Coming up in June will be the 11th Annual Community Empowerment through Black Men Healing Conference. This year, the conference will focus on the health of the African American family and community by examining the link between intergenerational trauma and current challenges.
During the conference, there will be an exploration of the link between resiliency and protective factors that lead to community healing and health. One thing to think about is that a stronger, thriving African American community improves the health of society, as a whole.
Family is the root
Without healthy families, a community struggles to grow. The African American family’s dynamics have shifted from what they once were in the 1960s. This was the last time in the history of African Americans when our families have been intact at a high level.
Since then, our dynamics have shifted to a point where we have high levels of children in foster care, adoption, low marriage rates and high levels of domestic violence. All of these things are symptoms of the historical and intergenerational trauma that we have experienced. Building healthy families is essential for the growth and development of the community-at-large.
Healing is essential for community
Healing the family is important to having a healthy community because it provides the community with stability, structure, and a sense of belonging. These elements provide significance and purpose for individuals. However, healthy families are not possible without healthy individuals.
Why you should attend
If a community is healthy, if it is safe, supportive, and budding with opportunities, then it will have the elements that children and individuals need to thrive. It is no secret that the Black community has faced several challenges for decades.
However, these challenges do not have to divide our abilities to evolve and excel as a community. In order, to grow and thrive, we have to address our trauma in an honest and authentic way and understand that we are the answer and solution to moving the community forward.
The conference organizers state, “The village that hides the truth can’t expect to heal from pain.” Such a powerful statement should not be taken for granted. Unfortunately, hiding our pain has been a survival mechanism for us. We have been able to survive by not addressing the truth and believing in half-truths.
This is understandable. Pain is not easy to accept. However, it is also damaging not to be able to face our uncomfortable reality for what it is. The overall goal of the conference is to improve the health and wellness of African American men and their families, resulting in the larger community becoming healthier and safer. This provides the realization a thriving African American community improves the health of society, as a whole.
This article originally appeared in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.