I have been in Boston almost five years and in this time I have felt I have been alone, in a wilderness seeking a space to express my unique happiness, joy and rage. I have been in essence, contained. It has been an unusual containment. I have been moving freely and with purpose but often feeling displaced and mistranslated.
I wonder are we all displaced peoples seeking homes in the sacred spaces of one another’s hearts? Are we all seeking sacred space in the fickle acceptance of an unwilling society? If this is true then of course, we must build our promised lands in welcoming places. We must build our own spaces. We must transverse pain, resistance and fear to find one another.
This has been insanity and in my dreams, my visions – I dreamed of a collective, a sisterhood missing me, the link in need of the circle that binds me with others. In my dreams, I reached across waters, climbed mountains and braved heartbreak to find my sisters and in turn, they glad to have had me discover them – rejoiced.
This was of course, all in my dreams.
I am a woman of color in a lonely plac: an isolated place. There seems to be a lack of cohesiveness and community within the black communities of Boston and I starved for family, partnership and alliance have found myself in unwelcoming communities barely tolerating/acknowleging my experiences as a woman of color, writer, mother, and artist.
Sacred Space 2010 grew out of my need, my desire to connect communities, to bridge spaces that disconnected rather than united. Sacred Space 2010 was me reincarnating Harriet Tubman and leading folks to our own promised land. A place where we could unveil our truths, share our pains and reach across the scar tissue separating us to just simply hold one another.
I sent a call out for proposals for women of color to come together and create a space that holds us beautifully outside of the mainstream. I envisioned nappy headed, shiny and bright, brown faces welcoming one another in embraces, crossing salvaged tongues to meet in the middle. The challenges I experienced from the moment I sent out the call for the first proposal sent my into a spiral of varied emotions. I lost spaces, connections – regained spaces and rebuilt connections. I felt alone, I cried at my desk – I screamed. I gave up hope and I regained hope. The process brought me to the realization that building community is difficult and can be darn right, heartbreaking.
Personally, if I had to travel a thousand miles to hold just one sisters hand ,I would. Sacred Space has gained definition from this first event; some saw it as an awesome gathering of the bold, the beautiful, the pained, the healers and the healed. Others felt the distance for such a small gathering, was – well disappointing. I respond with this, how far will you go for change? What would you give to leave your imprint on another’s life? If I told you one woman walked away with a different perspective, loving herself in an entirely different, wonderful way, would that revelation shorten the distance?
We all come to sacred spaces seeking different things. I created the event in order for women of color to connect and find those differences and acceptances they seek, to allow them to carve spaces that allow them blossom beautifully.
I will not depart from my dream of building and sustaining a collective, a gathering that holds women of color beautifully outside of mainstream. There will be a next year, a year after that – come as you will. The door is eternally, infinitely open – this home and we must never depart from one another.

Joyce Angela Jellison
Write Out Loud:Transforming Our Lives Through Writing Our Truths