Meet Sinikiwe Dhliwayo

People 01.14.21

Our co-founder, Kerry Docherty, and  Sinikiwe Stephanie Dhliwayo met three years ago through a mutual friend at a dinner, and immediately hit it off. Tune for a Truth Talk between them  @FahertyBrand  on IG Live, this Monday, 1/18 at 4 PM EST.



A creative entrepreneur, educator, and speaker, Sinikiwe’s work is anchored in the belief that Black folks' well-being is inextricably linked to the fight for justice and freedom for all of humanity. That message resonated throughout her most recent newsletter: 

“In my America, my quest as a Black immigrant is to heal; the root word of Naaya is anchored in liberation for all Black folks. I know that I cannot be free until all Black people, including the trans and LGBTQ+ communities, are free.”

The wellness industry is booming; self-care is big business — but who’s invited? As a primarily white, affluent, and able-bodied space, today’s wellness landscape begs the question...what does “wellness” look like for BIPOC folks? What does it feel like?

In pursuit of answering that question, Sinikiwe founded  Naaya — Naaya is the Shona word for healing, and an ode to Sinikiwe’s Zimbabwean roots. Through workshops, training sessions, and other initiatives, Naaya exists to redefine the wellness narrative.



One of those initiatives is  The Check-In, a program focused on providing BIPOC youth with the resources they need to be well. COVID-19 cast a stark light on the long-standing inequities in our health system, underscoring the critical need for these services. 

In August 2020, The Check-In secured and distributed 50 computers to young folks in the NYC metro area to reduce educational barriers; in October 2020, in partnership with  Girlvana Yogathey hosted a weekend  re-treat  for young folks. Currently, they work with community partners to teach yoga and meditation as a vessel for young folks to access their emotions. 

“You don’t solve a problem by ignoring it, even when facing it is uncomfortable...I don’t want to keep pushing past, or glossing over, the hard parts. I want to at least try to face the truth.”

You can  help support the next phase of their efforts  now — raising funds to provide 30 BIPOC youth with 10 hours of free therapy. 




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