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Healing Justice

Pillars of Our Shared Work #5

Author: Lamia Gibson

What is Healing Justice? "*Healing Justice is being used as a framework that seeks to lift up resiliency and wellness practices as a transformative response to generational violence and trauma in our communities." (quoted from a blog post by Cara Page)

Acknowledging the importance of healing in all our lives is integral to life itself.  The current Western medical model has, sadly, moved away from embracing our inherent abilities to heal and has instead placed the medical professional as the dominant expert, disempowering each of us and dividing us from the power we each carry to be actively healing all the time.  Healing Justice returns the strength within us, to us.

Healing Justice is deeply connected to Indigenous people, Women of Colour and Queer & Trans People of Colour.  Recognizing that healing justice needs to centralize leadership from People of colour and Indigenous people is a fundamental component of healing justice, as is the truth that this can only happen with disability justice included.

There are always so many communities practicing these principles.  Currently, Black Lives Matter Toronto (BLMTO) is in its third week of BLMTO - tent city.  This is an effort to hold elected officials accountable, specifically for the murder of Andrew Loku, and more generally in their positions of power, as people who should be accountable to the communities they serve (see BLMTO list of demands here).  In its second week a treatment area formed at BLMTO - tent city and folks continued to network to ensure those who are on the frontlines or working overtime behind the scenes have the support, medicine and healing options necessary to continue doing the work to protest and be heard.  At this particular time contributing to each persons resiliency is one way to transform the violence committed against Black communities.

Healing is powerful revolution.

As a supporter of Black Lives Matter, and all justice seeking struggles, I am listening and being led.  I recognize that my leadership skills are not helpful on the front lines of a movement to which I am allied, but my presence is.  My energy, my life experience and the learned medicine skills I work with are all valuable in the alignment of justice within all communities.

We are all necessary, in this river of this life, we flow together no matter what, so how do we contribute to the free flow of healing and living and justice?  How do we each heal and balance the unique aches of our lives?  How do we continue to hold that individual healing contributes towards collective liberation?

Doing the healing is healing justice and reflecting on our place in the river of life is a part of that healing.

Healing Justice is active at Six Degrees, and has been since its inception.  All of us work towards healing for all, inclusive of our strengths and weaknesses, doing the work needed to learn, lead, listen and be led.  We are in this together.  We need each other.  The folks I know who have helped me understand interdependence, especially from a disability justice perspective, are integral to the pieces of Six Degrees that I help create.  Your presence at Six Degrees is integral to that creation.  We hope and trust you take the experiences you have, the healing you work on, back into your communities.  Healing will always have greater impact than the physical body it happens in.  Qi is universal, our struggles are universal too. I may not know your unique struggle, but if I know my own, if I commit to my own healing and have a growing understanding of what I need to heal, then I can listen and, when asked, I can support, contributing what I can to the liberation & health of all beings.

Yours, in solidarity and health

Lamia Gibson

"when we all see justice then we'll all see peace"

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