Healing Racial Trauma
A Two Day Conference for People of Color and White Allies
Sheraton Stamford Hotel
June 2 - 3, 2017
9am - 5pm
Sheraton Stamford Hotel
June 2 - 3, 2017
9am - 5pm
The Conference will provide a space where People of Color can convene and have their experiences with racial trauma named, acknowledged, and validated and where White Allies can be further inspired and empowered to continue to both "do their work" and "the work." The intent of the Conference is to be intentional and unapologetic about the pervasive effects of race and racial trauma, and the necessity to promote racially informed approaches to healing, transformation, and activism.
This two-day Conference is designed to be a time of reflection, revival, self-care, and healing for those who are committed to addressing issues of race, racial oppression and trauma. The Conference will feature seven dynamic speakers: Charles Blow, Dr. Beverly Greene, Lee Mun Wah, Jerry Tello, Dr. Kiran Kaur Arora, and Dr. Kenneth V. Hardy, all of whom have devoted their respective life’s work to either servicing racially traumatized populations and/or promoting critical thinking about race, trauma, and the process of healing.
1) How have I been impacted by racial trauma?
2) What are the invisible race-related trauma wounds that stifle me in my personal relationships, work, and evolution as a human being?
3) What is it that I need to do to begin or continue to heal from toxic internalized racial messages and/or trauma?
4) What can I do or need to do more of to challenge racial oppression and injustice?
Charles Blow, New York Times Columnist and CNN Contributor will open the 2 day conference on Soul Work: Healing Racial Trauma with a poignant and insightful discussion of Race in America. Mr. Blow's commentary and critique will set the tone for the conversations and personal reflections that will occur over the ensuing 2 days.
Black folks have managed to survive the unthinkable and may be considered experts on managing domestic terrorism. Yet we often fail to even inquire about how we managed to achieve despite the obstacles, especially as the obstacles continue. Although we have been and remain victimized by the forces of oppression, we cannot afford to overlook the psychological strengths we possess as a marginalized people. This address will highlight and honor the lessons and ‘learnings’ that our elders have to teach us about struggle, survival, and keeping our souls in tact in the face of adversity and assault.
As Mayor James Knowles declared that there was "no racial divide" in Ferguson, Missouri, despite the killing of Michael Brown by Deputy Darren Wilson, as well as deep racial divisions between the city government, law enforcement and black residents, I saw a glaringly obvious disconnect in reality from what was experienced by people in the Ferguson community and what was witnessed by the nation. What ensued was escalated chaos, rage and disappointment. In this workshop we will explore how traditional western solutions to diversity issues and conflict not only fail, but consistently frustrate minorities as well as white people who come with good intentions and desire for healing and connection.
For years, Muslims, Arabs, South Asians, and Sikhs have been targeted for their ‘othered’ identity, interlaced by race and/or religion. The contemporary persecution of these communities has left many searching for ways to cope, heal, and find hope. Chardi Kala is a concept from the Sikh tradition, which emphasizes a psychological state of bravery, optimism, and an ability to remain hopeful and focused on justice during suffering. For generations, Sikhs have embraced Chardi Kala as an anchor during episodes of systemic oppression and genocide. This keynote will address the spirit of Chardi Kala as a framework for withstanding our current political climate.
The presentation through story, metaphor and real life sharing will explore our journey from Interconnected Sacredness to disconnection and hopelessness. It will guide us through the journey that many disenfranchised people struggle with from pain, shame to internalized oppression and present the path towards healing and recovering of one's sacredness.
This keynote address will examine the survival, endurance, and soulful spirit of the immigration experience through the eyes of a young girl whose life's journey is the embodiment of transforming persecution, poverty, and racial oppression to being an unrelenting advocate for social justice.
The path of personal suffering and pain that often accompanies racial trauma is a much-traveled course for many people of color. Both the passionate and unrelenting drive that we possess in demanding social justice as well as the unwelcomed inhibitions and invisible wounds that often fuel self-sabotaging behaviors are deeply rooted in same soil…racial trauma. In either case, having a willingness to explore, confront, and make peace with the firm debilitating grasp of racial trauma is a critical step in the process of our “becoming’ and “being” whatever it is that we aspire to be-- -parent, partner, healer, helper or good stewards of others’ psyches and souls. Confronting and acknowledging the widespread effects of racial trauma are essential.
This closing address will highlight the significance of both People of Color and White Allies engaging in soul work as a pathway to addressing racial trauma.
You are invited! Come continue to nurture and feed your soul, featuring an appetizing array of delicious soul food prepared especially for our event. Come make new friends and reconnect with old friends and colleagues. The dinner is an optimal opportunity for you to either network with your fellow race and social justice compadres and healers, or simply unwind and reflect over a glass of your favorite adult beverage with a slice of cornbread. Join us for an exciting evening of nutritional nourishment and soul inspiration!
What better way to end an intensive, intellectual, emotional and inspirational day than congregating on the dance floor and “climbing aboard the 'soul train'?” Leaving your inhibitions at the door will be the requirement for the dance, where vibrant soul, salsa, R&B, and other musical genres will permeate the ballroom and move our individual and collective souls to a higher ground. Admission to the dance is included with your Soul Food Dinner ticket, so no reason to miss it!