Abstract

The resistance and reinforcement of structures of gender and race are central to a discussion on identity politics and intersectionality in mental health services research. The goal of the Saving Our Sisters’ (SOS) digital archive project (www.savingoursistersproject.com) is to have a space where Black women can find healing in others’ moments of clarity about self-love, self-care, mental health, and well-being. Inspired by bell hooks’s discourse on the gaze and rooted in community psychological research with a Womanist approach, the S.O.S. Project builds upon intrinsic motivation as applied to the mental health and well-being for Black women. The impact of the S.O.S. digital archive project has implications for both public health and mental health policy and practice, but most importantly for Black women. By focusing on community members’ perceptions of mental health and well-being, Black women begin to strengthen relational and shared experiences and promote agentic health behaviors as an act of social justice. Additionally, this essay includes a lesson plan outline that provides outcomes, strategies, and assessments for teachers to design a lesson plan that will teach their students how to write personal narratives and transform them into digital technologies for social engagement, innovation, and intervention. The goal of the lesson plan is to allow teachers to engage deeply with the essay and to then determine and develop the best strategies for helping their students enter into and fully engage with the topic.

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