ARSJ Presents at the Liberation-Based Healing Conference Portland, Oregon October 16 & 17, 2009
Alliance for Racial and Social Justice (ARSJ) presented at the Liberation-Based Healing Conference in Portland, OR on October 16 & 17, 2009. The conference was a unique gathering, bringing together community organizers, educators, faith communities, activists, and professional therapists. The focus was to promote healing at both the family level and for broader communities, through the pursuit of social justice and equity.
ARSJ collaborated with Bradley Angle House, a domestic violence shelter in Portland, OR, for women and children, as well as with Affinity Counseling Group, a partner organization of ARSJ which "supports families to raise their consciousness about their own generational legacies and the impact of societal and cultural norms to move toward empowerment and liberation". We presented a theatrical, role-playing session featuring a play called "What Would You Do?" written by Terrie Quinteros from the Partnership for Safety and Justice in Portland. The story illuminates the multiple challenges that a community faces in dealing with domestic violence; this particular story featured an African American father, mother and child interacting with their reverend, friends, and store clerks. Our interactive model of audience participation actively generates solutions towards stopping violence. Active audience contributions are key to building greater understanding of the complexity of the common and familiar, yet extremely charged, situations. ARSJ shared this method with the audience to encourage them to parallel this challenging work within their own organizations.
We promote internal accountability by putting ourselves in difficult scenarios, and offering the same challenges to our audiences, to transform abstract concepts into accessible and real solutions for sustainable change with the support of advocates.
"If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse, and you say you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality." - Desmond Tutu