What's up? I'm Rachel Spiewak and this is Rock Your Tribe Radio where community, fun, social media and business collide. I firmly believe that parties are the answer to all of life's problems. Seriously. Building a community, bringing people together for a common purpose and serving them, that's your mission as a business owner. Let's make it happen. It's time to rock your tribe.
(00:28): Angela Davis says it and she says, you know, we need to spend time imagining the future that we want, and also plan how we're going to live in that world when that future becomes reality, because it's that balance that actually drives movements. Welcome to the
(00:48): Show you just heard from the founder of the organic Afro community. Natalia from Mussa. Natalia is a freelance marketer for socially conscious brands, a DJ, hello, a musician, a teacher, a community builder, and most of all, a visionary, who's doing her part to build the digital
(01:06): Infrastructure for an inclusive society and economy. But just a year ago, she was the target of racist and sexist abuse during an online conference that was supposed to be a solidarity event, a safe space. And that attack
(01:19): Is indicative of a massive problem. We have on social media and a 2018 Twitter study amnesty international reported that black women are disproportionately targeted being 84% more likely than white women to be mentioned in abusive and problematic tweets. This is something we all need to address as digital community leaders. And we're going to talk about it in this interview, but hang on, there's more intro after
(01:44): Taking some time for herself. Natalia came back online and she's doubled down on her mission to spread love, awareness and empowerment. And I'm honored that she's chosen to work with me to help her launch a business off of her community, the organic Afro community, a wonderfully engaged
(01:59): Facebook group of about 6,000 members. That's what the first part of this interview is about on this episode today, the origin of her community and how Natalia built a global sacred space out of a personal need using her skills as a marketer, a DJ, and an educator. And then this interview gets even deeper. We're talking about what it means to build a safe space and not just pay lip service to terms like diversity and inclusion,
(02:26): And also creating a safe space. Isn't the end game, it's the blueprint for a better tomorrow. And we lead our communities. There. That's a movement lucky for you. Our movement includes dancing, and now we're going to hear from Natalia in her own words. Are you ready to rock?
(02:43): Here we go. So tell us about the organic Afro community. Why did you start this Facebook group? And it seems really mission driven to me. So tell us about that. Absolutely.
(02:55): I moved to New Zealand and around that time I realized that I had to kind of rediscover what's going to work with my hair because it's a completely different climate. It wasn't connected in terms of getting the products that I would use in the UK over there. So I thought, you know, other people might be kind of in this sort of rediscovery period, because if you're moving, but you have to think about like, and find new places to get your products and find out what works, where, and so I made the, made the group and it just sort of started blowing up and I would just put questions that to myself, like I would have like a, I'd do some research. I dropped the research in there, but I would like ask a question about, you know, what the research was about. And then people just started answering the questions and like talking about their experiences. And it was, it's just organic. It just organically became a thing, but it was, it was always about empowerment and decolonization of beauty standards, because I was just tired of effort having seen as messy and unprofessional and ugly. And I just thought, yeah, let's support the natural hair movement, but also do it in a way that we don't have to rely on chemical and toxic products to care for our hair. And that's where it really grew from.
(04:19): That's incredible. So you started this group a number of years ago. It just grew because you put something out there that was close to your heart, you were posing questions really to yourself, but you obviously hit a nerve. And so now you've got about 6,000 members in your group. Huh? What's that like? Cause my group isn't even that big,
(04:39): It's been really interesting because a couple of years I was working for a black room tech company and I sort of, wasn't able to keep up with doing things with the group and people were still like dropping their own content in there. So I just, you know, would approve that person, like have a look at what was going on, but I wasn't able to really facilitate much of the conversation because I was busy, like working with another brand. I am just so humbled at the honesty. And they, the depth of conversation that happens in the group, you know, growing up in Western Australia, I was, I never really had people around me who looked the same as me, or had the same issues who were dealing with the same issues that I had. And it became a place where like, I felt a belonging in this community that, you know, it's the people who have made it and the stories, the wins and the not so wins that we get to discuss in a way that is really uplifting for each other, like the support that's there just, it really blows me away.
(05:46): How there's these people all over the world who are doing the work to help each other breakthrough these social constructs. And it's absolutely, it's a beautiful experience that I'm so grateful for. And just like the contributions from everyone. Yeah. It's, it's actually just really one of the best things to be able to like have these conversations with people and not feel alone and know that other people aren't feeling alert as well. Like there are people who came into the group who were like, oh my gosh, I was in another head group. And they made me feel like I wasn't supposed to be in there. And it was just like, wow. You know, without having to say, it's a safe space, it's become a safe space just because of the quality of people in the, with the similar values. It's just, yeah, it's incredible.
(06:39): That makes me so happy to hear just as a community builder myself and as a person who helps good-hearted socially conscious business owners build digital communities, you nailed it. It's about belonging. That's what community, not just digital, all community is about. And so I think this is something that some people miss when they start to build a digital community, especially when we come from entrepreneur worlds, we're thinking leads sales. I got to sell my stuff and that's true, but we really need to give people a sense of belonging first and then all the other stuff is going to follow.
(07:17): Absolutely. I mean, actually it's really interesting because I've been participating in a power and collaboration for communities workshop and it's three or four month workshop where people come together to learn how to address the needs and empower communities. And it's really interesting because one of the first sessions that we had together, people were surprised by the community centered approach and that this is something that like myself and the team members that I've been participating with, we've always engaged with our community from that angle of, okay, cool. What are the conversations that are being had? And are we listening as in like really listening and being able to put together the dots and then present something like, this could be a solution, like you've been talking about this, did you want to learn more about this? And then you can kind of facilitating around what the needs of the people are rather than being like, okay, I want to do X, Y, Z. So I'm going to just do X, Y Zed. It's more like, okay, listen to what they're saying. And then create the experience around what data and what information has been presented.
(08:32): That's totally the rock, your tribes strategy. And that's why I'm always telling people, stop it with the value posts. We don't need your term paper, start conversations. People have this idea that value is just information dumping and the value is in the community itself and the conversations that you facilitate inside your community. So great job
(08:57): Butter is actually worth more than golden oil. You know, it's on that trajectory of becoming the number one commodity. And when we are truly listening, then we're able to analyze and interpret that data into something that is valuable. But if we're not listening, then we're not able to interpret the needs and the desires of the people who we want to serve. Because I guess, yeah, that's the really like with, with the organic for community and also the clients that I work with in terms of their marketing. I really lucky, but also I I've strategically only decided to work with, you know, social change clients, but it's really important. And across the board, it doesn't matter like what industry they're in. It's like when people will respond to the needs of the community, that's when the community gets more engaged and want to dig in deeper. And perhaps, you know, not everyone is going to be looking for a solution, but that's why you're there. That's why the entrepreneur is there to present, to put together, to collate, to put together and be able to present a possible solution. And maybe the solution is not what the community wants, but then there'll be able to reiterate what it actually is that they do want.
(10:14): It's interesting because most of my clients come to me because they've already got a business. Then they want a digital community or they've started a digital communities. So that's the trajectory they're on. I've got this business. I know I want a community. How do I fit these parts together? But when you approached me about working with me, you already had the community. So the question on your mind was how do
(10:37): I turn this into a business? So mine was sort of like the reverse because I had the idea for the business, but I also being a very mission oriented person. I, and also being a creative, I find that we often don't value as much our not value, but as in monetary value, like it's very difficult for us to put a monetary value on things that comes so easily to us, even though like, we perceive it to come easily to us, but it's not actually easy for people to attain the skills and the talents that we do have for myself as well as very difficult, overcoming that hurdle and seeing yourself actually as a valued asset, because society tells us that artists you know, they're not necessary workers, they're not key workers were not supported. Like they just think they can like lock us in a room and then like create something beautiful, which is not how it works.
(11:36): We also need to pay our bills. We need to feed our souls and our bodies with nourishing experiences and for us to be able to do our work, we also need to be paid. So that's kind of the verbal look that I came to you for. Cause I was like, okay, cool. How do I do this? And you were like, just sell. And I was like, yeah, it's really interesting to me because it was like, I've done this before. Like I've, I'm a DJ. I've put myself out there as an actress, like a freelance actress and model. Like I've actually done this before in several capacities. And also I'm a freelance marketer. So it's just like coming into this other space. That's so dear to my heart, I found that it was very challenging to think about how to make my knowledge and my value into a product and then sell it out.
(12:31): Like that was just the hurdle that I really needed help with. And you were just like, Hey, you just have to be paid for this. You deserve the money. And yeah, and I, I do deserve the money because money is energy. And like I'm using energy to create this space and also to bring it it's education and empowerment like integral to the group. And I'm also like I'm doing courses to get educated and, and also be able to relay that information in a digestible way. So I need to be able to pay for more courses and like be able to get type of creating the content that helps to deliver these messages to people who maybe haven't studied anatomy and chemistry and biology before and have the information accessible to the mainstream. So did you put some offers out there really? Well? I'm, I've started off with one to one.
(13:32): So I have like power hour sessions and I am also presenting like a three day course as well. So I'm working on putting that together as a digital bundle for people to be able to like go at their own pace and also relieve me from having to be in front of the screen all the time. People can just access me in that way. But yeah, like it's actually really interesting because I've had to start from scratch on that. So I've literally, I did, I did a lead magnet to create the newsletter mailing lists that you know, that you talk about all the time. And so I've literally, I literally went from scratch. That was like a few months ago that we did that, but I created the lead magnet and people have really like, even people who've been in the group for a while responded really well.
(14:22): And to me, I was like, oh, but this is stuff that everyone already knows. But people were like, oh my gosh, this is amazing. This literally has like everything that I began a needs. And I was like, oh, it's actually working just in that itself. That was like energy. Like that was me receiving energy to be able to like, be like, okay, cool. Yeah. I am going to go on with my power hour and you'll say, I'm going to like push forward to developing the courses and things like that. So yeah, I'm aiming at hopefully within the next six months, the membership where there'll be exclusive access to it stuff. But yeah, it's a work in progress, but thanks to you. I'm now like super comfortable with being like, okay, cool. I have three slots available. Grab them if you, if you can, while you can,
(15:09): I'm like trying to contain myself. I'm like, I'm so happy for you. I'm so proud of you. You deserve it. You know, like you deserve all of it, like support and energy in the world and let this be a message to everybody running digital communities. It is work first of all. And second of all, you deserve to get paid and your people want to support you, but you have to tell them how exactly
(15:33): That is kind of what really opens my mind to all the like endless possibilities because I, yeah, it's also like I realized that not everyone will have the availability right now to work with me, but how can they work with me in future? And also how can they support with maybe not having to purchase you know, a one-to-one with me, cause that might not be something within their reach right now, but to be able to like structure different products for people to be able to still contribute to the community because yeah, like it's time, energy, and it's a job it's working, it's working. And there are always challenges to do with that. Even if it is, you know, when you have your dream job, you always have challenges that you face and then you, and you grow when you learn so many things along the way.
(16:19): So it's a literal job. Being a community manager is a literal job that has like a salary attached to it. If you Google community manager's salary, the average in America is $56,000 a year. So we've got people out here running Facebook groups for free and not getting themselves paid when people have this job being paid $56,000 near on average,
(16:43): You know, it's not just like shoving some posts up there and things like that. It's, it's actually like the, the what and the approach that you have to take to the really be able to harness the energy of and collaboration between the people who you are facilitating. That's the part that's really that's actually the work is anyone can just like post a bunch of stuff, but like good luck with that landing. Well, and being sustainable because people don't have time just full like rubbish. But if you really sure that you care, then they actually really do notice that like I delivered a alive in, in my community and the response, like I knew it was around a really like kind of sensitive topic. I didn't want to alienate people and make it wasn't the whole point of it was to enlighten people, not to make them feel bad about themselves because what's the point no one wants to be in this space that makes you feel bad about yourself.
(17:48): The whole is to be able to uplift like that is one of, one of the core values. So it's like, they really knew that I was delivering that message with the utmost sincerity and sensitivity to what was happening. And yeah, they knew that I cared. It was very apparent. And I had to think about it, how I'm going to be able to deliver this message with reaching people in a way that will help rather than hinder and have them have a block go up. Yeah. So that's really the difficult part. That's the part that really takes the energy and effort rocking
(18:30): A digital community. That's the future of marketing. Do you want to get ahead of the curve? Let me show you how to use real life, community building strategies to grow your brand, your authority, and your army of marketers. Head over to rock your tribe.com to send me a message let's get this party started. So
(18:49): I was going to ask you this other question first, but now I want to jump to one that's a little farther down the line. Cause I think it feeds right into this. So what are your core values as a community leader and what advice do you have for other community leaders in terms of what values do you bring to the table
(19:05): In terms of the organic graph for community? It's definitely about empowerment. It's about education and it's about unity and there's definitely within that. You really need to be making it a safe environment for people to express themselves, which is like really important. You can't really achieve any of those things. You can't empower people if they're in a dangerous environment. And so, yeah, safety is really important, especially because unfortunately black women, more likely to experience abuse online than any other demographic. So when you really, when you hit with the fact that we are more susceptible to receiving hight and receiving abuse online, you know, you have to be really careful with who you're allowing to be in your community and who you're allowing and what kind of messages that you're allowing to kind of slip through. Because like you can really, you know, people like to contribute, which is great, but if it's off kind of the tone of what we're trying to achieve within the group, then I just can't let it through because that means that it's going to attract more of that sort of content and that sort of tone.
(20:30): So yeah, like that is a really important element. That is our responsibility as community managers and community facilitators. Like the safety of our, of our community members is integral, but yes, we're here to empower people with upper hair and we're here to uplift and educate and inspire and entertain as well. Like we just like, we just have a good time, but it's also this really, it feels like I dare say it. Like, it feels like a sacred space for me because I learned how much keg goes in there. And any kind of any comment is really coming from this other space that people might not be able to express in their day-to-day life. So yeah, if you are running a community group, please make sure that you have safety as a core value because the internet is still the wild west and it can be pretty lawless.
(21:39): And Facebook, you know, is also like this whole different reality. So we were juggling with all of these, these algorithms and also, you know, what Facebook allows and sees a spirit as well. So yeah, just that, that is my goal to you. If you are facilitating or community, community managing, please take care of your safety of the people who are in your community. Because I personally was a victim of that abuse last year and it was awful. I thought I was in a safe space. I'd worked with these people before they were meant to be running a solidarity events. And I ended up being racially and sexually abused on a zoom webinar. It just left me completely shocked because I really thought that I was in a space where I would be able to express my most vulnerable moments and experiences. And it really took a long time for me to get back onto platforms and do lives again after that, because of what had happened and the way people had responded, the way that the facilitator type responded to that afterwards was absolutely horrendous, which made it even worse and even more tragic. So yeah, you have a lot of power in your hands and with that comes great responsibility. So really think about, think about, and care about the people who've come to join you.
(23:13): Absolutely. I'm really sorry that happened. It's not right. I do think, I think that the lesson and that, that you're back on social media, you're doing live video and you're here to share that experience is going to help a lot of people. Because one thing that I run into in my work is that people, you know, start a Facebook group because they've got a business, they think, oh, I need a Facebook group. I'll get leads and sales and stuff. And they're not thinking about the community manager aspect, which means you have to be a moderator. You have responsibilities as a moderator, your group, that's one thing. And then I'm really happy that you said safe space. And in the beginning of our talk today, you talked about the doing, not the saying, there's a lot of groups that include in their description. This is a safe space. They lead with the statement. This is a safe space saying it's a safe space is a lot different than actually doing the work of making it a safe space. And I'm not sure that all community managers know what a safe space really looks like and how to really create one,
(24:18): A lot of spaces that want to be something. And they're, you know, they're trying to like use the words to embody what they want to be the reality, which is fine. Like everyone needs a vision, but you need a plan behind that. I need to know what are you going to find acceptable in the space and what, what are you going to let slide and what you're not going to let slide, because that's really, what's going to set the tone you putting like a million rolls or saying that it's a safe, diverse, and inclusive space is just paying lip service. The real work comes behind. Okay. If something happens, what am I going to do? How many strikes do I let someone have do what? Like how much time do I have, like, do I spend doing a sort of background check before someone, you allow someone in like, what are the questions that you're asking people when they're coming in and are you going to let people not derail, but like how controversial will you allow people to swing?
(25:13): And what is your core message? I think it really comes down to what is your core purpose for your group? Because if it is just to sell, you're not going to be able to navigate these kinds of situations that, or even have the thought to really sift through the potential members who come through, because they're just going to be like, okay, cool. This might be someone who I can sell to, but if you're thinking about, okay, this is who I want to be catering for, how do I create that space? Then you will really be able to think and develop systems that are going to allow the freedom of expression, but also make sure that everyone knows that they have the responsibility of the freedom of speech as well, to not offend and make something, make the space into a hurtful place to be.
(26:11): I think it's important for people to realize too, that being a member of a community is a privilege, not a right. It's not really a democracy. So we do have something in common. We're both DJs. And so I wanted to ask you about how being a DJ impacts your approach to community and stuff. Social media,
(26:31): The way I perceive an audience is really attached to the past and how to make everyone have a good time and also learn from each other because you know, like exactly Brooke, your tribe, it's a potty, right? And I think there's a very special experience and unity and oneness that we experienced when we are pottying with people because we let out God's down and we actually can have conversations that we might not be able to have in the boardroom when we're dancing to a beat with our hands in the air, and we're feeling this energy. And we can say things that are able to be expressed in other ways. And that that's why these kinds of environments and like having parties and having [inaudible] having festivals and things like that are so important because it allows this human interaction and this feeling of oneness. We felt like in this, in society and in capitalism, like we, I felt we are made to feel like we are completely individuals.
(27:30): And to some extent we are individuals and we have to act from the self, however, all of those feelings and barriers sort of melt away when you have the right atmosphere. And that's what a DJ does. They facilitate and create this atmosphere. And I found that even. So I'm a qualified teacher. I taught secondary education in humanities and what I knew that I did and no one could ever take that away from me was create an atmosphere that was fit for the exchange that needed to take place in that capacity. And that is what I think one of my super powers is, is that I know how to make a vibe. I know how to make an atmosphere happens. So that is really central to my gifts in marketing and what I can bring to a client. And what I serve is to create an atmosphere where people feel included and people feel that they belong and that they can actually contribute towards what is happening.
(28:34): And that's why, what I get involved in always becomes a movement because people want to get involved and people want to do what they can because they know they believe they realize there's a fire inside of them and that they believe in what they are contributing to. And that's what like that just like creates this beautiful cycle of energy that you just can't find without that thought. And the care that goes into a performance, because the performance is about the people. It's not about the artist. And sometimes we have to be selfish, but sometimes when we get, when we get to the point where we can really read the room, as DJ say, read the room, when we can read our community and we know what they want, even if they, before they know what they want, that is that, that is the magic. Because, you know, when you drop that track that no one really expected you to drop that was kind of left field of what they were experiencing. But they were like, oh my God, I was so ready for this. And I didn't even know I was so ready for this. I just got chills talking about it, but that is what, what he had to do.
(29:45): Yes. That everything you just said. And especially that last part, I'm pretty sure I've talked about it on my podcast, knowing what people want before they know that they wanted and teeing it up in a way that when you deliver it, they're like, oh my God, thank you. Like, how did you know that? And that's part of how I run, rock your tribe. And that's why I asked, of course, we want to ask those engagement questions because engagement because algorithm, blah, blah, blah. But the real thing that's happening there is I'm getting to know you guys so I can keep delivering content and keep the conversation going in a way that builds community. And you're doing the same thing. And we are so totally meant to work together because our heads are completely in the same space about all of this. And especially about the education piece too. It's not about just information dumping on people. It's about serving up information in a way that they're going to consume it and be excited to consume it. So if it feels like a party, you know, school, house rock, right. You stick all the bill of rights into a song and kids are going to remember it.
