The work of centering individual and collective healing in movements for social change is referred to by many of us as “healing justice”. This deeply spiritual work is rooted in reclaiming ancestral traditions, reclaiming our lineages as healers, and reclaiming our right to be in control of our bodies. Many communities over time have engaged this work; what is shared here speaks to a particular set of communities coming together in partnership to bring healing justice as a practice more deeply into social movement space.
Autumn co-founded the Rock Dove Collective, a Brooklyn-based radical community health exchange, in 2006. During the same time period, several other critically important health and healing organizations were being created around the country, including Casa de Salud in Albuquerque, NM, Kindred Southern Healing Justice Collective in Atlanta, GA, and Third Root Community Health Clinic (also in Brooklyn). The healers and activists who led these efforts locally were also in conversation with one another nationally, and partnered to bring about “healing practice spaces” in two national organizing forums: the United States Social Forum (2007, 2010), and the Allied Media Conference, an annual conference located in Detroit.
Autumn was on the core team, along with Triana Kazaleh-Sirdenis, Adela Nieves, and Anjali Taneja, that brought the first Healing Justice learning track, and the first healing practice space, to the Allied Media Conference in 2011. Through the networking and movement building space offered by the AMC, and through the partnership and commitment of many healers and activists, that space has grown and evolved. Now there is a North American Healing Justice Network, which enables activists and healers to remain connected across the continent even as they focus their work through local practice.
In 2014, in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, a group of healing justice organizers, including Autumn Brown, Maryse Mitchell-Brody, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Adaku Utah, Triana Kazaleh-Sirdenis, and Susan Raffo, developed a guide on how-to develop a Healing Justice Practice Space. That guide, along with many other resources that have been developed over the years, can be found here: https://justhealing.wordpress.com/resourcing-the-work[Link to embedded guide on this site]