Third Root’s doors opened in August of 2008, and has been running steady ever since! We began with 7 worker-owners, who were pertinent to the founding of the organization and allowing it to stand and toddle, 5 of whom have now moved out of the city or moved on to new work. Third Root is currently operated by 5 worker-owners, many of whom practice more than one modality. We have grown structurally and now have a number of practitioners on staff as well as an administrative team in addition.
One of our goals is for everyone who walks through our doors to see their identity reflected in our practitioners. This is a way to enable visitors, patients, and students to feel seen, their experience felt, and their fabulous self celebrated. It can be quite radical to see a black acupuncturist, a queer massage therapist, a Latina herbalist because of the way that these modalities have historically intersected with capitalism and their histories erased, exotified, or vilified. We honor the complex history of the holistic modalities that we practice at Third Root, seeing the cultural context of the modality as vital to our understanding and practice of the healthcare tools and philosophy.
Our practitioners are trained not only in their modality of practice, but also in facilitation, consensus, and anti-oppression, in recognition of the fact that healers are cultural workers as well as healthcare workers. Our goal is to provide transformative care, that allows us to find more health and peace as individuals, and also provides a vision for transformation in healthcare and as a more just community, city, and country.
Some highlights in our history:
- We participate annually in a local street fair called the Flatbush Frolic on Cortelyou Road
- We have taught ongoing yoga classes in the offices of 3 of our partner organizations, helping those who do the vital work of social justice take care of themselves and focus inward.
- We have been covered and interviewed by Brooklyn Public Television, This Is Signified, TimeOut NY, The Daily News, HerbalGram, The New York Times, Forbes Japan, WABC-NY, the Indypendent, and more.
- We have partnered with such gems in the community and city as: New York Immigration Coalition, Families for Freedom, FIERCE, The Audre Lorde Project, Challenging Male Supremacy, the Brecht Forum, Just Food, the InterDependence Project, Street Yoga, the Lineage Project, CAMBA, Domestic Workers United, Domestic Workers’ Alliance, Brooklyn Yoga Cooperative, Ayiti Resurrect, and many more
- We have partnered nationally and are indebted to the inspiration provided by: The Brown Boi Project, Generative Somatics, Kindred Southern Healing Collective, Sage Community Health Collective, Casa de Salud, and many more.
- We have hosted workshops on fermentation, self defense, children’s acting classes, Support for the Childbearing Year, medicine making
- In 2008 and 2009, we hosted the Ditmas Park CSA, recognizing the vital connection between the food we eat, where it comes from, our own health, and the health of the environment around us.
- In 2009, we began our Herbal Education Program, teaching an introductory, intermediate, and advanced courses in Herbal Medicine
- In 2009, there was a complicated incident of homophobia on Cortelyou Road, and Third Root was invited to facilitate a conversation about the intersections of race, queerness, and gentrification at the late Vox-Pop coffee shop
- Attending the 2010 US Social Forum and being an integral organization to the running of the Healing Practice Space and the Health and Healing Justice People’s Movement Assembly
- In 2011, we helped to create and perform Eisa Davis’ theater piece “Active Ingredients”
- In the Spring of 2012, we were part of a dialogue on “Transformational Activism” -a gathering of 30 social justice workers and organizations using the tools of spirituality for positive social change.