SHARON D. JOHNSON, PhD
Sisters of Sakhu: Does Dream Work Affect Black Women’s Mental Well-...
December 27, 2015
Dear Leimert Park Neighbors, Friends, and Angel Donors,
There are four (4) days left to the campaign for my independent research project, Sisters of Sakhu, crowdfunding now on Experiment.com through December 30, with a fund goal of $8,800. The project is currently 22% funded with $1,875 in pledges.
I’m writing a final appeal to all of you to consider supporting this research—which will take place in the area—with a contribution to the fund.
Unlike the “raise what you can” campaign structure of other crowdfunding platforms, Experiment.com institutes an “all or nothing” structure. If a project doesn’t meet its fund goal in full by its campaign deadline, the project does not receive any of the pledged funds, and donor’s credit cards are not charged.
As I express in the video on my project page (and posted at the end of this message), there are several reasons the Sisters of Sakhu project is important, and why I decided to crowdfund it:
1) Black women as researchers and producers of knowledge, working with other Black women, are underrepresented in the field of psychology, and the field of depth psychology in particular. There are many reasons for this, including some cases of institutional bias in the sciences (see Gertz, 2014; and Spates, 2012). As one colleague succinctly summarized the bias, “Black people doing research among Black people is not considered real work.”
2) Most foundations, grants, and philanthropic donor circles contribute to educational or non-profit organizations, not to individuals. As part-time faculty at California State University, Northridge and UCLA Extension (where I’ve taught my original Dream Workshop for three quarters since 2014), I am not eligible to apply for the research support to which full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty have access.
3) Sisters of Sakhu is an original qualitative research project in depth psychology (the psychology of the unconscious and its effect on the outer life). Dream work (deep exploration of the symbols, themes, and emotional tone of those images and scenarios that occur when you are unconscious [asleep]) is a fundamental depth psychological practice. “Sakhu” is an ancient Egyptian term meaning “eye of the soul.” This is the insight necessary for effective dream work. Even those grant and fellowship opportunities in psychology that are designated for individuals do not include the discipline of depth psychology among their funded categories. Sisters of Sakhu doesn’t “fit” in standard categories of psychology funded by most fellowships.
What Donors receive
Each donor to Sisters of Sakhu will be acknowledged by name for their support to this research, in the open-published report/article I will write once the research is complete. Publication is required by Experiment.com. Further, donors know exactly how their contributions will be spent based on the detailed budget published on the project page. Once the research is fully funded, donors will also have access to my lab notes, where I will give weekly reports on the activities and progress of the research. There is also a Discussion field, where donors can ask me questions at any time.
Support Endorsed Research
Donors also can contribute with confidence that Sisters of Sakhu is endorsed by an MPH/RN from the Los Angeles Department of Public Health, and by White House honoree Alchemy, Inc’s* founder and CEO, Kwame Scruggs (*2012 recipient of the National Arts & Humanities Youth Program Award. I am a consultant to the organization). Endorsements are published on the Sisters of Sakhu project page.
I began my independent dream work and study of depth psychology in 1992. The desire for a structured academic program led me to Pacifica Graduate Institute, the premier accredited doctoral program in the field. I earned my PhD from Pacifica in 2012, after earning my BA in the Program in the Arts (Writing concentration) from Barnard College in 1985, and my Master’s in Media Studies (Video Production emphasis) from the New School in 1988. My work in depth psychology complements my education and 26-year professional career as a writer, scholar, and educator.
I realize that this time of year can be extremely busy and stressful, and filled with appeals from many worthy organizations. I ask that you view my video and read through my project plan at your earliest convenience, and support my Sisters of Sakhu research project with a contribution by December 30. It is no exaggeration to say that the research cannot happen without your support!
May this season be filled with peace and happiness for you, and may 2016 be a year of all possibilities.
Sharon D. Johnson, PhD