Ginwright on Blacklivesmatter

Shawn Ginwright is one of the best analysts of the #Blacklivesmatter movement. These are excerpts from his article “Radically Healing Black Lives: A Love Note to Justice“* that help explain what is happening in America today.

First, a great statement of why the movement emphasizes Blacknesss and yet is for all:

A love ethic is an unconditional desire for human dignity, meaningful existence, and hope. #Blacklivesmatter is a movement of dignity, meaning, and hope in a critical moment when race in general, and Blackness in particular, has become a third rail, and avoided in policy debates. The statement “Black lives matter” also gives others permission to practice courageous love and to celebrate and protect the dignity and humanity of all people.

And here is Ginwright on the double agenda–changing systems and healing people:

Healing justice is an emerging movement that seeks both (a) collective healing and well-being, and also (b) transforming the institutions and relationships that are causing the harm in the first place (Wallace, 2012). …

Young community leaders increasingly acknowledge that both organizing and healing together are required for lasting community change. Both strategies, braided together, make a more complete and durable fabric in our efforts to transform oppression, and hold the power to restore a more humane, and redemptive process toward community change. …

[By analogy,] environmental justice activists view policies that promote pollution and fossil fuels as harmful to the earth and our environment. Much of their activism focuses on protecting the environment from harm created by lack of awareness or concern for the natural environment. Similarly, healing justice activists view policies that promote violence, stress, hopelessness in schools and communities, as harmful to our collective well-being, human dignity, and hope. Rather than viewing well-being as an individual act of self-care, healing justice advocates view the practice of healing as political action.

*from New Directions for Student Leadership, no. 148 (2015), pp. 33-44.

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About Peter

Associate Dean for Research and the Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Tufts University's Tisch College of Civic Life. Concerned about civic education, civic engagement, and democratic reform in the United States and elsewhere.