our Mission

There is a void in society that no black woman can deny. As human beings, political agents, and spiritual warriors, we are constantly in spaces of transformative struggle. Black lives are always under attack, and we are rarely granted the space, time, and resources to take care of ourselves. Mental illness is stigmatized today, and its effect causes many people of color not to receive proper holistic care. We, black women, must create these sacred places for ourselves. We reserve the right to spaces where we are free to discuss issues that directly affect us openly. The goal of Aura House is to facilitate & create spaces where black women can come together and support one another on their paths of self-empowerment.  We invest in building a strong community through the radical act of sisterhood and, at the same time, staying committed to reclaiming love & power within ourselves and creating a culture of understanding mental health & spiritual practices. We offer a myriad of workshops; mindfulness, healing circles, political education, self-care, nutrition, spirituality, and more. The Aura House serves all ages of women of color, including -cis, trans, and non-binary people who are comfortable in a space that centers on women's experiences.

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SAMANTHA JO

Founder & Executive Director 

@isamanthajo

"I am a visual artist born and raised in Chicago. I attended Columbia College Chicago completing courses in their Fashion Business & Marketing/PR program. During my junior year of college, I studied abroad at the University of Art London and fell in love with contemporary art. Outside of art, I am an advocate for mental health. I relate to mental health firsthand. I’ve learned skills through an intensive therapy program to help me navigate my early 20s journey. I often noticed I was the only black woman in group therapy sessions. Though very helpful, the therapists & group members at this program didn’t understand my daily anxiety about being a black woman in today’s society. If it weren’t for my mother’s insurance, being in an intensive program like that would have been impossible for me. Once I completed the program, I was determined to share the skills I learned with my peers who did not have insurance or funds to support their therapy.

 

In 2015, I created a bi-weekly workshop called Mindful Mondays at The Dojo, a media space I co-operated with five other talented artists located in Chicago. In 2016, I hosted the first documented aura circle in my Logan Square apartment. We shared our mental health experiences and the lack of resources in our black & brown communities. This was a great way to gain knowledge of our needs in an intimate setting while getting to know each other. Those gatherings were the impetus for Aura House. With the help of beautiful allies, it continues to be a place to bring women in the community together to lift one another as we navigate through life. ”

Programs & Education

@kellirenee

"Work hard. Push yourself, because no one else is going to do it for you."

kelli h.