Charnae Sanders

Co.act Detroit

Detroit, Michigan,
United States of America

With a passion for community and a heart for service, Charnae Sanders experiences great joy in finding meaningful ways to connect with others. As Program Manager at Co.act Detroit, Charnae plays a vital role in shaping Co.act’s programming, including the Nonprofit Wellbeing Series, special events, workshops, and more. She is also the talented and thoughtful host of Co.act Detroit’s Natural Collisions podcast.

A native Detroiter, Charnae’s desire for building up her community and bringing diverse and underrepresented voices and thoughts to the table motivates her daily. She loves to curate unique and unforgettable experiences through programs that equip and empower others with knowledge and resources.

With a deep love and interest for self and community care, she strives to find a diversity of ways changemakers can tend to their wellbeing holistically. Through the Nonprofit Wellbeing Series, she also explores how nonprofit leaders can activate a culture of wellbeing within their organizations. She is a contributor to the Rest and Liberation Initiative, created in partnership with Co.act and other intermediary partners in Southeast Michigan to support cultures of rest and liberation of BIPOC professionals in our sector.

Charnae serves on the board of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Detroit, a local chapter that promotes the growth, learning, and development of young nonprofit professionals. She is a current member of The Social Innovation Forum’s Community Organizations Reimagining Ecosystem (CORE) cohort, a new leadership initiative focused on place-based work and social change.

She is also a former alum of the prestigious, Challenge Detroit fellowship program where she worked among small teams to bring social impact projects to life in collaboration with local nonprofit partners. In the past, she participated as a cohort member of The Black Healing Justice Project, created in partnership with Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective (BEAM) and The Kresge Foundation.

Prior to coming to Co.act Detroit, she served as the Public Programs Coordinator at the Detroit Historical Society. She is a proud alum of Central Michigan University with a background in journalism. Charnae is a published writer and poet with work that has been published in the Wall Street Journal and Detroit Free Press among others. In her spare time, she enjoys writing, traveling, dancing the night away at concerts and exploring the city she calls home.

What does inner wellbeing mean to you?

To me, inner wellbeing means tending to our many layers—physical health, mental health, emotional health, spiritual health, and so on—in a way that honors our humanity and capacity.

How would you define wellbeing in one word?

Are there any rituals or practices you use to enhance your wellbeing?

My go-to practices include prayer, breathwork, and going on walks. My morning routine usually consists of stretching and participating in a guided meditation followed by setting my intentions for the day and affirming myself of my value. Throughout the day, I think it’s important to take a pause to check-in with yourself. So, I’ll occasionally step away from my desk and take a sacred pause to do a body scan meditation and acknowledge how I’m feeling. I also love to create a cozy environment in the evening where I burn candles while reading or listening to music and journaling.

Why is it important that we prioritise individual and collective wellbeing?

We must prioritize our individual, organizational, and societal wellbeing to fully thrive and experience the fullness of life. When we recognize how interrelated each of these various levels are and collectively prioritize them, we can clear a more luminous path for future generations on what it means to truly love and care for one another.

Do you have any favourite books, podcasts, or articles that you believe support, promote, or educate on wellbeing and related themes? 

I am a big fan of “The Daily Shine,” “GirlTrek’s Black History Bootcamp,” “This Morning Walk” and “The Hey Girl” podcasts. I love the books: “After the Rain: Gentle Reminders for Healing, Courage, and Self-Love” by Alex Elle, “Vibrate Higher Daily: Live Your Power” by Lalah Delia, and “The Self-Care Year: Reflect and Seasonal Rituals” by Alison Davies. I am currently reading, “Rest is Resistance: A Manifesto” by Tricia Hersey, which is great!

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