About Sanctuary in the City

The solutions we seek do not exist. We have so many resources and need space to curate ways to share, build, and re-imagine the narratives around our wellness and lived experience. We know that we no longer need to depend on other people to solve anything for our community.

As an organization we are actively involved in growing our work and offerings to meet the needs facing our community.  We are focused on imagining bold visions for collective liberation and wholeness.  Our vision is tied to the collective healing that can bring our community together to find new patterns to heal old traumas.

Healing will occur in the community spaces we create, when we connect to our individual humanity, honor and celebrate the strength that we possess and cultivate authentic community offerings.

Sanctuary in the City is a self-sustaining, accessible and affordable organization to all. Sanctuary in the City provides funding and accessibility to wellness and education programming that uplifts Black people.  In addition to programming, Sanctuary in the City provides mutual aid and grant funding to Black wellness educators and entrepreneurs and service providers to offer products and services that further our cause of personal and community transformation. We also offer scholarships to support making trainings, retreats, workshops and other aligned programming accessible to our community. 

We are extremely grateful to be an active member of the Ella Baker Cohort led by NCBLOC.

Much of the funding we have secured for our 2020 calendar year has been made possible through their support and leadership.

With the help and guidance of this black-led initiative we have expanded our vision by adopting Shared Values and Agreements that guarantee that our work is grounded in dismantling white supremacy and systems of oppression.

Learn More About Our Values & Agreements

Tiya Caniel

Writer | Creative | Stylist

Tiya Caniel is a queer, black human currently based in the Statesville, NC area. She is in a very deliberate and dedicated liberation practice, which informs her work as a creative, writer, and innerspace stylist.

As an innerspace stylist, Tiya helps folks style and adorn themselves from within by teaching them sustainable tools to facilitate their own healing.

In addition to teaching and styling, she loves making jewelry and adornments, creating sacred living & workspaces, cooking & eating delicious foods, practicing rest as rebellion, writing, spending time outdoors, and embodying liberation. Learn more about Tiya by visiting www.tiyacaniel.com

Kelley Nicole Palmer

Kelley Nicole Palmer is a black, queer creative, and community advocate based in Charlotte NC.  Kelley uses the practices and philosophy of yoga to guide her work in creating equitable and sustainable access to wellness for Black people. Along with teaching movement, meditation, and contemplative practices, Kelley leads retreats, hosts workshops, and contributes to multiple teacher training programs. Kelley also works as a race equity educator, working to create collaborative learning and self-study spaces where inquiry-based learning brings new perspectives, insights, and action. 


Kelley is a writer and collage artist focusing that work on black liberation, wholeness, and healing. Kelley serves as a founding member of The Sanctuary In The City, a Charlotte-based non-profit that focuses on equitable healing spaces for Black people all over the world. Kelley also serves as a trainer for Accessible Yoga Training School.  To learn more about Kelley please visit, www.kelleynicolepalmer.com

Christy Lee

Christy Lee has spent the last 15 years on a journey of self-development from a mind, body, and spirit perspective.  She believes in the benefits of yoga, meditation, and other wellness practices. In 2014, she became certified to teach yoga. Sharing the practice of yoga to non-profits and to individuals that don’t normally have access to the practice is her passion. She is also very passionate about all of us understanding our greatness; because she believes we have a crisis of Self/Spiritual Esteem within our community.  Christy is married with one amazing son.

Christy has spent the last 15+ years in the financial services industry and is a proud graduate of the HBCU Savannah State University (“SSU”).

What Do We Do with the Money?

With The financial support we receive we are able to create accessible programming that meets the needs of our community.

We eliminate barriers like unaffordable class pricing and space rental fees.  Cooperative economics and authentic collaboration are principles that are a part of who we are. Through intentional work and self-determination, we are focused on providing services, classes, and community space through a sustainable sliding scale that includes free and donation-based offerings. This includes providing fair pay and earning opportunities for the teachers, healers, and educators within our community.

The funds raised are also used to resource Black people to meet their needs through mutual aid funds. We take requests for support with housing, food, medical care, legal costs and more in an easy and equitable way. 

To submit a request email [email protected]. Please allow 48 hours to respond. 

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