Sacred Basket: Reflections on Facilitating Black Women’s Self-Love Retreats


  • Veta Goler


retreats, facilitation, self-care, community, Black women, self-love


When the U.S. seemed to disintegrate in 2020 from the Covid-19 pandemic and the ongoing murders of unarmed Black people by the police, my fear levels rose dramatically, and understandably so. Like other Black women, I experienced intersectional oppressions including, but not limited to, racism and sexism. I needed to shore up my inner strength.

In this essay I discuss online retreats that I have been facilitating for Black women since September 2020. I describe my approach to the retreats, how participants have responded to them, and the community that has developed through them. The retreats are healing spaces that offer Black women contemplative themes and practices to explore in community. And through contemplative practices, the retreats increase Black women’s self-love, which helps dismantle their internalized oppression by offering them more accurate—and beautiful—images of self. These images shift their inner experience, which then shifts their external experiences.

Author Biography

Veta Goler

Veta Goler recently retired after 33 years at Spelman College where she taught dance history and served in several administrative roles. She is a Courage & Renewal facilitator, facilitating Circle of Trust® retreats and workshops, and serves as chair of the Center for Courage & Renewal Board of Directors.


Walker, A. (2006). We are the ones we have been waiting for: Inner light in a time of darkness. The New Press.