- Phoenix Medley
Promoting Racial Healing
Trinity Boston Connects (TBC) recently launched an exciting and eye-opening social media challenge centered around racial healing.
The #TBCRacialHealingChallenge encourages participants to share ways they are promoting racial healing and learning in their communities. This challenge is only one of many ways TBC works to encourage and support young people of color, as well as adults who work with youth.
“Racial healing” refers to work done to break down misconceptions surrounding race in order to promote racial equity. TBC prioritizes building trusting relationships with others in order to open solution-based conversations about racial injustice. Racial healing integrates those directly affected by inequity into the problem-solving process, allowing them to benefit more fully.
Here are a few people and organizations participating in the challenge along with their take on racial healing:
Debbie Johnson, a TBC board member, posted a picture of stack of books all pertaining to racial injustice. Some books included, “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas and “Chains” by Laurie Halse Anderson. “The Hate U Give,” according to Social Justice Books, is the story of 16-year-old Starr Carter who, while driving home from a party with her friend Khalil, is forced to watch police shoot him after pulling them over. It follows her journey as she “...learns both the importance of and the costs of speaking out.”
Debbie believes that the use of fiction narratives to incite change is just as effective as nonfiction news because they are inspired by real-world events. For many people, fiction is even more effective, because they connect with the characters and the emotion of the plot. Fiction is a great way to introduce very large topics to people unfamiliar with them, because they will empathize with the characters, allowing them to better understand the greater message.
Love Life Now Foundation posted a set of inspirational quotes about actively educating ourselves and unlearning harmful behaviors. They focused mainly on becoming anti-racist, which is the idea that you not only disagree with racism but also actively work against it. The last photo of their post features an infographic depicting the path to anti-racism.
I think this is an especially helpful post/resource, as some people may not understand what anti-racism means. This infographic shows how one could expand their understanding of racial inequity, educate themselves, and support the people of color in their community.
I practice racial healing daily at my school. A lot of my friends are white or not Black, and many of them have a misunderstanding of what racism can look like in America. It’s often assumed that racism is aggressive and outright but, in reality, modern racism in America is more often seen in microaggressions.
Microaggressions are defined as patterned behaviors by individuals in a majority group that undermine, belittle, stereotype, or insult those in minority groups. A few examples would be “I don't see color," “all lives matter,” or “you look exotic.” Pointing out the microaggressions I experience to my friends allows them to reflect on their own actions, and possibly become more aware of habits and misconceptions. For example, once my friend made a joke about how Black dads always leave. After we had a conversation about why this stereotype is inaccurate, they came to realize how harmful their thinking was.
That’s not to say that I don’t have anything to learn, myself. This challenge was especially eye-opening for me, specifically about my privileges as a light-skinned person of color. To participate in this challenge, I chose to educate myself further on colorism in the U.S. to better understand and recognize the privilege I have.
I encourage you to do your own research. Whether it is a memoir, a novel, or a news article, anything you can do to further educate yourself and promote racial healing is worth doing. Join TBC and me in the fight for education and racial equity. We as a whole community will benefit in the end.
Phoenix Medley, age 17, began volunteering with SEED Impact in 2020. She connects with SEED Impact’s client-partners and researches topics of interest. She enjoys writing to support their work, and as a way of drawing more attention to their passion, vision, challenges, and life-giving outcomes.