Close this search box.

Healing Circles | September 23

Healing Circles is an intergenerational supportive space centered on and affirming Black culture, community and lived experience. With open hearts and open minds we will share our stories, wisdom and strength to promote all aspects of health and well-being.

Using circle and restorative practice approaches, Healing Circles encourages and celebrates our connections, our community and our well-being. We are committed to creating a safe, confidential and welcoming community!

We invite attendees (from tweens to elders) from all localities, with an emphasis in and around the Midway area of St. Paul, MN, to join us.

Healing Circles will be held on Thursday, September 23, 7:00-8:30 p.m., then every fourth Thursday through the end of the year. Due to COVID-19, Healing Circles will be held virtually on Zoom (registration required). In-person events may be added with appropriate safety precautions.

Don’t miss Healing Circles on Thursday, September 23, when facilitators Marjorie Grevious and Jamela Pettiford welcome special guest Coach Val.

Meet Our Special Guest: Coach Val

coach ValI am Coach Val — also known as Val “I am Zumba.” First and foremost, I am a mother to my amazing Josiah. I’m also a lover of my community, a group fitness instructor and a small business owner.

I’m originally from Haiti. I moved to Florida when I was 10 years old. After graduating from Florida A &M University I relocated to the Twin Cities in 2003 for work. I worked in corporate America for many years before I stumbled onto my passion and dream career in fitness.

I was pulled into the fitness world one day as I was listening to a radio program discussing the health disparities of people of color especially the black men and women in North Minneapolis communities.

I said a prayer and decided that fitness is my way to help my community as a whole. Six years later, here I am! I’m a fitness instructor impacting lives of all ages from elementary, young adults to seniors. I’m also a certified lifestyle coach teaching lifestyle skills. I work with many major organizations in the Metro Area including, North Point Health and Wellness, Pillsbury United Communities, St. Paul Parks and Recreation as well as Minneapolis Parks and Recreation to provide free or low-cost fitness classes and lifestyle change programs in our communities. My goal brings awareness and a form of healing through fitness and wellness across generations within our community.

I am motivated, excited, committed, and passionate to empower health and wellness in the community through fitness that is fun!

Event Details

  • When: Thursday, May 20, 7:00-8:30 p.m., then every fourth Thursday through the end of the year. Upcoming dates: October 28, November 18 and December 16.
  • Where: Zoom. Please register on Eventbrite to receive Zoom link:
  • Who: Attendees (from tweens to elders) from all localities, with an emphasis in and around the Midway area of St. Paul.
  • What: Healing Circles, a supportive, facilitated space to affirm Black culture, community and lived experience, and to share dialogue and feelings to promote health and well-being.


Marjorie Grevious

Marjorie D. GreviousMarjorie Grevious has been practicing yoga for 40 years and became a yoga teacher 10 years ago. She has certifications in yin yoga, trauma-informed yoga, prison yoga project and teaches classes in Hatha (slow flow) and restorative yoga both at YWCA St. Paul and at Yoga Sanctuary in south Minneapolis. She is a registered member of Yoga Alliance and the Black Yoga Teachers Association. She has a long career in social services working with youth and families in crisis both in the twin cites and southern California. Marjorie earned her BA in Secondary Education from Augsburg University, an MS in Human Services from Springfield College and an MA in Theology from United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities.

Jamela Pettiford – Employment & Support Services Manager, YWCA St. Paul

Jamela Pettiford

As Employment & Support Services Manager, Jamela Pettiford, MACC, provides overall program oversight, supervision and professional development for the YW Works program, providing African American Culturally Specific Employment Services for families receiving MFIP & the Housing Stability Initiative. Additionally, she assists with program development and curriculum design. Jamela ensures programing is affirming African American lived experiences; coaches counselors to address domestic violence; provides employment & career counseling and education support; and group facilitation. She has over fifteen years of hands-on experience in intervention & advocacy, case management and services to adults, youth & children in crisis and transition primarily w/ diverse, disenfranchised communities in education and employment settings, and 20 years of overall experience in human service/humanitarian work. She is skilled in culturally-affirming & innovative problem solving and motivational development delivered one-on-one & via group-based sessions. She has extensive professional experience in program development, best practices’ implementation and building/sustaining strong community alliances.

Jamela holds a Master of Arts degree in Clinical Christian Counseling from Minnesota Graduate School of Theology. Jamela is a skilled actress and musician, having performed with such greats as Dorothy Cotton, Bernice King, Ameri Baraka and New Power Generation, to name a few. In April 2007, Jamela was inducted into the Minnesota Country Rock-n-Roll hall of Fame with the Big John Dickerson Blues band.