At the end of August, we were fortunate to have Tarik Daniels, founder and executive director of Whatsinthemirror?, join us for a conversation called, “Art, Healing Justice and HIV.”
This presentation explored how “Healing Justice” is understood as a broader framework that aims to describe the relationship between social justice work and spirit by focusing both on the consequences of systemic oppression on the hope and agency of persons living with HIV, as well as how communities can heal and be restored to vibrant ways of living.
Cultural, systemic, historical, and institutional disparities have had substantial impacts on black queer people’s quality of life This webinar helps us understand healing justice and how it could be used to heal at the intersections of HIV through art. It also helps us outline the mental impact of society in navigating this world as queer people of color.
We acknowledge the “isms” of the world.
We have to start by listening.
We have to start honoring people’s experiences.
We have to be an ally.
We have to work through an anti-oppression framework that seeks to transform and heal.
What are the steps we need to overcome the past?
1. Awareness: Recognize that racism, sexism, and homophobia do exist, at no fault of your own. There is power in awareness.
2. Prepare: Recognize that our experiences of inequality and discrimination causes trauma within us. What we consider as normal has dormant effect on us wholly. Triggers are what keeps the cycle of social depression alive, generational.
3. Create: Recognize that there is a need to create tools and coping skills to endure social influences. Art is an incredible tool. You never know when you will need it to avoid falling victim to social depression.
We all have unconscious biases. As you watch the video below, take a moment to get in touch with yourself. Understand that unconscious bias is not who we are, instead it is what we’ve learned. Instead of asking, “Am I racist, sexist, or transphobic?” ask, “Where is racism, sexism, and transphobia I learned showing up in my life?” Again, there is power in awareness.
To learn more about Tarik Daniels and his work, read the blog post that Tarik wrote for Achieving Together: Whatsinthemirror? Addressing Mental Health Among the Queer Community of Color in Central Texas Through the Arts.