Created from her personal experiences with infertility, blogger and writer Vanessa Haye founded Femelanin, with the aim for it to be the first organisation driven by its mandate to empower and support black women to rise up against societal pressures and other issues that they may experience in their day to day lives, that cause them to suffer systemic marginalisation and inequality, thus feel overlooked, undervalued in society.
We aim to challenge the stereotypes that currently exist in black communities own and other communities that have continued to have negative economic, social, and political consequences for Black women.
Like many other black women, Vanessa has sometimes felt the ‘imposter syndrome’ within education and employment, to the point that she felt pressure to ‘fit in’, and has also at times experienced discrimination and a lack of opportunities. Having also relied on NHS healthcare during her infertility journey, whilst she was fortunate enough to be funded for IVF that led to the birth of her son, the more specific obstacles during her pregnancy and also after birth is what made her realise that black women are more likely to be subject to inequality, treated less favourably and lack equal opportunities in various social contexts.
The fact that many other black women face similar struggles in their day-to-day lives, this has often meant that the constant fight is perceived and accepted as normal, particularly because black women are likely internalise or endorse these stereotypes and experiences which in consequence has led to them staying silent about these issues.
In her own personal challenging times of need, having lacked a support system and an empowering network for black women. Vanessa carefully curated a community that connects and elevates Black women from all walks of life and backgrounds who can share their experiences and learn and benefit from authentic and meaningful black women’s empowerment.
How Femelanin do this is rooted in our mission statement
Femelanin is a community driven by its mandate to empower and support black women to rise up against societal pressures, challenge metastereotypes and issues in their communities, that cause them to be discriminated against, marginalised and feel less valued in our society.
We aim to improve the social mobility of black women by challenging stereotypes that currently exist and have continued to have negative economic, social, and political consequences for Black women.
Femelanin is both an online and offline community where women irrespective of their personal life experiences and journeys they are all recognised and celebrated as powerful and successful women.
Our community is non-elitist- we recognise and learn from women from all walks of life. These women could be your mothers, daughters, friends or even well-known public figures.
One of our core values is membership - Through our own personal experiences, our community of women value inclusivity and want all of our members to feel part of the Femelanin family.
Femelanin is colourful community by our diverse representation of women anf their personal experiences, however we operate a #noshade policy (pun intended). We created this family for women to feel comfortable enough to share, be honest and transparent in our communication without feeling judged or ashamed.
Femelanin is about rebranding the cultural narrative of a black woman and dispelling the myths and stereotypes surrounding our identity. Our conversations around health, family, sexual health, motherhood, self-care have hashtagnofilter, because we are proud of who we are and what we represent.
Our work will be guided and informed by our beliefs and dedications to:
Fearlessness- Being unapologetic and brave about fighting for black women and using our voices for more than self-promotion.
Membership - Allowing our members to join with a feeling and sense of belonging, something black women haven’t always felt in other social environments, which are not very inclusive or diverse.
Collaboration- Recognising the contribution and support of volunteers within organisations and communities inside and outside of our black community.
Narrative- Retelling the narrative of black women, to promote positive, fair and honest representation of black women.
Inclusive– Respecting ALL people, valuing diversity and committing to equality and inclusivity.
We are women of substance, because we are powerful and meaningful through our positive influence.