nice to meet you!
I'm Jamilah Pitts, a fearless educator from Columbus, Ohio.
Through a variety of products and services, my work is rooted in the transformational healing of Black women and girls.
I've been able to merge my passions for education, social justice, and yoga and wellness into the services I provide my clients.
When I dare to be powerful—to use my strength in the service of my vision—then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.
- Audre Lorde
This Is Where
My Story Begins...
A first generation college student and the product of public schools in Columbus, Ohio, I knew early on in life that education would be one of the only pathways of opportunity for me. The existence of racism, poverty and other forms of systemic oppression were never lost on me. I witnessed and experienced from a very young age the brutal realities of poverty, racism and oppression on Black bodies, within my family and on those around me. My decision to become an educator stemmed from a deep understanding that education could either be a tool used to emancipate or as a tool of oppression.
After attending Spelman College - a place that nurtured me as a Black woman - I embarked on a decade - long journey of working as an educator in ways that would curate spaces of safety and healing for my students while also teaching them to question and reject the status quo, particularly the aspect of it that is rooted in racism, social injustice, denial and deep harm. Education and being an educator took me all over the world. From Georgia, Massachusetts, to New York, the Dominican Republic, China, India and at least twenty other countries.
My goal was to promote human rights, social justice and liberation through education.
And Then One Day
Things Began to Shift...
Despite a deep commitment to education and the power of transformation through teaching, as a Black woman, working in schools ultimately did not allow me the full range of my humanity. Schools often mirror and perpetuate the injustices that exist within any society and for Black people, especially Black women, systemic harm comes crashing down on the body. I experienced various forms and extensions of racism and sexism while working in schools, and the conditions of school settings ultimately took a toll on my body and overall health. I experienced psychological and deep emotional harm. I was not supported; I was called angry; and I was forced to contort in order to be successful while working and leading in spaces with children who looked like me.
As a dancer, I found the practice of yoga to be incredibly healing for my mind, body and spirit. I became a yoga teacher and began teaching in ways that honored the roots of the tradition, roots in justice, human rights and holistic healing.
In 2020 - just before the pandemic - I resigned from my position as a school leader and placed my effort and resources into growing my business, a firm designed to support the liberation and healing of communities of color through an emphasis on education and wellness. Because of my journey, I am especially passionate about serving women and young girls of color.
I am now in a position as a social entrepreneur where I can work towards advocating for communities of color, including women and girls that honor the entirety of my being.
I CONNECT YOGA & WELLNESS
and here's how
My wellness journey began a few years ago. It came on the heels of recognizing my own trauma that has stemmed from my lived experiences, and how much of that trauma is directly linked to being a Black woman in a society where, as James Baldwin described it, “it is intended that you should perish”. Prior to coming into contact with the healing words of writers such as, Audre Lorde, Maya Angelou, Nayyirah Waheed and Toni Morrison, I struggled to understand this world and my place within it. I now understand that my mental, emotional, and physical health is tied to a much larger aspect of the lived experiences of my mothers and grandmothers, who fought so deeply to be heard and to heal.
In 2018, I became a yoga teacher. I was drawn to yoga because it reconnected my body and mind with dance, and it also provided me with a space to care for my body, mind, spirit and reinforced what I believe about human rights, faith, and social justice, and the thread that binds the three: love. As a yoga practitioner and leader, I craft mindful and yogic experiences that are rooted in healing, self actualization and care. I care deeply about restoration and healing within communities of color, which have been historically and intentionally marginalized and traumatized. I wish to use this as a tool for liberation and healing.
my current projects!
Wellness Retreats offer a sacred space for women of color to gather, return to our bodies, and heal in ways that will allow us to tap into our fullest and deepest potential. Because patriarchal societies pull us away from ourselves, rest and joy become tools of resistance and reclamation. Be sure to join our community to learn more about how you can return to your deepest, most beautiful self.
JOIN THE MAILING LIST
Missed an event? Wanting to dive deeper into your own self study? This offering will allow you at access virtual content that will support you on your journey to racial equity, liberation and wellness. Stay tuned!
THE FIRST BOOK
Jamilah's highly anticipated first book is a guide for educators seeking to create and sustain liberatory spaces within their learning communities. A critical examination of systemic and racial oppression, its harm on students and educators, this book is an offering, an encouragement and a pathway to the healing and reckoning our schools need.
Receive news, information and resources regarding the 2022 release by signing up for the newsletter.
You Can Listen Now
To The Podcast Interview.
In her essay “Don't Say Nothing," Jamilah Pitts exhorts educators that teaching as an act of resistance and teaching as an act of healing are not mutually exclusive. That when teachers choose to remain silent about moments of racial tension or violence—violence that may well touch students’ own communities or families—these children are overtly reminded of their inferior place in society.
That engaging in dialogue about mass incarceration rates; the militarism of police and the killing of innocent black men and women is but one antidote to systemic racism. That essay was written FOUR YEARS AGO, in the fall of 2016, after the murder of Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Alton Sterling, and Philando Castile and before the killngs of Delrawn Small, Botham Jean, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. Last week, after the murder of George Floyd, Fund for Teachers reposted Jamilah’s article and reached for her thoughts on what, if anything, has changed on the racial pandemic landscape since she wrote her piece in 2016.
TO WORK TOGETHER
are you ready?
I partner with schools, organizations, and leaders that serve and support BIPOC communities.
I want to hear from you, and to work or journey alongside you! For inquiries on Curriculum Design, Speaking Engagements, Professional Development Trainings & Services, Writing Requests or features, Wellness retreats or yoga sessions, please leave a note and I will be sure to get in touch with you.
- Racial Equity Trainings
Yoga and Wellness