Amplify Madison Academy – Christine Russell

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Christine Russell (she, her, hers)

Hello! I’m Christine Russell (she/her/hers) a 36-year-old Mama of two young boys, Jaden (4) and Jace (2). My husband and I met in Madison over 20 years ago and have come full circle back to the East side where we’ve lived for the last 3 years. I am a houseplant hobbyist and love nurturing my collection of roughly 40 Green Queens, to date. I’ve also had a deep-rooted passion for yoga which has led to several certifications, a vibrant personal home practice and the cultivation of Align Flow, a holistic practice created to support all of who we are and what we need. 

I am the Director of Health & Wellness Programs at the Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness and co-founder for Mahogany Rooted in Wellness.

Get to know Christine better

What are some of the things you enjoy the most in life? What keeps you inspired, re-charged, and brings you joy?

  • My faith fuels me and keeps me aligned, centered and balanced.                                                                             
  • My kiddos bring so much light and vitality to my life. They inspire me to be my best self, in all areas, every day.                                                         
  • My work encourages me to transform my experience, history and skills into meaningful programs and resources.
  • My morning routine: filled with a curated combination of prayer, affirmations, visualizations, supplementation, movement, scripture writing, journaling, plant maintenance and reading gives me the daily reset I need to fill my cup, so I can pour into others throughout my day.

When you look back over your whole life – What experiences have shaped you as a woman? and how?

I am honored to have a life full of brave, courageous, powerful women who have shaped my life from birth. They have nurtured, cultivated and guided me through several storms, tsunamis and even sprinkles, but each of those touchpoints has made me the brave, courageous, powerful woman I am today. Thank you.

What are some of your practices of resilience? Who did you learn this from? and how are these helpful in times of challenge?

  • Alignment, mindset and self-talk. When I’m aligned with who God says I am, it’s a bit more difficult for challenges to throw me off course. It’s inevitable that we will all face a barrage of challenges at one point in our lives, so being prepared with daily connection to our Source, and ourselves puts us in a strong, stable, resilient mindset. In addition, I talk to myself a lot 🙂 If I’m noticing a shift in my energy or attitude, I check myself to get back into alignment and focus on the bigger picture. Getting into the weeds of an issue can be suffocating but taking an aerial view can give us a new, fresh perspective. 

When you think of your life journey unfolding, who do you see yourself becoming?

I believe we are unfurling and becoming just a little bit every day. The variables in our experiences, and our responses to them shape us within each moment. I see myself becoming a more polished, energetic, passionate version of who I am today. 

What is your vision for Madison?

I envision a Madison in which there is no restriction to quality health, wellness or birthing support. Residents are empowered and supported to take charge of their wellbeing and have easy access to resources that aid in that charge.

How do you see you can contribute to creating the city you visualize?

We have developed a strategic approach to wellness in the Madison community to provide both virtual and in-person support as well as a holistic, broad network of advocacy. We look forward to partnering with other agencies across Dane County to bring our vision, and the vision of so many others, to actualization.

Please share about your Amplify Madison journey – What did you worked on? What did you personally learn and how is it impacting who you are becoming?

  • Here are a few of the milestones in our Amplify Madison journey: 
    • Virtual ½ day Extending the Love Wellness Retreat 
      • This was our business launch event! We hosted an Align and Fitness class as well as a discussion around Maternal health and doula support.
    • In-person Dear Diary Workshops
      • Spoke to an audience of young ladies and provided hands on activities to support financial health and preparation, affirmations and self-worth along with sexual and physical health. 
    • In-person and Virtual Doula Support
      • This was a beautiful opportunity to collaborate once again in support of each Mama. Providing connections to local resources, customized aromatherapy, prenatal support through Align and physical and nutritional support in addition to advocacy with the local hospital systems. 
      • Virtual Align Flow Classes and Align Coaching Sessions 
        • Our partnership fostered great support for these participants in providing nutritional assessments, customized meals and prenatal guidance. 
      • Presentations with the UW Medical School residents to educate on the current state of maternal health care and the role and impact a Doula can have.
      • Mahogany Oasis at the Annual YWCA Racial Justice Summit 
        • Another collaborative effort to provide a safe, unapologetic space for Black women to align, create, release and flow.
      • Website and social media content creation 

What are you currently offering in the community and how can people connect with you and your work?

Mahogany Rooted in Wellness is currently offering the following services: 

  • Partnering with Saving Our Babies for greater impact with Doula care 
  • Teaching classes for the MMSD Black Excellence Parent Groups 
  • Supporting Align Coaching & Flow participants through their continued journey.
  • Advocacy and Case Management