Creating Community, Healing, and Justice

In the journey to dismantle structures of white supremacy there must be attention paid to community rebuilding and healing. Trauma from racism has negatively impacted Black and Brown people, and it will remain in our communities and bodies – even passed to next generations – unless there is a collective and intentional effort to build healing and repair into the structure of our communities and systems. Authors in this section emphasize compassionate connection, celebration of Black and Brown culture, uplift, and self-love, and also articulate the characteristics of a movement to cultivate growth and flourishing.

Discussion Questions

Read through the following questions and answer them based off what you learned from the readings:

1. Oscar Contreras Telón emphasizes that one way to foster healing is to create connections across cultures through the provision of spaces for sharing, joy, and healing. Do such cross-culture healing spaces exist in your community? What characteristics would you want in these spaces?

2. Dr. Ram Bhagat proposes that white people build positive allyship with people of color. In your own words, what does it mean to be an ally in this context? What would it look like for organizations or institutions to model positive allyship?

3. Angela Patton and Ashley Mejias examine different dimensions of racialized trauma in their essays and note that part of healing comes from valuing Black lives instead of silencing and sentencing them. What are 1-2 ways that you can actively value Black lives in your personal life, your work, in your community?

Discussion Questions

  • The presence and success of Black women and girl organizations and businesses are central to healing, and supporting them can be a form of allyship. Do you know what and where these organizations are in your city? To start, find a list of the Black female-owned businesses in your city. Find ways to leverage various aspects of personal power — financial capital, social capital — to invest in, partner with, develop, and buy from Black female-owned businesses.

  • Learn more about racialized trauma - Black body, white body, police body, and communal body trauma – through the short free e-course offered through Cultural Somatics Institute.

  • Are there organizations or efforts in your community supporting alternatives to the prison system? Helping folks within the prison system or providing support for those who are recently released? Find 1-2 doing such work, learn about their efforts and find ways to support their work.

Additional Resources


UJIMA Legacy Fund
Maria Paz Gutierrez, NPR (April 11, 2018)

Schooled: High school students share their challenges as young black girls in the classroom

Laura Ingles (July 17, 2018)

Black Girls Matter

African American Policy Reform

More families are staying in Richmond, but the school system still only enrolls 73 kids for every 100 born here

Ned Oliver, Richmond Times-Dispatch (March 10, 2018)

Finding Her Voice: How Black Girls in White Spaces Can Speak Up and Live Their Truth

Faye Z. Belgrave Ph.D, Ivy Belgrave, and Angela Patton (September 1, 2021)

The Prison Paradox: More Incarceration Will Not Make Us Safer

Don Stemen, Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, Loyola University Chicago (July 2017)

Why you can’t blame mass incarceration on the war on drugs

German Lopez (May 30, 2017)

Featured Work

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