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, the adults they become, and those who live with and love them are the best people to develop, implement, and lead the solutions to their own and their loved ones’ pain. This especially includes young men of color who have been harmed themselves. By introducing survivors to the skills necessary to overcome feelings of weakness, subordination and dependence, they gain inner strength and self-determination. While outside forces—such as therapy and other victim services—can have a profoundly positive effect on healing, survivors must gain a sense of self-empowerment and embrace their ability to lead themselves back to a greater sense of normalcy and self-confidence.
By stepping into leadership roles, young men of color who have been harmed will not only contribute to others’ healing, they will also advance their own. When survivors of crime lead, they can experience power, meaning, and hope. And they can steer us into solutions that are viable, visionary, and effective.
It is essential that those directly impacted be engaged not just as front-line professionals, but also as people with power to define standards of practice, develop new interventions, lead programs and organizations, shape the field and movement, command resources, and hold others accountable to high standards of practice. It is the role of others to commit to fostering and participating in an arrangement with those directly impacted at both the center and the top.