Transformation happens once we imbibe the truth, face it head on, humble ourselves, and take a step forward.
Healing begins with Truth. We begin with a non judging understanding of the facts, of a history in our nation which we all inherited. Sometimes, facing the truth means lifting a collective amnesia that’s promoted by our common culture. Sometimes, facing the truth means healing collective trauma that simmers in our brothers and sisters. It must all be done with love, care, and intention to heal and move forward together.
healing for all of us
What is Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation?
Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation brings about transformational and sustainable change to address the historic and contemporary impact of racism. Developed by Dr. Gail Christopher over 10 years while she served as Vice President for Policy and Senior Adviser for the Kellogg Foundation, it is a method to “shift our beliefs and overcome a great divide — the believed hierarchy in human value”. In the Racial Healing Circle, you will meet new people, listen deeply, share your truths, and give affirming responses.
What will we do in the Circle?
During a Racial Healing Circle, trained Racial Healing Facilitators will guide participants through introductory exercises which lead up to a deeper sharing in a safe space. Participants are invited to share their truths and heart stories, and in doing so, to develop a deeper understanding of others who may be perceived as different. Participants will have the opportunity to share a story and hear someone else’s story in dyads with a partner, and then in the circle as a group. Participants are then invited to respond to the stories they heard and affirm each others’ experiences, which leads to rich discussion and dialogue. When we speak our truths and listen deeply to others, we find common ground with those who we may have perceived as different. When we leave the Circle, we leave in a different relationship – both with ourselves and with others – than when we came.
Will this be a discussion about race?
The Racial Healing Circle is an opportunity for people to come together and form deep connections across social differences such as race/ethnicity, culture, gender, sexuality, and class. Race is a divisive and artificial social construct. Therefore, to heal from racism, we believe it is necessary to face the truths of this falsely constructed hierarchy in human value, in part by connecting deeply on our shared humanity. Leading with race in social change work and analysis of systemic inequities is critical. Embodying a new reality of shared humanity is just as critical to break patterns of our past and create a new reality, living in a Conscious Community.
Is focusing on our shared humanity the same as being color blind? No. In discussions about race, the term color-blind means that someone “doesn’t see color” or believes that people of color are no longer affected by race and racism. To say this is to “create a society that denies negative racial experiences, rejects cultural heritage, and invalidates unique perspectives.” Austin Health Commons believes that to focus on our shared humanity means that we are able to both celebrate and acknowledge our differences and acknowledge that beneath it all, we are also all human and worthy of love, respect, and basic human rights.
How does the TRHT Circle heal? Humans are innately wired for connection, and connecting with others in a supportive and safe way is healing. When we connect deeply with another human being, this automatically lowers the stress hormone, cortisol, and raises the bonding-joy hormone, oxytocin, in the brain. Thus, we actually leave the Circle with less stress than when we walked in; a true healing experience.
The circle: a mutual process of
Racial Healing is a learning curve, a change curve, and transformation curve. There is no end point to Racial Healing. Instead, there is a transformative curve that we cultivate slowly and surely through our commitment to change. Doing so enhances, informs, and supports all that we need to do to alleviate suffering, pain, and harm – and in its place, cultivate well-being, health, and vitality for all.
About Austin Health Commons
Formed in 2016 to serve as a steward of Conscious Health and Care, Austin Health Commons is a 501c3 non-profit community organization working to build a new way for our community to achieve health through community ownership of health and health care; root cause community healing; and access to holistic health care for all.