Racial Healing: Beyond the Concept to Creating a Blueprint Together
By Aliah MaJon
Racial healing? What exactly are the possibilities of this phrase, this promise, still tentative and quite uncertain, that people are beginning to speak about out loud, as well as whisper about in their prayers; in our collective prayers? Could it be true that something so glorious as genuine “Racial Healing” is really within our reach, the incredible gift of sustainable repair and the permanent release of our sad state of affairs regarding racial differences. I don’t even have to name everything that I’m talking about, because here in the U.S. a very large number of us are haunted by an ugly wall of separation and the terribly unfortunate condition of the Racial Divide, which creates broken hearts, senseless killings, grief, devastated families and untold numbers of individuals and groups that are seen as either villains or victims at any given time.
So, let me just jump to saying that I wish to personally answer the question that I am posing about whether Racial Healing is possible with a resounding “yes!” So, I’m going to boldly do so… However, although I am proclaiming this because I sincerely believe that we are finally ready to heal the dark history of “Race” that stands between us, I have to immediately qualify why I feel this way. Yes, I absolutely do believe that the promise of Racial Healing has extended an invitation to us, one that we CAN CHOOSE to go for and, finally, start organizing around on both small and large scales, but HOW WE ARE GOING TO GO ABOUT IT is of critical importance. I’ll explain by offering my conclusion of readiness another way with clearer signposts: “How we decide to build the bridges that we will cross, set the stage for, plan out, constantly evaluate, carefully condition our personal and collective consciousness for, collaborate with each other on and begin to experience together is CRITICALLY IMPORTANT.”
That is why I am writing this article; I have certain ideas that I wish to share about what Racial Healing will actually require of us. But, before I share those, let me tell you a bit more about me as a person and not merely as a professional that has been facilitating and working with such matters for decades now.
I’m writing this as a citizen of the United States, a woman who was born here, and a person who has lived here my entire life. My skin is brown, and I identify as African American, which always seems to matter in my life, for reasons that I consider good and for reasons that I have too often had the experience of being not so good. What I think should matter more than the color of my skin is that I have contributed much, supported many and deeply cared about what is typically called racism, especially what it does to our well-being as humans. And, before I go further into my perspective on the gargantuan work before us; what I am offering my every talent to with the goal of helping us heal, I would like you to get more of a sense of my heart by saying this: “It’s always hard for me to use the word racism, it feels like profanity in my mouth.”
Now, to continue with my ideas regarding “how” a well thought out and far-reaching process of Racial Healing might look, let me reformat the list above into picture-painting bullet points:
1) We must start by building very strong “bridges” for us to cross to each other on.
2) Then, we have to continually “set” the stage by walking our talk in every way.
3) We must constantly and “consciously” provide for the compassionate needs of healing.
4) As the healing unfolds and goes deeper, it will be critical for us to keep “evaluating.”
5) We must always inspire and carefully “cultivate” the consciousness of union.
6) This work has to be group work, so “collaboration” at every turn is a golden key.
7) We must focus on creating diverse groups, and sincerely commit to a “mutual” experience.
In case you’re wondering where you can find the Instruction Booklet to carry out what I have outlined, I have one simple answer for you: “The instructions are written in your heart.” And, I’m very serious about this when I say it. It’s my strong belief that our sincere hearts and our clear conviction and intention will guide us. The blueprint or the steps that we must take will be revealed to us along the way. When there is genuine passion driving us half the job is already done. You have enough in what I have shared in this article to not only get you started; I trust that I have outlined a vision that is beautifully compelling and beckoning you to begin by making a commitment. Yes, you and I will make some mistakes, as we do with everything else in our lives as human beings, this will be natural and expected. We will learn from those mistakes, and we will remember that it is important to forgive each other and be grateful for the lessons, those lessons and challenges will be an indication that you and I are in process — together. And, please remember, with our genuine caring and inner knowing serving as our guide, it's expected that there will be more than one RIGHT WAY to get this done. Let’s start now… We have waited long enough, and we shouldn’t allow ourselves to waste another minute!
Dr. Aliah K. MaJon is known for her work with both adults and youth who are facing future-defining crossroads, the devastation of loss, and the disadvantage of a traumatic background. Her methodologies are informed by firsthand experience growing up in the inner city of Detroit and losing her only child to suicide. Dr. Aliah also believes that one of the greatest hindrances to the success of disenfranchised populations in the United States is our country’s history of the racial divide. And, she is committed to harnessing her decades of experience addressing bias and inequality as a diversity trainer, consultant, United Nations delegate, facilitator of citizen-police dialogues, and creator of “Racial Healing Brain Trusts,” which began in 2013 with the ambitious pilot program she spearheaded called "A National Conversation on Race."
Her involment in such activities inspired her to launch The Next 50 Years Project to teach cultural intelligence and to pioneer tools that build bridges across human difference. Dr.Aliah’s core message is: “Our Destiny is About Our Collective Evolution.” She also proudly holds a trademark for a groundbreaking coaching methodology called SOUL TECHNOLOGY®, where she introduces people to the other half of their intelligence and demystifies what it means to benefit from inner knowing. Her approach is comprehensive and future-focused, and she supports people to overcome obstacles and begin to excel utilizing her expertise in the areas of transpersonal psychology and personal growth, combined with her extensive experience in group work and as a consulting professional.
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This article appears in: 2020 Catalyst, Issue 16: Racial Justice and Healing