2020 Recap: Community Care Sunday Series

December 14, 2020



This year, through our “Community Care Sunday” Instagram Live Series, we were able to jump into the virtual space with the intention of building connections and encouraging collaborations. Our main goal for this series was to bring diverse perspectives and experiences to the forefront – whether it was discussing personal lived experiences of BIWoC in Durham Region, or discussing mental health during a global pandemic and lockdown.

We were extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to hold educational, insightful and inspiring conversations with 9 incredible womxn and community leaders. So, if you were unable to tune in for our IG lives, here’s a quick recap:

Leesa Diaz (@leesadiaz_)

Natural Hair Advocate

Leesa is a low-key natural who started her natural hair journey back in 2010 and big chopped in 2015. In our Community Care Sunday Live, she walked our very own Brianna Nelson through her weekly hair routine and talked about natural hair and overall healthy hair care practices.

Kaitlyn Smith (@boardoeuvres)

Gardening & Sustainability Enthusiast

Kaitlyn is an anarchist spending time in quarantine, sewing her victory garden and camo face masks against the patriarchy. A cook, a small business owner, Kaitlyn is an advocate for sustainable food practices from fossil-fuel free agriculture to eliminating food waste in restaurants.

On the IG Live, she demonstrated how to make a quarantine charcuterie board and showed us her hugelkultur bed!

Nyssa Grays (@gimmeyourskin)

Skin Therapist

Nyssa Grays is a skin therapist servicing the Durham Region area. She noticed the lack of representation in the beauty industry, specifically skincare and treating darker skin tones. She’s always had a love for skin care and wanted to understand the science behind it all. Her goal is to provide skin treatments to people of colour and educate them on their skin and bring confidence into people through their skin.

On our IG Live, she walked us through her go-to night time routine.

I always tell people that healthy skin is good skin. So don't put unrealistic standards upon yourself because it will just make everything worse.

Aisha Bentham (@choosing.hue)

Vegan Chef & Health Enthusiast

Aisha Lesley Bentham is a vegan chef, artist, health enthusiast and lifestyle expert. Her love for food and art motivated her to create a vegan food and lifestyle brand that inspires vegan meals and offers tips and tools on how to be a more sustainable and aware consumer. She believes in her mission to educate, inform and encourage her community to create a life that has no rules but rather an array of options for you to pick and choose from.

People's fear around going vegan is essentially "I don't think it's gonna taste good" or "I don't have the time" and while these are all important and valid, they shouldn't be the reason why you should be afraid of veganism as these fears can all be applied to someone who eats meat or fish.

Sadhna Persaud (@sadhna.persaud)

Mental Health Nurse & Postpartum Doula

Sadhna has been a mental health nurse for the past 8 years. Her passion for supporting women in her community has led her to creating daisy doula birth services offering postpartum doula services with a strong focus on mental health. Sadhna’s intention is to support, educate and empower mother’s and families from all walks of life to feel comfortable to advocate for their care.

Creating a schedule and sticking to it - this structure in your day will really help to create a balance for you [in these uncertain times] and help promote productivity throughout your day.

Tianna Webb (@teenanaa)

Nail Technician & Entrepreneur

Tianna is a certified natural nail technician within the durham region. In 2019, she launched @grownglobeautybar offering a plethora of services. Tianna has always had a passion for making women feel beautiful and confident through self-care. With the lack of representation by POC in the nail industry, Tianna aspires to challenge the standards of the profession one hand at a time.

A lot of people need to not be "google doctors" and be open to hearing what the specialist, that they are going to, has to say.

Tania Marisa (@taniamarisa)

Reiki Healer & teacher

Tania owns Modo Yoga Pickering, a yoga studio and wellness centre. Through the studio and social media, she has created a diverse and inclusive community online and in real life. As an intuitive advisor, reiki healer and teacher, Tania is focused on helping women be more transparent, increase their self-worth and have a balanced mental wellness.

I absolutely believe in the law of attraction. By putting a pen or pencil to paper, and write down the things you want, that energy is sent out to the universe and then it is received. And as long as you believe it and you are putting things into practise, you will be able to receive the gifts.

Joan Jothi Saldanha (@jothi_creative)

Healer, Community Leader & Creator

Joan Jothi Saldanha, also known as Jothi (Light in Sanskrit) is a happily married mama of two kiddos and is on a mission to create safe and sacred space for folx to meaningfully connect, share, heal, learn and grow. In her individual and community wellness practice, Jothi uses lessons and tools from her unique lived experience and healing journey alongside her spiritual knowledge as a sacred leader, healing arts as a multi disciplinary artist, evolved NLP and quantum healing practitioner in training, mental health advocacy and community building work.

I think we don't celebrate each other enough. As womxn, there's this glorification of production and creativity and hustle and grind, and we rarely take time to pause with each other, pray and meditate and be still.

Ghanwa Shahnawaz (@mynameisghanwa)

Mental Health Advocate

Ghanwa is a strong advocate for mental health within our community. With an online following of over 11,000, she is unapologetic in speaking her truth, remaining authentic and most of all, encouraging others to continue to be human while practicing self-compassion and self-love in their mental wellness journey.

In our IG Live, we were able to talk about our own personal lived experiences while also navigating the intersections of our identities, navigating the barriers and stigma as a BIWoC, as well as talking about tips, resources and how to find the support we need. 

If you live your life feeling like you are in a tiny box, feeling caged and suffocated, that can only go on for so long before it spirals. So it's really important to admit to yourself that you need help, as that can be such a pivotal moment.

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