The Absalom Jones Episcopal Center for Racial Healing announces that it is taking on the tough and sensitive topic of racialized trauma to explore at its depth for the entire year. This dynamic is under addressed too often and results in reducing the effectiveness of much of the race relations work that has been done and is being done in America. James Baldwin reminds us that “while you might not be able to heal everything that you can name, you will never heal anything that you do not name.” Thus, we are naming that all of us, white, brown and black, have been wounded by the pervasive disease of racism. Our understanding of this fact compels us to seek the best ways to make our work sustainable and we are accepting the challenge with as much courage and hope possible.
Programs at the Center in 2022 will explore topics such as colorism, the impact of racialized trauma upon love and marriage, deterioration of communities of color, its impact upon health and wellness in general, and child and maternal health and wellness in particular, ways that this dynamic is manifested in mass incarceration and its more generalized manifestation throughout communities of color.
We have called upon experts from many arenas to assist us in this part of our healing work. Now that we have a better understanding of the ways in which trauma of the past visits the present, we are exploring archetypal and ancestral trauma and grief, and calling upon our ancestral medicine healers and others to lead us into a deeper understanding of the wounding process and possibilities for healing. We will revisit our lynching work since this is one of the nation's most powerful contributors to racialized trauma.
In addition to this year’s long focus, the Center is now fully equipped with the proper equipment to live stream all of its programs, which will allow us to continue to serve our large national and international communities that were developed during this long winter of COVID-19. We are quite proud of this accomplishment and excited about all of the potential that we have created for increasing our capabilities to continue to serve a wider audience.
For the month of February, keep an eye out for a daily email on Monday through Friday as a part of our Brave Voices Speaking series. Each day there will be a short video sent out with an inspirational message grounded in the beauty of African American experience and culture. There will be a different speaker each day. The Center Staff will make their offerings during the first week and will be followed by a group of friends and supporters for the remainder of the month, so please take a minute to listen and let us know what you think.
You will be interested to know that I have been invited to preach at the Washington National Cathedral on May 22 followed on May 23 by a conversation with New York Times Columnist, David Brooks, which will explore what it will take to heal the soul of the nation. While this is a very gratifying moment for me personally, I am deeply grateful to have the Center represented in this manner. I have a deep sense of gratitude for the invitation and to the heavenly host for helping to facilitate it.
Our hearts are encouraged as we stand on this threshold and survey all of the amazing possibilities that are floating in front of us and challenging us to step up to the plate this year even more than we ever have done in the past. What a joy to be offered the invitation to be disrupted in all of the ways necessary in order to be faithful to the call before us!
Please continue to step up to the plate with us. Invite your friends and all others who are in your circle of influence to join you. Ask folks to subscribe to our web page, that is a small way that you can support us in addition to what you do already. Keep being a half shade braver!