The need to create a space for community healing, as part of SBI’s programming, emerged at the onset of COVID-19 and during the wake of civil unrest in Chicago and nationally. As we co-labored with advocates and community healers, responding to the urgency of the hour, and caring for those most impacted by the profusion of social ills, the need for a space to heal became more pressing than ever before. We aim to work collaboratively with community healers to offer events that intentionally create space for healing, restoration and equipping activists, organizers and comrades in the struggle for justice and abolition.
This year, Grace Okerson, a second year Master of Arts in Public Ministry student at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, with a concentration in racial justice. Joined the SBI team as a graduate intern. Using her passions to dismantling white supremacy and prison abolition, we invited her to imagine and create a communal healing space for SBI. We are grateful for Grace and her collaboration to launch SBI's first communal healing space.
Early on we invited Rev. Dr. Stephanie M. Crumpton, ThD, Assistant Professor of Practical Theology McCormick Theological Seminary, to join us in this effort as a thought partner. For Dr. Crumpton, "Fighting injustice means close contact in the street with the evils of oppression, and that can change us. No matter what role we take up in the movement for justice, we cannot underestimate the importance of paying attention to how this work can take a toll on our bodies, hearts, minds, spirits and relationships. Where do we hurt and how are we carrying it? What is that feeling, and who are we becoming as we weather seasons and cycles of resistance, defeat, triumph, and more? I can hear Kimberly Wilkins, AKA Sweet Brown, yelling Ain't nobody got time for that. True. But, if we don't make the time to tend to ourselves even as we fight, what will there be left of us to show? These are the concerns, questions and callings that invite me to step into the legacy of healing work that accompanies Black radical resistance. I a.m. glad to find myself in the tide with many others who take healing and wholeness seriously. This is the work, and at the moment it takes shape through deep attention to breath-work as the primary focus of yoga classes for folks who could use space to pause, reflect, choose life and restore even as they fight death-dealing injustice." We are deeply grateful for Dr. Crumpton's contribution to SBI and communal healing.
Videos of presentations and supplemental materials.
April 30: Health & Immunity
August 6 and 20: Resilient Children & Parents
September 3 and 17: Care in Movement Building
October 1 and 15: Mass Incarceration
Co-sponsored by McCormick Theological Seminary, AAAS/DoSER, and The Presbytery of Chicago.