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Psychologists and Activists to Address the Root Cause of the Unrest in Ferguson, Missouri

Photo Credit: Lucas Jackson / Reuters

Photo Credit: Lucas Jackson / Reuters

The Association of Black Psychologists (ABPsi) and Community Healing Network, Inc. (CHN) today announced the launch of a series of workshops and trainings to help Black people in Ferguson, Missouri, heal. The aim is to help people heal from the trauma caused by the killing of Michael Brown, the mistreatment of the community in its struggle for justice, and the historical trauma caused by the lie of Black inferiority–the root cause of the devaluing of the lives of Black people.

The workshops and training of trainers will be held at Harris-Stowe State University, Clay Center, Room 211, 3026 Laclede Avenue, St Louis, MO 63103, on Friday, December 5, 2014 at 5:00 PM and Saturday, December 6, 2014 at 12:00 PM (CST).

The workshops and training are free of charge, but registration is required.

ABPsi and CHN will introduce Emotional Emancipation Circles, a ground-breaking grassroots strategy for helping Black people overcome and overturn the lie of Black inferiority. According to CHN and ABPsi, that lie was originally devised to justify the enslavement of African people and has led to the unabated dehumanization of Black people. It contributes to Black-White mental and physical health disparities, the criminalization, mass incarceration, and wanton killing of Black people, and many of the other problems facing the Black community.

Dr. Marva Robinson, president of the St. Louis Chapter of the Association of Black Psychologists, said “We are excited about starting a community conversation about overturning the myth of dehumanization–the toxic idea that Black people are less than human. The demonstrations in Ferguson have been calls for justice for Michael Brown, yes, but they are also calls for Black people to be treated as human beings.”

According to Dr. Cheryl Tawede Grills, immediate past president of ABPsi, who will lead the workshops and training, “the lie of Black inferiority was created four centuries ago to justify the enslavement of our ancestors. It says that Black people are less than human and, sadly, our children will not be free to walk the streets without fear until we extinguish that lie once and for all.”

“We are grateful,” said Enola Aird, founder and president of CHN, “for the opportunity to help build the movement for emotional emancipation in Ferguson. The lie of Black inferiority was officially endorsed by the Supreme Court of the United States in the case of Dred Scott, whose remains lie just down the road from Ferguson. The insistent activism so close to Scott’s final resting place is, in our view, a call to the Black community to rise up and confront, and, finally, overturn the lie.”

“For too long,” said Dr. Taasogle Daryl Rowe, president of ABPsi, “the lie has shaped the world’s perceptions of Black people in negative ways, and powerful negative stereotypes grounded in that lie have limited the prospects and sense of possibilities for far too many Black children. Enough is enough.”

ABPsi and CHN will provide follow-up webinar support and technical assistance to training participants. This is the latest in a series of initiatives growing out of a four-year collaboration between CHN and ABPsi.

About the Author

New York Trend is a weekly news publication that focuses on issues and lifestyles of the African & Caribbean American communities throughout the New York metropolitan area and Nassau and Suffolk Counties of Long Island. It is a respected and well recognized news publication that has been in existence since 1989. Owner, Publisher and Executive Director, Dr. Teresa Taylor Williams has been at the helm of this award-winning publication since its inception. New York Trend continues to be the only black woman-owned, metropolitan newspaper in New York and Long island. New York Trend is the largest black-owned newspaper throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties.

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