At SPECTRUM20, Julio Rivera Led a Guided Meditation and Explained His Journey to Creating Liberate
During SPECTRUM20, Julio Rivera, CEO and founder of Liberate, a meditation app for people of color, led participants in a guided meditation. In the meditation, Rivera asks people to think of an ancestor who loved them and whom they have lost. (Watch the meditation below!)
Rivera also shared his own personal experiences and the journey that led him to create Liberate. Part of that journey was finding a space specifically for people of color to come together in meditation and seeing that this space needed a digital presence.
“(I found) a meditation community only for people of color,” Rivera said. “I remember walking into the room, seeing all these beautiful Black and brown faces, and as an Afro-Latino, it made me feel at home and at ease. When I meditated, I was very, very relaxed and calm. And I was able to be vulnerable about my challenges being the child of an immigrant, growing up hearing about their suffering, and wanting to prove to them that all their suffering wasn’t in vain.”
After creating the Liberate app and telling around 20 people, Rivera was surprised to see more than 150 people had already signed up to use the app. He shared one of the common stories he heard from new users of the app.
“I got on the phone with all of the new people using the app, and the story was consistent: ‘I’m a Black woman. I work in a predominantly white workspace, and the constant comments of my hair, the way I show up, the way I talk, the way I speak, results in me constantly questioning if I belong here, if I’m worthy of being here,’” Rivera said. “As an empath, hearing that on the other line, I grew angry and sad that people experienced this every day of their lives. We’re going through enough suffering as it is only to pile onto it that constant questioning because of the actions of someone else.”
To close, Rivera talked about liberation for communities of color and how that relates to meditation and healing.
“I believe this future of liberation for our communities is possible,” he said. “I believe it’s possible by starting a small yet powerful practice of meditating five minutes a day — yes, with Liberate. I also believe that it’s going to take, not only Liberate to get there, but a community. All of us supporting each other, all of us doing this inner work of healing ourselves, not only opening our heart to ourselves, but opening our heart to others.”