2016 Program: Healing
The path toward healing from trauma is never linear, even less so when the trauma is the result of the systemic effects of racism and associated violence.Communities of color have historically faced the challenge of healing from racial trauma while working to transform the conditions that feed and create trauma. Using contemporary examples of violence in communities of color, and grounded in a historical context, this panel will explore both experiences with racial trauma and community solutions for moving through the trauma to a place of healing.
Public discussion is growing around the implementation of restorative justice. NYC Council allocated $2.5 million dollars to RJ work in public schools. LA created an initiative for RJ programming in many of its schools. Restorative justice in its modern iteration in educational settings was originally pushed by community organizations as a way to challenge racial inequity in “discipline” practices. However, many of these publically-backed “interventions” have no components of racial justice, no contexts of mass incarceration, and no connection to RJ’s roots in indigenous communities. In this session we’ll critically examine this context and explore a more grounded, racially just, and radical form of restorative and transformative justice. We see RJ/TJ as a philosophy and practice that works to divest from traditional models of punishment, a method to work towards racial justice, and an avenue to create structures of shared power and accountability. Together, we will share tools and restorative practices that are easily transferable into community and school spaces. By modeling practical applications of restorative and transformative practices such as community building circles, examples of harm and conflict circles, affective statements and more, we will provide participants with activities that can be easily transferred and adapted to schools and community spaces. In addition, all participants will be provided with a resource packet with sample activities to take back to their respective communities.
The exchange of stories can have tremendous implications for movement building – developing new coalitions, insights and questions that provoke new and vital bodies of research, inspire the creation of artistic works, and build community - catalyzing the kind of cultural change needed to end mass incarceration. So how do we use public storytelling as an instrument of radical cultural change? We need a public reckoning through mass storytelling that will challenge the American public to ask: what responsibility does the US have to repair the harm done to families and communities targeted by the “war on drugs” and draconian criminal justice policies? In this participatory workshop, we will use a creative visioning process to crowdsource the ideas, dreams, visions, and critical questions vital to building a world beyond prisons. Participants will get to contribute their stories and bear witness to the experiences of those impacted by incarceration. Finally, together we will envision strategies and practices for healing and restorative justice participants can take back into their work within communities directly impacted by mass incarceration.
RYSE’s Listening Campaign (LC) is an inquiry of the experiences of trauma, violence, coping, and healing for young people of color (YPOC) in Richmond, CA. It examines the legacy of structural racism via localized transmissions and embodiment of complex trauma, correlated social/health inequities, and collective healing and empowerment. The LC challenges dominant empiricist research that overly confound social determinants of health, ignore structural dis/ease, and harmfully enforce individual and behavior change. The dominant social science conveys and compounds pathologies that mistreat and misassign young people of color largely, often solely, to the category of risk or problem. These inaccurate pathologies are then translated into policies, practices, and investments that perpetuate and codify racial oppression and dehumanization of YPOC. By contrast, the LC employs a syndemics framework to conflate, assert, and validate YPOC’s dynamic subjectivities and social locations. The LC turns up the volume on YPOC’s voices, deepens the lens of their lived experience and expertise, analyzes and acts on such through prisms of structural racism, historical trauma, liberation and healing (in light of and in spite of the former). This session will share how the LC is influencing and leading practice, policy, systems, and field-building efforts in public health, youth development, youth organizing, racial justice, and philanthropy. It will also consider ways the LC may further advance culturally responsive and racially just policies, practices, and investments across sectors, fields, disciplines, and regions.
We must change how we envision and practice leadership, especially given changing demographics and the current political environment. This session provides safe space for people of color at Facing Race to explore transformational leadership practices that center healing and wellness. Participants will unpack their experiences as organizers, advocates, artists, funders and cultural workers; using the creative process to reimagine their lives and their leadership. Healing from the ways we’ve internalized racism is imperative in our efforts to fight for racial justice and equality. Too often, this crucial work is not prioritized in racial justice spaces. SiOP and SpiritHouse will encourage people to build their own communities of practice to sustain and strengthen their effort to heal from and fight against racism. Through the arts and storytelling, we examine why we cannot end structural racism, and the ways racism is embedded into the fabric of our culture, without simultaneously eradicating internalized oppression. This highly participatory session will support participants to develop a shared vision for transforming self and society. Participants will leave with tools and practices and personal action plan for moving forward with more impact and sustainability.