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SELECTED publications

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scholar. curator. artist.
founder, blackwomxnhealing

reelaviolette botts-ward, PhD, is a homegirl, an artist, and a nontraditional community curator from Philadelphia, PA. Currently a Postdoctoral Fellow with the REPAIR Project at UCSF, ree brings radical Black feminist healing arts to healthcare and medical science spaces. As founder of blackwomxnhealing, ree curates exhibitions, courses, healing circles and research for and by Black womxn, and values communal care as a foundational ethic for engaging somatic, ancestral, and spiritual wellness. She remains invested in making her academic work accessible to community audiences, using art, poetry, and digital humanities as tools of translation.


Her first book, mourning my inner[blackgirl]child (Nomadic Press, 2021), uses poetics as praxis to explore embodied trauma, ancestral grief work, and spiritual healing. She has also published articles, book chapters, and creative works with the Harvard Journal of African American Public Policy, Routledge Press, and the University of Arizona Press, among others. Her work has been featured with platforms like Elle Magazine, NAACP, and The Griot, and supported by the California Black Women’s Health Project, the UC Humanities Research Institute, and the Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities, among others.

She received her PhD in African Diaspora Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, her MA in African American studies from UCLA, and her BA in Sociology and Anthropology from Spelman College. She has also taught courses in the African American Studies department at Merritt College and the University of California, Berkeley, and a course called #BlackFeministHealingArts in UCSF’s Medical Anthropology department. For more on ree’s work, visit / @blackwomxnhealing / @dr.reelaviolette on instagram. 

selected publications

"curating #blackgirlquarantine: on collage making, collective mourning and ancestral rememory"

Medical Anthropology Quarterly, 2023


Healing at Home: on Self Making and Black Girl Interiors.”

ASAP/J, 2022

“#blackgirlquarantine chronicles: on womanist artistry, sisterhood, survival and healing.” 

Lavender Fields - University of Arizona Press, 2022

mourning my inner[blackgirl]child,

Nomadic Press, 2021 

“#BlackWomxnHealing: An Intergenerational Healing Space 

for Round the Way Girls in Academia.” 

Building Mentorship Networks to Support Black Women - Routledge Press.

Writing for My Mother: on Tone, Form, and the Slippages of Linguistic Refusal.”

Women, Gender and Families of Color, 2021

Critical Sisterhood Praxis: Curating a Woman of Color Feminist Intervention for

Spiritual Reclamation in the Academy” with Aa Reynolds and Farima Pour-Khorshid,

The Journal of Educational Foundations, 2021

sanctified children: on the emergence of blackgirl spirit form +

the discovery of inner wisdom.

Arts Research Center, University of California, Berkeley. 2021 

Misuse of the Sacred.

University of California, Berkeley. 2019

selected panels + presentations

selected panels + presentations

Choreographing Sacred Movement w. Amara Tabor-Smith

University of California, San Francisco, 2023

Matrilineal Healing Arts

University of California, San Francisco, 2023

The UCSF REPAIR Postdoctoral Fellows
University of California, San Francisco, 2022


Black Feminist Storytelling

Black Futures Month, Keynote Speaker

University of California, Davis, 2022


MoAD Lit Poetry Feature

Museum of the African Diaspora

ft. reelaviolette botts-ward, 2022

Black Girlhood, Our Mothers, + Home

Jasmine Mans + reelaviolette botts-ward,

blackwomxnhealing, 2021 


Black Girls, Black Voices, Black History

reelaviolette botts-ward, Zachary McRae, and Rasheed Shabazz

BAMPFA, University of California, Berkeley, 2021


Black Feminist Geographies
Savannah Shange + Brandi Summers,

Moderated by Tianna Paschel + reelaviolette botts-ward

University of California, Berkeley, 2021

Poetry and the Senses Spring 2021 Fellows

Spring 2021 Fellows, featuring reelaviolette botts-ward

Arts Research Center, University of California, Berkeley, 2021


Poetry Reading with Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge, Natalie Diaz, and Aja Monet

Moderated by Ken Ueno + reelaviolette botts-ward

Arts Research Center, University of California, Berkeley. 2021


Power of the Pen

Tongo Eisen-Martin, reelaviolette botts-ward, 

Tyson Amir, Azariah Cole-Shephard, Joy Elan

Alameda County Public Library, 2021

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