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Healing Justice

Updated: Nov 21, 2023

A collage of families, butterflies, a flower, and a fortress, with a bird flying through the middle.
"Justice & Freedom For All" by Lourdes, OCAD Member

As we enter Year 4 of the Chicago Racial Justice Pooled Fund, more and more organizations are engaging in Healing Justice. They are intentionally taking time for healing as a component of leadership development and political resistance. For some, this is about building a resilient organization; for others, this is about inviting the whole person into organizing and community work – with empathy and compassion.

Few community organizers in Chicago spoke of healing justice, race-based trauma or resilient organizations prior to the last decade or two. Much has shifted, from the demographics of lead staff to the context of reparations and abolition. Burn-out during the pandemic was real – and lingering. If movements for justice are to win, they must also thrive.

During this virtual program, we heard from the following organizers at the forefront of this work, sharing both the why and the how of Healing Justice:

Sheerine Alemzadeh, Healing to Action

Aislinn Pulley & Cindy Eigler from the Chicago Torture Justice Center

Antonio Gutierrez, Organized Communities Against Deportation

Katelyn Johnson, BlackRoots Alliance

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