Healing Justice Lineages Excerpt

Posted by – January 27, 2023
Categories: Excerpt Health & Healing Society & Politics

Purpose: Why This Book? Why Now?

Our ancestors, elders, and wisdom traditions speak to us in our dreams about the immense, cosmic interplanetary shifts happening at this time. Our people are reclaiming ancestral technologies and creating new ones to affirm our ability to set new blueprints beyond time, space, and form that will free us and rapidly accelerate our evolution. This is what healing justice was meant to be—an incantation, a response to new patterns of movement and resistance; a call-and-response to our ancestors who survived colonization, slavery, and attempted genocide, healed, and transmitted a radical legacy for collective care and safety.


In this moment, the call for healing justice is clear and urgent. Our movements are eager for tools, strategies, and practices to address trauma and violence that can keep us steady in our fight for liberation. We have been waiting for this moment. For years we have challenged our movements to move toward healing justice while watching our beloved barrel toward environmental, physical, emotional, psychic, and spiritual crisis. These crises are not of our making, yet we have a responsibility and the skills to intervene. This book will ask us to be in disciplined and rigorous practice for our collective survival and liberation.


We challenge the popularization of “self-care” and “healing” and the consequences of the mainstreaming of our spiritual and political work for liberation. We are witnessing the wholesale erasure, co-optation, and misappropriation of healing justice, specifically by white people, who are writing books and creating podcasts in ways that take up space and resources without honoring or being in relationship to the long lineage of work led by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color—most notably people in the South: women, Queer, Trans, and disabled folks of color. This anthology seeks to imagine how we deepen and widen this work while intervening on commodification and the ways capitalism and social media can make gurus out of thieves. Healing justice is not yours to consume. It is our collective birthright that the ancestors fought and died for.


2020 accelerated a reckoning that forced us to confront all that is buried beneath the facade of “America” and this so-called dream that many of us experience as terror. We cannot turn away from the state abandoning and selling out our people during a global pandemic. We cannot turn away from a failing and harmful health care system that perpetuates eugenics and carceral strategies. We cannot turn away from the glaring impacts of white supremacy, ableism, xenophobia, and Islamophobia as evidenced by the rise of fascism, imperialism, and continued state violence, including police brutality; the mass incarceration of Black and Brown communities; and the detention and deportation of migrant communities. We cannot turn away from climate catastrophes across the world with the proliferation of hurricanes, wildfires, and extreme temperatures, and the subsequent neglect and exploitation of our most vulnerable communities. We cannot turn away from the continued extraction and commodification of our Earth’s precious resources by corporations who build pipelines across our sacred waterways, start wars, and engage in fracking for oil to fuel capitalism. 


We cannot turn away from the continued criminalization of our Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities, undocumented folks, Queer, Trans, and gender-nonconforming people, our people engaging in the street economy, sex workers, active drug users, our people who are unhoused, our sick and disabled people, people with living with HIV/AIDS, organizers, activists, artists, cultural workers, and increasingly, our health, healing, and spiritual practitioners, who refuse to collude with the prison and medical industrial complexes. We cannot turn away from the increased gender-based violence and attacks on our bodily autonomy from the state, as well as within our communities and families. We are forced to confront the ongoing impacts of policies such as the overturning of Roe v. Wade and further attacks on reproductive justice; anti-trans legislation criminalizing health practitioners and care givers providing gender-affirming care to Trans youth; or the “Don’t Say Gay” legislation, which attempts to erase and criminalize the existence of LGBTQTSI+.


2020 was the beginning of an awakening. We are living in the midst of a growing global resistance to fascism, white supremacy, and all systems of domination and the ways they collude and build upon one another in service of the ruling class. This year brought mass uprisings, unprecedented organizing around electoral politics, and campaigns to defund the police, as well as calls for abolition in ways we have not seen within our lifetime. Our communities have shown up to care for each other in the midst of a global pandemic and extreme economic, political, and social instability. This is truly a moment of contradiction. 


It was a turning point where the desire for healing justice, even when it is called something different, is increasing. We have to name the ways people heal and transform generations of grief, hate, violence, and the wounds of slavery, colonization, and white supremacist violence in order to fight for our transformative futures. Our people are ready for this healing and this transformation. This fierce longing is clear.


We are in a moment of new cosmologies. The planet is regenerating, and we are in the midst of collective degeneration and renewal. We are in a portal of life, death, and transmutation. Everything is collapsing, and this collapse requires that we take what is most useful and let go of everything else we knew before. There is a creative force that land, healers, and practitioners have been holding, seeding the ground for these prophecies and new cycles of transformation and spiritual evolution. This book is an offering of collective stories, testimonials, and incantations that explore political and spiritual liberation at a moment of deep crisis and transformation. In this anthology, we cast new spells to reground us, remind us, and help us remember we have been here before. We have existed and resisted in our legacies of survival and our descendants already live in our imagined futures.