Contextos Presents: Circle of Roses
ConTextos and Chicago CRED are proud to present Circle of Roses, lifting up the stories and insights of women who are too often ignored amidst narratives around Chicago’s on-going violence. These women are more than their worst experiences. In Nature, roses appear delicate; however, they are resilient with a beauty that breaks through. The same can be said about the magnificent bouquet of Black women who comprise the Circle of Roses. Their lives are complex and complicated as they survive, flourish, and raise the future all at the very same time.
“The Forgotten was initially a 4–6 week project culminating in a book, featuring images and text. Initially, after working with dr. moore and ConTextos for another project, I reached out to her to gain some insight on the most ethical and fair way to find participants for the group. dr. moore provided me with more insight into the various programs offered and communities ConTextos works with and brought in Lisa Kenner to help brainstorm the next steps. dr. moore and Lisa shared an upcoming Authors Circle being provided to the women of Roseland and Rosemoor for the 1st time in ConTextos’ history through Chicago CRED. dr. moore, Lisa, Mrs.Muhammad, and I met over several weeks to craft what the program could look like, identifying women to participate in the circle. The project shifted several times due to the ongoing pandemic, lack of resources in Chicago (specifically the west and south sides), the ongoing violence in Roseland and Rosemoor, and time limitations. Eventually, the project was re-named the Circle of Roses and shifted to in-person meetings to ensure participants would be able to engage as much as possible and provide a supportive space for one another. Although my initial goal for the group was to discuss grief, process trauma, discuss mental health and wellness in our communities, and to have space to discuss the impact mass incarceration has had on our lives.”