Emotional Emancipation and Ubuntu Healing Circles

Emotional Emancipation Circles (EECs) are evidence-informed, psychologically sound, culturally grounded, and community-defined self-help support groups designed to help heal the trauma caused by anti-Black racism. In EECs, we share stories; deepen our understanding of the impact of historical forces on our sense of self-worth, our relationships, and our communities; and learn essential emotional wellness skills to help us be at our best as individuals and as a people

In early evaluations, EEC participants have reported significant improvements in their mental health, and transformations in their mindsets and lives. Here’s some of what participants have said:

“The EEC group gave me an opportunity to first talk openly with comfort and ease and authenticity about race. It allowed me to know that there’s nothing wrong with me.”

“It hit me like a brick. It was only at that point that I realized that I had never allowed myself to imagine…what the world would be like without the amount of racism that we have to deal with.”

“It was instrumental in informing the lens that I’m using to engage people of color in some very difficult conversations around the emotional trauma of racism.”

“Thank you CHN you have saved lives and improved …clinical outcome(s)…”

Together, CHN and ABPsi have trained almost 600 EE Circle Facilitators and planted seeds for EE Circles in nearly 50 cities in the U.S., including Ferguson, Baltimore, Washington, Richmond, Los Angeles, Oakland, New Orleans; and internationally in Cuba, the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Haiti. We’ve mobilized nearly a thousand volunteers across the African Diaspora, and will reach thousands more with our Truth Tour.

In response to COVID-19 and the shelter-in-place orders, we are working with ABPsi to develop the Rapid Response EE Circle Training that can be offered virtually. Meanwhile, with the intensifying racial challenges within Black communities, we are equipping Black men and women to start Virtual Ubuntu Healing Circles which do not require a certification. For apiring EE Circle facilitators, our Ubuntu Healing Circles will prepare you for facilitating an offical EE Circle once the online training becomes available.

Please note: Ubuntu Healing Circles are spaces for Black bodies, minds, and spirits to experience safety, love, and strength from each otherFor our circles to be effective, they must be led and attended by Black men and women only––it is equally essential to the healing process as the discussions and activities inside the circles. To read more on this subject, see the articles: Why People of Color Need Spaces Without White People and Why There Is Nothing Racists About Black Only Spaces.
For information about starting a Virtual Ubuntu Healing Circle or EE Circle Facilitator training, please conlact us at valuingblacklives@communityhealingnet.org.
We are each others’ medicine.–Mama Rashida Forman-Bey, Wombwork Productions, Baltimore, MD

Emotional Emancipation Circle, UK

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