Our History

  • The Community Healing Network is launched in October 2006 at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, (the nation’s third oldest predominantly Black Episcopal Church) in New Haven, Connecticut.
  • From October 2006 through September 2008, CHN sponsors local community conversations and healing events, and presents Community Healer Awards to local leaders in New Haven.
  • In September 2008, CHN issues a Call to Healing and Renewal urging Black people everywhere to put “time for healing” at the top of their lists of priorities by celebrating Community Healing Days,SM on the third weekend of every October.
  • In September 2008, Dr. Maya Angelou endorses the Call to Healing and Renewal and assumes the position of Chair of CHN’s Board of Advisors.
  • On October 17, 18, and 19, 2008, people in Montclair, New Jersey, and Tuskegee, Alabama, join with people in New Haven in the first annual celebration of Community Healing Days.SM
  • In January 2009, CHN partners with the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in Washington, D.C. to host a celebration of the inauguration of President Barack Obama–and to raise national awareness of CHN’s goal to help us as Black people “see ourselves in a whole new light.”
  • On June 27, 2009, in Tuskegee, Alabama, CHN launches its Community Healing Institute,SM to offer workshops and trainings to equip local leaders to establish and sustain self-help groups focused on emotional emancipation, healing, and wellness. One participant describes the launch as “life-transforming.”
  • On August 26, 2009, the Honorable Omar Neal, Mayor of the City of Tuskegee, Alabama, and Vice Chair of the CHN Board of Advisors, issues the first mayoral proclamation supporting the celebration ofCommunity Healing Days.SM
  • October 16, 17, and 18, 2009, marks the second annual celebration of Community Healing Days,SM with observances held in fifteen cities–up from three cities in 2008.
  • On November 7, 2009, Dr. Maya Angelou, Chair of CHN’s Board of Advisors, leads Saving the Race: The Human Race, a ground-breaking gathering at the Riverside Church in New York City, featuring Common and Tom Joyner, among others, to introduce CHN to the world. One of the nearly two thousand people in attendance captures the spirit of the evening, describing it as: “…one of the best nights of our lives….Our spirits were lifted so high.”
  • On November 8, 2009, CHN presents its first Global Community Healer Award to Dr. Maya Angelou.
  • On September 13, 2010, Dr. Maya Angelou issues a “Call to Wear Sky Blue” during Community Healing Days, asking people to take a stand for emotional emancipation and to show our collective determination to “turn the pain of the blues into the sky blue of unlimited possibilities.”
  • During the weekend of October 15, 16, and 17, 2010, people in more than 70 cities celebrate Community Healing Days, up from 15 cities in 2009, and 3 cities in 2008.
  • In the Spring of February 2011, CHN forges a partnership with the Brainwash Resolution Project led by Tom Burrell, author of Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority.
  • In July 2011, CHN cements a partnership with the Association of Black Psychologists, which agrees to provide advice and hands-on assistance to help CHN establish a global network of emotional emancipation circles where Black people can meet regularly to work to overcome the lie of Black inferiority and other emotional legacies of enslavement and racism.
  • In August 2011, the Honorable Omar Neal, Mayor of Tuskegee, Alabama, and Vice Chair of the CHN Board of Advisors, announces his intention to set Tuskegee on the path to become the nation’s first “community healing model city.”
  • In August 2011, CHN forges a partnership with Symphonic Strategies, Inc., a social movement organization that develops strategies and tactics for successful community mobilization.
  • During the weekend of October 14, 15, and 16, 2011, people in 138 cities celebrate Community Healing Days.
  • On January 26-29, 2012, CHN joins with Mayor Omar Neal, Tuskegee University, members of the Association of Black Psychologists, and Symphonic Strategies, Inc. to lead its first city-wide Community Healing Summit, in Tuskegee, Alabama, to develop a  detailed outline for a curriculum and training manual to help City leaders build a local movement for emotional emancipation, healing, and wellness.
  • During the months of February-June 2012, members of the Association of Black Psychologists (ABPsi) under the leadership of ABPsi president Cheryl Grills, work with CHN, Mayor Neal, representatives of Tuskegee University, and Symphonic Strategies to refine CHN’s vision to create the first draft of anEmotional Emancipation Circles Toolkit.
  • This ground-breaking Toolkit, designed to make it easy for any group of interested Black people to launch and sustain an Emotional Emancipation (EE) Circle, will provide a resource to help spark the creation of EE Circles in families and neighborhoods across the country.
  • EE Circles are organized around: 1) 7 skills for emotional wellness and empowerment; 2) 7 MAAT principles, the “make a way out of no way” principles; 3) 7 keys for action based on the 7 principles; and 4) 7 traditions to facilitate the smooth functioning of the EECs
  • On June 25-27, 2012, Dr. Cheryl Grills, Dr. Daryl Rowe, Dr. Huberta Jackson-Lowman, and Dr. Chante DeLoach of ABPsi, conduct the first Training of Emotional Emancipation Circle Trainers.
  • Starting in July 2012, the Tuskegee Community Healing Leadership Team ably led by Dr. Muhjah Shakir and Dr. Lloyd Webb begins pilot-testing and adapting the EEC materials to make sure that they meet the people of Tuskegee where they are.
  • The pilot/refinement phase for development of the EEC Toolkit takes longer than planned and the target date for public release of version 1.0 of the EEC Toolkit is changed from October 2012 to the first quarter of 2013.
  • In October 2012, CHN launches a seven-year Defy the Lie and Embrace the Truth Pledge Campaign designed to urge us as Black people to actively “defy the lie of Black inferiority and embrace the truth of Black humanity,” and personally commit to doing the work necessary to free ourselves psychologically and emotionally and build the movement for emotional emancipation in our families, neighborhoods, and communities.
  • In October 2013, CHN and the Association of Black Psychologists (ABPsi) announced the launch of more than 20 Emotional Emancipation Circles around the world, including the U.S. the U.K., Cuba, South Africa.
  • In February 2014, CHN and ABPsi called on the Congressional Black Caucus to hold briefings on the continuing negative impact of the lie of Black inferiority and ways to eradicate it.
  • On June 20 and 21, CHN and ABPsi presented a two-day conference on “The Case for Emotional Emancipation” in New Haven, Connecticut.
  • On September 25, 2014, CHN and ABPsi presented a ground-breaking forum at the 44th Annual Legislative Conference of the Congressional Black Caucus called “From Trauma to Wellness: Building a Movement for Emotional Healing, Mental Health, and Well-Being in the Black Community.”
  • On October 17, 2014, CHN launched the #IValueBlackLives initiative to encourage people to take personal responsibility for bringing an end to the dehumanization and devaluing of the lives of Black people and call on Black people to meet in small groups to envision a future of unlimited possibilities for Black people–in which our lives are truly valued– and to share their visions with CHN before Black History Month 2015 at www.communityhealingdays.com/reach-out/

