"We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community... Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own."

– Cesar Chavez

Welcome to day 17

Topic: Healing the Racial and Ethnic Divides

Today’s challenge is to understand the importance of healing from racial trauma and to be part of the vanguard of leaders who are listening to, learning from and loving one another.

Reminder, no matter who you are or where you are on the journey, you will not be perfect. Try to digest the information slowly and go at your own pace. Allow time for reflection and avoid feeling pressured to tackle everything.

Healing is a critical component of building back a better, more equitable Greater Atlanta.

Racism affects all of us where we live, learn, work and play. It affects not only people of color, but ALL of us. It impacts us when we take our children to school, when we apply for jobs, when we try to rent or buy a home, when we shop. It impacts traffic and workforce availability and innovation. Racism can affect us both as individuals and within our systems and institutions. It affects our ability to know, relate to and value one another. The various forms of racism act as a major barrier in improving child well-being.

Many people may try to avoid discussions about race and racism because of the pain, suffering, and sense of guilt that such conversations can raise when not properly processed. This reiterates the need to focus on healing. Healing is a critical component of building back a better, more equitable Greater Atlanta. If we want to achieve a more equitable community, we not only have to recognize the atrocities and problems of the past, we must intentionally heal.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Racial Equity Institute and others emphasize that our community change efforts must include ways for all of us to heal, to build mutually respectful relationships, to value each person’s humanity, and to build trusting intergenerational relationships.

Challenge Menu

Rx Racial Healing

There is a physical response to trauma, including the traumas of racism. An award-winning social change agent, Dr. Gail Christopher, depicts how our collective and individual healing from centuries of believing in a false hierarchy of humanity is the prescription for the 21st century. She offers that we need a prescription of healing and of bringing people together to address bias and the underlying beliefs we hold. (14 minutes)

Therapy for Black Girls: The Impact of Racial Trauma

In this podcast episode, Joy Harden Bradford hosts a discussion with Licensed Psychologist Dr. Candice Nicole Hargons about the work she does to arm Black people with resources to work through racial trauma, how we can advocate for ourselves and how that might look differently for each of us, and tips for dealing with racism at work and school. (37 minutes)

Treat the Source and Address the Roots of Racial Inequity

United Way of Greater Atlanta announced the United for Racial Equity and Healing Fund in July 2020 to tackle the systemic issues underlying the correlation between race and zip codes, place and equity, which create barriers to improving the lives of children and families living in low or very low areas of child well-being.

Healing Our Nation from the Inside Out

This article examines the collective trauma of this moment and explores how organizations and individuals can make healing a priority as we work to advance equity. (5 minutes)

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Pledge to Fight Racism Starts with ‘National Day of Racial Healing’

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has dedicated itself to “ending structural racism.” NPR’s Michel Martin talks to the President and CEO La June Montgomery Tabron about the foundation’s initiatives. (4 minutes)

How to Deconstruct Racism, One Headline at a Time

Baratunde Thurston explores the phenomenon of white Americans calling the police on Black Americans who have committed the crimes of eating, walking or generally “living while Black.” In this profound, thought-provoking and often hilarious TED Talk, he reveals the power of language to change stories of trauma into stories of healing, while challenging us all to level up. (16 minutes)

Unity. Kindness. Peace.

Get ideas from the American Library Association’s Reading List on books to read to the children in your life that affirm the identities and backgrounds of all children.

A Brave Space

Attend an event hosted by the Absalom Jones Episcopal Center for Racial Healing, or share their podcast, A Brave Space with Dr. Catherine Meeks.