The first time I consciously, emotionally felt the pain of slavery was during an ancestral healing in spring 2020. Although I'd written poetry and essays, performed scenes and told stories, my conscious mind separated me from the reality of slavery and its aftermath. But the energy of an ancestral healing cuts through our conscious and subconscious blocks to heal, not only our wounds, but those of our ancestors. Because of my healing, when the racial protests of 2020 began, I quickly and easily created R.A.C.E.S. - Race A Concept Explored in Story.
WAIT - WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH MY BOTTOM LINE?
After conducing a few racial healing story circles, surveys, and other research I saw that those who are most at ease with themselves, comfortable in their own skin, secure enough to be generous, and courageous enough to stand for truth most easily recognize racism and embrace antiracism education. In terms of your bottom line, the failure to nurture employees to feel at ease, confident, secure and courageous leads to poor job performance and high turnover. Add to this is the big financial impact of lost revenue from Black and People of Color who are not welcomed as management and employees.
Closing the Racial Inequality Gap, the Economic Cost of Racial Inequality in the USA, is a free professionally researched report. You and or your administration and managers could read the over 100 page report and use your resources and people of color on staff to address issues in your organization. Or you may consider how we can design a program just for your organization based on a storytelling approach shown to be non-threatening and effective. Your program may include one or a combination of the following:
At 5, I was told I couldn’t attend dance classes because I wasn’t white.
At 16, I wrote a general and asked him why young men had to die in the Vietnam war.
At 18, I interviewed Fred Hampton in the Chicago Black Panther Headquarters. Two weeks later he was shot in bed by the police.
At 21, I cried as I watched Black men in Attica Prison shot down like animals.
At 24, I spoke, before a crowd of thousands, at the South Carolina capitol against the murder of Black men by the Highway Patrol.
Being a Black woman in the USA is a journey to transcend violence, unfairness, and mistreatment. Fortunately, a life of gratitude, creativity, and spiritual practice balanced out the negativity. In 2020 ancestral healings freed me, and my ancestors, from centuries of suffering.
Healing ancestral wounds by telling our stories enables us to release the past and master the art of living freely in the moment. We can re-create our world with compassion.
R.A.C.E.S. facilitates racial story healing on the personal, organizational, and community level.