One of my earliest memories involves attending a Girl Scouts Brownie meeting. I was probably in 1st grade and one of the older girls in the neighbor asked my mama if I could attend. Being the eldest sibling I’d always wanted a big sister, so naturally when someone I looked up to invited me to do something, I was more than happy to oblige.
I still remember being nervous (once upon a time I was painfully shy) and the host walking over to me with a small tray of sliced apples ( you know the kind with peanut butter on the tip) and telling me not to be nervous. That host turned out to be Ms.Joy Graves and she and I have been friends ever since.
Over the years we’ve rocked our fair share of meetings, gatherings & parties together. Last month we rocked a little something to celebrate the holidays. As per usual we scouted a place, sourced a few ideas for entertainment then invited a small group of friends (new and old alike) to join us.
I don’t know what it is exactly, but I consistently feel there’s something especially therapeutic about bringing people together for a common purpose. Doesn’t have to be something huge, any reason you deem worthy is worth the effort. Joy and I often refer to this need as fellowship. We use the term lovingly in both its traditional and colloquial context. To do things with purpose, to listen and then act upon the callings that awaken your soul and galvanize good people in safe spaces is so necessary.
I get tired, in my feelings and busy all at once more often than not these days. When that happens I seclude myself and read or eat bad food while watching bad TV. BUT…in my heart I always know that won’t make things better and that if i’m feeling meh about things, maybe others are too. That’s when I call people up like Joy and brainstorm on ways to change this. It’s just lucky that others are receptive and willing to go along with our ideas with little to no context. For the holiday gathering this is what we did ( just in case you wanna borrow some ideas).
- Invited a combination of people we knew well, along with those we wanted to know better
- We asked that each participant bring an inexpensive gift for an exchange
- Reserved space at an inexpensive restaurant where the energy of 17 women wouldn’t disturb the groove
- We asked folks to bring swag, business cards etc of anything they were involved in ( provided they wanted to)
- There were brief introductions from everyone present. We wanted everyone in the room to know that they were each important and in good company.
There was time during the meal to speak to the group about the Happy Black Girl Mission and our goal to expand our work in the coming months. To share, exchange ideas and create hands on will certainly enhance the movement. Amazing women create such an infectious energy it would be foolish not to take advantage of last month’s gathering and not build upon it. Here’s to hoping we keep it goin in 2015.
Devoya Mayo is Co-Creator of The Happy Black Girl
Get To Know An HBG is her favorite column to write.
You can contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org