Together, the HealingWorks collaborative will help build a field that can meet the needs of young men of color survivors and their broader communities.
Young men of color are among the most likely people in our country to be harmed by violence. They are among the least likely to receive healing support when they are hurt. Such a disparity results from many factors, including media-fed perceptions of their over-aggression, poor access to services, and the broadly accepted normalization of the violence they suffer. HealingWorks Learning Collaborative addresses the compelling needs of these young survivors by delivering tools, resources, and community-building support to the people and organizations that serve them.
While traditional victim service agencies serve small numbers of young men of color, such services are more likely to exist in less traditional settings. These include community programs, churches, schools, and private homes, where people have chosen to address trauma and victimization in the context of other services. While these programs are generally effective, they are also over-burdened, under-valued, and severely under-resourced. At the same time, programs engaged more formally in victim service provision, while better resourced, often lack the training and framework to offer viable services to young male survivors of color.
HealingWorks’ goal is to unite the individuals and organizations that do this critical work, providing mechanisms to share and explore practices, increase resources, and elevate the leadership of those who have paved the way. Because effective practice doesn’t happen in isolation, HealingWorks promotes practices that take place in a community context, addressing the essential roles of women, elders, and other community members in facilitating healing. Together, the HealingWorks collaborative will help build a field that can meet the needs of young men of color survivors and their broader communities.
Common Justice develops and advances solutions to violence that transform the lives of those harmed and foster racial equity without relying on incarceration. Locally, we operate the first alternative to incarceration and victim service program in the United States to focus on violent felonies in the adult courts. Nationally, we leverage the lessons from our direct service to transform the justice system through partnerships, advocacy, and elevating the experience and power of those most impacted. A full 70% of the victims Common Justice serves in its direct service work are men of color. In 2012, Common Justice received the Award for Innovation in Victim Services from the federal Office of Victims of Crime recognizing its cutting-edge work with young men of color. In 2015, Common Justice broadened its work, launching the HealingWorks Learning Collaborative to address the failure of the current system to adequately engage young men of color who are survivors of violence and crime.