a necessary force addressing the root causes of gun violence by centering the wellbeing of Black single moms and women
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
The BLOOM Program is a 6-month wellness program that follows an educational and experiential curriculum rooted in our own pillars: nourishment, transformation, and self-love. Events include unit-based wellness workshops with our partner Sista Afya Community Care (SACC) where a licensed therapist guides women to think about their wellness in ways and with support many of them haven’t had before. Additionally, events range from yoga to art therapy, Broadway shows, community clean-up projects, and more.
In order to graduate from the program, participants must abide by community guidelines, maintain a 75% attendance rate, and work with our Goal Coordinator (a licensed social worker) to complete a personal or professional goal by the end of the 6 months. Participants are provided with over 60 hours of in-person support and 10 hours of free counseling each, 20+ wellness programs, and an in-person graduation to give Black women and single mothers the flowers they deserve. These experiences work together to help expand participants’ capacity to confront and defeat the barriers that have held them back from being active agents and changemakers for themselves, their families, and their communities.
WHO DO WE SERVE?
We serve Black single mothers, mothers, and women living on Chicago's south and west sides who have been impacted by poverty-induced gun violence or its side effects. If this sounds like you, fill out our waitlist at the bottom of this page for program updates.
Caring for ourselves is an act of self-preservation. We lead with this pillar to instill a culture of critical care and innate worthiness for those impacted by the effects of gun violence. By giving them the tools and agency to practice self-care, we aim to also increase feelings of self-love and self-worth.
In order to bloom, a flower must have enough nutrients in the environment it’s rooted in. By exposing women to new foods, expanding their understanding of nutrition, and building a connection to the natural world—we aim to create experiences that nourish them mentally, physically, and spiritually.
When existing in cycles of trauma and violence, it’s hard to remember that we have an unlimited source of power we can tap into to transform our lives. By helping women harness their transformative capacity—women of color leave the cohort having bloomed into the gifts that were always inside of them.
WATCH OUR 2022 BLOOM DOCUMENTARY
Some of our activities this year include...
Self-Love, Nourishment, and Transformation Workshops w/ SACC
Professional photoshoot with Sunrise Art Club
Facial Workshop with Self-Care Spa Lounge
Rustic Falls Nature Camp Retreat
Clean Up Project Day of Service
Black Girlhood Bonfire
Yoga in the park
THE EMBODIMENT OF
IT STANDS FOR BELIEVING,
LOVING, AND OWNING THE
OPULENCE IN MYSELF.
NEED IS ELASTIC.
WE STRETCH TO MEET IT.
Stemming directly from the expressed needs of the people we work with, BLOOM is a necessary force for gun violence prevention and its impacts. Through the Chicago Food Pairing Program, we served hundreds of families by providing customized grocery deliveries, including household supplies, alongside resource list creation. Over time we realized that of the hundreds of people we serviced, the vast majority of them were Black women and single moms. As we conducted these deliveries, they shared with us that they lacked investment, support, a sense of self-worth, a voice, and an ability to dream. We listened. We studied. And with the needs of the people at the forefront, we are taking action.
2022 BLOOM Cohort members
BLOOM acts to realize the empowerment of marginalized women by focusing on those that are most vulnerable: low-income women, single mothers, women with disabilities, unemployed women, and more. These women, who are pillars in our communities and their families, are an untapped mine of budding leaders with the power and influence to help shift communities affected by poverty-induced gun violence from a state of scarcity to a thriving oasis. By prioritizing experiential learning, joy, conversation, and counseling—women of color leave the cohort having bloomed into more effective architects of their lives and communities.
Why we're creating a culture of critical care
BLACK GIRLS BLOOM