 

The History of EECs: The ABPSI-CHN Collaboration

  • Community Healing Network (CHN) was launched in 2006 to build a global grassroots movement for the emotional emancipation of Black people to overcome and overturn the lie of Black inferiority: the root cause of the devaluing of Black lives.
  • Between 2006 and 2010, CHN developed a wide range of strategies, programs, and initiatives to fulfill its mission, including Emotional Emancipation CirclesSM. To ensure that the EE Circles process was professionally and culturally sound, CHN sought a collaboration with the Association of Black Psychologists (ABPsi).
  • In 2010, CHN reached out to ABPsi, requesting its help in building a network of Emotional Emancipation (EE) Circles. CHN asked ABPsi and its members to provide professional advice, technical support, and hands-on help in refining CHN’s vision to bring the EE Circles to life in ways that would truly liberate and empower Black people. ABPsi invited CHN to make a plenary session presentation at its 2011 Convention, and ABPsi members responded enthusiastically to CHN’s request and volunteered to help CHN build a network of EE Circles—and, with it, the movement for emotional emancipation.
  • On January 26-29, 2012, CHN’s Community Healing Institute sponsored its first city-wide Community Healing Summit featuring members of ABPsi, in Tuskegee, Alabama, to develop an outline for an EE Circles curriculum. During the months of February-June 2012, members of the ABPsi, under the leadership of then-president Cheryl Tawede Grills and president-elect Taasogle Daryl Rowe, worked with CHN to create the first drafts of the Emotional Emancipation Circles Toolkit and the Emotional Emancipation Circles Leader’s Guide.
  • On June 25-27, 2012, Dr. Grills, Dr. Rowe, Dr. Huberta Jackson-Lowman, and Dr. Chante DeLoach of ABPsi, conducted the first Emotional Emancipation Circles Training of Trainers at a CHN Community Healing Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama.
  • On July 23, 2013, at its 45th annual convention in New Orleans, Louisiana, ABPsi and CHN released the first edition of the Emotional Emancipation Circles Leader’s Guide, a research-based, culturally-sensitive curriculum to help promote healing conversations. ABPsi also announced plans to mobilize its membership and allies to help spark the creation of a grassroots network of EE Circles in collaboration with CHN.
  • Working together, CHN and ABPsi have planted seeds for EE CirclesSM in cities across the United States, including New Haven, CT; Tuskegee, AL; Los Angeles, CA; Ferguson, MO; and New York, NY; and in countries around the world, including the United Kingdom; Cuba; Brazil; and Ghana.