OUR KITCHEN TABLE
Karly Rodriguez is a mental health counselor, meditation practitioner, medical advocate and anti-racist organizer. She was raised in Teaneck, New Jersey in a Latinx and Jewish family. She graduated with a Master’s of Arts in Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness from New York University. Most of her clinical experience has been in college mental health and she is currently teaching in the counseling program at NYU. Karly is also the co-founder of the Hydrocephalus Association's NYC Community Network.
Maria D'Cruze is a Licensed Master Social Worker, holistic practitioner and community organizer. She has experience providing individual and group counseling to address issues relating to gender-based violence, immigration, complex trauma and racial identity. Maria is an Indigenous Focusing Oriented Therapist (IFOT) who incorporates land-based medicine, mindfulness and Reiki and Yoga teachings into her practice. Maria is also guided by the ancestral wisdom of plants as she works to create plant-based skin and body products. As a first generation immigrant from India, Maria strives to connect with the land and carve out intentional wellness spaces for BIPOC.
Johanna Foster is a mental health counselor and anti-racist educator. She is Black and Afro-German-American. She is the daughter of civil rights activists and educators and was born and raised in Harlem, NY. She believes that we are born into this world whole and worthy of love, care and compassion. Her work as a psychotherapist and educator is rooted in our collective and individual capacity to co-create healing and liberation.
She has Master of Arts in Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness from New York University and has spent the last years working in higher education as an instructor and counselor.
WHY THE NAME "OUR KITCHEN TABLE"?
The kitchen table has always been the center of our homes. It’s where we sat to write our papers and pay our bills. It's where we mourned lost loved ones. Where we prayed for and blessed one another. It was a good place to hide when things got scary. A good place to cry and rage. Our mothers and aunties shared sacred recipes with us there. It’s where the every day magic of sewing, cooking, baking, and making tea was performed. Everything important happening in our lives was discussed at the kitchen table.
“The kitchen is the center of the home, the place where women in particular work and communicate with each other.”
- Barbara Smith, co-founder of Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press
We want to honor the legacy of Barbara Smith and Audre Lorde and the Combahee River Collective who were published from the The Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press. We are inspired by their venture to co-create their own space for the work that they felt called to do.
We also want to honor Carrie Mae Weems whose powerful and beautiful Kitchen Table Series is one of Johanna’s favorite works of art. (http://carriemaeweems.net/galleries/kitchen-table.html).
WHY WE STARTED THIS PRACTICE
We met so many women of color who described feeling like they were being asked to throw away their families, their communities and culture by their therapist. Sometimes they walked away from therapy because they did not feel like they could be their authentic selves in those spaces. We began to imagine the kind of place we wanted to offer them.
"We're all human at the kitchen table"
- Ava DuVernay
We want to create a space where women of color are affirmed. Where our magnificence is upheld and celebrated. Where we can come together to heal. A place of deep humanity, where we operate from the belief that each of us has inherent worth and value.
We have big big plans and dreams. So watch this space!