HBO Def Poet & GoDaddy Maker, Healing the World Through Joy, Pleasure & Decolonization
Thea Monyeé is a licensed therapist and Oya priestess in the Ifa tradition, committed to creating healing opportunities to Black/Marginalized bodies through the decolonization of joy, mental health, and pleasure. In addition to appearances on HBO, OWN, FOX Soul, and The Red Table Talk, she is the host of the Shaping The Shift podcast and co-host of the Dem Black Mamas podcast. Monyeé also founded MarleyAyo and The Blacker The Brain: A Mental Health Decolonizing Campaign, Conversation and Cohort, and is co-creator of The Free Joy Experience.
The Language of Our Ancestors | Thea Monyeé | TEDxCalStateLA
Addressing the US COVID-19 and Health Equity Task Force
Thea Monyeé is Healing the World Through Joy and Pleasure
Def Poetry - Thea Monyeé - Woman to Woman
The Covid-19 Pandemic has placed a spotlight on long standing health inequity and abuse impacting Black populations dating back to the transatlantic slave trade, and continuing to today’s Black maternal health crisis, reaching high profile Black bodies such as Serena Williams and Beyoncé. It can be difficult for helping professions to identify the areas where they are unconsciously or systemically causing harm, but we can no longer afford to wait. Thea Monyeé offers her expertise in mental health and as a contributor for a policy working group supporting the objectives of the 2021 U.S. COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force to co-create change within health systems by sharing powerful and relevant historical context, and empowering healthcare professionals to align their values with the culture and practices of the communities they serve with joy, authenticity, and dignity.
In 2020, NPR reached out to marriage and family therapist, Thea Monyeé, asking the question on the minds of millions of parents watching the ripple effect of the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor: What do I tell my kid? Most of us were not raised to speak openly about race or social change. It’s a topic we collectively avoid and dread, until now. Our youngest generation demands answers to tough questions, and we must stand in our discomfort and find the answers with them. Thea Monyeé reminds us we don’t have to be the perfect parent to navigate social change with our children...we just have to be brave ones.
The underlying racial tension beneath the fabric of American society continues to tear communities apart. In 2020, we witnessed firsthand as centuries of fear, ignorance, and unhealed wounds spilled onto city streets and lit a fire for the world to see. Thea Monyeé, licensed marriage and family therapist, artist, and Oya priestess in the Ifa tradition, believes this moment is an opportunity to achieve a level of healing this country has never experienced. Using joy as a guide, Thea Monyeé co-creates customized healing spaces for communities and environments to heal, grow, and authentically connect while building strategies for a better world.
Decolonization is the intentional, repairing, and reclaiming of ancestry, traditions and values lost and/or violently disrupted by colonization and the transatlantic slave trade. The core of Thea Monyeé’s work as a mental health decolonizer and creator of The Blacker The Brain, explore show the current mental health system centers whiteness and maintains white supremacy, while excavating and reimagining ancestral healing practices to meet the needs of Black and other colonized communities today. This work intentionally co-created new models of mental health rooted in community consciousness, connection, and social change.
The story of the Black body in America is not defined by struggle, it has been preserved by it. The core of what our strength and resilience kept alive is PLEASURE. Through pleasure we created, innovated, and inspired against unspeakable odds, and this is a legacy and power we have yet to center in our fight for liberation. Artist, healer, and Oya priestess, Thea Monyeé centers decolonizing pleasure in Black Bodies and other marginalized persons by exploring the historical and contemporary mandates and challenges to accessing Black Joy and Pleasure as a human right and path of spiritual/mental liberation. Embracing a blend of decolonized psychotherapy, body awareness and afro-spirituality, Pleasure Noir creates an immersive and interactive learning experience for those who are interested in increasing pleasure to transform the inner and outer world.
“If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.” This quote from the great American storyteller, Toni Morrison is the root of Thea’s motivation for encouraging audiences to OWN THEIR STORIES. As the digital world surges and new generations are born holding IPADS before pencils, the importance of documenting one’s life experiences, especially for marginalized communities whose stories are often erased or mischaracterized, can be undervalued. HBO Def Poet and Author of Murmurs of a Madwoman and Blood & Bajareque, Thea Monyeé reintroduces the lost art of journaling and autobiography to empower audiences to find their voices, share their stories for the generations to follow, and claim their place in human history through the power of storytelling.
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