New partnerships emerge in time for 4th annual celebration of Community Healing Days --
Community Healing Network, Inc. (CHN), has announced new collaborations with the Association of Black Psychologists (ABPsi), Brainwash Resolution Project, and City of Tuskegee, Alabama, to help build the movement for the emotional emancipation of Black people.
CHN is the creator and sponsor of Community Healing Days, observed on the third weekend of every October. The celebration is designed to put "time for healing" on the Black agenda and mobilize Black people to overcome the lie of Black inferiority - a root cause of many of the problems facing the Black community. The reality of the lingering impact of slavery and racism was acknowledged by Congress in 2008 and 2009, when both the House and Senate apologized for slavery and Jim Crow. Since its inception in 2008, the celebration of Community Healing Days has grown steadily. Last year, Dr. Maya Angelou, chair of CHN's Board of Advisors, called on people everywhere to Wear Sky Blue as a symbol of their commitment to emancipation from the myths of Black inferiority and White superiority. People in more than 70 cities responded to Dr. Angelou's call last year and people in more than 130 cities have responded so far this year.
The new collaborations underscore the fact that the celebration of Community Healing Days is a catalyst for a continuing grassroots movement - not just a once-a-year event. Dr. Cheryl Grills, president of ABPsi, said ABPsi and its members will "provide advice and hands-on help to establish ongoing local healing circles where Black people can meet regularly to come to terms with and heal from the emotional legacies of slavery and racism." The healing circles that will be established in cities across the country are central to CHN's effort to build a grassroots movement to overturn the lie of Black inferiority. The City of Tuskegee, Alabama, has set out to build a network of neighborhood healing circles to become the nation's first "community healing model city." In an open letter, Tuskegee Mayor Omar Neal said, "We believe that in order to reverse the negative trends in the Black community, we must turn to the long-delayed struggle for what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called ‘psychological freedom.'" Also part of CHN's new collaboration is the Brainwash Resolution Project, a nonprofit organization devoted to challenging and reversing negative stereotypes in media, led by Tom Burrell, author of Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority.
"These new partnerships," said CHN president Enola G. Aird, "are crucial steps on the road to CHN's goal of building a nationwide grassroots network of self-help groups focused on emotional emancipation and healing by 2019 - so that, as a people, we will see ourselves in a whole new light by the year 2020."
This year, Community Healing Days will fall on Friday through Sunday, October 14, 15 and 16. Among the highlights: Tuskegee, Ala.: Mayor Omar Neal is mobilizing his city for a community healing movie night on Friday, a community healing gathering that will bring together the people of Tuskegee with the students and faculty of Tuskegee University on Saturday, and religious services focused on healing on Sunday. The city will follow up by working with CHN and members of ABPsi to establish year-round neighborhood healing circles.
Portland, Ore.: People in the Black community will meet to focus on strategies for overturning the lie of Black inferiority as people in the White community focus their energies on how to overturn the lie of White superiority.
New Haven, Conn.: The celebration will include the launch of a year-round community healing circle on Friday evening, a community healing walk on Saturday and church services focused on healing on Sunday.
Cleveland, Ohio: Students at Pooh County Day Nursery will wear sky-blue t-shirts again this year as they embrace the message: "‘Seeing ourselves in a whole new light' by seeing ourselves as beautiful and bright."
Bridgeport, Conn.: On Friday, Dr. Stacey Floyd Thomas, associate professor of Ethics and Society at Vanderbilt Divinity School, will teach at Mount Aery Baptist Church, on how religious commitments can work to perpetuate or ameliorate forms of oppression.
Following the celebration of Community Healing Days, CHN will work with members of ABPsi to establish year-round community healing circles in cities across the country.
For more information about Community Healing Days and Community Healing Network, Inc., go towww.communityhealingnet.org