Racial justice is dependent on healing.* Otherwise, the pain caused by injustice can be overwhelming. The harms of injustice can block progress to both individual and collective liberation. Organizers in the South, including social justice organizations like Kindred, SONG, and many more, have laid the foundation for racial healing and liberation work.
Interrupt generational trauma with healing work.
Healing through Culturally-Specific Practices
Individually, people can heal from intergenerational trauma**, racism, and/or hatred through mental health care, holistic care, and culturally-specific practices. This can look like art, dance, drumming, herbal medicine, or talk therapy. Racial healing can also be collective. This can look like storytelling circles, engaging in culturally-specific practices of your community, and even participating in advocacy.
Turning Attention to Societal Structures that Cause Harm
Society can engage in racial healing by making laws more equitable, or having schools teach truths about the history of racial injustices. Advocating for these processes can benefit generations to come.
*Racial healing is to restore to wholeness, to repair damage, and to set right at an individual and societal level.
* Healing is an ongoing process of mending as well as building power, resilience, and resistance to transform systems of oppression.
**Intergenerational trauma = trauma that gets passed down from those who directly experience an incident to future generations. It can also include the ways in which our parents and their parents were harmed and traumatized by racist policies and practices, such as being denied the right to vote, being forced to attend assimilation schools, or being denied citizenship.
How are you feeling after reading this?
- A strong sense of ethnic and racial identity provides youth with positive mental health outcomes. [source]
- Strong positive ethnic identity is a protective factor against anxiety and depression in Black youth. [source]
- BIPOC youth empowerment has been associated with well-being, a critical perspective, and in combating social oppression. [source]
Take Action Now
Explore Related Action Area
Continue your engagement by learning more about and taking action on related issues.
Crisis response & policing, the school-to-prison pipeline, intergenerational trauma and other inequitable conditions.
The mental health workforce needs more diversity and training on cultural humility.
Many counties deploy police for a mental health crisis even though they aren’t appropriate responders.
BIPOC students face unequal disciplinary action in schools.
Racial justice is dependent on healing.
Rooted in indigenous practices, restorative justice focuses on building relationships.