Our Healing Circles are designed for Detroit high school students who have been walking and developing in a world that has sought to silence their pain. We understand that Detroit students face more challenges than any individual person can remedy so our goal is to help each other heal from our trauma together. We need a voice and access to share our greatest vulnerabilities with the rest of the world, truly giving our trauma a purpose.
Exposure to trauma has a profound impact on cognitive development and academic outcomes and unfortunately Detroit students seem to wake up to trauma like its breakfast. We need to look at children through the lens of "what happened to that child?" versus "what's wrong with that child?" We will become powerful writers who read and write for real reasons like to advocate for ourselves and others, to deepen our own and others knowledge, & to illuminate the lives we live and the worlds we are a part of. Speaking and writing about your trauma is an important and powerful step to healing.
We believe that schools fail to talk about the extent to which student trauma exists in the classroom. So our solution: Turn the school into a space of healing. Our first Healing Circles was led by Detroit Social Justice Educator, Sirrita Darby. Those sessions birthed a publication known as "Forbidden Tears." The impact of our book got around and we got invited to sister Detroit Schools to conduct these Healing Circles completely on our own and help other students bring power to their stories of trauma. Our purpose is to make sure we raise the level of literacy in schools while simultaneously addressing student trauma and helping other Detroit youth heal from theirs.
Our Healing Circles will look very transformative. They will be hosted in various locations throughout Detroit. These sessions will be facilitated greatly by our trained youth advisory. We will start every session with a meal because sharing food leads to dialogue and dialogue leads to understanding, acceptance and peace. We will then walk our peers through a process of turning their trauma into a written narrative (story, poems, essays, etc.) These sessions will also be supported by trained therapists. They will also incorporate critical writing skills essential to the basis of literacy. Every healing session will end with our healing mantra and a positive releasing activity like yoga, karaoke, dancing, etc.
By the end of the program our goal is to have at least 3 pieces of transformative narratives from each participant. We will compile these narratives into a publication where participants will come up with title, cover and all in-between components because this is theirs and they will then become published authors and beyond that they will become individuals who have committed to no longer suffering in silence. We will celebrate their publication with a book launch. All proceeds from the book will go back into the organization. The last endeavor of the program will be to take the participants on an alternative adventure retreat out-of-state where we will engage in a cultural experience and have them bask in their new transformative selves in a meaningful/engaging way. This will be an opportunity our participants to enjoy being carefree kids as a lot time our trauma forces us to grow up before we are grown. It will also be a learning experience as participants will engage in a variety of hands-on activities that are aimed at developing leadership skills and promoting growth and healing. Our overall goal is to build access for our Detroit peers: access to healing, access to literacy, access to liberation and access to new possibilities.
HEALING CIRCLES SPRING 2020 Schedule
RSVP is not mandatory but highly advised for individuals who require transportation. Any youth can show up without an RSVP.
Let The Healing Begin!