Realizing healing is political, Ready, Set, THrive! LLC was envisioned in 2016 by Keita Whitten Foster. After being in private practice (Redefining Therapy LLC) as a traditional clinical social worker, Keita began to feel increasingly limited and frustrated, and finally became overwhelmed with grief and experienced burnout- I was tired of trying to heal people using antiquated practices within flawed systems of healthcare and insurances, governed and operationalized by structural racism, sexisim, and classism- policies and practices that are foundational to ideologies intrinsic to fields of psychiatry (APA) and medicine (AMA), including the foundational morays of social work (NASW). These institutions are designed to discriminate, harm, ignore, and eliminate Black, Brown, and indigenous bodies of culture as clients, patients, and practitioners. Therefore, Ready, Set, THrive is a radical departure inspired to actualize abolitionist practices and policies regarding embodied intelligence and wellness designed to support the souls’ capacity to heal in this dimension
THrive focuses on communal emotional capacity and wellness and identifies with the specific lived experiences affecting indigenous Black and Brown wombmen bodies of culture living with routined assaults of heteronormative, classist, and misogynist practices/behaviors. Indigenous Black and Brown wombmen bodies continue to be overdiagnosed, over-medicated, ignored, sterilized, over-committed, experimented on, go missing, and are still the highest victims of weaponized rape, domestic violence, and trafficking worldwide. These current and historical conditions simultaneously cause irreparable wounding, which all land fiercely in the body as intergenerational soul wounds and dis- ease. According to the ACEs study of 1997 -championed by Dr Nadine Burke- these lived experiences contribute to various autoimmune diseases- like civil wars exploding within the bodys’ immune systems- including respiratory and cardiovascular diseases leading to premature death, disproportionately targeting the bodies of indigenous Black and Brown wombmen…
THrive uses a holistic lens cultivating, healing, inspiring, and empowering to help 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 prose, traditions, and embodied practices of liberation. Thrive has launched efforts, both nationally and internationally, addressing and collaborating to help highlight the health crisis of indigenous Black and Brown wombmen, and to help communities learn how to heal the soul wounds of historical racialized trauma and internalized oppression collected within all bodies worldwide.
As a wife, an awesome grandmother, an astistá, writer, and a small-time farmer in southern rural Western Maine, 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.
At 32 I was diagnosed with learning disabilities while entering college as a solo parent. I went on to become a Parents as Scholar graduate (PAS is a program designed to help single parents on TANF to pursue college) and alumnus of the University of Southern Maine receiving my BSW with awards for student leadership and academic honors, like the President’s Excellence in Education certificate. While pursuing my MSW, I presented and received several recognitions for my graduate thesis, Dialogues in Diversity: Multicultural students sharing their realities in Portland Maine, including Pedagogies of Diversity; Diversities of Pedagogy Conference on Diversity and Scholarship at the Turn of the 21st Century: USM, 2006, Thinking Matters: A Student Research, Scholarship, and Creativity Symposium, USM 2005, and 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 I opened a private practice and completed my Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP) in 2015. I am a member of the Black Association of Social Workers and the Maine NAACP. 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) in Western Southern Maine.