About The Black Butterfly Collective
About the Founder:
Helsa Thompson is the Founder of The Black Butterfly Collective, where she believes self love & self care is a form of activism. The Black Butterfly Collective focuses on creating a community of empowerment and evolution through self care and healing. She works to empower communities of color with the tools necessary for healing, living healthy lives, and promoting pride in our identity.
As a certified yoga instructor, meditation teacher and life coach, Helsa creates spaces for others to heal, grow, and love themselves. She also uses modalities such as meditation, reiki, and breath work as tools for wellness and empowerment.
Helsa's passion for empowering communities of color is evident before she even launched The Black Butterfly Collective. Helsa began her professional career as a pioneer in the field of education making a difference in schools and community organizations such as DC Public Schools, KIPP, LEAD Public Charter Schools, and Relay Graduate School of Education. She currently serves at the Senior Managing Director of Foundations Integration and Special Initiatives with Teach For America DFW.
Helsa graduated from Harvard's Graduate School of Education with a Masters in Education in 2009 and from the University of Southern California with her BA degree in Print Journalism in May 2008. Helsa also proudly holds the title of being a wife and a mother of 3 sons.- her biggest accomplishment to date.
Why was The Black Butterfly Collective created?
Helsa came to her own realization of the importance of self care and healing while she was balancing her life as a wife, mom, and senior level executive. She realized that she was under extreme amounts of stress, participated in unhealthy habits, and was not living at her full potential. She soon realized that for her to be the best wife, mom, and boss, she had to be the best Helsa and to be the best Helsa, she had to make time for herself. When she prioritized her own self care, she took up yoga, meditation, sound therapy, and Reiki. She saw the power that these healing modalities did in empowering her to be the best version of myself emotionally, spiritually, and physically. She knew she wanted to empower others to do the same.
She does not consider herself a healer. She holds space and leverages techniques that allow for healing and wellness to take place. She strives to empower others to take control of their own healing and create a path for evolution
Why is The Black Butterfly Collective focused on the Black Community?
Identity factors such as race, religion, sexual orientation and gender—is complex, especially, in the black community.
• The black community suffers from generational trauma that affects how people deal with stress and emotions in the present
• Black women are most effected by heart disease, caused by stress, and are not equipped with tools for self-care and stress management
• Black boys are disciplined at high rates and misdiagnosed for learning disabilities, leading to lack of access to more educational opportunities, closing the opportunity gap
• Suicide rates for black children aged 5-12 were roughly two times higher than those of similarly aged white children
Knowing how to deal with stress and learning how to self-regulate emotions are skills needed to empower the Black community. These tools allow for people of color rewire how we deal with generational trauma, the stress of being black in America, emotions that come with navigating white dominate culture in the work place and schools, and the reclaiming ownership of how we engage and react with others.