(30:54): But yeah, like honestly, there are so many people within rockstar tribe and just within your orbit, right shore who are doing such incredible things and things that are really necessary for the planet and for humanity surf weekend, seriously, like we get our blueprint for change together and we can really shake the up and break down the walls and the glass ceilings, or just smash it down, but build something that is ubiquitous and more beautiful than we could ever imagine. Anyway. So that's why I just had to, I had to, I had to drop that in there because there's so many like, seriously, I just, by looking rock your tribe. And I see like all the people that are like doing all of these amazing things and I'm like, oh my gosh, like, seriously, this should just be the norm. Like this shouldn't even be niche.
(31:49): Like I look at all of this stuff. I'm like, why is this niche? Like this needs to be everywhere. Everyone needs to know this stuff and needs to just be a part of our, like a global knowledge through the human network. Like, that's just, yeah, it's one of it's, I'm really passionate about that. And it's so great to see it and be surrounded by people who are really positive and they outlook for humanity and for the planet. Like that has been really good for my mental health because before like rewind 12 months ago, I was almost with that whole event, I almost quit social media. Cause I was just like, this is not a safe space for me. Like I know that this is an unsafe space for me. And externally, like the actual systems in the, in society protecting me the, they should. So I was ready to give up, but I decided to flip my perspective and think, okay, I want to create, I'm going to curate my feed and I'm going to choose what I want to see. And now I just see like awesome human, awesome human. And all I want to do is be an even more awesome human so that I can shout out these people and lift them off and let's share the energy of change because it's men. We just got to like breathe it in and like, let it drive us forward.
(33:09): Well, thank you. Thank you for saying all that. And thank you for recognizing what I'm doing here because I am into reconstructing our own reality and we have a huge opportunity to do that right now. I think, you know, the way things have gone globally in recent history has opened up a giant opportunity for us to recreate or create a structure in our own vision of what do we want life to look like? What kind of economy do we want to create? And new, like, let's, let's be in charge of that. Can we work together to make that happen? Exactly.
(33:45): That's up to us and we can design the future and not everyone is ready to take the steps that it's, that is necessary to create a new reality because a lot of people don't feel that they have the power to do that. However, that's what people like us. And I will use the word visionaries because we are able to visualize and envision a different reality that than one that exists now and not everyone has access to that gift because of the way the social constructs of the patriarchy, capitalism, racism, colonialism. They have oppressed people to the point where they can't even imagine a system that is better than the one that is now. So it does come up to the dreamers and the radicals and the visionaries to communicate these ideas and also live from their truth. And when they live from that truth, then it's, it's like, okay, you can actually live like that.
(34:40): Like I love that. And they see, they see how, how energizing that is and how that person really floats above all of the crap that's going on because they're living within that truth. And Angela Davis says it and she says, you know, we need to spend time imagining the future that we want and also plan how we're going to live in that world when that future becomes reality, because it's that balance that actually drives movements forward. We can't just sit down and think about how I want the air to be cleaner in 10 years time, I need to think about what steps I can take individually and then locally and then international and then globally. And this is how we're starting to talk about movements and pushing visions that tangible, because they are tangible. Like we need like make the reality tangible by living out trick. We actually do that. Yeah.
(35:42): I don't need, I can't. I got nothing. That was beautiful. Well, thank you for joining me on this ride because you really see it. You see the rock, your tribe vision. We're creating something new here, a new way, new way of life, a new way of earning money, a new way of doing our thing and getting paid for it and helping each other, get there by being a network and being a community and starting a movement. So watch this space because there's more and pretty sure that there are going to be some really cool developments in your world as you you're already on this path of turning your movement and community into a business. And I'm pretty sure you're going to turn around and reach back and be like, come on guys, you guys are starting businesses too. Let me show you how to do it. Yep. Pretty sure that's in the cards for you in the future phase. All right. So tell us where can people find you? And especially if people want to join your Facebook group, give us the details. So
(36:40): The organic I for community, you can find by searching in Facebook groups, organic Afra community, natural, natural self, and you can call me or you can friend me, cause that'd be great on Facebook. On Instagram, you can get me at the organic effort or at Afra Moosa, if you're into the DJC and yeah, just like dropping a message. Say hi, I'd love to get to know you. Join me. Thank you so much for being here, everybody. And now you're going to say you rock ready, go you're rock.
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