Urban Sanctuary Non Profit Inc.
Who are we.
Urban Sanctuary Nonprofit is a sex, race, gender, and religious positive space; we pride ourselves on our inclusivity and we encourage everyone to come exactly as they are.Our intention is to create a wellness space where all people can feel safe and comfortable which we are able to do through our internal peer group who have a special understanding for the unique challenges faced on a daily basis. While all are encouraged to attend, we create classes that focus on specific identities as well as their intersectionality such as people of color, women, and the lgbtq community. The wide array of classes allows individuals to nurture and learn about themselves in a format that reflects each individual’s self-identification, which we find helps people to show up fully in the greater community. All gatherings, classes, training and events are led by qualified teachers and facilitators who are educated in creating and holding space for the students and participants.We also focus on education for the larger public around issues that directly affect LGBTQ and POC communities. It has been our experience that the more education provided, the more acceptance and inclusivity we see. We connect with the general public by holding events and fundraisers that include live music, group meditation, guest speakers, community panels and more.
Urban Sanctuary’s nonprofit was created to establish a safe space for people of color and the LGBTQ community by giving them access to tools, resources, and a positive culture. Through yoga, meditation, and movement courses, we encourage nurturing an environment free of judgment and shame.
Our vision is to evolve our local communities by inspiring others to embrace preventative wellness and expressive freedom through education, conversation, and participation.
Why Urban Sanctuary non-profit was created:
I started Urban Sanctuary because it’s a community I wish was around when I was growing up.
I was raised in a strict, religious, 1970s household where we were taught in a stubborn belief system that rejected any other identities other than being straight and Christian. In the area I was raised, we were the only African-American family making me and my siblings the minority at our schools. Not only was I having to deal with consistent discrimation from my peers, the religious ideologies were ever present at home.
I became a young mother at the age of seventeen and brought my first child into the world, a daughter named Audriana. Following close behind were two more children and I raised all three of my children in the same town in which I was raised where they were met with similar experiences and struggled to fit in. As Audriana grew up, she struggled with her sexual identity because I raised her the way I was raised which created an environment that reinforced the same beliefs of my family. When Audriana entered college, everything came to a head. She is a very intelligent woman, graduating magnum c/um laudi from high school and receiving over eleven athletic scholarship offers from different institutions around the country. Despite her high achievements, Audriana was depressed and unsure of herself.
I, myself, was changing in my beliefs and starting to see how wrong I had been in how I saw the LGBTQ and POC community. I encouraged Audriana to do what she wanted to do and be who she always wanted to be. She eventually dropped out of college and embarked on a challenging but extremely rewarding road to finding and accepting who she was in all areas of her development.
I shared my new beliefs and healing modalities over the years, after I obtained my Reiki Master Level Certificate, trained in India for Yoga and meditation, practiced emotional clearing and more. I supported Audriana as best as I knew how and continue to do so as she and her siblings maneuver through life.
In 2016, Audriana helped me create, build and launch Urban Sanctuary in the 5-Points community of Denver, Colorado. We built this space so others, who do not fit in with mainstream society’s perception of normal, could find a home and find healing through yoga, meditation, workshops, and energy work. We have become a safe space for these groups to build, connect, and heal but most importantly being able to heal with others who share similar experiences.
Recognizing that things could have been different if Audriana had access to a community like Urban Sanctuary, we are taking this opportunity to look forward and focus on how we can help others now. Audriana is still working on self love, as am I, as we all are, but the tools we have learned in this journey and the community we belong to, bring us support, laughter, and a deeper connection to ourselves and each other. This is our Inner Sanctuary and we are sharing it with others.