Tynetta Hill Mohammed (She/They)
Chapter Member of BYP100
In addition to our normal Staff Spotlight articles, we are kicking off a series of Community Spotlights. This slot will be used for individuals or organizations whose practice gives us glimpses of a positive future. These features will also be highlighted on our Instagram page, so be sure to keep an eye out for them there as well!
The first ever community spotlight goes to, Tynetta Hill Mohammed who is a chapter member of Black Youth Project 100, commonly known as BYP100. BYP100 is “a member-based organization of Black youth activist creating justice and freedom for all Black people,” Explains Tynetta. They continue by explaining that this can look like fighting for police abolition and the abolishment of prisons, while also “understand[ing] that we have to like dismantle these systems that are funneled and fueled so much by the money that we create as through capitalism right off and then disseminating it across the board.” Tynetta is currently pre-med at UChicago and Tynetta’s membership with their BYP100 chapter began early in social distancing efforts.
BYP100’s mission is to accomplish “Total Wellness.” What would Total Wellness look like? If you were to ask a BYP100 member (from 6 feet away with proper PPE), they might describe Total Wellness as healthy, and with the absence of any ailments. Tynetta explains their take on Total Wellness, “I always have wanted to have complete comprehensive healthcare- even now transportation, which some people don’t think about as a part of healthcare” Tynetta continued to explain why transportation is part of healthcare and it came down to one word: “accessibility”. Many do not have access to a car or can pay to travel the city as they like. Geographic and financial barriers can prevent even the most health conscious person from achieving their wellness goals.Total Wellness considers the whole person, Tynetta and BYP100 describes. Ultimately,Total Wellness is “recognizing that every person’s narrative is individual.”
The world is shaped by our circumstances, identities, and how these two forces intersect. Issues such as racism, sexism and homophobia are deeply rooted in our society and structures and systems are built upon them, continuing to cause harm. As there is much work to be done, it could be tempting to use every bit of our individual and collective energy towards the fight of injustice, however understanding total wellness, BYP100 would advise against that approach. Tynetta speaks to this internal conflict:
“The weight of the world is a lot and sometimes we have to take steps back from the work that we are doing every day by just living so people know that they have the ability to take that moment for themselves to release.”
In oppressive systems, safety isn’t always an option, let alone wellness or comfort. In society today, harm is often caused accidentally, but caused nonetheless. Tynetta related, “as the woke friend, you know, I’m still not woke, because the process of dismantling means that stigma still exists in the world.” Further, Tynetta described a process of unlearning unconscious biases as ongoing and as a practice; while honoring rest and wellness she named that, “If we have the capacity and opportunity, we should be able to articulate how we feel because it gives us practice and every finds the knowledge that we have.”
Release is important. Rest is important. BYP100’s vision of Black people having economic, social, political, and educational freedom is important and we’re incrementally getting there. I checked in about how Tynetta takes care of herself amidst the organizing, activism, schoolwork, and virus-era living- she answered simply: “I eat and drink a healthful diet for myself and I go outside every day.””
For more information about BYP100 please check out their website: BYP100.org