Written by Tamara Manzer
Today, more than ever, our nation must affirm and center healing in the lives of Black youth. Black youth are experiencing a mental health crisis while at the same time they continue to face systemic inequalities and disparities that have been further perpetuated in 2020. In 2019, the Congressional Black Caucus formed an Emergency Task Force on Black Youth Suicide and Mental Health because of the state of Black youth mental health in our country. BIPOC communities have been historically and structurally stripped of their healing traditions, so we must find ways to restore those traditions.
Right now, I feel compelled to elevate a framework that centers healing in Black lives. I have made a personal commitment to finding healing in my own life while advocating for the youth movement in systems. We must lift up supports and practices that bring love, joy, and hope into the lives of Black youth. Healing Justice is a framework dedicated to the healing, wellness, and liberation of Black and marginalized communities.
“Healing justice is an active intervention in which we transform the lived experience of Blackness in our world.” – Prentis Hemphill
Healing justice honors a lifelong process of healing of Black minds, bodies, and spirits from racism, poverty, oppression, and trauma. Healing justice uplifts the well-being of BIPOC communities and makes Black health central to the transformation of our world. It is a movement that offers the creation of healing space. Healing justice interrupts oppression and systems of violence. Through healing justice, leaders can shift spaces, policies, practices, and structures towards centering healing. As a collective, we can be intentional about promoting healing practices. Healing justice is about caring for the physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, social, and practical aspects of Black lives.
For more information about Healing Justice: