The Racial Healing Collective
The Racial Healing Collective is a space that is committed to futurity and collective survival for all communities, while keeping Black and Brown communities at the front of our hearts, minds, and moves.
We are Black feminists, anti-capitalists, and abolitionists who care deeply about the social-emotional and community health of Black and Brown people. We ground ourselves and our work in Beloved Community, and we deeply value the wisdom and knowledge that comes from communities of color. We care about transforming the effects of oppression on our body/minds and relationships, and we are excited to work with Black and Brown youth in this work. We are redefining our safety, our healing, our interactions, and our experiences. We are drawing on Critical Race Theory, Universal Design, Disability Justice, and Restorative/Transformative Justice as infrastructures in our learning environments. We are working within our communities to address harm, crisis, and colonization, while remaining curious and open to engaging with the world. Liberation is our ethic and Love is our politic.
The Spring 2020 Racial Healing Lab gathered 25 BIPOC youth from across the so-called U.S. to practice and study transformative justice, afro-futurism, and healing justice. We built community based on shared values, and we deepened our capacities to care for ourselves and our communities. Below, you will find offerings from the racial healing lab that we hope you will appreciate.
Black Healing, Joy, and Justice Collective
The Black Healing, Joy and Justice Team envisions a rich exploration of Black liberation within an individual, between individuals, in community, and throughout societies globally. This work is meant to inspire and facilitate radical healing and empowerment of Black minds, bodies, and souls. Our team embodies unabated Black joy and the freedom to define Blackness for ourselves -- outside and separate from the gazes of white settler supremacy and anti-blackness. Through the intersection of art and community-engaged research, we intend to inform an understanding of how to support Black life at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and beyond.
White Allies (Co-Conspirators) for Racial Justice
The white co-conspirator group will take risks everyday, concede power, and fight for racial justice while simultaneously researching the best models for white people to gather and do anti-racist work.
Guided by Black Feminist epistemologies, purpose, and direction from the Racial Healing Collective, the white co-conspirator group will develop a model for a white antiracist space that exists in deep alignment with the purpose of the Collective. The white co-conspirator group will initially focus on research and development, alignment and accountability, and will move (flexibly, responsively) towards the launch of an organizing initiative in the spring.
We will imperfectly fight racism everyday by engaging in internal healing processes targeting the impacts of white supremacist training and by putting our bodies and power on the line for racial justice. And we will support, listen to, and co-conspire with Black and Brown youth every step of the way.
We see our work as an effort to collectively build awareness and action towards racial equity and justice through the creation of a youth board that centers: BIPOC youth voices, co-creation, visioning, and support within their communities as well as the UMass community. We build reflection and joy around identities and cultures of color, and amplify these identities in our communities. We will integrate this board into the visioning and work of all the CRJ’s teams, centering youth perspectives, power and action throughout.