International Education Week (IEW), November 12-16, 2018 is an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide. This joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education is part of our efforts to promote programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn, and exchange experiences.
In honor of IEW 2018 Racial Justice NOW! would like to take this opportunity to highlight the work we do as a part of a global grassroots movement for emotional emancipation in collaboration with the Community Healing Network. Community Healing Network, Inc., a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit, is the only organization focused solely on building the global grassroots movement for emotional emancipation – to help Black people heal from and overturn the root causes of the devaluing of Black lives: the lies of White superiority and Black inferiority.
CHN, working in collaboration with its principal ally, the Association of Black Psychologists, has put into place key elements to build the movement for the emotional emancipation, healing, wellness, and empowerment of Black people across the African Diaspora.
In 2017 RJN! hosted Dr. Cheryl Grills, from the Association of Black Psychologists , in Dayton, Ohio where she conducted a 2 day training for over 35 emotional emancipation circle facilitators. The training is in great demand and took over two years to get booked. Attendees came from Indianapolis, Minnesota, Mississippi, Columbus, and Cincinnati.
After the training, the local Daytonians formed a group and worked together in seven-week intervals and continue training around the seven keys of the system. Currently there are emotional emancipation circles continuing in Ohio’s Warren Correctional Institution.
Emotional Emancipation Circles
Emotional Emancipation Circles (EECs) are evidence-informed, psychologically sound, and culturally grounded self-help support groups designed to help heal the trauma caused by anti-Black racism. In EECs, we share stories; deepen our understanding of the impact of historical forces on our sense of self-worth, our relationships, and our communities; and learn essential emotional wellness skills to help us be at our best as individuals and as a people.
In early evaluations, EEC participants have reported significant improvements in their mental health, and transformations in their mindsets and lives. Here’s some of what participants have said:
“The EEC group gave me an opportunity to first talk openly with comfort and ease and authenticity about race. It allowed me to know that there’s nothing wrong with me.”
“It hit me like a brick. It was only at that point that I realized that I had never allowed myself to imagine…what the world would be like without the amount of racism that we have to deal with.”
“It was instrumental in informing the lens that I’m using to engage people of color in some very difficult conversations around the emotional trauma of racism.”
“Thank you CHN you have saved lives and improved …clinical outcome(s)…”
Together, CHN and ABPsi have trained more than 500 EE Circle facilitators and planted seeds for EE Circles in nearly 40 cities in the U.S., including Ferguson, Baltimore, Washington, Richmond, Los Angeles, Oakland, New Orleans; and internationally in Cuba, the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Haiti. We’ve mobilized nearly a thousand volunteers across the African Diaspora, and will reach thousands more with our Truth Tour.
Vision & Mission
Our mission is to mobilize Black people across the African Diaspora to heal from the trauma caused by centuries of anti-Black racism, to free ourselves of toxic stereotypes, and to reclaim our dignity and humanity as people of African ancestry.
Our vision is a world in which all Black people have moved beyond surviving to flourishing, and are enjoying life in all its fullness, in body, mind, and spirit.
Emotional Emancipation is what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called “psychological freedom.” Marcus Garvey called it “emancipating ourselves from mental slavery.” It means complete freedom from all toxic ideas about the inferiority of Black lives, Black intellect, Black culture, Black values, Black hair, Black skin, and other Black physical features. It is freedom to see ourselves as beautiful, lovable, intelligent, capable, and worthy; freedom to see ourselves beyond the negative stereotypes that have limited us for centuries; freedom from dehumanization.
Community Healing is about our shared responsibility, as Black people, for confronting and working to overcome the centuries-old narratives of White superiority and Black inferiority. It means revelling in the fact that we are as valuable as any other people on the face of the earth, and working to be free of the emotional legacies of enslavement and racism.