A Year of Rest | Guest Stories

100 Nights of Rest: Recipient Spotlight

Meet 20 more recipients of a night of rest through our offering in partnership with Rachel Cargle—100 Nights of Rest. In the words of those who nominated them, we’re sharing their stories in the hope that their dedication, conviction, and spirit will help make this a movement, not a moment.

Amanda Reid

“Amanda, is not only a PhD working as a physical therapist at a hospital amidst the pandemic, she is the founder of a group that celebrates BIPOC within the white elite space of the wedding industry. She explained how “white hands were the default” when it came to our art, and that very few resources were available for and from people of color. She created the @calligraphersofcolor community, bringing a lot of us together ad used her platform to highlight us. As the #BLM movement recently brought a lot of attention to our cause, she has been working tirelessly to create more space for us black artists and professionals by moderating both the Instagram and Facebook accounts, coordinating communication with different organizations that want to work with us, trying to increase our platform, create art and business tools and still promote black and POC artists. I believe she definitely deserves this Getaway because she is such an amazing woman who, even when it cost her so much time and effort, went the extra mile to create more space for us in a predominantly white industry. She is one of the most humble and genuine people I have met in the industry, and I know that with her love for nature, she would benefit immensely from a retreat from the city and the space and time to keep dreaming big.”

Bola Ibidapo

“This beautiful friend of mine is an organizer, entrepreneur, leader, activist, superwoman. She is the founder of The Queen Talk, which is a program that teaches young women (particularly black women) to be leaders. She is also a founder of Too Fly Foundation, which is a nonprofit that raises money to help primarily BIPOC youth travel the world. She is active in her church, her community, her alma mater, and her city. She grinds, hustles, makes time for her friends and family, is helping raise her cousin, and is always a text or message away if you need her. She engages with people consistently, is one of the kindest, most passionate, most talented, hardest-working people I know, and is now pursuing a law degree to help continue the fight for Black liberation in every avenue. She would benefit from a night of rest, even if she won’t take it for herself (because there’s always someone to help and something to do!) Please consider Bola as a recipient of a night of rest. She could use some TLC because of all of the tireless work she does for Black folx and folx in every circle she’s a part of. Thank you!”

Brandon Holloman

“Brandon is a young black man who continuously contributes his talent of writing and reciting powerful spoken word poetry to our community. He volunteers with black youth to support and encourage them with their writing and rapping that develops confidence and opens a pathway to empower them to productively speak up and speak out.”

Dr. Carrie Kholi-Murchison

“Over the past few months, I’ve watched my wife work tirelessly as the Head of People and Culture at her company leading strategic and DEI efforts to help dismantle inequitable systems across the wellness industry. And she continues to educate and uplift her community with tools for their own healing via Instagram and our business together that focuses on recentering marginalized narratives and developing communal growth strategies. She is relentlessly consistent and also…tired. She deserves a moment to rest and recharge.”

Chanea Bond

“I believe my sister deserves a getaway because she’s always been everything to everyone. As a Black school teacher, she’s always gone above and beyond for her students. She’s constantly checking in with all of her students — making sure that they’re okay and putting their needs ahead of her own. Every other week when school was in session, we would do a target run to get Ramen noodles and granola bars, so that students who couldn’t afford to each lunch at school or knew they wouldn’t have food when they got home, could take a cup-of-noodles home with them so they could have something on their stomach. Since the pandemic hit, things have only escalated. Some of her students call her 2 or 3 times a day because they just need a listening ear, and she’s that for them. Every year she’s nominated as “Teacher of the Year” because not only is she a good teacher, the kids love her as a person. On top of being an extraordinary teacher, she’s also a mother to the feistiest two-year-old who wants every to spend every waking moment with her mama. She’s been trying to be the perfect employee, teacher, therapist, friend, mom, sister, that she doesn’t ever get time for herself and that’s why I think she deserves one of the 100 nights. I love her and I hope she wins so that she can unplug and finally take care of herself for once. She suffers from anxiety and depression, but you’d never be able to tell because she grits her teeth and does what has to be done because there are kids who need her.”

Chichi Agorom

“Chichi is an incredible woman. One part healer, one part fighter, her grace, intensity, and brilliance overwhelm the human spirit with a desire to be better. Her life’s work is to help all people feel less alone and more known and to create spaces that increase connection and compassion. She does this through her work as a trained mental health counselor, coach, and guide in The Narrative Tradition. These practices emphasize the felt experiences and voices of participants. This means that Chichi is constantly doing the work of helping others heal. Her work fills her, but also depletes her, especially in times like these. Recently, she wrote ‘In a system that thrives on reminding me why my existence in its fullness is wrong, I celebrate blackness. I celebrate this skin, which I would choose a million times again in a million other lives. I celebrate black love, black joy, black brilliance, black rest, black ease, black healing, black thriving.’ I hope Chichi will have the opportunity for rest, ease, and healing.”

Christina Rice

“As a professional in the wellness arena who founded OmNoire—a social wellness community for women of color—Christina is, and has been, working tirelessly to provide a safe space for black women to have discourse around mental and physical health for years. With the onset of Covid-19 and BLM protests, Christina has provided virtual workshops to ensure that people are receiving the tools needed to share and learn from others on a range of topics including, but not limited to, meditation, anxiety, health, gardening, and fertility. She has put on amazing events with other black women that are at the top of their respective fields and made their knowledge accessible to many (including a number of free events). I have personally benefited greatly from being a part of her OmNoire tribe. A getaway would be appropriate and deserved for Christina as she continues to serve her community in various ways and avenues during these trying times.”

Dominique Owens

“Dominique worked very hard here in Houston with the COVID-19 patients in the ICU. She is very committed and hardworking registered nurse who exemplifies what a nurse should be and she is dedicated to the mission of care. She really believes that caring is the essence of nursing, because her willingness to care for those extremely sick patients during such a chaotic time showed just that.”

Efe Osaren

“Efe is a Black doula and student midwife who has been busting her ass to advocate for her clients for years. When I met her in 2015, she was working as a doula and doing reproductive justice work on Rikers Island, advocating for basic needs such as sufficient drinking water for pregnant people. Efe’s next step was to start her midwifery journey at Maternidad de la Luz, where she encountered an insufferable amount of microaggressions. She has since left that space and, realizing she could be more effective in serving Black families as a certified nurse midwife, she is pursuing a nursing degree and a subsequent masters in midwifery. Since covid-19, Efe has done what is safest for her & her doula clients by staying home and offering virtual support but many of her clients left her for the white doulas still attending births physically. My first instinct is to call Efe tireless — she is certainly the determined, strong-willed, and ambitious kind of Capricorn — but I don’t want to dehumanize her as we all need rest. Efe dreams of living in an intentional space surrounded by nature with the ability to be off-grid and self-sustaining. She is a treasure to all who know her. Her wit and sarcasm and knowledge and fire and heart and her self-awareness are what I love best about her.”

Hugh H.D. Hunter

“Hugh has been a diligent activist for Black people and Black rights for many years. He is one of the most consistently vocal and hands-on BLM activists that I have the pleasure of knowing. Most recently, he has co-organized a peaceful protest, Black Alumni for Black Lives, to be held on the campus of Emory University, an institution where he, during his time as a student, felt the direct sting of unjust, racist attacks. He has been a steadfast advocate for racial equity, long before George Floyd’s murder sparked national and international protests. Even in his daily work, as a writer and facilitator for Black representation and educational reform in schools, he never stops fighting for racial justice. He deserves a moment of rest, to revitalize his spirit and to refuel, as he continues fighting the good fight.”

Jasmine Marie

“Jasmine is the founder of Black Girls Breathing—an organization creating safe spaces for Black Women to breathe, heal trauma, and be themselves. They’ve blown up during the current Black Lives Matter movement, rightfully so! In the incredible space Jasmine is holding – I would love for her to have a getaway, be taken care of and nurture herself. I feel this getaway will allow her experience ease as she brings her powerful & much needed mission to the world.”

Jo Ayuso

“Jo is a Black woman who created a new organization called Movement Education Outdoors (MEO). Through MEO, Jo works to engage youth of color and youth from limited financial means “to experience wellness in an outdoor environment.” Through outdoor experiences and community partnerships, MEO engages young people in a variety of activities that help them improve self-care through movement, food choices, and mindfulness; increase awareness of indigenous history; engage in stewardship and advocacy activities; develop relationships and leadership skills; and have fun. In addition, Jo reached out to the organization I work for, the Rhode Island Environmental Education Association (RIEEA), after the murder of George Floyd (and so many others) and gently but amazingly helped our completely white-led organization reflect deeply on the Black Lives Matter movement and how RIEEA can be an agent for change. The RIEEA board has decided to take immediate actions such as allocating 50% of our own professional development scholarship fund for black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC); creating a fund to support BIPOC-led environmental organizations in Rhode Island in order to amplify their voices and their work; scheduling a series of virtual town hall forums to specifically invite voices from the frontlines of the environmental justice movement and intersectional BIPOC-led organizations to be heard by the environmental education community (BIPOC will be compensated for their time and energy); and more. I am amazed by everything Jo does through MEO. I was incredibly touched that at a particularly difficult time for her as a woman of color, she took the initiative, time, and energy to help a group of white people learn, grow, and start to use our platform and privilege to make real change – not just for environmental justice, but for racial justice. If she doesn’t deserve a night of rest, I am not sure who does.”

