Dismantling oppressive systems and fighting for freedom is challenging work that never fails to challenge our health and well-being.
The system we live in is rigged against justice and liberation, designed to keep powerful people powerful and Black people in lower ranks of society. Because of the heartaches and headaches Black people often face when doing this work, we need tools of self-care that can help us heal from the damage inflicted by these systems as we continue to fight for ourselves.
One way we can heal is through a concept called healing justice, which is an active intervention that transforms the lived experience of Blackness in our world. Because institutional racism has embedded itself so deeply in Black communities that even their physical health has been compromised, it’s critical to prioritize Black community healing.
Healing justice is a framework that requires individuals and organizations to confront and transform historical and intergenerational trauma from the oppression, policing, surveillance, colonization, and attempted genocide that has invaded Black lives. There are many ways to go about this, including :
- Asking Black people how they are doing, what they need, and offering ways to help.
2. Allowing Black people to set the agenda for their healing and wellness needs while empowering them to create the conditions needed in order to meet those needs.
3. Creating spaces where Black people are able to share their lived experiences without judgment and with support from others who have also shared those experiences.
4. Working to dismantle the institutions and systems that contribute to the pain BIPOC communities feel.
5. Trying to understand how Black people are hurting, what we need for healing and self-care, then following through on commitments to support that healing.
We cannot expect to heal from the trauma of racism and create a society where every individual has the opportunity to thrive if we’re not taking care of ourselves first. However, most self-care practices and concepts are both masked by consumerism and not accessible to BIPOC communities.
Because commercialized self-care is a part of the very system that leads to Black oppression, we must find ways to make healing accessible and less costly. Advocating for changes in our own practices and creating/participating in ways to heal ourselves without the need for co-opted products is one way to do this.
Both self-care and healing justice are the foundational components to pursuing racial equity—and both are embedded in CommunityBuild Ventures’ service delivery.
By building relationships with partners and providing THRIVE Design and Learn and Practice services, CBV actualizes our foundational belief that people and communities can heal through self-care and community care practices. That mission and belief are woven into working with diverse stakeholders to create impact and help answer some challenging questions.
Learn About CBV
Our THRIVE Design lends a helping hand to organizations looking to define a racial equity-centered strategy. The framework combines history, research, policy, community culture, and healing and emotional self-care practices to create change.
If you’re ready to start a conversation in your organization, click here to learn more about CBV’s THRIVE Design service today.