“Healing Cannot Happen While You Are Still Suffering”

“Healing cannot happen while you are still suffering,” said Eboni Bugg, Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Community Programs Director of The Women’s Initiative (TWI) when asked why she created the Sister Circle. The Sister Circle is a wonderful support group for African-American women in the Charlottesville and surrounding communities that provides a safe and welcoming environment for them to come and share their experiences. It allows for connection, counsel, and more importantly a place where African-American women can build trust.

In October 2015, Eboni Bugg launched her first session of Sister Circle with Shelly Wood, Mental Health Therapist of TWI. Bugg and Wood co-facilitate the group and by sight, the passion that these ladies have for this group was evident. They talked about how the Sister Circle allows self-discovery, sisterhood, accountability, self-care, and advocacy. Bugg expresses that her biggest obstacle in creating this support group was overcoming her own apprehensions. When she decided to step out of her comfort zone and ask for TWI’s support she was relieved that her organization saw the need and understood why this group was important.

Amanda Korman, Outreach Coordinator of TWI, spoke of how she loves that the Sister Circle happens here at the Jefferson School City Center (JSCC) because it was inspired by JSCC’s mission of being a vibrant and meaningful community resource which provides cultural, educational and recreational opportunities for our local neighborhoods. The support group is providing the ladies with ways to heal and support each other. It has become a nurturing environment where African-American women can thrive and restore themselves.

After hearing so many great things about this support group I decided to attend. As a woman, notably an African-American woman, I often do not think to attend groups such as this because I put myself last. However, my experience with this group was the best thing I never knew I needed. It was a safe haven, and a calming, rich environment that is challenging to put into words. It was a great challenge to myself to take care of me. I am looking forward to the attending the session this week, and more in the future.

There is still time to register for this 10-week session. Every Sister Circle session is free and occurs every Thursday, 5:30pm – 7 pm, January 12 – March 16, 2017. Childcare is available and light refreshments are provided. JABA Activity Room, First Floor. Space is limited, please contact Eboni Bugg to register: 434.202.7692 or ebugg@thewomensinitiative.org.

The Sister Circle is broadening its scope to reflect more needs for African-American women. Another great program provided is Yoga for Women of Color. Please see the video footage from Newsplex, Yoga for Women of Color on this great new program. It is every third Sunday, 2:00pm – 3:15pm in Common Ground Healing Arts on the 2nd Floor of JSCC.  In extension of the Sister Circle, West African Dance Group and a Chihamba Class are also upcoming programs. The Women’s Initiative believes that every woman has an innate capacity for healing and they want to address the woman’s unique emotional, physical and spiritual needs.

Please visit http://thewomensinitiative.org/ for more information on this remarkable organization changing the lives of women in our communities.

By Crystal H. Napier, Jefferson School City Center Marketing Coordinator


photo-of-eboni   photo-of-shelley


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