A midwestern POCI conversation about healing


Place matters. All action is local, even when it is sent through the internet to be a national or global initiative. It's local because we experience it locally. In our bodies. It matters deeply that I am from the midwest - started on the eastern edge of the midwest in Ohio and have ended up here on the western edge, in Minnesota. The feel of this land, its seasons, what its food and water carries into my body, the fact that it is already in the 30s today, cold and dark early: these are what forms me. Where you are is what forms you.

I am resharing this conversation here, although I've already shared it through Facebook. I am sharing it here and prefacing it with place because the 23 indigenous and POC healers and healing practitioners who are talking on its pages also live here, on the Dakota homelands, in Minneapolis and St. Paul. These are people close to my heart, some of whom are in my everyday life. We all live here, on this land, right now. And that matters.

The focus of this conversation was on how to support leaders of color and indigenous leaders, people who are often working in toxic spaces where their leadership is under attack, where they are under-resourced and where the weight of white supremacist systems and organizations makes the work of liberation feel sometimes close to impossible. The question that Nexus wanted us to sit with was to better understand how healing can happen within these spaces.

I am resharing the report that came out of that conversation here, when we are on the cusp of an election. Many of you are involved in some kind of voter work. Many more of you are impacted by what happens at these elections. And no matter what, shifting power at the electoral level is important but it isn't about healing. It can, however, set the conditions that allow the potential for healing to increase or decrease.

So I share these words with you because, well, we all need words that make us dream bigger. Feel free to share with me what you have read and written. This is a conversation. Trauma is disconnection. So how can healing, re-connection or connection for the very first time, happen right now. Here.

The image above is of a single nerve cell, something that doesn't really exist because a nerve cell only exists in its relationship to the other cells around it. And yet it also does. A single nerve cell can shift how communication is happening within the body. It is powerful. And yet a single nerve cell depends on the communication that happened before and after, its role in change is only about those who came before and those who came after. A single nerve cell.