Reflections on Societal Healing

What does societal healing mean? What will it take?

I’m steeping in the wake of an impossibly rich conversation with Rev. angel Kyodo williams, Kazu Haga, Tada Hozumi, and Staci Haines—some of my most inspiring and courageous teachers in the intersection of individual and societal healing. Thanks to the folks at Building Belonging for handing me an opportunity that I hadn’t even imagined for myself.

I’m now trying to write about it two days later, which is only 2x the time it took me to come down from being completely starstruck and without exaggeration 100x faster than I typically process anything as rich and complex as this conversation was.

I’m hosting a follow-up community discussion next Tuesday (August 18, 9:30-11:30am Pacific Time) for those who have watched the video and want to be in community with others who feel likewise sparked by the energy this conversation generated. So far we have over 90 RSVPs—and I want to write these early reflections in support of us marinating in conversation together.

So, here goes. What follows is less of a summary, and more of a draft of the tapestry weaving in my mind as I reflect on the interconnected threads of conversation.

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Healing Means Justice Means Healing

What will it take to stand in this opportunity for systemic change?

Disclosure & disclaimer: Some projects mentioned here are partly funded through Seattle’s Equitable Development Initiative, where I work. Views expressed here are my own, not my employer’s.

The data trail of racial wealth and health disparities in the path of COVID-19 is a story of deep injustice. But not the complete story.

Just as high blood pressure lets us know something needs to change, but can’t show us how to be well, we need to look through our data with deep intuition in order to re-imagine the future we want.

Let me paint a story of a healed future. This story asks those with resources and institutional power to drop what we think we know. It asks those waiting for change to stop waiting. The change we yearn for won’t begin from above. This future is already being born, and it invites you to choose which story you’ll be a part of.

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