By Nicole D. Miller

A wealth of support, encouragement, and fellowship has been brewing in Cleveland’s literary community this past year for women who desire to evolve in health and wellness.

The Ignite Ladies Book Club has all these ingredients and then some. In May of 2022, Nike Olabisi, Chief Movement Leader of Nola Movement LLC, harbored the concept of women, on a journey of wholeness, diving into the latest inspirational read. Though the book title changes monthly, the focus on movement, mindset, and community stays the same—which just so happens to echo the core values of Nola Movement.

Each month women gather at the downtown Cleveland Public Library to partake in a discussion featuring panelists of various spheres. In August, Annette Hollimon, Reiki Master of Forever Phoenix, took the stage to pour out her expertise to the crowd of anticipating listeners, along with panelists Dawn Rivers, RoseAda White, and Denise Ann Sumbry. When asked why she wanted to be a featured panelist, Annette responded, “We as women have been taught to take care of everyone else and have not been taught to take care of ourselves. This book club helps with that.”

And indeed it does. The topic for August highlighted the need for self-love, taking inventory of your life season, and being okay with where in life you are—all items inspired by “Vibrate Higher Daily” by Lalah Delia.

The book club intentionally creates a safe space for vulnerability and transparency and welcomes all who identify as women, as announced by Nike at the onset of the discussion. True connection is birthed out of the gathering which consists of hearing from the panelists first and then dialoguing in small groups. The fellowship fills a need for many seeking this connection. One participant, Denise, also said she attended because the group coincided with her desire for self-growth and community.

Aisha Holt, another August attendee, chimed in that she came due to a need to be more present and slow down. The discussion on sticking to boundaries and scaling back was right up her alley.

Nike and friends are sure to be present this fall and winter with their next dialogue from another book (authored by a woman-of-color) in October and December. These free events are partnered with the Cleveland Public Library, YWCA, Athleta, Lit Cleveland, and more. The only required payment for participation at this time is for the book itself and there is no need to have it read prior to attendance. The panelists do the bulk of the sharing and only those who want to engage do so. Complimentary drinks and hors d’oeuvres are also served.