Madin Lopez

“My wife Madin and I run a non-profit organization called ProjectQ. We provide free gender affirming haircuts, and a plethora of other services to homeless LGBTQIA+ youth. WE ARE TIRED! Whole covid has closed most things down, (including our Salon), we have not stopped working. We have been busier than ever trying to make sure our community is taken care of. We had our 5th wedding anniversary trip to Paris in March, and it was cancelled because of covid. I’d love to be able to take a day or two away with my love so we can really rest and disconnect. That way we can recharge, and continue doing the work we do!”

Mariah Parker

“Mariah is not only an influential black artist, PhD candidate, and activist in Athens, GA, but she’s also became the Athens-Clark County Commissioner at the age of 26. She was sworn in to that role with her hand in a copy of The Autobiography of Malcom X. During this movement for Black Lives, Mariah has proposed cutting the Athens police force by half and replacing them with mental heath and community welfare workers (which has resulted in threats on her life). Oh, and she also was hospitalized with COVID 19. She has since recovered, but the woman needs rest.”

Michelle Dowe

“My mother is an immigrant; born in Jamaica and raised in the South Bronx. My mother was a single mother, who put me before everything; making sure that I knew my feelings mattered and that I knew that no dream was too big. My mother was a first generation college graduate who has worked her way up, up, up into the Director role that she’s in today. And it’s only up from here. She’s been working for Child Protective Services for roughly 22 years, first as a Case Worker, then as a Foster Care and Adoption Supervisor, and now as a Child Welfare Director. This is to say, my mother has spent almost all of her adult life fighting for black children, black families, and black futures. In the city where she works, black people make up 30% of the population but are disproportionately present in the child welfare system. This is something my mother has always been acutely aware of and thus has consistently brought compassion and relatability — as someone who grew up in a disadvantaged community and raised a child as the primary caregiver — to task. Whether it be putting in the extra time to recruit black foster homes so that black children being removed from their bio-homes feel less alienated, or implementing Family-Team meetings so that families can brainstorm, alongside social workers, the plans of action that affect them, my mother has shown up time and time again. She’s been doing this work for so long because she genuinely cares. She never seeks acknowledgment or praise, which is why I think a Night of Rest would mean more than words cam express. It would be amazing for her to have a reason to pause and recognize all that she’s done, and then return to this work revitalized.”

Naomi Grevemburg

Naomi has been such a pillar in not only teaching about anti racism but in working to change the narrative of outdoor life and bringing diversity to it as well as creating safe spaces for BIPOC in the van life community. She has started Diversify Vanlife which is a safe space for BIPOC and underrepresented people in the vanlife community. I am a Mexican American nomad who has lived vanlife and traveled all over the world but never saw that reflected in social media platforms. She works tirelessly to educate and promote diversity and I love her for it. She is so deserving of a Getaway.”

Raheim Robinson

“Raheim is a black creative, wonderful father and passionate climber. He spends all his energy and time into creating a sustainable, diverse environment for the future of his daughter and the outdoor climbing industry which is (often) predominantly white. As a side project he also started to support and mentor troubled teens in the community to help them change their lives and have a better future. He has a big heart, hardly asks for any help or complains about any of the troubles or difficulties he has on the way and always has a smile on his face. He truly deserves a rest in nature, his favorite place, to charge up and channel his creativity.”

Rocky Lane

“Rocky works tirelessly for the black community, the black trans community, and the entire LGBTQ+ community in Austin, TX and all over Texas every single day. He works as the board chair for Transgender Education Network of Texas and he also works closely with other organizations like Austin Black Pride, Queerbomb, OutYouth, Human Rights Campaign, and many more local organizations, businesses, and charities. He never spends money on himself and if he ever has anything extra he gives it away to someone in need. He is such a generous person and as a black trans man in Texas during an extremely challenging time, he deserves some extra TLC. Please consider him for this getaway prize so that he can take some time to be away from his computer and phone for some rest and relaxation that he so deserves.”

Taylor Jett

“Since the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and so many others, Taylor has raised over 100k in donations for over 10 organizations. From the age of 13, she has tried to create a space for marginalized communities, especially Black people, to feel safe and express their thoughts on how to effect change in their community. She is currently an assistant at a major streamer, and is not only fighting for diversity and inclusion in the community but for representation on/off the screen. While doing this Taylor has also been incredibly active in the frontline. She’s participated in protests since the murder of Trayvon Martin. Her most current volunteer project is supporting Black-owned businesses by not only solely purchasing from them but volunteering her resources, time, and knowledge to help elevate their business. Meanwhile, she is also working behind the scenes to convince major entertainment companies to divest from having police at their events and onset until ALL people feel safe with their presence and invest in hiring more Black people..”

Yeshimabeit Milner

“Yeshi is founder and executive director of Data for Black Lives a movement of scientists and activists working to make data a tool for social change instead of a weapon of oppression in the lives of Black people. Yeshi has been an organizer and abolitionists since she was 17. And in all of that time, she has rarely had the time or resources to take a vacation. We need her to show up rested and restored in this moment and for the long haul. Please grant her this opportunity.”