Julio Rivera found a deep-seated need to connect to the wellness space. As an Afro-Latino, he found a practice that worked for him at the New York Insight Meditation Center. When that was taken away due to an intensive schedule, he felt extremely isolated which caused a sudden onset of anxiety that he wasn’t sure how to cope with.
After a thorough search, he discovered there wasn’t a platform out there that specifically met his needs. Rivera took his knowledge and background as a software engineer and created Liberate Meditation. It’s a meditation app for people of color built to provide empowerment and support.
The site states that it’s dedicated to empowering the black, indigenous, and people of color communities on their journey to find inner peace. Folks can sign up for free to access from instructors of color on their path through guided meditations and talks.
“We want to help empower people, not only to meditate but to show them that there’s something you can do about your suffering,” said Rivera in a statement. “We can help each other get free and be liberated.”
The platform showcases content that is specific to the black community. Topics range from dealing with microaggressions to cultivating loving-kindness for difficult people. There are specific chats from unique authors like Jan Willis who hosts dharma talks addressing the intersection of Buddhism and racism.
Users can select time frames for their practices that range from five to 20 minutes. They are then asked to rate their experience through the platform. “We continuously see how touched people are,” said Rivera. “A few people have mentioned in their ratings that they cried during their meditation and were able to release pent up emotions. To me, that makes all the challenges and sacrifices that come with building a business worth it. I want folks of color all over the world to know that they are not alone.”