UNESCO Slave Route Project and the GHFP collaborate with an aim to develop conceptions, methodologies, approaches and practices of healing that can also help address the roots of racism.To this end, on 18/19 October 2018 , we co-organised an international symposium hosted by the Berkley Center at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. This 1st International Symposium aimed to address the root causes of racial prejudices and discrimination derived from slavery, both past and present.
Following the first Symposium, the GHFP Research Institute launched a research to understand and map out methodologies, approaches and practices relevant to healing the wounds of trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and Slavery.
On 24th September 2019, the GHFP Research Institute hosted a second International Symposium on Collective Healing of Traumas: New Possibilities for Peace in Communities.
The first phase of the UNESCO/GHFP Healing the Wounds of Slavery collaboration includes three steps:
Step One was the above mentioned research to conceptualise, collect, and compare diverse approaches and practices of healing relevant mass traumas. It aims at building a common understanding of meanings and dimensions of healing, and defining methodologies and approaches most relevant and best suitable for the healing processes in the Caribbean and Americas. Step One is especially mindful of the imperative to distinguish between healing, reconciliation and justice, and to stress linkages among them. See here for the UNESCO-GHFP_Mapping-Conceptions-Approaches-of-Healing_Desk-Review_Report_June2020_FINAL
Step Two is the development of a Facilitators Handbook for Collective Healing, on the basis of the research findings, that will offer a comparative analysis of healing experiences and provide useful recommendations for healing workshops/programmes at different levels (grassroots, national regional, international). The handbook will be used to guide a series of pilots in the region.
Step Three is the implementation of the pilots in selected communities in the region. The pilots will offer insight into how best to approach healing given the continued racial injustice and discrimination. They would also help identify the social, economic, and political commitments and conditions necessary for healing at local and national levels, and the relationships between healing processes and these commitments and conditions.