Healing for the individual, collective, and generations to come.


As a collective of holistic health practitioners, we create space for wholeness and healing by offering a heart-centered and liberation-focused approach. This kind of care creates the conditions for empowerment and shifts the parameters around what it means to be healed, liberated, and transformed.

For the Black community, Holding Space is a one-stop refuge and place of restoration for the mind, body, and spirit. 

At Holding Space, we are committed to fostering kinship, building connections, and creating community. Therefore, our emphasis is on healing for all people of African descent, and we welcome Black people of all intersectionalities, including sexual orientations, gender identities, religious backgrounds, and abilities.

Equity Statement

An inclusive community of people of African descent who are strong in mind, body, and spirit, resilient, and dedicated to personal and collective transformation and liberation.

Our Vision

To improve the emotional health and well-being of people of African descent by providing a wide range of services that are holistic, culturally competent, trauma-informed, and strength-based.

Our Mission

our values

Here’s the thing: healing doesn't look one way and may look different in every season. At Holding Space, we offer access to holistic care in several modalities wherever you are on your path to healing.

Our People


No one can achieve true healing without help, which is why we offer a variety of resources to assist you on your journey. Check out our Community page to learn more.

Our People


For generations, Black people have had to carry the weight of racial trauma in their minds, hearts, and bodies. At Holding Space, we believe that our people shouldn't have to shoulder the entire cost to heal from the trauma of living in a Black body, navigating systems of oppression, and facing the assaults of white supremacy. The cost of getting access to the help you need on your healing journey should not be a prohibitor. Therefore, our goal is to help offset some of the service costs. Inquire to learn more.

Our People


Are you interested in collaborating with Holding Space on a particular event or community offer? We are now accepting collaborations for brand partnerships and practitioner services.

Our People


How we hold space

MEET the team behind

  • Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • Post-doctoral Fellowship at U.C. Davis Medical Center
  • Pre-doctoral Internship at the Yale-New Haven Psychiatric Hospital
  • B.A. in Psychology from Vanderbilt University
  • California Licensed Psychologist (PSY20156)

Education & Licensure

My life’s calling is to give people a soft place to land, creating space for people to acknowledge what’s present for themselves without judgment, blame, or shame. My approach is tender and soft, laced with warmth, compassion, and kindness, because I recognize and have also personally experienced the hard edges of systemic oppression, racism, and microaggressions and I know the harm it can cause.  

I am also deeply committed to Black joy(!) and want to make sure that there is space for lightheartedness, playfulness, and laughter in our work together. For me, Black joy is the ultimate resistance against systems designed to destroy us, so I’m intentional about bringing this into the care I provide.

Lastly, I emphasize rest as another form of resistance and self-care. Without it, healing is impossible. With that in mind, the practices I incorporate in my approach are also geared toward restoring the soul. When we, as Black people, have properly rested, rooted, and reclaimed ourselves from colonized ways of thinking and being, our ability to heal and transform our communities is limitless. So, let’s get to work.

(pronounced Sha-KON-da) (she/her)

Dr. Shacunda


Founder & Executive Director

how i hold space:

  • Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Georgia State University 
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of California, Davis Student Health and Wellness Center
  • Predoctoral Internship, University of California, Davis Student Health and Wellness Center
  • M.ED in Community Counseling from George Washington University 
  • BA in Communications from Rutgers University
  • California Licensed Psychologist (PSY24867)

Education & Licensure

Holding space for others is a bi-directional blessing. Not only do I get to offer light but I also receive light from each person I encounter. As I hold space with you, I celebrate the bravery, vulnerability and strength it takes to ask for support. Entering the sacred space of therapy is an act of radical self love and it is truly my honor to accompany you on this healing journey. In holding space with you, my desire is to be a compassionate witness to the places you hold pain. I desire to be a cheerleader as I amplify your inherent strengths and empower your authentic voice.

It is my hope that our space allows you to "lay your burdens down" and receive the gift of rest. And ultimately, to be champion for you in reclaiming joy, freedom and love as your birthrights. No matter who you are or where you are from, we all want to be seen, heard and know that we matter. In our sacred holding space, please know that ALL of you is welcome and all of you matters! 


Dr. Tameka


Director of Community Involvement

how i hold space:

  • Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Oregon
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of California, Davis Cross Cultural Center
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Counseling Services
  • Predoctoral Internship, University of California, Davis Student Health and Wellness Center
  • M.S. in Counseling and Family and Human Services from the University of Oregon
  • BA in Sociology and Gender Studies from the University of Notre Dame
  • California Licensed Psychologist (PSY26409)

Education & Licensure

I listen. I honor Blackness in our diverse expressions and embodiments. I celebrate the beauty of our great tapestry. Just as the bogolanfini (Mali mud cloth) tells a story and is truly unique in pattern and expression, I seek to be with you as you are in the fullness of your thoughts, feelings, and embodied self.

