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Naj Austin

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These Two Black Female Founders Are Creating Safe Spaces For Black Creatives

The onus to create safe spaces for Black creatives has always been on other Black people. Before the public health crisis, these welcoming locales, where creatives could openly exist and express without the judgment of white gaze — whether virtual or IRL — were precious and rare. Founded by Naj Austin, Ethel’s Club is one of these sacred centers: a social club where members of the Black community have access to healing through “conversation, wellness and creativity.” Following the pandemic, Austin pivoted to an all-virtual membership, offering the same much-needed resources and space to her members. “We understand that lots of people are currently out of work, have no idea if that work will even come back and still need some semblance of peace and space,” she says. “Amid all of that, we started offering free group healing sessions once a month or twice a month to provide for people who, you know, need a space to then talk to someone, meet a therapist, whatever it may be, because the...

Niki McGloster

Jul 28, 2020