Generating ideas, connections, and action

9 Ways To Practice Racial Healing (August 2017)

This year LLC has been focusing on dismantling racial inequity and moving towards healing. With this goal in hand, earlier in the year we opened an Action Learning Seed Fund, and with your help, we selected three final projects. As part of this project, the recipients are also required to join four communities of practice bimonthly between inception and December. In January, you will all have the opportunity to hear directly from them. We will host webinars for each project to present their final report and share more about their process and allow you time to ask them questions directly.

Susan Misra from Management Assistance Group is facilitating our Community of Practice sessions. Our first community of practice session occurred in June. We were able to set the stage; learn about each other and the projects’ focuses, and review our goals.


Our second session took place earlier this month. We had rich conversations on racial healing. We dove deep into examples and models we had seen towards racial healing. Together, we built this toolkit to practice racial healing:

  1. Building empathy in our conversations

  2. Using technology to build a common language

    • Follow: Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, Race Forward, World Trust, Management Assistance Group, Interaction Institute for Social Change

    • Use tools to reach more people and cement connections

  3. Trauma & Cycle Of Liberation

  4. Intentionally creating space for healing through the use of:

    • Grounding: incorporating a space for healing; granting the space and time for healing to build endurance.

    • Honoring traditions: honoring prayer; breaking for prayer; engage in practices that remind us of the power of our own identities.

  5. Value negotiation skills

    • Understanding power dynamics

    • Knowing communication styles

    • Understanding the context; What are their values? Where is the midpoint?

    • Prepare for negotiations ahead of time


  1. Letting go of processes and structures, and formalities when working within communities

    • This may look like allowing black people to be who they are, where they are without trying to change people to fit into a system that devalues them

    • Important for marginalized communities to value themselves with their own frame, interests, perspectives, and history in mind

    • Value the humanity of black culture

    • Accept different forms of expression and build forward

    • Acknowledge that different levels of oppression affect people differently


  1. Psychological healing from trauma

    • Reverse what oppression has taught our community


  1. Honor the value of Black women

    • Their truths as assets and wealth critical to our existence

    • Draw from that strength to frame path forward

  2. Belonging and Inclusion

    • Beware of what is the role of affinity spaces in creating belonging and othering

    • Depending on privileges people shift between being oppressed and oppressing others; acknowledge that dichotomy

      • Tensions can arise around privilege and blind spots even within marginalized populations

    • Reach across silos; regardless of class, for instance, we can still find similarities in our experience

This October, we will create the space to discuss what racial equity truly means, the steps we need to take to dismantle structural racism and how to foster racial healing. Join us in New Orleans at Creating Space 2017: Freedom to Lead & Leading for Freedom to expand your learning through deep discussions, lived experiences, and hands-on practice.

Diana Simumpande Vlad Tchompalov