What We Do
"Healing is understood as the ability to change your perspective– to change hopelessness to courage, and self-hatred to love for oneself and one’s community, as a means to transform injury and harm into optimal health and well-being.
Healing-centered organizing is a process to increase collective power, blending a health and wellness approach with a traditional organizing approach. The principles of healing centered organizing are:
Healing is in response to the needs of the community
Healing is political
Healing and organizing intersect
Healing is found in culture and spirituality"
~ From Iris Garcia, in Akonadi Foundation's "Building a Case for Healing Justice"
Chocolate Soul Revival supports Black women, femmes, and gender non-conforming people in moving through individual and collective grief, trauma, and oppression, into clarity, power, and action. Inside of healing justice, our focus areas include emotional justice, trauma healing, deconstructing internalized oppression, liberatory skill building, and strategizing for decolonization. Our healing centered organizing work encompasses racial justice, gender justice, reproductive justice, and economic justice. In addition to individuals and groups, we also work directly with activist organizations in shifting from a burnout and harm replicating culture, into one of emotional safety, nourishment and long term sustainability. We place particular focus on supporting the transformation of organizing culture into one that holds healing justice at the center, rather than as an aside. We seek to stop the replication of trauma and harm throughout our communities, including activist spaces, and therefore also offer organizational consulting support.
Our ongoing work takes the form of 1 on 1 sessions, small group circles, workshops, and multi-day intensives. Through a decolonial Black queer feminist lens, we are committed to centering the experiences and voices of those most marginalized amongst us; low/no income, Black trans and cis women, femmes, gender non-binary, LGBTQIA+, youth, and folks with disabilities. Some of the content areas that inform our work include:
Dr. Linda James Myers' theories of Optimal Psychology & Optimal Worldview
Dr. Joy DeGruy's work on Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome, epigenetics, and the continuing assault on Black lives
The practice of Generative Somatics
The Earth wisdom present in the areas of Ecology and living systems theory
We regard the lived experience of Black women as one of society's greatest teachers. Forever canaries in the coal mine, our vision is born of a deep commitment to prioritizing our own individual healing in everything we do. For we know that we cannot skip over ourselves in our efforts to create justice, equity, and liberation for our people. That which we seek to create must be born from the very depths of our beings. As healing does not happen in a vacuum, we quickly learned that we were responding to a collective call for the transformation that happens when Black women gather in service of saving our own lives by honoring our deepest truths. Cultivated by artists, healers, activists, and cultural workers, we are birthing a system of healing justice, and an accompanying theoretical framework.