RafikiNow seeks to disrupt the current idea of what mental and emotional support means for the Black community.
RafikiNow came together in June 2020 when I, Michael Tucker, and Shon Sims met at a virtual coaching conference. We recognized the need for the restoration of confidence, self-image, self-love, unity, healing and upliftment across the African Diaspora. We also recognized that there were few solutions beyond the traditional Western, mostly deficit-focused model of mental health care. Moreover, there was little research conducted on alternative solutions, like the healing power of listening or sacred, transformational conversations.
After doing our own research and surveying hundreds of Black Americans and Canadians, we discovered that one-third of the people we spoke with had family and friends in their lives that they could talk to about their concerns. However, these individuals were not always able to support them in a way that was deeply meaningful for them.
Additionally, these individuals wanted to have Black professionals in their lives who they could speak to regularly. Several valued and paid for licensed therapist. However, affordability was often an issue. The majority preferred to engage with and pay and/or provide tribute to a non-therapist including but not limited to; close friends, coaches, healers and ministers.
All of the wonderful people who took time to share their stories and experiences gave us the insight and motivation needed to create this beta platform. While we are the founders and first Rafikis for this site, we recognize that we stand on the shoulders of our ancestors. We are very much at work preparing to train hundreds of others like us, and like you, to serve Black folks and their families around the world.
RafikiNow creates clarity that supports each individual's path of growth, wisdom, transformation and healing. Our platform aligns members of our community that have the skillset and dedication to provide meaningful conversation with those who desire such a simple yet beautiful gift.