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Ilanga

Imagine

That moving your body felt as delicious as being kissed by the sun
Ilanga endeavors to imbue your movement practice with this

$8,210
pledged of$150,000 goal
81
19Days Left
Fund it
Campaign Ends on December 15, 2021

Project Description

 

 

WHY

 

The global wellness market is now valued at $4.75 trillion. But the distribution is nowhere near equitable. At all levels, the funding, the platforms, and the wellness spaces (physical and virtual) act as another barrier to entry to Bodies of Culture- See Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. Yet, these are the folks who need spaces that are dedicated to their well-being and safety the most.

Collectively engaging in our well-being becomes a catalyst for prioritizing our humanity. I.e., community care over individualism. For the individual, it allows us to normalize intentionally loving and nourishing our inner and external beings. The practice of being well should not be gatekept by those who have privilege but instead should be a right granted to all humans.

Audre Lorde proclaimed, "caring for myself is not self-indulgence; it is self-preservation." A thought that rings especially true for folks who live in bodies that have been deemed as "other"... Bodies that routinely face aggressions, experience financial barriers due to systemic racism, and are consistently exposed to state-sanctioned violence. These traumas result in higher levels of stress, depression, heart disease, and mental illness.

As a company, Naaya holds steadfast in its desire to shift the wellness industry’s status quo. In all senses of the word, we fervently embody equity - financially, representationally, and physically- in our programming design and delivery. While we can't change structural inequalities overnight, we can encourage folks with culturally-sensitive programming. This programming enables folks to create the agency that they are not guaranteed. We're determined to be of service and by providing movement, meditation, and mental health resourcing. We know that Bodies of Culture can become skillful in how we deal with ongoing inequity.

This campaign is the first step in envisioning a world where wellness is a Human Right.

 

THREE KEY OBJECTIVES OF ILANGA:

  1. To carve out an innovative and inspiring space for Bodies of Culture in the wellness industry. We will exemplify that anyone, regardless of race, socioeconomic status, or physical ability, can be well through the representation of our diverse instructors. We will show that Bodies of culture are no longer a second thought but a priority.
  2. To create a one-of-a-kind platform for yoga, pilates, and strength training in a fun, aesthetically pleasing, accessible, and culturally sensitive way. We strive to erase the association of fitness with privilege and punishment. Instead, our movement classes will be guided by the freedom of expression and joy of being alive.
  3. To offer 1:1 individualized training for folks of various backgrounds and abilities so that everyone can have the opportunity to be well.

 

Our Impact To Date

The Check-In: Our initiative that supports BIPOC youth in accessing free mental health support (therapy, yoga, meditation) from BIPOC practitioners.

  • In September 2020, we donated 50 computers to BIPOC students in our local community to support their distance learning. We recognize that access to education is a social determinant of health.
  • In November 2020, we united 100 young women in a virtual retreat about mental health and social justice. We host exciting events for young women to be empowered.
  • In Summer 2020, we hosted recurring meditation circles on dealing with mental health and anger. We create safe spaces for youth to unpack their feelings.

Black Folks Breathing: Our editorial platform which illuminates the totality of Black folks Humanity.

  • The Tagline for Black Folks Breathing is in Joy we trust. Because as Black folks, our capacity for joy speaks multitudes despite everything we face.
  • BFB endeavors to put Black folks at the helm of telling their own stories. In a manner order to shift away from the white gaze.
  • We share personal stories, videos, and op-eds to inspire others to practice wellbeing and understand that they are not alone in their experiences.         

Workshops, Events, Talks, Resources: We collaborate with practitioners and experts from diverse disciplines, backgrounds, and identities to share educational stories, build community, and foster intergenerational healing.

  • We engage with trusted partners like Aveeno to bring to the forefront issues that are hindering Black and Brown Folks from being well.
  • To disrupt the current paradigm, we have to be truthful about where we currently stand. As such, we host ongoing conversations and have videos on the intersection of race and racism on well-being.
  • We create intentional space for Bodies of Culture to be as they are without any preconceived societal notions.

