What is Healing Justice?
Cara Page and Kindred Southern Healing Justice Collective cleared a path and told us that “healing justice...identifies how we can holistically respond to and intervene on generational trauma and violence, and to bring collective practices that can impact and transform the consequences of oppression on our bodies, hearts and minds.”
A broad and intersectional vision of liberation work requires that we continue to recall this vision of healing and healing justice into the center of our organizing. We have been inundated with public images of Black death and the flagrant violence of oppressive systems that obstruct justice. Our current systems promise complex, compounded and nearly constant trauma for Black people and ensure that we have little resources, space, time or energy to heal and little agency to protect ourselves and our loved ones from facing the same.
Healing justice is active intervention in which we transform the lived experience of Blackness in our world. And in order to actively intervene and transform the experience of Black life, on every level, our movements and our organizations have to understand and value the wisdom of healing justice.
Healing justice means that we make central to our work listening to those who are imagining transformative justice responses to harm, responses essentially that seek to meet harm in ways other than feeding Black incarceration.
Healing justice means that we develop and honor practitioners of many different disciplines and modalities with capacities and skills to be with trauma, who know themselves well enough to navigate the complex terrain of emotion and guide others towards change.
Healing justice means that we identify the institutions that interrupt and undermine our individual and collective abilities to heal. And in those places we organize towards change and interrupt our dependence, be it against the apparatus of the medical industrial complex or against harmful and life-depleting food systems.
Healing justice means that we begin to value care, emotional labor and resilience, not as add-ons but as central components of sustainability that restore us to life.
Healing justice means that we realize that care and accountability are at the root of healing justice practice and are some of the most difficult and direct actions we can take. Care and accountability require us to reveal, to center and more than anything, to change.
Healing justice means that these interventions, and so many more not yet imagined, can no longer be pushed to the margins of our work, but must be central and given our attention and time.