In honor of Black History Month and Therapeutic Recreation Month, I wanted to highlight some absolutely incredible Black Business owners & content creators in the realm of healthcare, community care, and recreation. Black History Month is not just a time to look towards the past, but a reminder to celebrate those in the here and now. A reminder for us to celebrate Black excellence, not just in February but ALL year-round.
Check out these amazing organizations/businesses/creators and give them some LOVE.
Rec Therapy On The Go
Rec Therapy On The Go was created by Kevieonta Chester in 2019 to “advocate for the recreation therapy profession and spread awareness of the importance of the field”. Kevieonta graduated from Southern University A&M College with a BS in Therapeutic Recreation and Leisure Studies. She resides in Houston and received her CTRS certification in July 2019. She states her favorite thing about Recreational Therapy is the diversity of the profession & field along with how the practice focuses on treating patients holistically. Providing in-home recreational therapy and interventions designed to help clients maintain and improve functioning within their own home and community environments had been one of the most rewarding experiences of her life, and with her platform hopes to spread the love of the field and how she improves the lives of those in her community. You can follow her journey on Instagram (@rectherapyotg), Facebook, as well as Etsy. https://www.facebook.com/rectherapyotg/
Live Through Rec
“Live Through Rec (LTR) brings recreation therapy, adapted sports, and fitness to children and teens across NYC and Long Island. LTR believes the value of recreation is in bringing people together, achieving a common goal, seeing the benefits of hard work, patience, and being consistent. This medium, intertwined with lack of opportunity for the special needs population to engage in sports, fitness, and other recreational opportunities brings forth our primary purpose of enhancing one’s well-being and enhancing the quality of life. Our participants are living proof that you can live your life through rec!
Edgar, the organization’s Founder is a former recreational therapist, then turned teacher at a leading charter network. He graduated from St. Joseph’s College and earned an M.S in Teaching, focusing on students with disabilities. He then has transformed his career into combining recreation and teaching into LTR. You can find LTR online via Facebook, Instagram and their website below:
Chair One Fitness
Chair One Fitness is breaking down barriers making fun fitness options available for anyone no matter their age or ability. People can choose to become a Chair One Fitness Instructor and teach classes or people can choose our On-Demand Workouts and enjoy a fun workout from the comfort of their own home.
Alexis Perkins is the Founder and Creative Director of Chair One Fitness. She has always had a passion for fitness, television production, dancing, and public speaking. As a Magna Cum Laude graduate from Norfolk State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mass Communication/Broadcast Journalism she went on to work at CBS Affiliate WTKR News Channel 3 and became co-producer and lead instructor for the 30min television program Fuzion Fitness and Body By Alexis. And has since launched Chair One Fitness as a way to help break those barriers of fitness to ensure everyone of any level of mobility can succeed and have fun in their fitness journey.
Rec And Chill
Rec & Chill is a clothing apparel company turned NPO aimed at spreading the love of the field of therapeutic recreation. From sweatshirts, to tote bags to mugs; if you want to showcase your love of all things leisure, play and recreation look no further!
Chelsea is the creator of Rec & Chill and currently resides in Tampa Florida. She started this business two years ago at a time when she was feeling really depressed at work and needed some motivation and a reminder of why she chose recreational therapy as a profession! This platform has helped her grow and connect with many people in the field and it inspires others to be proud of what they do and where they work!
During COVID the apparel shop has shifted and transformed into a nonprofit organization with the concept of giving everything back into the recreation community; such as sponsorships and assisting local community members with recreation pursuits with the money obtained through Rec & Chill.
Chelsea currently works in geriatrics and hopes to grow her knowledge to assist in geriatric-related recreation pursuits but currently, the nonprofit organization is available to help anyone/not just a certain population. Visit her organization at https://www.recandchill.com/
Advocate Recreational Therapy
Sheena Daugherty is a recreation therapist located in Orlando Florida and is the creator of the Advocate Recreation Therapy online platform. She’s quoted as saying “it’s Lady Whistledown for recreation therapy if you will” (ha!) She created the page in order to bring awareness of the therapeutic recreation field to the public. She wants to spread awareness that this therapy is essential and they hold a piece of the puzzle that helps communities and neighborhoods through hard times.
The online platform is filled with uplifting quotes from therapists, as well as shoutouts to amazing people in the field with a new trend she is hashtagging #RecTherapyWorldWide, showcasing real-life TR professionals across the globe. The page also hosts Sunday Night Socials that help professionals unwind and think about their own leisure interests and pursuits going into a new work week. This platform really showcases the wide range of therapists while also giving them a platform to grow and learn and meet others. You can find Advocate Recreational Therapy on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
RECreate! is a mobile recreational company/business based out of Houston Texas. Their goal is to give an opportunity to promote fun, healthy games and activities that teach therapeutic opportunities and healthy lifestyles. Their mission is to maximize each participants’ therapeutic potential as well as improve their quality of life for both their community and loved ones.
The organization provides different types of educational and recreational opportunities for those of all races, religions, disabilities, or socioeconomic classes. The company is run by three Black Certified Recreation Therapists who attended HBCU’s for their undergraduate careers (Jackson State University, Southern University, and Grambling State University) In which all therapists have stated they learned the excellence and importance of Black therapists within communities, and how to provide therapeutic activities/exercises for clients to obtain a better quality of life. You can find RECreate! on Instagram and on their website. https://recreateonthego.com/
February is a time to celebrate the field of therapeutic recreation, and a time to reflect and uplift and acknowledge the history and legacy of Black community members. While doing so, this gives us an even greater opportunity to showcase Black community leaders in the HERE AND NOW that are creating changes in their field. Check out their websites, organizations, and platforms, and let them know what you think! And if you know of a Black-owned recreation business/platform shout them out in the comments below!!