 

LOVE NOTES FROM OUR COMMUNITY 

 

Sinikiwe is a true gift to the wellness community. Her lifelong commitment to wellness for all and the work she does to bring that commitment to life irrevocably transforms individuals, communities, and organizations no matter where they are on their anti-racism journey. It has been a true honor to learn from and collaborate with her. And if that weren't enough, her impeccable taste and her eye are definitely worth celebrating too.

Ellie Burrows Gluck CEO and Co-founder MNDFL

 

We partnered with Sinikiwe on multiple events, ranging from her teaching yoga classes at our retreat, doing a guided meditation for in-store events, and offering a virtual vignette on gratitude. Each one was a gift to all who heard her speak. Sinikiwe seamlessly holds power and knowledge with vulnerability and accessibility, making her versatile in all she does. Her mission is clear, her impact immediate, and her Naaya vision is inspiring.

Kerry Faherty Co-founder Faherty Brand

 

Sinikiwe is a dream to do this important work with. Not only does she have the heart for people, she has the vision and the ethic for this work. I’m proud of what she is building and would show up for anything she produces any time in any place because I know we will all leave better.

EbonyJanice Moore womanist scholar, author, and activist

 

The world of wellness is extremely white-washed, and Naaya provides BIPOC with the tools needed to support their well-being while working to decolonize wellness and centering BIPOC folks and their experiences. Part of the work Naaya does is ensure other wellness spaces and brands are ready to meet BIPOC with full equity and inclusion. As humans, we are inextricably linked through social and community structures. This means that none of us really has the ability to access wellness until all of us have the ability to access wellness.

—Emily M. Feinberg MSW Candidate '23

 

I was initially introduced to Sinikiwe and Naaya 2.5 years ago, while I was building my company, Holisticism. Naaya had already popped up on my radar because I was looking for like-minded founders interested in building a more equitable, inclusive wellness space, and Sinikiwe's work was the first of it's kind that I'd seen executed so thoughtfully.

Over the past few years, I've had the pleasure of collaborating on projects, events, and creative experiences with Naaya and Sinikiwe. I know that Naaya's impact, and truly any project that Sinikiwe leads, is far-reaching yet difficult to trace.

We could certainly look at the hundreds of young people she's directly taught and mentored; the thousands of dollars’ worth of resources Naaya has redistributed to the community for mental and physical healthcare; even the reach of their digital footprint.

But more importantly, because Sinikiwe is willing to stand in integrity always, even when it's uncomfortable and unpopular, she and Naaya have had an immeasurable impact on the wellness industry as a whole. From features in Goop to collabs with brands like Adidas and lululemon, Naaya's ripple effect in this space is wide and long. Naaya is truly a leader in wellness, and I'm delighted to support the company and its founder however I can.

Michelle Pellizzon founder Holisticism

 

WHY CROWDFUNDING 

Ilanga means sun in shona. How magnificent would it be if moving your body felt like getting kissed by the sun. We acknowledge that we need more resources than we currently have to bring our vision to life. We acknowledge also that there are many people, within our community and without, who believe equally in this viso and who want to help us achieve our objectives.

This crowdfunding campaign allows us to:

  • Share our purpose with the world.
  • Build our community of supporters.
  • Raise the funds needed to move on to the next stage.

 

WHAT COMES NEXT 

We are elated by the prospect of shifting how people think about moving their bodies. From dread to Joy if you will. While we engage in the process of making the thing we will continue to cultivate intentional community for Bodies of Culture. That Looks Like.

  • DECEMBER 2021 Hosting a workshop dedicated to Grief and Loss with a trained psychologist.
  • FEBRUARY 2022 Hosting our second Virtual Re-treat for Young Folks in February 2022.
  • TIMELINE TK (It's still a panorama) Hosting our first In-Person Re-treat for Grown Folks.
  • APRIL 2022 Continuing to create mental health access for young folks by utilizing text communication for digital "Check-Ins". These Check-Ins will be facilitated by licensed and culturally competent therapists.

