Sakara Wages, Programs and Operations Assistant

About Sakara

I was born, raised, and educated in Chicago; I moved to Platteville in 2012 and experienced homelessness and extreme poverty. In 2014, I was eventually granted access to higher education and by 2017, I’d received a B.S. in Psychology from UW-Platteville (UWP). In May of 2020, I celebrated the completion of my Ph.D. coursework, received my Master of Social Work degree, and joined the Progress Center for Black Women as the Programs and Operations Assistant.  In this position, I am able to engage directly with my research interests which include black women, children, and family welfare. In addition to my work at the Center, I am a fourth-year doctoral student at the UW-Madison’s Sandra Rosenbaum School of Social Work, I am a lecturer at UWP, and a research assistant at the Institute for Research on Poverty.  In my free time, I chase joy, autonomy, and liberation. Joining the Center has been the most meaningful work that I have ever done because I can actualize my research and work toward progress for Black Women from the perspective of a Black Woman.

What do I enjoy about working with the PCFBW and working for Black women and families:

Through all of the conditions designed to oppress Black Women, we thrive. I am honored to be able to observe this valuable skill set; it is my absolute pleasure to learn from the folks we serve. Black Women experience the world in a distinct manner and I value those lived experiences because they strengthen me personally and professionally.

3 tips I’d like to share with Black families for living through this present pandemic:

  1. Find joy and rest often. It’s vital for your survival.
  2. Take time to learn how your loved ones felt at different times of their life. Ask them how it felt to experience milestones. Those experiences are so valuable.
  3. Say no. Your time, space, and labor are valuable. Put your needs first.

How I define Black Joy:

Black Joy is fuel for the revolutionary. White Supremacist Capitalist Patriarchy kills us each day. Yet we find joy because it sustains our fight.