Anana Harris Parris is the Creator and Director of the Self Care Day Campaign, the Self Care Agency and the SisterCARE Alliance. She is committed to speaking on and implementing campaigns, programs, workshops, and initiatives that push forward the revolutionary and social justice impact of self-care for both communities and the individual. Through various partnerships, Ms. Parris has organized marches, developed summits and created mentoring programs to promote social justice as a form of self-care and to enhance the incorporation of strategic self-care in social justice work. Through her nonprofit SisterCARE Alliance, Ms. Parris oversees the implementation of support services such as presentations and critical self-care program training to battered women’s shelters, returning citizens, human trafficking survivor programs, youth detention centers, teen pregnancy programs and the often forgotten everyday working professional.
Established in 2011 Self Care Agency is a social enterprise established to promote a revolutionary self care program, products, workshops and consultant training services to all who desire a strategic way to integrate more practical tools to address their critical needs. Products include a book titled Self Care Matters A Revolutionary Approach that outlines the revolutionary purpose of self-care, how to start a Self Care Support Group, how to create your own customized Self Care Plan and more. Self Care Soap which has affirmations embedded on the inside and Self Care Cleansing Scrub with epsom salt. SisterCARE Alliance is a network based not for profit organization that promotes strategic self-care planning to women of color as a form of social justice and social justice a a form of self-care. Programs are taught to survivors of human trafficking, domestic violence and the everyday working professional environment. In addition to workshops, events and social/restorative justice community coalition building we also have focused on establishing official Self Care days to expand the discussion around self-care for communities of African descent.
Seeing a major gap in individual and community based understandings of the critical need for Self Care Planning Anana knew this would be an awesome venture. After surviving a major traumatic event, she realized the difference between survival and self-care. Realizing how much money is made off of the lack of interest many of us have to be strategic about our self-care thoughts. In 2011 self-care was seen as massages and pedicures so establishing the first official Self Care Day in the City of Atlanta was important to further politicize and expand the perspective of self-care for communities. Now, she is so glad to have been pushed that hard. The lives that have been empowered since then have moved her. “I implement this Strategic Self Care Program into my entire life as a mother, community leader and hopeful change agent. Without it, she would be sucked into the chronic behavior of poor self care that is lurking every day.”
Ms. Parris notes the hardest parts of business as “Integrating the passion to spread a heartfelt purpose driven mission with order, structure and follow up. My passion and purpose to share these tools which build non-dependent clients drives me more than my passion to plan and prepare at times. Without working my Self Care Plan which a component places me in front of truth tellers that snatch me back to reality regularly, I would not be able to progress at all in my business. My drive and passion would outweigh the order instead of integrating it and fear of failure would win. I’ve learned that only choosing to follow the passion is really my fear of failing and integrating new procedures that can advance my business. I’m still growing but this has by far been my greatest challenge.”
In 2011, Ms. Parris authored the first official Self Care Day Proclamation which is recognized on December 4th. Currently Self Care Day is recognized in the cities of Atlanta, Savannah and Lithonia, Georgia as well as DeKalb County and Charlotte, North Carolina. Ms. Parris also authored a book Self-Care Matters A Revolutionary’s Approach released December of 2016. Ms. Parris has also been serving as the Director of Operations and Community Affairs for the Davis Bozeman Law Firm.
As a result of her many years of volunteering and community service, Ms. Parris has been honored with several awards including the Unsung Heroine Award by the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc. and the Red Cross Hurricane Katrina Community Service Award. Ms. Parris was the keynote speaker at the 2018 Global Women’s Leadership Activism Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa and the recipient of the Southern Center for Human Rights Gideon’s Promise Award in 2018. Through the support of her family and love of her son Zaiire Jasiri Parris, Ms. Parris continues to advance the radical impact of self-care for community and individuals alike.
Anana Harris Parris lists 3 things business owners should keep in mind. “If you have a business plan you also need a strategic Self Care Plan. The positive results you seek in both plans are interconnected as are the results that surface from the neglect of both. What is challenging about balancing business and personal is main due to a lack of attention to identifying and following up on your critical needs in both your personal and business life. Strategic planning in your Social, Emotional and Artistic Self Care Categories are critical to maintain longevity in your business. When these specific categories of you Self Care Plan go ignored you constipate the growth, sustainability and quality decision making in your business.” Anana continues to give back, through her organization the SisterCARE Alliance she donates Self Care Programming services to populations at risk and maintain an effective underground network of caring and social justice minded sisters actively supporting the critical needs of those in crisis. Although she is grateful for all her success, she would tell her 20 year old self “You are right to continue trusting your intuition. Good job not being a blind follower. You are doing the best with what you have. I am proud of you Anana!”
“I struggle with certain areas of self-care. I created this specific type of movement to see self-care as a form of social justice because self-care is hard for me. I also began to understand the connection of social justice Ana’s self-care after my experience with trauma during child birth. I realized that there are many payrolls based on my lack of self-care by many. I have coping mechanisms I’ve learned through the years that teach me to block things out or run from extreme emotional challenges. My personal Self Care Strategy is how I manage these many moments with proactive, honest awake decision making. The secret is, I have to work hard (not as hard in certain areas anymore) but I still have to work hard to take good care of myself. The second secret fact to those who don’t know me is … when majoring in Electrical Engineering at Howard University I was the Vice President of the student chapter of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) one year and loved it!”
If Anana could have anything she would have all her family living in one place, happy, healthy, rich and living in their own purpose, while making global impact!
On April 28th we have an event in partnership with Giwayen Mata called Black Women Walking ATL. We will be teaching self care strategies at different points in the walk then inviting participants to enjoy the Atlanta Beltline to practice discussing what they have learned. This is a Self Care Walk Workshop format we created as a service to organizations and business that want to further empower their members with our Self Care Program.
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