfulness skills such as deep breathing, imagery, body scans, and focus games.
This group is provided for free through the Dance PAMOJA Challenge, a collaboration between community partners Margaret Marion, LCSW, Vershawn Ward of Red Clay Dance, Audrey Tanksley, MD of Access Community Health Network, the Holistic Health Hustlers, and Jewel S. Younge, PharmD & Lab at University of Illinois Chicago, College of Pharmacy.
Margaret Marion is a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor and Licensed Clinical Social Worker who sees clients across the state of Illinois remotely. She works well with young adults and young professionals who are simultaneously healing from experiences of trauma and seeking to build towards a better future.
Margaret's clients often have intersectional, marginalized identities, and actively combat chronic stress, depression, and anxiety, poor self-esteem, physical and emotional trauma, tragic loss, conflicted family relationships, problematic substance use and usually, self sabotaging behavior. Therapy helps to identify moments of triumph over these issues, practice healthy survival skills, and rebuild a narrative that liberates and leads to a more preferred lifestyle.
Sessions with Margaret involve motivational interviewing, mind-body awareness, and strengths-based storytelling. In session, one might expect to practice skills according to their immediate hopes for therapeutic engagement. This might look like challenging negative "colonizing" thoughts, cultivating presence through a live mindfulness activity, or energizing their creative, vision-building center with an in-session poetry or storytelling prompt. Clients might also engage in role play in response to an immediate concern, or complete a motivational exercise in regards to any behavior or habit they're seeking to change.
Margaret holds a Master’s in Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago, and offers sessions in both English and Spanish. She looks forward to meeting you.