How Paige Elenson, founder of Africa Yoga Project, has weaponized her whiteness and mental health to avoid accountability
Content warning: Mentions of sexual assault, sexual exploitation of children, transactional sex, self-harm and suicidal ideation
Disclaimer: Allegations brought to our attention against U.S. national Ms. Paige Elenson have been substantiated by multiple sources including but not limited to her: former employees, friends, ex-romantic partners, board members and former donors. Due to the serious nature of the following accusations, we interrogated each and every claim. We also held a phone call with Ms. Elenson and some of her current employees at Africa Yoga Project.
It is our hope that this piece will drive proper, thorough investigations by the appropriate authorities in Kenya and the United States. To protect witnesses from retaliation, we will not disclose the identities of our sources. As always, we are firmly against any threats of physical violence or harm toward the individuals we are holding accountable.
Whiteness, by design, is never supposed to be held accountable for the harm and violence it inflicts on Black people. Perhaps one of the most sinister elements of the white savior industrial complex is that it comes in the name of good will and good intentions, but has the tendency to cause a range of devastating side effects. When white women like Renee Bach or Katie Myler come to the African continent in the name of “doing good”, they are even less likely to be held accountable for crimes committed. The good that they have done is used as some sort of “get out of jail free” card that cancels out or nullifies the way they have abused their unearned power, privilege and access in Black spaces.
For these long established, grossly imbalanced power dynamics to be confronted and challenged, we need to see perpetrators of anti-Black violence held accountable. The implicit trust and benefit of doubt given to white women has always posed a serious threat to Black people. We have continually watched as (in)justice systems fail to protect Black people, globally, from white violence. Our sole motivation in bringing to light these allegations involving Paige Elenson, in a public way, is due…