Modern Western culture has become enamored with wellness. There are thousands of yoga flow classes available on YouTube, and green is not just a color but a measure of non-toxic living. While the accessibility to wellness resources is a-plenty, there seems to be a lack of acknowledgment of wellness leaders of color, specifically black.
For this year’s Black History Month, we want to recognize and celebrate some black wellness leaders who we follow and admire. Ranging from dieticians to social justice wellness activists to sunscreen formulators, the wellness industry is highly melanated. And we’re here to show you.
Meet these 8 Black Wellness Leaders:
Wendy Lopez + Jessica Jones
Best friends, Wendy and Jessica, are registered dieticians and are dedicated to promoting nutritious foods that are accessible and taste good! Together, they founded Food Heaven, an educational platform to connect their community with nutritious food and intuitive eating. Together, they share healthy recipes and manage a podcast where they dive even deeper into sustainable wellness and embrace health at every size!
Lauren founded Black Girl in Om and is on a mission to help all black women breathe easy, while creating a world where every woman of color is liberated, empowered and seen. Founded in 2014, Black Girl in Om helps guide black women to heal and experience wholeness through spiritual awakening and conscious living. Lauren spends her time touring the globe and guiding black women and women of color in meditations, yoga, and transformational conversations.
Ashlea Carver Adams
Ashlea started her food blog, All The Healthy Things, in 2016, as a creative outlet to share simple, healthy, and delicious recipes. Ashlea’s ability to create recipes that meet whole30, paleo, gluten free, vegetarian, and allergy-friendly standards quickly expanded her reach. After a year, Ashlea became a full-time blogger and now has over 130,000 Instagram followers and a strong following on Pinterest. Ashlea enjoys sharing realistic, healthy yet tasty meals to help people enjoy living a balanced, happy life.
Tricia founded The Nap Ministry in 2016 to explore the liberation behind rest and address how sleep deprivation is a racial and social justice issue. Known as the “Nap Bishop,” Tricia has over 20 years of experience working with communities on public health issues and spiritual healing. Her organization, The Nap Ministry, considers rest as a form of resistance to society’s daily demands of being on the grind and working non-stop. Tricia hosts workshops to discuss the importance of resting and works to facilitate healing in black communities.
Nadine is the founder of, Peak and Valley, a wellness brand offering mushroom and herbal blends that soothe stress and support your skin and gut health. As a neuroscientist studying the effects of stress, Nadine discovered the power of adaptogens. Nadine began using adaptogens to address her chronic stress and eczema. Within weeks, her eczema flare-ups were gone, and she handled stressful situations more calmly. Peak and Valley was soon founded in 2019. The brand uses mindful practices to source their herbs and mushrooms to produce pure and potent adaptogen blends.
Shontay addresses the myth that black people don’t need sunscreen (truth is: you do!). She understood the importance of protecting her skin from harmful UV rays but was frustrated with the white residue other sunscreens would leave on her skin. Shontay founded Black Girl Sunscreen to educate and protect melanated skin from UV damage. The sunscreen is free of oxybenzone, parabens and fragrance and includes natural ingredients like jojoba and avocado oils to keep skin moisturized. Black Girl Sunscreen also uses ingredients that are reef-safe and vegan.
Chelsea Williams is a certified plant-based nutrition and wellness expert. She has her own blog, That's Chelsea, which talks about all things wellness focusing on plant-based nutrition, green beauty, and natural living. Her platform teaches others how to live a plant-based, non-toxic lifestyle. She's partnered with many wellness brands and has been featured in various media outlets. Chelsea’s blog was just named as one of "The Best Women’s Health Blogs of 2020" by Healthline!
Darian Hall + Elisa Shankle
Hall and Shankle are the founders of HealHaus, a wellness space and cafe that provides meditation and yoga classes, wellness workshops, and private and corporate wellness sessions. HealHaus uses diverse healing methods and practitioners to provide a true holistic wellness space. They are committed to dismantling the stigma attached to healing, and pushing the notion that healing is a lifestyle, not a trend. HealHaus is based in Brooklyn but is now offering virtual workshops and classes.
These black leaders in wellness are making huge strides to make modern-day wellness more inclusive while addressing existing health disparities and social issues. Let’s continue to honor them and their work to expanding the wellness industry.