I help to make space for your experience in all its complexity and subtlety while working with you to help reveal the hurts that can often be buried as a means of protection in a world of oppressive toxicity. Space means awareness. Space means joy. Space means freedom. Spaciousness to provide the opportunity to heal.


Dr. Malakai


Director of Operations & Clinical Training

how i hold space:

Tracie Stafford

Dr. Melanie A. Lewis

Laura Hewitt

Judy Odipo, Board Chair

Meet our Board of Directors


Are you ready to hold space?

I'm ready

Service providers or experts with established offers or ways for clients to work with you 

Fully invested in Black wellness & thriving for the entire Black community

Holistic understanding of health

Understand the importance of community and collective healing

Have a regular, established self-care practice of your own

Be able to hold space for Blackness and all of our intersectionalities therein

Capacity to meet people where they are on their healing journey

Here are some areas to consider if you are interested in becoming a Holding Space practitioner:


We are deeply committed to creating a world where Black bodies, minds, hearts, and souls are free. We are passionate about undoing racial trauma's long-standing, generational impact and creating avenues that light the path toward healing and liberation. If you are a healing practitioner whose ethos aligns with ours, we look forward to learning what you offer and how you can hold space for our community. 

Looking to become a healing practitioner at Holding Space?


Judy has 20 years of experience working as a bi-lateral, regional and multi-lateral trade consultant and international trade negotiator. She mentored entrepreneurs in micro-enterprise development programs in both developed and developing countries in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa, Malawi, India, Japan, Italy, UK, Switzerland and USA.

Since 2007, Judy has been responsible for the micro-enterprise and micro-loan program at a leading non-profit serving the greater Sacramento area assisting individuals with intellectual disabilities develop self-sustaining micro-enterprises. Judy serves as a board member of Friends of Yimbo, a non-profit providing sustainable programs that foster development to poor communities in Kenya. Judy’s passion for uplifting underserved communities matches Holding Space’s mission. Judy has a Business Administration degree in Management and a master’s degree in International Relations.

Judy Odipo, Board Chair

Laura Hewitt has over thirty years of professional and volunteer work in the philanthropic, public, and nonprofit sectors, focused on improving the lives of children and families in California and nationally. She has served as Executive Director of a partnership between public agencies, foundations and nonprofits to reduce youth violence in Oakland through systemic change, coordinated operations for a multi-site national welfare reform project, and served as the Planning and Special Projects Manager for the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Children, Youth and Families. Her volunteer work has included chairing the Board of the Napa Valley Education Foundation, as well as leadership positions on the boards of several nonprofits serving children and families in the Bay Area and Sacramento. She is also a member of the Sacramento Chapter of The Links, Inc and volunteers her time to support the strategic planning and resource development needs of the Simmons Community Center in South Sacramento.

Laura has a B.A. in American Studies and a M.A. in Education from Stanford University. She and her husband, Chet, have two teenage sons.


Dr. Melanie A. Lewis holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of California at Berkeley, a Masters of Arts from Simmons College, and a Doctorate in Education from the University of San Francisco. A tenured English Professor for 30 years at Cosumnes River College and senior faculty at the college, Dr. Lewis has held many leadership positions, including Department Chairperson, Affirmative Action(Diversity and Equity) Chairperson, and English Composition creator of the Diop Scholars(Umoja) Program, a community of learners designed to support and increase academic success focused on African American and multicultural literature, history, and experiences.

Dr. Lewis has extensive experience as an editor and published writer, as well as political and social activism and representation in many public service organizations.


Tracie Stafford is the Founder and CEO of Stafford Consulting Group, LLC, a California-based consulting firm specializing in organizational culture and system change with an emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion. A Social Sustainability Scientist by trade, she draws from lived experience with poverty, abuse and discrimination coupled with a graduate degree in sustainability leadership to develop inclusive business cultures that thrive long term.

As a small business owner and philanthropist, Tracie has devoted countless hours to chairing diverse boards such as The National Association of Women Business Owners, The Sacramento Small Business Board, The Birthing Project International, and The Sacramento Black Chamber of Commerce among others. In addition, she was honored to have been appointed to the California Small Business Board by the Governor of California.  

Politically Tracie has been a social justice advocate for decades and was recently appointed to the position of Vice Chair, Northern Region of the CA Democratic Party Black Caucus. She is also the first African American Woman to Chair the Democratic Party of Sacramento County.