 

How You Can Support?

 

  1. Contribute what you can
  2. Sign up for our newsletter
  3. Share our campaign on social media. You can find us on Instagram at @naaya.wellness

Our Founder

Black Woman sitting in a chair wearing a dress
Photograph by Rog Walker
 

Naaya's Founder, Sinikiwe Dhliwayo, hails from Zimbabwe but spent her formative years in upstate New York. She has never been one to follow the rules. Knowing that the rules by which our society currently operates. They are set up to the detriment of people in radicalized bodies. She is steadfast in eschewing the status quo and emboldening Bodies of culture to be mentally, physically, and spiritually well.

Naaya began three years ago to transmute the challenges she faced in her well-being journey and invite others to be seen and heard. As a creative director, Sinikiwe utilizes movement and visual storytelling to bring Bodies of Culture to the forefront of the wellness conversation.

Her work and efforts to make the wellness space more equitable can be found in Beyonce, Byrdie,Doen,Goop,Well and Good, and Refinery29. Her previous teaching and speaking engagements include Ad-Week, Adidas, Camelback VenturesFamily Reunion,Create and Cultivate, The Wing, Unwell* Conference, Lululemon, Goop League, Summit, Faherty Sun Sessions, and Girlvana.

Updates

The Campaign FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions:

Where will the money go? 

Great Question! Below is a breakdown of the funding:

  • $52,500 = Product Development 35% (This money will be allocated to building the technology for the app.)
  • $ 37,500 = Equipment 25% (This will go towards purchasing photography and video equipment. Purchasing this equipment will enable us to be self reliant and not have to rent equipment every time we shoot our content.)
  • $30,000 = Personnel  20% (This money will be allocated towards hiring a part time Ux/UI designer and a part time software developer)

  • $30,000 = Content Production 20% (This will go to our in instructors --ayy-- we want to make sure they are compensated well to create the content that will make our app thrive

What are Bodies of Culture?

We are not fans of the term BIPOC as it continues to put those who are white bodied as the standard. Resmaa Menakem talks more about it here: https://compassioncenter.arizona.edu/podcast/resmaa-menakem

What will I receive for donating?

$5 = First access to the beta version of the app.
    
$10 = First access to the beta version of the app
    
$20 = First access to the beta version of the app
    
$75 = First access to the beta version of the app AND one private yoga or meditation session 
    
$150 = First access to the beta version of the app AND limited edition sweatshirt
    
$250 = First access to the beta version of the app AND a month of private yoga and meditation instruction
    
$500 = First access to the beta version of the app AND 60min Consulting Call w/Sinikiwe

 

What will it look like when it is built?

Check out our prototype here: https://www.videoask.com/fdvbgb0kf


  

11/24/2021
Monetary Contribution
$50
Cami Kittredge
11/23/2021
Access to the Beta Version of the App
$20
abigail gerow
11/22/2021
Monetary Contribution
$100
11/22/2021
Swag
$150
Mariana Salem
11/21/2021
Access to the Beta Version of the App
$20
Charlotte
11/19/2021
Access to the Beta Version of the App
$20
LS
11/17/2021
Access to the Beta Version of the App
$20
Vanessa Varghese
11/17/2021
Access to the Beta Version of the App
$20
Andrew Greenblatt
11/13/2021
Access to the Beta Version of the App
$20
Anusha Wijeyakumar
11/13/2021
Monetary Contribution
$50
Monetary Contribution

Just Because I Care

Don't forget to leave your email so that we can add you to the beta list.

15 Supporters
Select this reward
5.00 USD
Access to the Beta Version of the App

Our app will launch in a Beta version. As a thank you for helping us get there (thank you) you will be able to get first access.  Don't forget to leave your email so that we can add you to the beta list.

