Florida Herbal Conference | February 28-March 1, 2020
Florida Herbal Conference

facilitated by Shannon Alycia, Maya Coulton, Chonteau McElvin, Alice Dixson, and friends

The Affinity Room offers a sanctuary for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) to come together in a space that is free of the mainstream stereotypes and social stressors that are placed on us daily. This is a safe space for all BIPOC participants who live the experience of marginalization everyday in their own communities and workspaces to be able to speak out and work through their feelings without the burden of being questioned and having to explain to those who do not live this experience. The room will offer a collaborative altar space, self-guided activities, and an herbal apothecary. Come inside, rest, take a deep breath with us.

The Affinity Room is not meant to be exclusive to those who want more understanding. BIPOC-only spaces provide safe environments to support one another in embracing who we are, and to work towards healing the open and often very raw wounds caused by our walk through this society within and outside of our work as herbalists. Conference attendees who do not identify as BIPOC can best support us by showing respect and compassion while we create this sacred space for ourselves to courageously do the healing work that has called us together this weekend. BIPOC are invited to visit the Affinity Room for daily hours and more information.

Affinity Room Classes & Activities

*These classes and activities are for black, indigenous, people of color only.

Meet and Greets:

In addition to self-guided supportive space, the Affinity Room will host two meet and greets on Friday, immediately following Opening Circle, and again at 2 pm on Saturday afternoon. These times provide an opportunity to get to know the space, the facilitators and one another.

Classes & Activities:

Friday 4:00 pm – The Healing Mind with Maya
Join us in the Affinity Room for a presentation and discussion exploring how history, body systems and nutrition affect mental health.

Saturday 9:00 am – Moving Beyond Anger with Chonteau
In today’s culture there is much to be angry about and in our evolutionary journey we have opportunities to move beyond the anger. Though anger has its purposes, like generating action around stagnation, anger can also keep us trapped in the past. Through facing our anger we began to heal and uncover the emotions which anger hides. In this workshop we will explore some shamanic and herbal tools that will help us move beyond anger so we can more effectively be heard and seen in our community work.

Saturday 11:00 am – Healing and Reconciliation: A Water Ritual with Chonteau (held at the Fire Circle on the Peninsula)
This workshop is a water ritual for healing anger. Are your prepared to reconcile some of the disruptions in your life, and use the water spirits to support this process? According to the late Sobonfu Some, one of my mentors, water is the element of reconciliation, and seeks to cool, slow down and halt, combustion. In this workshop we will work with the element of water as a healing agent for our anger. Be prepared to get wet during this experience.

Saturday 4:30 pm – Reflections Gathering with Shannon and Alice
Reflections Gathering is a time for BIPOC herbalists to come together in support of one another to share and discuss our experiences. We will Listen, Learn and help one another heal.


Affinity Room facilitators will also host a Unity Roundtable at the Unity Fire on Sunday at 11 am that is open to all conference participants. The Unity Roundtable will serve as a sacred space to both Listen to the experiences and feelings of others and to be Heard – helping us to understand how culture affects our worldviews and how failing to recognize cultural connections to the Earth and Plants have led to miscommunication amongst those of us walking the path of Natures Medicine. This is a great opportunity to learn and truly see each other forming bonds and gaining the understanding to build healthy lasting relationships, authentic Allyship and making moves towards social justice and equity. You are invited and welcomed to take part in a unique opportunity to learn about the experiences of BIPOC herbalists within our local communities and within mainstream natural medicine. Facilitated by Shannon Lockhart, Maya Coulton, Alice Dixson, and friends, the roundtable will serve as a sacred space to bring curiosity, ask questions, and share honest dialogue in the intention of personal and cultural healing, unity and authentic allyship, justice and liberation.


The Unity Fire Circle hosted by Alice Dixson, will serve as a sacred space adjacent to the Affinity Room to bring curiosity, ask questions, and share honest dialogue in the intention of personal and cultural healing, justice and liberation. This Unity space welcomes all conference attendees and will be available throughout the weekend. The intention of the Unity Fire is to hold space for the healing of “What Is”. We invite you to bring your heart, courage and willingness to the Unity Fire as we approach the healing of structuralized racism that is happening in America and the World. Join us in the exploration and expression of Healing What Is, with Music and Conversation, to point the way back to our humane, humanity.


Learn more about why BIPOC-only spaces are important to the healing of our society and journey towards equity and unity.

A group of students who share an identity are going to relate to each other in ways they can’t with peers who can’t or don’t understand their experience. It’s about safety and, in some cases, about fundamental issues of injustice.

Additional Resources

Layla Saad – Me & White Supremacy Workbook