In August 2022, The “Leadership Moves” podcast features Blanca Valentin, a former LEAP Fellow and licensed mental health clinician who has practiced in the Boston area for over 20 years. With the application of mindfulness, healing circles, and restorative/transformative approaches. Blanca has worked with individuals/families who have experienced trauma, depression, and other social, emotional challenges, including racism, violence, incarceration and those who have suffered injustices and oppression.
In this episode, Blanca speaks with us about how she invites her staff to bring their healing practices to the workplace, as a way of combating grind culture and white supremacy culture. Indeed, mental health often carries a stigma for people of color in the workplace. She helps us understand how to normalize, support and empower staff of color to recognize their power and to begin a safe and healthy journey to work-life balance.
However, we realize that confronting grind culture isn’t always easy and it often means confronting what we were taught about care-taking as children. Blanca speaks to the difficulty behind setting boundaries while growing up in a Puerto rican household, “You don’t say no to your elders. You don’t say no to your parents and you’re expected to drop everything.” Teaching people how to treat us – essentially, reminding them of our boundaries often felt like it wasn’t an option in our homes, so how do we confront this in the workplace?
Blanca encourages us to ask ourselves, “what are the indicators that your check engine light is on? Sleepless nights? Starting work earlier and ending later? We’ve probably all been there, but there’s still time to shift and change and ask yourself: What is your medicine? To hear how Blancal supports her staff in finding their medicine, listen to her episode on Spotify, Apple, or anywhere you listen to podcasts!
This project is supported by Grant No 2020-TA-AX-K022 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this program are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice.