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Taking Control of Our Destiny - Enola G. Aird

Community Healing Days in Greater New Haven starts October 17 and goes through Oct 19, 2014.  While the Community Healing Network (CHN) reminds us to be mindful daily of our history, goals and destiny, during these three days CHN asks us to be particularly vigilant and to set specific time aside to be focused on internal healing.  The blog posted here is an op-ed written by Enola Aird, the founder and president of CHN.

Taking Control of Our Destiny

By Enola G. Aird

We Black people are stronger than we know.  We are the descendants of the amazing people who made “a way out of no way.” But we have been through a lot--over the centuries and in recent months. Our ancestors endured two and a half centuries of brutal enslavement and another century of poisonous Jim Crow. It has been only 50 years since Jim Crow was officially declared to be over. And yet we all know that racism still has this country in its grip. Civil rights gains that we thought we had made over the course of the last 60 years are suddenly at risk. From Sanford, Florida, to Ferguson, Missouri, it seems to be open season on Black men--and women. Too often, the nation seems not to value our lives. Too often, neither do we.

We need to stop. We need to take stock.  We need to put “time for healing” at the top of our agenda.

Why? Because according to the American Psychiatric Association, “racism and raci....” And a recent study by the American Psychological Association found ...

As a result of past, present, and continuing assaults, the Black community is traumatized. And while we are in trauma, we cannot deal effectively with the problems confronting us. In order to think clearly and to empower ourselves to meet the wide range of challenges facing our community, we must first pursue the goals of emotional healing and wellness.

Join Community Healing Network (CHN) and our partner the Association of Black Psychologists for the sixth annual celebration of Community Healing Days, Friday through Sunday, October 17, 18, and 19, 2014.  

This year, in honor of the late Dr. Maya Angelou, the founding chair of CHN’s Board of Advisors, we are asking people to respond with enthusiasm to her Call to Wear Sky Blue on Community Healing Days-- as a sign of our collective determination to move "beyond the pain of the blues to the sky blue of unlimited possibilities." All you have to do is wear something light blue like the color of the sky on a bright sunny day--and encourage your family and friends to do the same.

Why Sky Blue? Because sky blue is the color of health and healing–and joy, tranquility, and wholeness. It is the opposite of the blue associated with trauma and sadness. Sky blue invites us to turn our eyes upward, open our imaginations, and reflect on the limitless possibilities before us.

In order to take control of our destiny, we need to begin by imagining a radically different future for ourselves and our children. We need to imagine a future of unlimited possibilities, before we can create it.

For nearly 400 years, the Black community has been working from a script written for us by other people to suit their purposes. At the heart of that script is the idea that Black people are inferior and less than human. Let’s finally take the time to write our own script to embrace the fullness of our humanity.

Join with us and Black people across the country in this small but crucial step in transforming our community. Spend some time with your family and friends (during or after Community Healing Days) talking about a healthy, vibrant future in which the lives of Black people are truly valued. What would that future look like? How would it feel? How would life be different for our children? Dream freely and paint as vivid a picture as you can!

We at CHN see a future in which Black people across the world have moved from surviving to thriving!  What do you see? Tell us at --and we will keep the healing conversation going.

Happy Community Healing Days!


Enola G. Aird is the founder and president of Community Healing Network, Inc., a New Haven-based 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization working to build a global grassroots movement to help Black people overcome and overturn the lie of Black inferiority and heal from the emotional legacies of enslavement and racism.


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