‘Kwentuhan’ offers safe space for discussing internalized racism
September 28, 2020 at 5:00 am

SAN FRANCISCO — ​ Filipino American wellness practitioners, mental health professionals, educators, and community organizers from throughout the Pacific and Southwest regions are offering a “safe” online space for “a committed cohort of 30 people who are seeking support in identifying anti-Blackness and colonial mentality in their lives” and families.

Community Well​ and The Filipino Mental Health Initiative-San Francisco​ are hosting “Kuwentuhan” Oct. 3 to “interrupt and reflect on the way of thinking about negative interpersonal experiences with Black and African American individuals.”

The discussion includes understanding the “4 I’s of Racism” and “how to apply it to our everyday life,” and introducing “transmuting/transforming experiences to support the wholeness of Black humanity through being introduced to individual and collective healing practices. (i.e., in response to harm, divisions within sectors of the community).”

Alexis David, founding member of The Filipino Mental Health Initiative-San Francisco said, ​The Kwentuhan virtual series is an opportunity to create an intentional space within the Filipinx community to learn among one another” how to disrupt the ways “we perpetuate anti-Blackness and move towards actual solidarity work that first starts within and outside of ourselves.”

The workshop series will include a combination of conceptual information, embodied practices, and tools to be able to address and process anti-Black sentiment in the Fil-Am community, and help participants discover their own internalized Anti-Black belief systems.

Clockwise: Laarni Ayuma, Dr. Melissa Ann Nievera-Lozano, Bambu, Dr. Jeannie Celestial. CONTRIBUTED

Clockwise: Laarni Ani Ayuma, Dr. Melissa Ann Nievera-Lozano, Bambu, Dr. Jeannie Celestial. CONTRIBUTED

W​hen I was a child, my elders dissuaded me from playing in the sun to protect my skin from browning. This hindered me from learning how to swim. It limited my athletic ability. It ingrained in me that dark skin was inferior; white skin, superior.” The Kuwentuhan “is a starting point for examining (and healing from) anti-Black racism and taking responsibility “for how we perpetuate injustice and discrimination,”​ says Kwentuhan facilitator Jeannie Celestial Ph.D and Clinical Psychologist.

There is no cost to participate in this series. There is an application process during registration. There are only 30 spots available, keeping with the intention of holding a “safe container for this tender and vulnerable work.”

To register for Kwentuhan Workshop Series visit


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