Rooted in Liberation + Respite from the Grind
Striving for a world where all people have the time, space, and support to heal from burnout and other systemic wounds inflicted by capitalism, colonialism, and patriarchy.
The Power is in People.
The system is failing, but one thing is for sure: people can change the world.
And people do change the world on a daily basis, in both small and large ways. Activists, DEI professionals, faith-based changemakers, and other people working on the front lines of systemic change create new worlds with the work they do.
But too often that work is underfunded, unacknowledged, and deprioritized, leaving the people doing the work feeling devalued and exhausted.
Rooted Respite is founded in the idea you get to live in the liberated world you work so hard to realize.
You already see it; now it’s time to live it.
Taj M. Smith founded Rooted Respite out of a deep desire to know the liberation he’s spent his life working towards. He started his first business at age 9 washing cars in his neighborhood and has been working ever since. Growing up in a low-income household instilled in him the idea that money is synonymous with freedom, which he believed through his first few years of college. Between 2007 and 2009, he burnt out and dropped out.
He noticed this pattern in grad school as well as his professional life in higher education and as an organizer: burning out and having to step away only to come back and burn out again. When he started to dig deeper into why this kept happening, he found systemic problems at the root.
Rooted Respite was born in 2023 to help those struggling with burnout and compassion fatigue in social change uproot the cause and firmly plant themselves in the world they envision: rested, resourced, resilient, and free of exploitation.
Rooted Respite follows a lineage of Black artists, scholars, and futurists who resist the status quo in their writing and thinking. Audre Lorde, Toni Morrison, bell hooks, James Baldwin, Octavia Butler, N.K. Jemisin, Tricia Hersey, and adrienne maree brown are a few names that come to mind, but the list is longer than that.