This piece is an audio essay by Rocky Douglas ‘19 that is inspired by a panel she recently co hosted with Melaine Ferdinand King at the Cultivating Joy and Collective Restoration Harvard graduate student conference titled “Root care: Groundings with my Friends.” Sometimes, folks talk about ancestors as if they exist in a stagnant, distant past, or as if the knowledge they passed down is somehow fixed in space time. We use the analogy of roots because, like those who came before us, they are alive and continuously involved in a process of creation, adapting age-old ways of being to an ever changing environment, with fruits that look a little different each growing season. Root care is the work we do to become more acquainted with the soul that lives in our soil. We believe that there are possibilities of new social and political worlds that we can collectively harvest only after we have gone beneath the surface and tended to our roots. Similar to how an overwhelmed and stifled house plant thrives after we nourish and provide breathing room to its roots, Rocky talks about how Black women’s collective processes of going within with the intention to heal themselves provides an avenue to transform, imagine, and critique the health and wellbeing of the individual, the community, and beyond.