0 Supporters
Select this reward
10.00 USD
Access to the Beta Version of the App

Our app will launch in a Beta version. As a thank you for helping us get there (thank you) you will be able to get first access. Don't forget to leave your email so that we can add you to the beta list.

3 Supporters
Select this reward
20.00 USD
Access to the Beta Version of the App

Our app will launch in a Beta version. As a thank you for helping us get there (thank you) you will be able to get first access. Don't forget to leave your email so that we can add you to the beta list. 

37 Supporters
Select this reward
75.00 USD
One private Yoga or Meditation session

A sneak peek of what getting into your mind and body will look like on the app. You get a choice of either a private yoga or meditation class. Relaxation awaits my guy.  ++ automatic access to the beta launch of the app.  Don't forget to leave your email so we can schedule your session. 

5 Supporters
Select this reward
250.00 USD
One Month of Private Yoga and Meditation

A sneak peek of what getting into your mind and body will look like on the app. You get a choice of either a month of private yoga or meditation classes. Relaxation awaits my guy. 

++ automatic access to the beta launch of the app. Don't forget to leave your email so we can schedule your sessions. 

2 Supporters
Select this reward
500.00 USD
A 60 Min Consultation with Sinikiwe

Let’s get into it. A chance to chop it up with Sinikiwe Dhliwayo Founder and Creative director of Naaya. In this call we will chat about any creative needs you have from planning a campaign to how to promote racial equity in your organization. Don't forget to leave your email so we can schedule your session. 

1 Supporter
Select this reward
1,000.00 USD
Creating Equity in Your Business

A plan customized for the needs of your business on how to create antiracism within your business internally and how to go beyond performative inclusion externally.  Don't forget to leave your email so we can schedule your session. 

2 Supporters
Select this reward

Rewards

Monetary Contribution

Just Because I Care

Don't forget to leave your email so that we can add you to the beta list.

15 Supporters
Select this reward
5.00 USD
Access to the Beta Version of the App

Our app will launch in a Beta version. As a thank you for helping us get there (thank you) you will be able to get first access.  Don't forget to leave your email so that we can add you to the beta list.

0 Supporters
Select this reward
10.00 USD
Access to the Beta Version of the App

Our app will launch in a Beta version. As a thank you for helping us get there (thank you) you will be able to get first access. Don't forget to leave your email so that we can add you to the beta list.

3 Supporters
Select this reward
20.00 USD
Access to the Beta Version of the App

Our app will launch in a Beta version. As a thank you for helping us get there (thank you) you will be able to get first access. Don't forget to leave your email so that we can add you to the beta list. 

37 Supporters
Select this reward
75.00 USD
One private Yoga or Meditation session

A sneak peek of what getting into your mind and body will look like on the app. You get a choice of either a private yoga or meditation class. Relaxation awaits my guy.  ++ automatic access to the beta launch of the app.  Don't forget to leave your email so we can schedule your session. 

5 Supporters
Select this reward
250.00 USD
One Month of Private Yoga and Meditation

A sneak peek of what getting into your mind and body will look like on the app. You get a choice of either a month of private yoga or meditation classes. Relaxation awaits my guy. 

++ automatic access to the beta launch of the app. Don't forget to leave your email so we can schedule your sessions. 

2 Supporters
Select this reward
500.00 USD
A 60 Min Consultation with Sinikiwe

Let’s get into it. A chance to chop it up with Sinikiwe Dhliwayo Founder and Creative director of Naaya. In this call we will chat about any creative needs you have from planning a campaign to how to promote racial equity in your organization. Don't forget to leave your email so we can schedule your session. 

1 Supporter
Select this reward
1,000.00 USD
Creating Equity in Your Business

A plan customized for the needs of your business on how to create antiracism within your business internally and how to go beyond performative inclusion externally.  Don't forget to leave your email so we can schedule your session. 

2 Supporters
Select this reward