In order to sustain Black-led organizations and lead us in collective healing and liberation, we must acknowledge our collective struggle and individual trauma. “One of the challenges I see, since we don’t have the emotional bandwidth or tools to dive into [ the healing process], we’ve committed to always being enslaved mentally, emotionally, or financially because we haven’t made the choice to put the time into it. We don’t know how.” said Healer Bianca Edwards, founder of The Sacred Apothecary.
This summer, the Black Freedom Collective (BFC) and Community Change launched F.U.L.L. — For Us, Learned and Liberated. This movement is a long-term investment to address the need for healing justice and providing tangible support and culturally-appropriate resources Black leaders and changemakers need for our communities to thrive.
FULL is a learning community that develops the power and capacity of Black-led organizations, Black leaders and organizer through:
- Trainings, convenings and conversations on key issues including: healing justice; base building; organizational development; fundraising; policy & advocacy; and communications
- Curated resources by and for Black leaders and organizers
- Uplifting the work of BFC partners .
- Creating peer learning and engagement within the Black organizing community.
It also nurtures the humanity of Black leaders and organizations in the BFC community. “F.U.L.L. embodies practices and principles that are rooted in humanity, that are based on liberation for all,” said Bethel Tsegaye, Deputy Director of Black-led Programs & Planning for the Black Freedom Collective. “As the first learning community dedicated to Black leaders and organizers, it’s an act of resistance to mainstream approaches that often don’t meet the needs of Black-led organizations.”
When dealing with complex emotions and trauma in the Black community, it takes this type of thinking outside of the box to heal from the inside out. Partner organization SPACEs in Action, led by Executive Director LaDon Love, provides employees with a liberated work environment that allows people – particularly Black and Latinx – to show up as their true selves. “We allow ourselves to think differently which takes us out of the norm of the white supremacy framework. To me, this is in a way a healing justice because we stop and celebrate and talk about things.” After practicing intentional liberation with her team, LaDon can then teaches other organizations how to do the same on their paths to wholeness by:
- Articulating the needs they have for themselves, their family and their community.
- Building connections with each other.
- Finding other people they can be in community with.
“Everything we do is for Black people and people of color because we understand that if we raise the floor for us we raise the floor for everyone.”
F.U.L.L. is built around the acknowledgment that Black leaders’ and organizers’ needs are often unmet, and providing the space and tools for them to be heard and seen. “F.U.L.L. is about community, it’s about shared liberation, shared learning, shared struggle and shared healing,” said Bethel. “This is the invitation we extend to folks in F.U.L.L.”