KDSL Global collaborates with education businesses around the world. One service we offer is promoting education companies. Our intern Isabella Ellwein had a chance to chat with Julio Rivera of Liberate Meditation. Learn more about this app and his work below.
Why did you create this app? Can you pinpoint a major event or experience you had, as a person of color, that prompted your creation of this app?
I can remember the first time that I had stepped in a room of a meditation space, full of black and brown beautiful faces. As an Afro-Latino, this made me feel like I was back home with family and on a deeper level, this does something to relax the nervous system. I had this deep experience in this community dedicated to people of color, which helped me feel more relaxed and safe and allowed me to be vulnerable about my challenges. I had struggled with burnout and high levels of stress, anxiety, and depression at that time. This space allowed me to be more vulnerable about everything I was facing. At the end of it, I felt empowered that I could change the relationship with my challenges, that I could overcome suffering and I felt hopeful.
Being in a space that was a dedicated community to people of color was so transformational for me. I did my own research after this experience and I didn’t see many resources for people of color that was geared towards meditation practices. This shocked me. I had a background in software engineering and I had spent 8+ years building mobile apps for a lot of big retail brands. So, I felt like this was my calling, to use my software engineering background and combine it with my love for meditation. My app Liberate was born, which provides meditation resources for people of color.
How has meditation personally helped you overcome adversity faced as a person of color?
As a person of color, we have this inner critic, which is this voice that can be really abusive. It can get in the way of us accomplishing the things we want, telling us that we are not good enough. People of color have been forced to change and assimilate to White America and white culture. We have been told to fit into the system and fall in line. I think over generations, we’ve internalized this as people of color. So, my meditation practice has helped me to see the impacts of colonialism and to be observant of it. It has also helped me be more compassionate towards myself. It has allowed me to move forward in the world with love, with power, with courage, with confidence. It has helped me cultivate a lot of self-love and shown me that I am enough. I know that when I do invest in myself and personal development, it is coming from the desire to expand my love and light, rather than feeling like I need to fix something inherently wrong with me.
What are some of the requirements you are looking for when selecting a teacher to talk and/or guide a meditation?
A big thing for me is personal experience with meditation. A lot of the teachers on the app probably have a decade or more of personal experience with meditation. I also think that it is important to have teachers who are people of color, as these teachers have had a personal experience with adversity and perhaps, internalized their struggles. It’s important for the teachers to have a past path of learning. I like them to have a lineage and connection with past teachers that they go to for guidance and help through their own personal practice. I have curated the team of teachers through a very thoughtful and mindful process. I’m just so grateful that I get the opportunity to work with these really wise folks that have so much to offer to the world. I am excited about giving these teachers a platform to spread and impact people’s lives in so many positive ways.
To learn more about Liberate Meditation visit https://liberatemeditation.com
Julio Rivera is the founder of Liberate, a company started to support the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color community in healing and thriving. He started Liberate after experiencing a transformation in self-compassion after becoming apart of a meditation community dedicated for People of Color. After seeing a lack of digital resources to support BIPOC in their meditation practice, he worked with community to create our own.