Realizing healing is political, Ready, Set, THrive was envisioned in 2016 by Keita Whitten Foster after being in private practice (Redefining Therapy LLC) as a traditional clinical social worker. In her work, Keita felt increasingly limited and frustrated and became overwhelmed with grief experiencing the nature of burnout trying to heal people using antiquated practices within flawed systems of healthcare and insurances, governed and operationalized by structural racist, sexist, and classist ideologies, policies, and practices intrinsic to psychiatry (APA), medicine (AMA), and social work (NASW) designed to discriminate, harm, and eliminate Black, Brown, and indigenous bodies of culture as clients, patients, and practitioners.
Therefore, Ready, Set, THrive is a radical departure inspired to decolonize the practices and policies regarding mental health. THrive highlights the specific challenges and lived experiences affecting indigenous Black and Brown wombmen bodies of culture to heal from race, class, heteronormative, and misogynist practices, who continue to be over diagnosed, over medicated, ignored, sterilized, over committed, experimented on, go missing, and are still the highest victims of weaponized rape, domestic violence, and trafficking.
These current and historical conditions cause irreparable wounding and land fiercely in the body as historical and intergenerational soul wounds, which according to the ACEs study of 1997, contributes disproportionately to various autoimmune diseases- like civil wars exploding within the bodys’ immune systems- including respiratory and cardiovascular dis-eases leading to premature death. THrive offers holistic emotional wellness by inspiring, empowering, and helping all people remember and reclaim the act of thriving as a birthright bestowed from Spirit- the primordial One. THrive ‘s philosophy is rooted in womanist traditions and holistic embodied practices. Thrive has launched efforts, both nationally and internationally addressing the health crisis of indigenous Black and Brown wombmen bodies of culture, and to help communities heal the soul wounds of historical racialized trauma and internalized oppression collected within all bodies worldwide.
I identify as an indigenous Black woman and THrive practitioner with 30+ years in the field of social work, art, community mental health and education. I continue to train in embodied practices of trauma, racial equity, and communal racial healing. Originally from New York City, I began my career in Maine in 1996 as an AmeriCorps Vista Volunteer. In Maine I worked in and have come to understand White rural poverty- this was a very different context from the inner city structure of poverty I had learned to internalize about myself. Despite being diagnosed at 32 with learning disabilities, like dyslexia, I became a Parents as Scholar (PAS) alumnus of the University of Southern Maine receiving academic honors and student leadership awards while solo parenting. I also presented and received several recognitions for my MSW graduate thesis, Dialogues in Diversity: Multicultural students sharing their realities in Portland Maine. Pedagogies of Diversity; Diversities of Pedagogy Conference on Diversity and Scholarship at the Turn of the 21st Century, USM November 3, 2006, Thinking Matters: A Student Research, Scholarship, and Creativity
Symposium, USM 2005, & Black New England: Life, History and Community in Maine, New Hampshire & Vermont Black New England Conference, 2006. In 2012, I became involved with child welfare resiliency education following the ACEs study (Kaiser ‘97) championed by the works of Nadine Burke. In 2014 Keita opened a private practice and completed her Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP) in 2015. I am the founder of the Mama Africa Show (WMPG Community Radio), Community Dialogues on Racism as a Public Health Crisis amid COVID-19, founder of The Harriet Tubman Movement Coalition, and I create community somatic liberation dance waves (Dance Church). I am a wife, an awesome grandmother, an astistá, a writer, and a small-time farmer in southern Western Maine.