“It’s hard to foster community if you’re constantly trying to be ahead of everyone all the time, be the best.” – Dr. Barbara Shabazz
If I had to pick one word to describe this conversation with Dr. Barbara Shabazz, PsyD, my choice is easy: intentionality. And possibility. And community. And… Y’all know by now that I refuse to play nice with arbitrary limits! I could turn to the 20k folks who follow her over on IG for additional superlatives. Not to mention the clients who seek Barbara’s guidance via Intentional Activities, her multi-format personal and professional coaching practice. Add members of Intentional Activities Academy, the inclusive, non-judgemental, anti-oppressive virtual collective. However, as is always the case, it’s best to let my guests do the talking.
“What we don’t repair, we repeat. Not talking about it, not addressing it, doesn’t make it go away.” Can you tell that Barbara’s one of those folks with an enviable ability to address myriad issues in a single sentence? Are you keen to discover why top-tier talent is leaving managed care in droves to pursue careers in coaching? Please see the quote above. Not sure why diversity initiatives continue to fail academia? I refer you to the quote above. Can’t understand why we, as a society, haven’t yet moved beyond whiteness and supremacy culture? I humbly submit the quote above for your review.
Another word that comes to mind is accountability. Barbara surrounds herself with a vibrant, active aura of responsibility. Her virtual communities are omnidirectional spaces where individual truths coexist alongside serious challenges to the status quo. “We [ ] keep each other accountable. For instance, the white people are willing to hear and, even if it’s something that stings a little bit or hurts a lot, they’re able to share about that experience and move through it,” she explains, adding, “that’s what doing the work is about. That’s when it goes from being a checklist item to actually being an integrated part of who people are.”
Allow me one more word: joy. Specifically, Black joy––an emotion, a state of being that I think confounds or outright frightens white folks. That’s a shame because we could live much more authentically if only we reconnected with pure joy. “I come from a lineage and ancestry of wounded healers,” Barbara says. “400+ years of Black people being traumatized day in and day out who, despite our maltreatment and mistreatment, are still able to love and love people who don’t look like us.”
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Dr. Barbara Shabazz is a clinical psychologist who coaches. She has spent 25+ years helping folks in the therapeutic setting, community, and classroom. Her goal with her company, Intentional Activities, is to tap into the inherent strengths of each client, equipping them with the tools necessary to live a more action-oriented and authentic life.
Let’s be friends! You can find me in the following places…