The Healing Project is a grassroots social justice and collective healing initiative and research collective. Our approach is rooted in Black and decolonial feminist theories and utilizes the core principles of Healing Justice and Radical Healing frameworks and that of Critical Participatory Action Research (CPAR); "No research on us without us" (Fine & Torre, 2021).
Historically, Blackwomen's voices have been largely excluded and/or erased from dominant discourses centered on their experiences, performance of identity and womanhood, and their health and well-being. Likewise, Blackwomen have been traditionally seen as nonhuman, unfeeling subjects who possess inordinate physical and psychological strength; having a unique capacity to endure blow after blow. We seek to redress these dangerous myths and injustices through the art of storytelling, witnessing and testifying, and public memory work (remembering).
We understand that the long, deep work of healing justice requires collective action and that liberation for Blackwomen requires us to "fight the world", together (CRC, 1977) and that a holistic approach must transcend disciplinary boundaries for inquiry. We want to destabilize stock stories and traditional/dominant narratives of resilience and create counter-spaces to tell authentic stories from the perspective of those most oppressed and impacted by raced and gendered experiences.
Our goals are to:
justice/joy/healing is an interdependent politic and praxis that can only exist in tandem and that is necessary for the deep work of liberation. our praxis adapts aspects of Radical Healing (French et al., 2020) and Endarkened Storywork (Toliver, 2022) frameworks.
for many of us Blackwoman, the mind/body/spirit have been indoctrinated to chronically endure. we've been conditioned to hold our breath, wrinkle our foreheads, tighten our shoulders, curl our toes, pull inward and remain on guard, at all times. thus, our healing has required the work of (re)membering and (re)learning how to not drown in the ocean and how to breathe while swimming — practices that are grounded in Black feminist theory and epistemology. for many Blackwoman, healing and resistance are codependent, and THP praxis involves collective healing through the arts while practicing presence. presence referring to the radical act of being as conceptualized by Audre Lorde. we engage with communities of Blackwomen in public memory work through storytelling and testimony.
We are building an intergenerational research collective comprised of differently situated folks with shared imaginations toward social justice and collective healing. Our collective will include researchers across many disciplines, students, activists, artists, and Blackwomen across a number of communities.